Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Educating myself

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a training session related to my former "paid" profession as an accountant.  As I sat surrounded by those who are immersed in the business world, I wondered what in the world I was doing there.  How was any of what I was learning - accounting standards - relevant to where I'm at in my life now?  Why was I clinging to the designation I earned years ago, but which bared little application to my daily work?  How had I managed to fall so far behind in the changes in my industry, and would I ever catch up, if need be?

At first, I concluded that the only reason I was in the room was to ensure I had a contingency plan - if I needed to return to the work force to make money, I could.  As the day went on, I discovered a couple more reasons. 

I thought about how my children may become more engaged, lifelong learners if they witnessed their mama making time to learn something new.  Perhaps the shiny binder I brought home from the training session would look more like "learning" in their eyes than when I learned how to crochet a hat or some new-to-me knitting stitches. 

Then I thought back to the days when I had completed StrengthsFinder 2.0, and how the author encouraged his readers to invest even more in their strengths than in their weaknesses.  I used to be really great at accounting.  I'm sure I could catch up to all the changes with relative ease.  And, I could use all that talent I've pushed to the side of my "teacher's desk" to help out some really worthwhile causes.  Choosing who I share my talents with could be a strong statement to my children about following their hearts and values, rather than the almighty dollar.

As I sat here tonight, I thought of one more reason.  I'm in a wonderful position to teach my children about money, about business, and perhaps we will even be able to stretch it as far as corporate social responsibility.  As we ate supper and listened to the news, we heard a story about a company that has been on quite the roller coaster ride - Research In Motion (of Blackberry fame).  From a short 30 second news bite came a discussion on financial statements, shares, net income, dividends, debt, and investments.  And it was a real discussion, with back-and-forth dialogue, questions, and contemplation.  The vocabulary would never allow us to pass a university class, but it made sense to the audience in the room. 

Yes, the book learning and the real-life learning shall continue for this gal.

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