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Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Decisions reflect how we see ourselves.  The decisions we make tell volumes about us.  I bought a horse six years ago that turned out not to be a good match for me temperament wise.  I worked with her, hired trainers, read books, asked people’s advice, etc., etc.  I was told she would settle down when she got older, that she just needed more ground work and other well intentioned advice.  I thought about selling her and moving on time after time but always seemed to find a way to talk myself out of it (by trusting someone else’s advice).  All the time I really didn’t enjoy her much of the time and never took her anywhere to do anything.

Finally, a few months ago (with my husband’s no nonsense counsel) I declared that I was done with trying.  I was going to look for a calm, smart, willing horse.   After scanning hundreds of email ads, talking with people and visiting some horses, I found Flynn last week.  I had thoroughly checked out his breeding and history and when I met him I had a great gut feel about him.   I was still anxious about my judgment though, after all, I had made the decision to get the mare.  I called my husband and blathered on excitedly cautious about this and that and his good points and his liabilities and he said with characteristic simplicity, “Just buy him.”  I will always remember how he cut through my jumble of fear and excitement with that simple statement.  I whooped and hollered and bought him.

Now that I’ve had Flynn for a week, I can’t believe I put up with the mare for six years.  At only 4 years old, he is calm, tractable and all around a pleasure to be with and learn with.   Why did it take me so long?  To use an acronym a client once shared with me, it’s an AFGO (Another F____  Growth Opportunity).   It made me aware of how we sometimes make decisions and tolerate things for not very good reasons.  Pay attention to your decisions, what you tolerate and what it says about you.

Flynn, my new love

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I first learned of the “Total Compensation” phrase years ago when I worked in the corporate world.  We used it to describe the various ways an employee was compensated in addition to their salary.  We were attempting to show employees that all the other stuff:  vacations, health benefits, insurance, training were all part of compensation.

A few days ago I heard a radio guest (never got her name) say that when she focused on being grateful and all her blessings she felt happy and when she focused on the lack in her life compared to others she felt down.  I have experienced the same thing, I don’t think it’s uncommon.  I began to connect this idea with the Total Compensation idea.  When I view my life in it’s entirety and notice all the blessings instead of picking apart one area or another that I may be dissatisfied with, I feel more at peace.

I also have occasional fantasies of just having one or two main focuses in my life instead of the several I have.  I imagine being just a mom or just an executive coach or just a horseback rider  or just a fiber artist, etc.  Wouldn’t life be grand with a singular focus!  While this would be fun for awhile, I then remind myself of who I am and how easily I can get bored or obsessed with one thing.  It’s all these different things, I tell myself,  the total package – that makes life dynamic and challenging.

So when I contemplate the “Total Compensation” in my life I am filled with gratitude and happiness.  I’ll take those feelings over envy and self-pity any day!

Speaking of blessings, I asked my 9 year old son if he could make dinner so I’d have time to ride after work and this is what I walked in the kitchen to find; lot’s of veggies and lots of dishes!

A joyous moment, my son making us dinner!

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The peas and tomatoes are sprouting!  We put the same seeds in the same soil and give them the same conditions but some come up sooner than others.  I began wondering about that and then noticed that within a few days they all catch up with each other and the seedlings are generally the same height.  It reminded me of some advice a school headmaster gave me years ago when I worried that my children weren’t reading much at the ages of 6, 7 and 8.  He said that if all the right reading conditions were in place (parents modeling reading, plenty of good books in the home, continued support and instruction) children will catch up and be reading fluently later on.  I still worried and bought every phonics/reading program known to man.  Now, it has happened.  All that worry for naught, they are reading beautifully now, they just got there with time and the right conditions.

The peas are up and smiling!

When you home school you feel totally responsible for every success and failure in your children’s learning.  As the children get older (now 9 and 12) though, we am working to increasingly shift the responsibility for their education to them.  I realized that until I decided to “own” my education, I didn’t really learn much or retain it.  We have conversations with the kids now about what is an education, who is it for, why have one?  It has awakened in all of us the fact that we are all responsible for our own learning, that seems obvious as I write it but I don’t think I previously owned my education the way I do now.   I have discovered a great resource and inspiration for this in the Thomas Jefferson Education Consortium, www.tjed.org.

So while my children are happily reading, I have more time to try new recipes with all the eggs we find in the hen house everyday.  One of our recent favorites is simple crepes filled with just about anything.

Healthyish Crepes

Put a large saute pan on your burner on medium low to heat up.  Put the following in a blender or vitamix:

4 eggs (you can substitute 2 egg whites for each egg to cut down on yolks)

1 cup lowfat milk

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

Blend all the ingredients and then spray your warmed up pan with cooking spray and pour a little less than 1/3 cup mix on the pan.  This is the tricky part, immediately swirl the pan to spread out the mix in a thin layer all over the bottom of the pan.  In about 40 seconds or when the top looks dry, flip it and you are done it about 20 more seconds.  We have them plain or with maple syrup or Nutella or jam or whatever you’d like to try.

Yummy crepes, enjoy!

Great to take to someone’s house with bananas and Nutella in them!

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