How To Know If You Are A LEARN-A-HOLIC?

I have taken a ton of classes over the years.  Many of the classes were just to gain extra knowledge in a specific area.  The funny thing about me is that I never received an actual degree for anything.

Learn a holic headder

To this day, I still feel that having that piece of paper hanging on a wall somewhere in my life would not make a bit of difference in the amount of knowledge I have accumulated.  My father always wanted me to get one; in his eyes, it was a sign of prosperity.

diploma

Please do not misunderstand, I agree that in certain fields a degree is preferable: Doctor, Lawyer, Scientist, and any profession that puts someone else’s life in your hands.  I want to know that the person that pulls me from a burning building, pulls the knife out of my leg, or protects me from a Road-Rage whack job; has had the proper training and education to handle these types of situations.

goats butting heads

When it comes to me and professional learning institutions, we butt heads.  My first experience left me feeling that I was taking a bunch of “extra curricular” (E.C.) classes that were required, but to me felt completely useless.  I am never going to EVER use physics.  I knew it back in my early twenties and by golly, I was right.  My closest connection to it would be through the show The Big Bang Theory, which I absolutely love.  (FYI, my favorite person is Penny.)

(If you have never seen, check out the Halloween and Christmas – Bath Item Gift episodes.)

I felt that all the extra classes a person is forced to take to get that piece of paper was ridiculous, but I wanted to learn.

This was Hint #1: The thrill of  learning new things.

I took a small business class because I wanted to run a small business.  Part of the class required Accounting 101 – made perfectly logical sense to me.  As that turned out, was when I fell in love with Accounting.  I looked further into becoming a C.P.A. (Certified Public Accountant) – but then again, I would have to take all the E.C. classes – grrr.  I found that I was overly excited about learning more about Accounting, but not so much in the other gunk.

My next hint came several years later.  I had a job that was alright.  It allowed me to work in an accounting field – Bookkeeper which kept the thrill going for a while.  But I needed more and I was not sure what “more” I was looking for.  A friend told me about The Aptitude Test that the local community college provided.  The first time I took it, I had to pay ten dollars for the results.  It was all hand written back then (The old-fashioned pencil and paper type. Man, I am old – eeek!) and took about four hours to complete.

find X

I hate tests.  Every time I take one I panic.  The normal grade school through high school tests were alright, but then I took a Speed Reading class which, as it turns out, blew it for real testing.  Yes, it taught me how to speed read, but the down side to doing it is missing the important details.  Well, I was glad to know that this was not that kind of test.  There was no judging, no grades, and no pressure to finish on time.  The test is simply to help you to understand what you currently hide in your brain, vs. things you have a passion for but may not know yet.

I received my results in the mail along with an in-depth explanation of how to read and interpret the graph.  They also included long lists of the types of jobs related to the different fields on the graph.  According to my results, I could have been in:

  1. Customer Service (that was a given due to my waitressing years),
  2. Accounting, or Math Related field (They had me at Accounting.)
  3. Then it actually said that I could have been a Nuclear Physicist – me? I don’t think so Lucy!

The results even listed a Psychiatrist as a possibility.  I found this very funny because I had been a bartender several times in my life.  I used to make-sport of the fact that I should have been a Shrink after listening to everybody’s problems in the bar.  The bummer of this is I have somehow earned The Bartender Face, not by choice, it just happened.  People you do not know will just start spilling their problems at you.  I have seen others with this face.  If you have ever been a Bartender for more than six months, you will get one.

bartender face (The face on this guy tells me that he has been dong it for way too long!)

Hint 2: Understanding that I have an Impatient Passion for doing many things.

Then my ultimate favorite thing ever happened…The Age Of Computers (insert dun-dun-daa sound here!).  The amount of information a person can get, and store, was amazing.  My main thrill was not in the storage, but in the information.  One class that I did take, complete, and get a certificate in was Computers 101.  This was way back in the early 1980’s.  We got to dissect a computer just like you would a frog.  Somehow tearing the box and its guts apart was calming for me.  The whole thing boiled down to bits of metal and wires.

