Life-Long Learning

One of the fun things I do for myself is to watch Ted Talks, listen to podcasts and visit and click on a topic I want to learn more about. In doing so, I have found educational, intriguing and informative talks that take me places, teach me things and expand my world.

Last week, I watched a video called The Story of Stuff on I had read about the author in a Rotarian magazine article titled Watching Your Waste and then spent the next 21 minutes watching the video.

The story and video by Annie Leonard has been watched in more than 200 countries and translated into 15 languages.  The documentary is shown in churches, community rooms, college campuses and schools across the world.  The trash talking film about how we dispose of our waste and why we buy so much in the first place is just as relevant today.

The 21 minute documentary about our material goods and their lifecycle was launched in 2007 and has been viewed over 50 million times.

Watch the video (below) and then visit the
You will not be disappointed.

What’s real anyway?

Many times over the past seven years I thought I would quit blogging. Then I would take time off and come back refreshed and ready to write. It’s the writing part I love the most. And sharing what I learned, or saw, or tasted or observed.

Blogging was the vehicle to help me get thoughts out of my head and into a realm where once published they became real. It became a journal of sorts and now when I look back and read posts most times I can put myself right back to that point in time and remember what I was feeling.

When I went away this summer, I kept seeing things I wanted to share in this blog. Things I learned in Ireland. Things I learned in Switzerland. But the essence of these things comes back to learning about me. About my role in the world. About my role in the family.

I spent time going over shared moments with my siblings.
“What do you remember about …?”
“Where were you when ___ happened?”
“When did you …?”

To my surprise, each shared memory included things I didn’t remember. Words were said or not said. The time of day was different. The people in the room varied. It unnerved me that my memory wasn’t their memory. That something was altered, something minor – sometimes it was major. I often wondered if we were really experiencing the same thing.

familyI’m in the process of putting together the puzzle of my childhood. The major historians in the family have all passed away so now I have to seek out the individuals who might be able to toss some memories my way.

I realize now that the stories that were the glue of my childhood are just outlines. Each of us fills in the story in our own way from where we stand. Those moments I was so sure of … vary from sibling to sibling. It was like we all had different versions of the same story.

So, I started to gather up their stories too. To see where they stood, what they thought, how they processed the event. The on-going conversations are engaging and I am learning about the events (car accident, illness, birth, death, travel) again for the first time from another point of view… making it all real again.