Learning is something that takes place takes every day and you don’t necessarily have to be sitting in a classroom to be educated. I like it when life and circumstances teach me lessons. This was one of those weeks where lessons were learned from different aspects of life and the only common denominator was that they all happened this week to me. so here’s where the learning started this week…

I was so unhappy with the photo on the right that I went back and did another one, this one with no splatters.

  I recently began a new hobby of painting. I’ve always wanted to paint, liking the idea of colors and interpreting my versions of flowers and landscapes, but I didn’t really take the time finding other things more interestinglike the cooking writing and the Fitness.   One of my goals for this year was to start doing some watercolor and gouache painting. When beginning a creative hobby it’s important to do some education and  exploring on your own taking that information and making it your own. I’ve seen a technique in some paintings where the artist  splatters paint after the work is done. I decided that I would interpret that technique on a watercolor painting of some watermelon slices. As you see in the picture the watermelon we’re all done in pastel colors and when I finished, I splattered the paint, I knew as soon as the first splatters went on that it was wrong, but I continued because I was already into the technique when it was finished I realized that I had ‘ruined’ the nice simple painting. Now, if the splatter had been done in much lighter colors, maybe I’d feel different but here’s the point and here’s what I learned, sometimes you just have to know when to stop you have to take the time to put the brush down and carefully look over your work. I think sometimes we think the more we do the better the outcome what I learned in this exercise is that sometimes you have to step back, take a good look and say to yourself “that’s enough and it’s good”…

    Lesson two this week. A very close longtime friend has a family member who graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire this past weekend. I knew she was going to the event, we had been texting and my husband and  were traveling over the weekend as well. I read the text and you know how sometimes you read a text and you miss some of the details? Well I did, with traveling, shutting off the phone,  putting the phone away, I read what she said texted and then later as we were on a bike ride, I said to my husband, “So where was Roger Federer playing this weekend?” As I thought she had texted me that they saw Roger Federer and he was very impressive and I didn’t put it all together, Dartmouth Graduation, Roger Federer, I couldn’t have imagined him speaking at a College graduation in the United States, having grown up in Switzerland.  My husband’s comment was that Roger had retired from the game of tennis, I must have misunderstood.  Roger was one of those players you loved to watch. I didn’t have my phone with me. When we I got back, I read the message and he didn’t play, he was speaking at the commencement address at Dartmouth so my friend sent me the link to listen/watch the graduation and listen to Rodger’s address to the graduates. He was fantastic! We all know that Roger could play impressive game of tennis and he did all those years on the tour but he’s quite a speaker as well.  If you’ve ever watch Roger Federer play tennis during his time playing on the ATP you’ll know what I mean when I say he made it look so easy. Roger strokes were so beautiful his footwork almost like ballet, and he made the game look very easy even if he was out on the court for a4 to 5 hour match. When I anticipated watching the address that he gave to the graduates at Dartmouth I thought to myself what could he possibly say knowing that Roger left school at age 16 to play tennis? I wondered what kind of speaker he would be for the crowded at the very academic Dartmouth. Yet, it is a very athletic school as well.  I believe at one time, most students each played a varsity sport. His address was very concisely laid out and the theme was on the lessons learned playing tennis that could be applied to the graduates as they take on the next chapter in their lives, leaving their safe environment of the collegiate experience to take on the real world. There were many great points brought up, but I think the most valuable one was that you won’t win every point, but you must keep moving forward. Other points worth mentioning with the importance of a good support system of friends and family and working hard every day towards the goal. He spoke about a lot of qualities near deer to us all, the importance of a strong work ethic. Also interesting  was to hear Roger say that it bothered him at first to hear people say he made tennis looks so easy, because he knew how hard he worked at the game and he knew it wasn’t easy. Interestingly, Roger Federer was known on the court as one of those very calm clear thinking players. Everyone liked him when he played, the fans and his opponents and the officials.  What a respectful player I’m thinking he’ll not only be remembered by the game of tennis he played, but also by his inspiring words…

Meghan Trainor released “Timeless,” her newest album, recently. Alert, some language I’m not fond of here and there, but the music is fun.

