Life Is Learning

My oldest is NOT looking forward to the start of school. He's not depressed about it, but getting ready for a new school year is a summer buzzkill.

When I was a kid, as soon as the back-to-school ads started on TV I would start to feel my summer mood slip away. It felt like old people were determined to make my summer vacation feel shorter. And for no good reason! Everybody knows school is coming...why do old people need to do this? Stop advertising in the middle of summer!

My son feels the same way. "Don't talk to me about it. I know."

Of course, teenagers don't watch TV anymore so he didn't see the ads there. He probably saw them on Youtube.

It's not like he hates school. His marks are pretty good. He has friends there. He doesn't experience bullying or struggle with serious learning challenges like some kids do - for which I'm thankful. My heart goes out to kids that do. 

Really, the main reasons he doesn't like school are the same reasons that adults prefer vacation over work. Work and school can be boring, stressful and you mostly do what other people tell you to do. Who would choose that? 

How would you respond if you ask at work 'Why are we doing this?" and someone says 'Don't ask questions. Just do what you are told." Yeah...that's what I thought.

Teenagers are maturing earlier than ever. Truly they are young adults more than ever before.

Why do I need to learn this?

Unfortunately, the purpose of school is rarely clear to a teenager. It's just something that needs to be done.

My kids sometimes ask 'Why do I need to learn this?". In most cases, it's a legitimate question. They live in a world where the phrase "there's an app for that" applies to a lot of things.  

But when they ask "why" it opens up some interesting conversations about education, it's purpose and how to make the most of it - regardless of how flawed it can be. I have my own opinions but strive to keep the conversation balanced so they can come to their own conclusions.

So, soon my kids will start their post-summertime routine of dragging their butts out of bed, getting breakfast and waiting for the bus. Time to start another little chapter in their lives.

Like Death and Taxes...

...change is going to happen whether we like it or not.

Personal, professional, family, parents, kids, physical health, mental well-being, opportunities, defeats - there is always something in flux. Sometimes they are small changes. Sometimes they feel earth-shattering.

Whether the changes are good or bad, small or big we can learn something from every situation. It can be about ourselves, about others, or the world around us. We can take that lesson learned, add it to our arsenal of knowledge and resources and apply it to our lives.

Learning Never Stops

Sometimes life, like school, doesn't seem to make much sense.

But if you (and I) can be vigilant in searching for the opportunities to learn something new, then we can keep moving forward. We can make ourselves, our lives and the lives of others better. Consider that only a 1% improvement per week is 50% in a year.

Enjoy the rest of summer and best of luck to your kids (if you have any) in their transition to school.