“The years teach much which the days never know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have always loved learning. I love finding some new amazing piece of information. In school, I loved the feeling of accomplishment that came when mastering some new topic or challenge.
Learning doesn’t stop as you become an adult. It simply changes. As an adult, the lessons I learn are not about Mitochondria, Colonialism or Algebra but most often about myself. And take it from me, it is not easy to learn about yourself.
It’s not easy because sometimes you don’t like what you learn. Recently, the years have taught me that I can be selfish, moody, angry, lazy, hurtful, impatient and unwilling to change. They have taught me that I am not as creative, smart or talented as I sometimes think I am.
So what do I do with the knowledge I have gained about myself? Do I accept that the years have made this of me? Or do I take what the years have taught me about myself and use it to make my days better?
I choose the latter. I choose to acknowledge my faults, failures, and shortcomings over these past three decades and do my damndest to be better today. Does that mean I won’t act selfishly today? Of course, I will be selfish, but I will also strive to be generous. I will still be angry but I will try hard to deal with it in positive ways.
I will work at learning from the years so that my days are better. So that in decades ahead the years find that I am generous, kind, caring, hard-working, patient and accommodating. I hope they find that I am a good parent, husband, and person…. in spite of myself.