This was followed up by two more historic moments for me:

  1. Having an employer that paid for all the office related computer classes that I wanted to take – so I did.
  2. Getting to know a Computer Tech who told me: “There is nothing you can do in that computer that I cannot fix.” Best, dumbest, words ever spoken.  I made it my life task take him up on that.  During the day, I got to take all the “heater” calls.  Then, when everyone else got to go home at five, I got to work with the I.T. department.  I made him live up to that statement (for a story at another time).

The very first time I got to push buttons and see something happen I was hooked (yep, a button-a-holic also.).

  • 10-Key by touch.
  • Type 100+ w.p.m.
  • Obsessed library researcher
  • Persistent question-asker.

Roll those all into one and you have me with a computer.  The best thing the computer age has brought about is learning.  There is nothing you can’t find, do, or save in a computer.  I have even taken multiple classes through my computer.  This thought led me to the final definition for a Learn-A-Holic:

Hint #3: You have several projects going at the same time.

I currently have the following:

  1. Knitting projects
  2. 5 working
  3. Crochet projects
  4. 7 working
  5. Card Making
  6. Valentines and Happy Birthday (hope to complete 20 of each by month end)
  7. Blogging
  8. 3 working blogs, 2 of which I try to post at least once a week.
  9. Surveys for cash
  10. Signed up for 3 different ones with a goal to complete 1 survey on each per day.
  11. Writing
  12. Working on 3 how-to e-books.
  13. Farm/gardens
  14. Day-to-day standard duties (feed, water, clean up, and prep for next season.)
  15. Taking online classes through Udemy
  16. 26-hour, slam-dunk class on Character Drawing.
  17. Marketing Strategies (something I am in DIRE need of!!).
  18. Learn how to use Canva (my fav right now).

My mind and my hands must be busy at all times!  I even find that when I sleep, my fingers still move about.  I know my mind wanders because of my various dreams.  This, to me, is the biggest part of a Learn-a-holic.

  • You never stop.
  • You do not have to go fast,
  • There is no set speed or time limit except for the ones you set on yourself.

You may also have several projects going on at the same time, like I do.  You maybe lucky enough to only have one big project going on, and all your being is tied up in getting it done.  It doesn’t matter how you handle it, you just have to keep learning something new or you think you will die.

This all came about because I received the following email article:

Will Traditional Colleges and Universities Become Obsolete?

I used to love going the traditional route, but for the last eight years or so, it has become faster, easier, and better doing it online.  This makes me happy and sad at the same time.

WE NEED TEACHERS!  Yes, I am yelling that out because I firmly believe it.  I can teach a few things that I know well, but I don’t believe I have the patience to be a full-time, in front of class type of teacher.  If it’s one-on-one I do OK.  This is what makes the Learn-a-holic in me feel sad.  What if shutting down the colleges, turns into no one wanting to be a teacher anymore?  How awful our world would be without them?  So I give Kudos to all those Teachers in my life – past, present, and future.  We Learn-a-holics could not survive without you!
Blackboard Teacher Appreciation Blog Graphic

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How Do You Find Happiness?

You can look till you are blue in the face and you will not find it – you have to choose to make it!

I can say this because this is what I do, I choose to be happy.  I will gladly share with you examples of my on-going work of attitude adjustment.

I had to have half my left index finger amputated just one month after our house fire took everything (including my 4-year old grandson, but that’s for another time.).  I will admit when the Doctor first announced this I was shocked.  Started crying hysterically.  Thank goodness my younger sister was with me so she could get me back to reality.

I was expecting the Doctor to tell me I would need pins or something, but I never thought of lopping it off.  Well, after the initial shock subsided, I planted my feet firmly on the ground and started to think about the things that I would have to change to accommodate this circumstance.  I am a yarnie and crafter by nature.  If you know anything about knitting and crochet, you know the yarn is held by your fingers.  As I am a right-hander, and as I was taught to carry the yarn in my left hand – the major player was now going to be absent forever.  Now, this was MY first thought.

My sister, on the other hand, looked me straight in the eye and said:

“How are you going to pick your nose now?”

