This week's Little Shooter's practice was a scrimmage/joint practice with one of the other lacrosse leagues in the area. It was adorable. It was also hilarious! There were around 40 teeny little kids running around, most of whom really didn't have much of a clue what was going on. Very funny stuff!
And watching them have fun - while learning - got me to thinking. It got me to thinking about all the stuff that we, as humans, know how to do. And that lead to some thinking about how we gathered up all of these skills we have now.
At some point, we were all just running around having fun while we were trying to learn something new. Right?
Watching the boys learn stuff is really one of the joys of being a parent. It's very cool to watch them work hard and then master some skill. They have to learn everything! How to roll over, eat, sit, walk. How to talk, read, write. How to think and reason. How to succeed in school and master new material. They have learned how to make friends.
My boys have learned sports - and in the process they have learned countless lessons about how to work together, what it means to fail, how hard work pays off. They have learned how to fire off a defensive line. They've learned how to poke check. They know how to catch and throw and pass.
And they have learned how to have fun!
So learning kind of comes natural to kids. What about adults?
When was the last time you learned something new? Do you try to challenge yourself? Do you look for opportunities to stretch and grow? And when you do, isn't it fun!
I try to keep learning new stuff. It's much more interesting than the same old, same old. I think I have a pretty well-rounded set of skills.
I have work skills - and they grow just about every day. Just this year, I've learned a TON about traveling for work. Might not seem like a difficult thing, but it's knowledge and experience that not everyone has. I have learned new products, gotten to know new people, gotten back up in front of a crowd of strangers to do a presentation. These are skills. This is learning. (I'd be lying if I said it always seemed fun at the time, but looking back... things could be much much worse!)
I have hobby skills. I quilt. I crochet. I can photoshop and make collages. I am not content to just stick with the skills I have. I'm currently attempting to machine quilt a decent sized quilt - which I've never done before. (I'm terrified, by the way, that I'm messing it up!! But I'm doing it, because I want to be able to say that I can.)
I also have family skills. I know how to keep newborns alive. I have determined the best way to get stink out of smelly laundry. I know how to cook well enough to keep my family fed and happy. I don't do everything right, but I know a LOT of things now that I didn't know 13 and a half years ago when I first became a mom. Or (nearly) 19 years ago when I became a wife.
Life and learning - they kind of go together, am I right?
This is my favorite picture from the Little Shooters practice. It's Beckett running down the field during the scrimmage between the littlest of the Little Shooters. I could not have been more proud of that boy. He was not intimidated - at all. He was fast and just aggressive enough to tell me that he's likely to spend his fair share of time in a penalty box over his career. He, the youngest one on the team by a full 12 months, was very impressive. He knew how to snag ground balls and how to knock the stick of his opponent to jar loose the ball. He has been watching (while growing up at a ball field) and he's been learning all along.
So what are you doing to learn new stuff? Here's a tip that I like. I listen to books on CD while driving to/from work. My commute is long. I treat myself to listen to some mindless fiction, which helps pass the time. But I've promised myself to also listen to something that will teach me. I check out something non-fiction every other time I visit the library. Right now I'm listening to a book about ISIS. Why? Because I want to know more and understand more. And it's pretty darn hard to follow, but I know more about ISIS today than I did yesterday. It's an easy way to grab some new information during a time that would otherwise be "wasted". What are your tips for gaining new knowledge or skills?