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ongoing learning

by Shawni

The other day my friend told me how she finally put in the effort to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube this summer.

It was something she had always wanted to do, especially since she was so intrigued that her boys could do it so quickly, but she had never stopped for long enough to learn.

She explained how when she finally sat down and learned that thing (on a long road trip), it gave her so much satisfaction (it gave her boys a lot of satisfaction as well:)

That one seemingly little thing was a step that gave her courage to do some other big things she had looming ahead of her. Pushing her brain in that way gave her extra confidence and courage that she could move forward.

That story reminded me of my own push to get going on learning some new trickier piano pieces and also to learn to play the cello (back HERE). There is something about taking a step to “do the impossible” that has so much power!

“When you master the seemingly impossible, it does something for you that fits into your very character for a lifetime, and makes the next impossible thing seem that much easier.” –(quote from my very wise grandmother back HERE)

I am a strong believer that learning, even small new things, does something to our brains that creates happiness.

And gratitude.

And satisfaction.

One of Claire’s requirements on her internship this summer was to write down one new thing she learned every day. I loved reading what she came up with. I’m going to try to do the same. Because when we recognize what we’re learning I think we learn even more!

Life is filled right up to the brim with learning opportunities. They are there for the taking every day.

Sooooo, let’s celebrate some good learning around here.

Just as my “little girls” were starting school last week, Dave was finishing up his very last week of his Masters of Global Management at Thunderbird. I talked about this back HERE when he was just starting, but there has been SO MUCH in between!

Research and papers and all kinds of assignments and life coaching and reading some awesome books and commuting in and out of the city.

Along with all that, this guy has learned to balance so many things at the same time. I have been so impressed with how he has worked his tail off to balance work and family and school and friends all at the same time.

He is so glad to check this one off the list: something he has always wanted to do.

It has been so tough, but there is such beauty in all he has learned.

And in his example of always striving to learn something new.

They were supposed to go to Africa for their “Field Seminar” at the end of the program. But due to Covid, they ended up going to Los Angeles. You’d think this would be a let-down (and yes, it would have been pretty cool to learn with this group in Africa!), but they made the very best of it and I think they gave everyone some excellent learning opportunities. So many details that I wish he would do a guest post on here about some day. But since we all know he won’t do that (ha!), I’m just going to highlight the last night celebration that happened on Friday night.

(A big, formal graduation will happen in November, so still more to come at some point!)

Here’s his friend Denny he did all this with:

They encouraged each other to get into this thing in the first place and I’m so glad they got to do so much together!

I loved having the opportunity at the dinner to sit and talk with all these people in Dave’s cohort who I have heard so much about over this year:

So many smart, on-top-of-it people from all over the world he has learned so much from!

Dave was grouped with some of these ladies for a few of the projects and they sure whipped him into shape! Ha! They are as smart and put-together as can be.

Just so proud of this husband of mine:

And so grateful for these best of friends that we get to share so much of life with!

Oh how grateful I am for LEARNING and the beauty it brings!

Other instances of doing the “impossible:”

Grace’s trip to China

Lucy’s scoliosis surgery

Some books from Dave’s program that I read too and loved:

Atomic Habits

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

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PS August 9, 2021 - 12:50 pm

I love “adult” students! When I taught math as an adjunct at a college, it was great fun to teach the evening classes which supported the masters programs. I put adult in quotes, because technically all the students at the school are adults, but the older students had such interesting experiences and it was fun to see them connect the formal material to stuff they had been doing for years in their careers. Congrats to your husband! My hats are off to people who get their degrees “on the side.” It is so much work, and I think it was good for the younger students in the class to see them balance family, work, and school.

Shawni August 28, 2021 - 7:26 am

I love older students as well. I still remember in some of my undergraduate classes there were “older” women who had come back to school. They always asked the best questions and they were really SEEKING all that information from their vantage point, not just trying to get a degree. I remember thinking, Man, those women are getting such a better education than I am! They inspired me in many ways.

Catharina Silva August 9, 2021 - 3:02 pm

Dear Shawni,

I have found something which made me think of Lucy and your whole family right away: in Naples, Italy, there is this project of placing bars in front of beautiful landscapes which describe them in braille for the blind and low-sighted (I’m not sure these are the correct terms; English is not my first language so please pardon me in advance).
Here is a website with more info on it:
I now hope the whole world will adopt the idea.

All the best,


Shawni August 28, 2021 - 7:22 am

Wow that is amazing! Thank you for sharing, I too hope the whole world will adopt the idea!

Catharina Silva September 1, 2021 - 7:10 am

Thank you very much for the answer, have a good week!

Julie August 9, 2021 - 11:13 pm

Cngrats to Dave & all his friends on this. This is great news.

Julie August 9, 2021 - 11:14 pm

* congrats

Shawni August 28, 2021 - 7:26 am

Thank you!

Christine August 10, 2021 - 3:57 am

Congrats to Dave and also to you! Supporting a spouse through an MBA is no easy task, but you will both find, I am sure, that it was well worth the effort and sacrifice.

Shawni August 28, 2021 - 7:27 am

Thank you.

Jen August 10, 2021 - 7:07 am

Congrats to Dave! And you look gorgeous, Shawni!

Aly August 10, 2021 - 7:17 am

Congrats!! And as always, thanks for your lovely, inspiring blog.

Shawni August 28, 2021 - 7:27 am

Thanks, guys!

Lynne August 10, 2021 - 8:41 am

Your pants! Where are they from? So cute!

Shawni August 28, 2021 - 7:27 am

They are from Anthropologie.

Lorella August 10, 2021 - 1:58 pm

Congrats to Dave, what an accomplishment. I so agree with you about “life long learning”, I decided at 57 years old to finally go to college, something I always wanted to do and now with the internet it is doable. I graduated from BYU-I in 2017. I loved working all day at my regular job, then spending 2 hours every night doing homework, I learned so much. I am now going to take another on-line course through BYU, you are never too old to learn, even when retired, my newest time of life!!!

Shawni August 28, 2021 - 7:28 am

That is so awesome! Good for you! You’re right it’s never too late to teach ourselves new things!

Mom August 14, 2021 - 10:15 pm

David was made for this program. I’m sure he was a star! How great to continue to learn, not just a little, but I leaps and bounds, with a great friend and a super-supportive wife. I learned some things that he passed along through you too that have continued my education…i.e. Atomic Habits. I loved it!

Big hugs to a big man, whose multitudinous gifts have been expanded…again!

Shawni August 28, 2021 - 7:29 am

I need to re-read Atomic Habits now! Love you Mom!


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