That poor Doctor!  He left the room with a woman shocked and hysterical over the news he had just delivered, and now walked into a room with a couple of dizzy broads laughing so hard tears were all over the place.  Then my sister states:

Where’s the bathroom, I have to pee?” and bolted out.

There are just some moments in life that you just do not think to take a picture at the second.  This was one of them.  This poor young Doctor was beside himself, and it was obvious that he had no clue what to say.

The amputation was done in June 2014 and went off without a hitch.  It took several weeks to get through recovery and therapy.  During the process of this, the Doctor noticed I was having difficulty raising my right arm.  He ordered x-rays and found that there was no ball left in my socket (let me know when you stop laughing.  It’s ok because I still get teased by family and friends on this one – no ball in my socket-  haha!).

He proceeded to order more x-rays and tests which told us all that I have osteoarthritis (arthritis in my joints – oh lucky me!).  To shorten this up a bit, I went on to have six major surgeries within 12 months.  I was also handling all of the fire cleanup, remodeling, insurance, investigators, etc., etc., etc.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have had some fantastic doctors with great funny bones.  My first (the guy that took ½ my finger) also did my shoulders.  Those of you that have been lucky enough not to have it done, you end up with your arm in a sling for about three months.  It just so happens that Halloween fell in the midst of all these surgeries, and the sling provided a perfect hiding spot!

I had to purchase all new things for our home – this included holiday decorations.  The first was to be for Halloween.  Then it hit me – skeletons.  I also purchased a package of those rubber tips you put on the end of your fingers to help turn pages of paper.  My sister had to help me from here.  She cut a small slit in the tip of one of the rubber tips.  Then cut off the little finger from the skeleton.  Shoved the fake bone through the slit and glued it to keep it in place.  Then she painted the rubber a skin tone which left the white bone sticking out of it.  It fit perfectly onto my new Ms. Stubly half finger

rubber finger tips

We’re off to see my doctor, the wonderful doctor of osteo (yes, you have to sing this to the tune of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz).  As with any doctor office, the nurse assisted us into the room first.  She had not seen our Halloween surprise because it was hidden in my sling.  My doctor came in, set my file on the counter, and was looking at it as he asked so naively:

How are things going?”

“Fine,” I said, “But I have a few concerns about my finger, should it look like this?” I said holding back on all my laughter.

“It does make it easier for me to knit now.” 

It took all my sister, and I had to stop giggling until he turned around and saw my Ms. Stubly with the fake bone sticking out from the end.  He burst out laughing at us – now that’s a doctor!  Then he went out and told the nurse, who told a couple of others, and before long we had several people in the room.  It was all great fun.

(The flesh paint has all faded off, but you get the idea.)

When things calmed a bit, we then noticed his attire for the day – plaids and stripes?  My sister very nicely asked him if his wife knew he left the house looking like this today?  Once again, we could not stop laughing.  I swear, from that visit on he made sure his wife helped him pick out his clothes – at least on the days he knew we were scheduled to visit.

This is a small part of how I have taught myself to create my own happiness.  I have many more stories to share, so I hope you will tag along and have some fun with me!

(FYI: My Doctor told my sister on our last visit that he was going to miss us – haha, another fly sucked into our web of humor – hurray!)

spider n fly

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DOES FAILURE HIT YOU LIKE A LEAD BRICK?

I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but I turned my fear of failure into an anger to make it right.  I do not seem to concentrate so much anymore on the fact that I failed, but more on the where did I go wrong and what can I do to fix it.

I am glad that I don’t see failure as a life-stopping omen anymore, although I would appreciate a whole month (afraid to ask for a year) of no failures – just once.  But I guess I will just accept the fact that I have been able to turn fear into anger to make it right.

I feel like I have to fight to make or get anything good in my life.  If I don’t fight for it, I feel like it came to easy and it will not last.  Even worse, I feel like I do not deserve it.

make a meme-slay the red dot(Don’t you just love makeameme.com – LOL)

Now, how stupid is that?  Get something good and think you need to give it back because you don’t deserve it.  I have been through hell in my short life (yes, 58 years is short to me) and I try to think that maybe a part of me, by now, should be allowed to appreciate and enjoy a bit of easiness.

