Mamavation Monday: I’m working on a Ph.D in Life

The word School spelled in blocks photo

I have 3 degrees already, and I’ve joked with CycleGuy that I want to go back to school to get a Ph.D. But because I already have more degrees than he does, he says he gets first crack at the next graduate degree. That has always sounded fair. But I’m still hungry to learn. And to learn all the things I want won’t take me getting a Ph.D in one thing.

I’m a big believer in lifelong learning. My grandparents often took classes. My aunt and uncle traveled every year through the Elderhostel program, learning about new places and focusing on a new topic of interest. Seeing them continue learning throughout their ‘golden years’ impressed upon me not only the ability to pursue new things regardless of age, but also that learning can be fun.

One of my learning projects this year is photography. I’ve always admired people who could wield one of those fancy cameras. So this year I am learning to become a photographer. Maybe you’ve seen some of my photos? I’m participating in the 365 Project and documenting each day with a photograph (although I’m behind in posting them) as a way to practice daily. I help BabyGirl practice violin every day and I know the importance of doing this. It only makes sense that I do the same with my learning.

When I was in college I got a shirt that say “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” It’s a saying that always stuck with me. Learning may not always take a ton of money, but it always take time. Learning is an investment. An investment of time, always. Time I don’t always seem to have, although I know I need to make.

I could spend all day reading about new and cool things. I’ve cut down my magazine and journal subscriptions significantly. Although I still get more than 10 every month. BabyGirl once called me an information hound. I couldn’t really argue with her.

When I start to think I don’t have time for learning, I know I’m kidding myself. There is always time to learn, it’s just a matter of priorities. One of the great things about learning, too, is that there are opportunities to meet new people. It’s through learning how to blog that I’ve met you!

If you ever hear yourself saying you don’t have time to learn, stop for a moment as say it again. The second time be more in the moment. Do you really have so much going on that you can’t learn something you want? Maybe it’s a matter of prioritizing. If you’re like me, there is an ongoing “Things I Want To Learn” list.

Again, it comes back to the ‘Someday’. Sure, someday I’ll get around to learning all the things I want. In the meantime, though, I need to start somewhere. There are times I dive in to multiple points of learning. Unlike college though, when signing up for 6 classes seemed normal, I need to pace myself with just a very few things at a time.

Come, join me on this journey for a Ph.D. in Life! What will you learn next?

This post is linked to Mamavation Monday. I am a member of the Mamavation Sistahood!

Photo Credit: Public Domain


Constantly Learning, and Learning, and Learning

Stack of Books

Part of trying to figure out how I’m going to save more, spend a bit more wisely, make good shopping choices requires me to learn new things, constantly. I’m in a never-ending quest for knowledge. I could read just about any How-To book or website on how to build, do, create, or learn more I come across. I’m finding though that the more I learn the more I want to learn more. Also, I beat myself up for not having learned whatever it is I’ve learned earlier. Perfectionist much?

It’s not just about money and saving either. I’ve been burned by so many people who claim to know what they’re doing that I often don’t trust people when they tell me they’re an expert or a master at something. That master plumber? Right! Who didn’t install the faucet correctly because he was in a hurry? That expert contractor who cut corners because I wouldn’t see? The experts who’ve been doing something for a short time (relative to others) who are more smoke and mirrors than an 80s concert? I’m starting not to believe these people.

But how am I supposed to ask the good questions if I’m not an expert? Shouldn’t I be able to rely on the fact that you’re telling the truth? Sure, I need to do some of my own due diligence. Really, though, do I need to call up everyone you’ve ever worked with? Not possible. Not just because I don’t have that much time, but because you’re not going to tell me anyone who won’t give you a glowing review. Do I need to learn the basics of what you do to determine if you know more than me?

It’s a game we play. No matter what it is, when we need expertise we’re at the mercy of the ‘expert’. I get that people screw up, have bad days, make mistakes, are learning constantly. That’s me too! But I’m starting to become old and jaded. (No comments about my age!) My grandpa used to tell me that if you want something done right then do it yourself. That’s not always true. And believe me, I know.

However, I only have so much time. And my time, just like yours, has value. Some of my time is more valuable than other, just like yours. So when am I going to learn all this stuff? Do I really have to? Do I really want to? Isn’t that why there are supposed to be people, whose goods and services we buy, available to help us? In the past I’ve had to work with ‘experts’. I put experts in quotes because they, in fact, according to a judge, were ‘experts’. Now some of these people were so amazingly experty that I was in awe of every word they said. Then there were the ‘experts’ that would tell you whatever you needed because you paid them. And would have contradicted themselves if someone else had asked them to and paid them enough money. It’s kinda why I don’t believe anything that celebrities or say.

Yes, I understand that maybe my standards are different and the measuring stick I use will mean you won’t measure up. But do I really have to drop the bar so low? Can’t I want something more than your minimal effort? I expect more from myself than the minimum, so I don’t think it’s asking too much if I want those that I pay to help me to actually do their job.

I’m smart. I know this. Most of us are smart. I’ve figured out how to do a lot of things, just like you have. But sometimes being smart means knowing your own limitations. And at that time we either need to find someone else to do the work or put it off until we’re able to do it ourselves. Except, there are things I’m not interested in learning about at all. And it’s just easier to pay someone to do it.

I’m not on a rant or tirade, nor is this directed at anyone specific. I’m just frustrated and figured I can’t be the only one. I’m not the only one right?