We are one quarter into the new school year; actually the busiest time of the year for many people, including me. Yes, the holidays get really busy, but the first quarter of a school year brings a new learning curve with it that intensifies our growth opportunities.
Think about your first venture into college. Many of us moved away from home for the first time. We met people with differing backgrounds. We discovered new ideas, learned to take care of our own meals and laundry without parental help, figured out how to manage study and social life and sleep and roommates, all at once.
Those of us not starting college still have the option to turn our fall semester into a learning curve opportunity. It’s the time of year we think about personal growth. As a teacher this comes my way naturally because I get to meet new students and create a new curriculum. Perhaps there is something to the slight chill in the air that makes us want to progress.
A year ago, my husband decided to earn a new certification. It wasn’t a necessity. It was a growth opportunity he wanted to give himself. It was a full year process of a lot of time and effort and money, but he did it. He passed the certification test in the top 20 percent after an intense year of preparation. It has helped him become a more effective manager.
Now as the weather turns and I look at the bookshelf in my room, I see 5 new books I want to read and learn from. I’ve started knitting a new baby sweater pattern. I’ve tried seven new recipes in the last two weeks and I usually cook only a couple of times a week. I’ve put some intense study hours into devising and implementing a new health regimen. (Well, it includes making bone broth anyway).
What will you offer yourself in the way of learning and growth this season? Do you notice that new learning almost always include making something better for someone else too? I will learn new music to direct, new games to play with grandkids and new recipes for Thanksgiving dinner. My husband will plant new varieties of berries, and he will fish a river he’s not yet visited with a son in law. A daughter started taking a new finance class to assist her family. A son started getting his house ready to sell so his family can move to a new city. (Talk about growth opportunities. Not much can top a move across the country.) Another daughter took on a challenging service responsibility in her church. Another son offered to let an intern student stay at his family’s home this semester. All of these things are exciting new opportunities to learn and grow and better our lives and the lives of others.
I hope we embrace opportunities to learn and grow. In doing so we can enhance many lives, including our own.