I have purchased several self-help books to try to help me overcome this ridiculous feeling of non-deservingness (yep, that is now a word, I just made it up).  I love to read so I begin to follow their plans, guidelines, rules, ideas, whatever; only to fail again.

Instead, I am now trying something new.  This is not new to life in general, but it is new for me to use it.  I want to start my days by listing at least three things I have that are:

  1. Good for me and in my life now.
  2. Bring me happiness or at least make me smile thinking of them.
  3. Realize that I have earned them and do now deserve them in my life.

I am not forcing myself to write them down, even though I am a very visual learner.  I just wake up and, before I even get out of bed, I lay there and purposely think about the current good things in my life that I have.  These are some of them:

  1. Our small farm. I have found that it is apparently very hard or maybe just very scary for people to obtain one.  It took a ton of effort to get ours, and it continues to be a day-to-day struggle in many areas, but we have more good than bad things here:
    1. Critters to love and care for that, in return, give us good clean food.
    2. Space to grow all our own food naturally. We practice as much of the natural methods as possible for our area.
    3. Ability to have a small firepit  in our yard and actually see stars at night (missed that in Denver).
    4. Being able to look back at the end of my day and see the work I have done. I could never feel that way in my office, factory, restaurant, or other jobs.
    5. Every spring I look forward to playing with new baby critters. Every fall I look forward to processing all the food we grew.  Every winter I look forward to a bit of rest and planning for the next year’s surprises.

grn-hs-in-sept-2017.jpg

  1. Caring for my grandson. This one is actually a trick good thing.  The poor little pooper has been through so many horrific things in his little nine years of life, that I just want to provide as much stability and love that I can for him.  There are day’s that he drives me crazy.  But then we have a few daily games we play, and my favorite is when my sister tells him,

I love you.”

Then he responds I love you.” Back.

Then I chime in with “I love you more.” 

To which he very quickly responds “I love you less.”

And we all giggle.  We all know full well that he loves me to the moon and back the little fart.  It’s just a fun game just between us.

I do worry that I am too old to care for him properly.  After my many joint replacements and surgeries, I cannot run, jump, and play like he deserves; but I can watch him and give loving words of encouragement every chance I get.

my right shoulder replacemnt xray

  1. A cluster of family and friends that love me. I should also clarify that they all have the same weird sense of humor.  Our standard family motto lovingly passed down from our parents, is that if we are not picking on you – we don’t like you.  Sounds a bit wacko I know, but it’s true.  I know somewhere in my past posts I shared my father’s pet name for me was Dumb Shit.  This was never shared in anger, disgust, or hate; but always in love and usually with a smile or laughter kicked in.  It was his way of making one of my failures a little less painful, and it always worked (pretty sure he is in heaven laughing at me right now and using that nick-name).
  2. An older sister to share (or compare) our pain with.
  3. A younger sister to share day-to-day life with.

I also don’t care if it is the same thoughts every day.  I just try to remember different situations in which they made me smile.  Things like the grandson saying he loves me less.  Then the next day is tricking me into playing an indoors game of badminton with a large balloon and fly swatters until he fell on the floor laughing.  Maybe it was just the huge ear-to-ear grin on his face when he snuck a new baby kitten away from its mama so he could show me he found them. (FYI-it is very hard to get mad at him for pulling them away from their mom when he is so proud that he found them.)

I have shared all this in the hope of you finding your anger to battle your failures until you can either get them into winners or believe that you have given it your best shot and move on with confidence.  Know that you have done the best you could.  After all, some of life’s best failures have been the best creations.

northern lights

(P.S.  Thinking of the good stuff first in the morning, is making me have a happier day.)