       Lesson three. I’m always looking for good music to inspire me as I workout, as I get things done around the house or as I do my writing and painting, I find the music of Meghan Trainor to be upbeat and fun usually with a cute story and a fun catchy beat. I like also her story that she grew up learning music from her dad who was a music teacher and she also sang in the choir church. She recently released a new album called Timeless. The cover is a beautiful deep blue and black and Megan has an outfit of the same colors.  and the songs  mostly stories of what young people are going through today dating and socializing with their contemporaries. One of her songs on this album, along with many songs that I predict to be hits is this song called “I Don’t Do Maybe”.  The song has almost a Samba feel to it and the theme is  about a relationship and wanting a commitment from the other person rather than a casual acquaintance. I use this song in my classes this week and every time I listened I picked up something else that I liked about it, but I kept going back to the “I don’t do maybe.” You can take it a few different ways and the more I heard it from my perspective I was thinking of it as being more of a black-and-white person meaning there are behaviors and things I have strong likes for and strong dislikes for with very little gray areas. I also could see that phrase in terms of I want things done right I don’t do maybe, I don’t do a half effort, or “half assed” job I do it right or I don’t do it, and I like working with people who have the same attitude, whether it is an electrician who comes in to do some work or I am doing something for someone else they can rest assured that I’m going to do it right and give it my full effort. I got to exercise That feeling when I showed up to teach one night this week. In the studio there was a scheduling error and there was someone scheduled to do a painting class in my the studio I teach and I got a call before I got there from a student who already arrived and I was sure that I was scheduled to teach a fitness class that night, but I entered a different door into the building to look at the schedule to make sure that I was correct before I entered the studio and spoke with the person teaching the art class. Normally I would have caved in most likely to teach somewhere else or cancel the class but having listen to  “I don’t do maybe I very nicely but directly stated this is a fitness studio. I’m teaching a fitness class. There are a few other areas where you could teach your painting class so I’m going to get ready for my class and you’ll need to move your supplies and tables elsewhere. This is very out of character for me and one of the participants in my class, knowing that I am normally very amiable, has a surprised look on her face. I was not wrong, but I was very direct the delivery of my comments, the painting class was moved to another location for the most part. All of the supplies and tables were gone with the exception of table. Class started and  finished on time and I’m sure the painting lesson was perfectly fine elsewhere. When you “don’t do maybe” and you don’t tick off other people things get done.

A picture can be worth a thousand words, I agree.

     Lesson four and the last big lesson of the week. I know I take more photos than I ever did with the camera on my phone and the ability to crop and brighten pictures. It’s just way too easy to snap a picture. I do take pictures of me, and I noticed other people doing the same. Why is it? I think that taking pictures of us is validation  to ourselves, that we did something or we were somewhere. I remember when our kids were growing up I would organize the photo albums and they were very few pictures of me because I was usually the one behind the camera taking pictures of everybody else I do remember noticing that thinking that my kids will not see pictures of me with them, when they look back, I think quite the opposite more of me now because I take them since it’s so easy. Our daughter sent us a picture of two of our granddaughters and I have to say it’s one of the most beautiful pictures I’ve seen, but you cannot see their faces, as it is a photo from behind them. Of course I love seeing their face, but if you look carefully at this picture, you don’t see their faces. You see the back of them as they’re walking. I cropped out some open space and you only see greenery so it looks like they’re walking through a beautiful garden.  The girls are holding hands and it is just sweet no close-up selfie no big smile just two little sisters holding hands. So it got me thinking, less selfies more simple pictures that are worth 1000 words.

    Lessons from a week. No classroom no textbook just learning from the classroom of life wishing you a wonderful weekend a great week ahead and a few good lessons to learn. It’s a great day.

Author, Mary Yana Burau