I was doing a PhD. I passed my qualifying exam to get in, completed my course work, and passed my comprehensive exam. I was about to start work on my dissertation proposal when I got sick and it gave me some time to think. Then I left the PhD program because I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I’ve had zero regrets about that. 

I haven’t been enrolled in a formal educational program for almost five years, but I’m always learning something. I read. I listen to podcasts. I try to take time to reflect, which often comes in the form of a blog post or journal entry.

This year I’ve been learning a lot not only through the above mentioned, but in trying to do new things.

While I’m at home, I’m still working full time, while also writing blog posts and recording podcasts for Better Me, being a parent, take care of my well-being, and everything else I need and want to be doing. 

My wife is a professional and works outside of our home. She’s the cook in our family, well the more experienced and talented cook, but it’s too much to ask her to always cook for us. While I have a few tried and true recipes in my wheel house, I’ve never been particularly adventurous or confident in the cooking department. 

Late last year we decided to try out one of these companies that will deliver us the ingredients and instructions to make three meals each week. I won’t name them, but I’m not going to give them free advertising. We like them, but still. 

Anyway, while my wife does still cook some of those meals, I’ve been trying to make at least one or two of them since I’ve been working from home. Now we don’t get them every week, we have been collecting the recipes of the meals we liked so that we can make them again with groceries we pick up from the store. 

These meals are designed for cooks on the inexperienced side, but not novice, so they’re a good fit for me. I’m learning to cook more, which makes my family happy and increases my confidence in the kitchen.

This year I’ve also learned more about podcasting, because I wanted to do a podcast. I wanted to get out more and my family was golfing so I learned a lot more about golf while playing it. We have a piano sitting mostly unused in our living room and I’m thinking of finding some good YouTube videos to learn a bit about how to play.

There’s always ways to learn cool new things and it can be practical, fun, interesting stuff. You just have to want to try new things.

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