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IMAGINE THAT? – part 5

The daughter, now pushing thirty years old, started hanging with the wrong crowd again(Please remember that these are ALL her choices.  No one is forcing her to make these decisions.), which began another series of bad decisions:

  • Back into drugs again.
  • Losing the good man for a useless man.
  • Losing a stable home for her and her children to move in with the useless man and his family (mom, brother, brother’s wife and their children: note – they are all in a 1-level three bedroom home, very small.).
  • Contracting a disease from the useless man (who later divulged that he had been living on the streets in L.A.) and ending up being rushed by ambulance to a hospital over sixty miles away because they were the only facility that could handle the situation.

Surviving near death, then moving back into her mother’s house with her two boys.

The daughter allowed the useless man to come around until, one day, the mother caught him hitting her.  (At which point the mother threw his shit in her car – including him – and took him back to his own mother’s home and told him to never come around them again or she would use the gun she was licensed to carry!)

The daughter managed to get better living under the roof of her aunt and mother.  She eventually was able to obtain a new job at the local mini-mart store.  There, she met the next bad decision – a new rotten guy.

The story of this rotten guy travels as follows:

  • Daughter and Mr. Rotten started fooling around – EVEN THOUGH they both knew that Mr. Rotten was currently married with children.
  • The daughter began hanging around at Mr. Rotten’s house all the time as they also were using drugs together (the old mother didn’t figure this out till later).
  • The daughter’s children were once again being bounced back and forth.
  • Then, as the now old woman believed, God said enough.  Fittingly it all happened on an Easter Sunday in 2014.

The daughter had been over with Mr. Rotten and his family that morning so they could all do the Easter Egg Hunt in the local park.  She went back to her mother’s home a little after lunch.  The Aunt made a nice Easter dinner for all, and it was around 5 p.m. when the house began to quiet down for the night.  All three adults had to be up very early (as usual) for work the next day, so going to rest between six and seven in the evening was nothing new.

Around 6 p.m. the sisters looked at each other and stated they could both smell smoke.  Now, you must understand that being in the country, and being that it was spring, smelling smoke was not unusual.  Many farmers in the area burn ditches before they start running the seasons irrigation waters.  The sisters got out of their seats and began searching out the windows.  They both traveled to the south door of the house, and when the Aunt opened the door to look out, the old woman exclaimed,

It’s not coming from outside; it’s coming from the furnace vent!”

They both then rushed downstairs to the furnace room – NOTHING?  Then they walked out and into the hallway to find the downstairs living room in full blaze!

GO, GET THEM OUT OF THAT BEDROOM NOW!” Exclaimed the old woman to her sister.

The daughter and her sons had fallen asleep on the bed together watching movies.  The next series of events get overwhelming, so I will just leave it with the fact that the youngest son did not make it out of the house.

2014 file pic of piano in livingrm

(FYI – this one is from our fire)

The daughter began her next spiral:

  • Blamed the fire on her older son and refused to even look at him. He moved in with the old woman and her sister – she moved in with Mr. Rotten.
  • Refused to get mental and emotional counseling from any of the community services.
  • Got more into drugs to drown out her thoughts.
  • Seven months after the fire, she was arrested and blamed for the death.
  • Mr. Rotten moved out of his house, left his wife and kids and moved into a place with the daughter.

The Aunt and old woman obtained a bond to bail out the daughter.  Then they paid the initial funds to retain a stellar local attorney (who had come from back east and was rumored to be fantastic at his job!) and kept the remaining son with them.  They also worked with local services to get the son all the help he needed, mentally and emotionally, to try to deal with all that he had been going through.  The son was now just six years old.

The next two years were spent trying to talk the daughter into getting the help she so desperately needed.  For some reason, she was the only one that seemed to think she could handle it all by herself (frickin idiot!).

to be continued…

 

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AND LIFE GOES ON…

We recently lost all but three of our chickens to a fox family attack.  When I posted this on Facebook (to share my grief), my cousin in Michigan commented that I seem to be a disaster magnet of sorts.  This got me thinking long and hard about it.

When flashing back over a life, you MUST carry a strong sense of humor.  This is my belief!  I am also living proof that it works.  Yes, I have had more than my fair share of mishaps and problems, but there is only one time that I ever remember taking it bad – really bad.

