Sometimes I forget how very, very lucky I am. My life here in Girdwood allows me the freedom to focus on learning new things and developing new skills.
There are five distinct clusters in my self-directed learning:
- Unitarian Universalism. Even a casual reader of this blog soon discovers that I have become passionate about Unitarian Universalism, and about the work of ministry within that religious community. I read blogs, connect on Facebook and Twitter, chair a committee at the Anchorage fellowship and preach the occasional sermon.
- New/social media. I have not always been a technophile. But one of the greatest gifts of this involuntary sabbatical from ministry has been that, at a time when new/social media is changing the world, I have time to pay attention and teach myself how to use it.
- Sustainable living skills. I make homemade bread and yogurt. I cook most of our meals, mostly from ingredients, not already-prepared, processed products. I follow farm-blogs, preparing for our future homestead. Our freezer holds caribou, moose, and Alaska-grown beef (no fish yet!). I’m learning how to maintain a healthy worm-composting system.
- Mindfulness and embodiment. I have always been a dreamer. In first grade my report card showed a “needs improvement” in “pays attention in class” (the perfectionist in me remembers this). My mom used to call me her absentminded professor. As I close the door on the first forty years of my life, I’m making a conscious effort to balance the intuitive with the sensate, and to acknowledge that I am, in fact, an embodied being.
- Creating order out of chaos. My life would be easier if it included more external structure. As an intuitive dreamer in a structure-free setting, I struggle constantly to focus and get things done. But this freedom also serves as a trial by fire. The structures I am creating ex nihilo will serve me well–and perhaps other dreamers and chaos-dwellers as well.
So what about you? What are you learning? You’re probably much more pressed for time than I am, but what are you learning in the time that you do have? And how are you using the power your new knowledge gives you?