“There is a cure for anti-aging that actually works – it’s called lifelong learning.” ~ Robin S. Sharma
“The great awareness comes slowly, piece by piece. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. The experience of spiritual power is basically a joyful one.” ~ M. Scott Peck
My dad was curious about everything. He encouraged me and my siblings to seek lifelong learning. Because of his passion for learning, he had a huge influence on my life. He asked questions about everything, the news, about the articles and books he read, about things that were happening in our lives. Two things I learned from Dad were to think critically, and to look deeper into any event or story. If I did, I’d find something not readily identifiable that affected what was going on. Dad and I would have discussions about what I was reading in school, or for fun. But my favorite time spent with my dad was when he’d sit and watch a movie with me and the subsequent discussions we’d have about them. Because of Dad, I too am a lifelong learner.
So, here I am at sixty-five embarking on some new learning experiences. I may have mentioned in this blog before that, after twenty-two years of living in Arizona, I’m finally learning Spanish on the Duolingo app on my phone. I just completed my ninty-sixth day! I’m enjoying learning Spanish very much because it’s in anticipation of a trip to Spain in a year or so. After I learn Spanish, I think I’ll work on French, which is the language I always wanted to learn. Who knows which language I’ll choose after that.
And as I wrote in the last post, I’m also learning to become a freelancer. I’m one of those Baby Boomers who always wants to be working because that’s one way to learn new things. This week, the exercises with The No Pants Project, were all about taking a look at my current lifestyle, dreaming of the lifestyle I want, and then doing some math to discover what I need to charge per hour for my services. I have to say I had a bit of a panic attack when the number came out to be $95 an hour. I was stunned. I’ve never earned that much for any job, whether working for someone full-time, freelancing, or as a contracted employee.
After I calmed down, I realized that I have been selling myself short all these years. Because I’ve worked in the arts, I’ve accepted that no one will pay me for my expertise. The world is a little bit upside down in that way, the professions that have to do with expressing emotions and turning the human experience into something visual, and visceral, pay poorly. Unless, of course, you are one of the chosen superstars in that artistic field. And yet, regular ordinary people like me, who have lots of experience and knowledge, deserve to earn more than a pittance for what they can offer audiences and clients. Maybe programs like The No Pants Project, will help change that.
Of course, as writer, I’ve learned a great many things about how to express my thoughts clearly. And more than that, how to express emotions in a way that helps my readers feel what is going on with my characters. I’m still new at writing. But then, writing is one of those professions where you never stop learning. At the beginning of each semester, I tell my acting students that taking this one acting class will not give them all they need to know about acting. It’s a discipline in which the participants are still learning after thirty, forty, fifty years of work. Like all the arts, acting is about mining your inner world. Artists are attempting to define what it means to be human for themselves and by extension the rest of us. My plan is keep writing as long as I can in order to continue to learn about what it means to be a human being.
I think my Dad would be proud that I still have a hunger for knowledge and self-improvement. I hope it continues to help me feel young.
Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Have a fun weekend and maybe enjoy some artwork.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2018
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel, and is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news on the audiobook version Lucinda is working on. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.