I was only 18 years old and was naive enough to release my virginity to a boy (and I do mean “boy” here!) that promised me exactly what I wanted to hear.  His family owned a nice farm, and I was going to share it with him for the rest of our lives.  WHAT A CROCK!

pew pew pew

The very next afternoon (after I gave him my goods), he showed up in our local kid’s hang out spot (the park – ha ha) with his arms around his old girlfriend.  The two looked at me, whispered, and burst out laughing – all in my honor – Jerks!!  That evening as the kid-clan started to party I proceeded to get really drunk (FYI – 18 was the legal drinking age at that time in Wisconsin).  I felt used, humiliated, hurt, angry, sad, and depressed.

I went to my car.

Took a hand mirror out of my purse.

Locked all the doors.

Broke the mirror on my steering wheel and proceeded to slit my wrists with one of the pieces.

Obviously, I did not succeed as I am here telling you all this.  My sister and good friends saved me, and while recuperating in the local hospital, I met my life saver.  She was a Therapist (shrink), and we discussed several important insights about me:

breathe

1)      I go too deep when I get depressed, so I must be aware of it at all times and have/find/create a way to pull myself out of it.

2)      I hold onto the bad things too much and do not celebrate the good things enough.  Her suggestion for this was to give me my very first journal (diary).  She instructed me to write down every night before bed everything that had accumulated in my head during that day – good – bad – and/or ugly.  This was the perfect therapy for me!

3)      I have to find more humor.  My family was full of it but, somehow, I seemed to come up short.  This began my quest!  My quest to find humor in whatever situation happened.  This was not always easy at that early age; now I find it a blessing.

I lost all of my original journals to the fire.  This is sad to me because about eight years ago, I began going back and reading some of my entries.  Not all, just enough to get a memory-feeling of that era of my life.  I realized how right that Therapist was.  Most of my earliest entries were sad, moody, angry, and/or depressing – -what a drag I was!?!

old mc donald

The reading of my old entries helped me to age better I think.  I used to move real fast.  My motto was I “eat stress for breakfast” – now how stupid is that?

dinner now

Stress is such an ugly monster.  It damages a body in so many ways it’s hard to find humor.  So, instead, I make a point of laughing at it.  When I feel like I am running late for something, not getting enough done, not doing more…I start laughing.  Really, really hard laughing.  The more I think about it, the more I laugh.

If I am running late for something – tough!  They can wait, or I can reschedule = slow down!

If I am not getting enough done – who cares!  There’s still tomorrow, or the next day or the next = breathe!

If I feel I am not doing enough – screw it!  Now I make a huge list of everything I want to do or get done.  This does not mean I will get to it all today, maybe not even this year, but eventually, I will be able to cross something off the list (which is nice since I easily and often add more) = smile!

 

SLOW DOWN      +      BREATHE      +      SMILE      =      LIFE GOES ON!

Jim CArrey dancing

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Too Short? Too Fast? Red/Green? HELP!

This will not be fast. It may be too short. And I love both red and green, as well as black, silver, steel blue, and a few other colors. The point here is that it really doesn’t matter. We all make choices every moment of every day of our lives. Sometimes we don’t even know we are making a choice:

  • Getting up this morning?
    • Coffee, water, tea?
      • Breakfast or nothing to eat?

Most all of the things we do boil down to choice. I am taking a stand right here, this moment! I choose to be happy!
My writings for Life Lessons Lived are about just that, things I have learned by living; by choosing to live. I am not talking about surviving or getting by. I am also not talking about climbing to the top of Mt. Everest. I am talking about the little day-to-day things that have happened to me in my life. Some of these things were the result of my choices, however many were not. They simply happened. The trick I will be sharing (hope to teach it to you), is how to keep living after the choice was made – good, bad, or ugly.

Yes, some days are a lot harder than others. But, I believe, if I did not have the difficult ones, I could never fully appreciate the good ones when they happened.

Thank you for stopping by to check me out. I hope you will have fun in here (main goal), and may be learn a secret or two to make your life live (goal #2).

Jim CArrey dancing