That's Why It's An Idiom / by Kenneth Buff

I love learning. It's a quality I think every good teacher needs. In my opinion it's a quality every person needs in order to have a life that's worth living. I'm not insinuating you should knock yourself off if you don't have a particular taste for Nietzsche or DIY home improvement projects, but I do think everyone should be constantly striving to understand something. It's really the biggest problem we face, well, if we avoid all the other problems we face. Starvation, cancer, random and cruel death, if none of those things ever happen to us, eventually we run out reasons to keep going, our bodies literally wear out. I think the same goes for our minds.

Now, I've written before about my particular learning style The old learn by failing. It's not a bad strategy. You look at what doesn't work and then don't do that. Only I tend to be the thing I'm looking at that didn't work. There's better ways to learn things. Reading (about other people's failures; about their successes), videos, talking to people. It's really endless in the world we live in. We can become quasi experts in almost anything. You can learn how to publish a book. Build a table. Raise a guinea pig. Whatever it is you're interested in, you can do it. You don't even have to be interested in it. You might need to learn how to do something out of need. Car breaks and you can't afford to pay to have it fixed, but you can afford the part. Type in your car's symptoms into google and you'll find an answer, probably even a video detailing how to make the repair step by step visually. 

The thing that is so awe inspiring to me about getting older is that I feel that I'm becoming a better learner. I'm less stubborn, I'm more patient, and probably not as much of a pain in the ass for other people (though that'll never be fully cured till I'm dead). To me, not only does my life have more purpose since I've dedicated to one of improvement, in gaining more knowledge and skill in the crafts I've chosen to craft, it's also more enjoyable. There's less worry over simple shit. The little things that can eat you up. You know, those things. You know what they are when you see them in other people. When the woman at the grocery counter curses the bag boy for putting the vegetables in the bag with the meat. When the college frat boy threatens to call corporate if they don't return his dirty flat screen at the service desk (yes, there's a pattern here with my examples...I spend too much time inside Walmart). But it's these things, the little things that we think if only they were right. If I could just have this one thing be the way I want it to be. Then my life would be perfect. That's a lie we tell ourselves. A story. Because there's always something else. Nothing is ever perfect. And here's a secret you already know: There is no perfect. Perfect is an idea. It doesn't exist, and it can't. Google defines perfect as having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. We know this never happens. We believe we've experienced perfect moments. But even in them we could find things that weren't ideal, but those things just add to our endearment of the memories, the fact that we endured less than Nicholas Sparks perfection and still found enjoyment in any moment makes it that much more special. When really that's just life. That's existence. Things are neither inherently good or bad, they just are, and we assign our feelings towards them and give it a label. I think this is something all of us know, on some level. Our coffee wasn't cold today because we've been spited, it just happened to be cold today for whatever reason. Shit happens. That's why it's an idiom.

But I guess, all I'm really trying to say is that I'm enjoying the aging process. I think it's done me good. I'm sure at a certain point I'll think it's done me bad, and I hope to be lucky enough to live long enough to be able to say that. Because nothing is certain. That's why it's an idiom.