3 Things I’ve yet to learn

It’s that time of year again…back to school time.  Time to buy new school clothes and school supplies.  Time for earlier bed times and earlier wake up calls.  And time for the kids to learn new spelling words, new math tables, and new vocabulary words.  But learning doesn’t stop with graduation.  Many “life lessons” aren’t learned until you have your first apartment, first job, first kid.  And even after a decade or two or three or more, you realize that there is a vast difference between what you already know and what you still have yet to learn.

And so in honor of the whole Back to School season, here are three things that I still have yet to learn.

1)  How not to kill garden plants.  

If gardening was a genetic thing, I would be an awesome gardener.  My Mom has beautiful flowers growing in her garden right now.  My grandparents always had wonderful large vegetable and flower gardens.  Not to mention the beautiful flowers growing in many of my other relative’s gardens.   I, on the other hand, can’t seem to grow flowers to save my life.  It’s not for lack of trying.  Every summer, I spend hours buying and planting flowers.  And they do well for a while, but then something goes really wrong.  Too much sun, not enough sun, too much water, not enough water….who knows what it is.  But by the end of summer, despite my best intentions, all my flowers have died and  I’m left with nothing but empty flower pots and garden beds.

2)  How to say “yes” to the kids and “no” to the adults.  

I have realized two things over the last few years.  The word “No” seems to come out of my mouth very easily when I’m dealing with our three children.  “No, you can’t have another cookie, you’ve already had 3”  “No, you can’t watch just one more show.  You’ve watched how many already?”  “No, you can’t hit your sister just because she’s annoying you.”  The word “no” is a permanent part of my vocabulary in my day to day parenting life.  But for some unknown reason, I can’t seem to find that word when I’m dealing with other grown-ups.  Even when I’m thinking “no” and feeling “no,” my mouth is still saying, “Yes, I would love to ______”.   If only I could find a class that would teach me the times that it’s okay to tell the kids “yes” and tell those pesky adults “No way!”

3) How to shop the clearance sales at department stores.  One of my best friends is an expert at bargain shopping.  It doesn’t matter what kind of deal you found, she found it cheaper.  I’m amazed.  I’m awed.  And I’m really jealous!  Department stores clearance racks are her specialty.  She can walk up to one of those racks and find a pair of designer pants, regularly priced at $80.00, and buy them for $6.99 without even breaking a sweat.  I am completely overwhelmed by department stores, and especially by those clearance racks.  How can anyone find anything in the middle of all that stuff?  Where she sees great deals, I simply see a mess!  I can stare at these clearance racks where the clothes are barely organized, only half hung-up, and have so many price tickets on them that your eyes stop focusing, for all of about three minutes.  Then I give up and walk away with nothing but a headache.  It’s just too much for me.  I don’t know how my friend got so good at bargain shopping, but I wish she would teach a class!

What about you?  What are some things you still have yet to learn?

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