Treena Mielke

Learning is a lifelong process

They say when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

I believe this to be true.

Just recently, in the midst of our fourth wave of this horrible pandemic, I have been lucky enough to have not one, but two teachers come into my life.

Oh, I know. I get it. You’re probably saying, “my goodness, she is old, already. She is a grandma, for goodness’s sake. She should be teaching people stuff, not learning.”

I, however, beg to differ.

I’m pretty sure learning is a lifelong process and the wonderful classroom of life is full of so many possibilities it is in fact, quite mind boggling.

With that being said, I recently found myself at a plateau in two areas of my life where I felt like I was not learning anything at all: specifically, fitness and music.

And I have to admit that I was at the point of giving up on both of these things which I admit was stupid, just stupid.

Oh, trust me, I know stuff about exercise. If I could get in shape by reading about it, I would have done it long ago. But, for some reason I told myself I was too old, too tired and too hungry for chips and cheezies and chocolate covered almonds to actually move my body very far off the couch.

As far as music, I seemed to be stuck on the same key of mediocracy while, as far as I could see, everyone else I knew just kept getting better and better.

And, anyway, there was so much discord and unhappiness going on in the world that I decided I might as well just grumble and complain along with everyone else.

Why try to get better at something, anything really, when the COVID vaccine seemed to have set invisible battlefields with Facebook bullets being fired left, right and centre?

And that’s when it happened.

I finally decided to move my tired, overweight self off the couch and join a fitness class although the name, ‘Boot Camp’ scared the crap out of me.

The class, as it turned out, has been so much more than just a reason to work out.

It has been a refresher in life lessons we all should have learned in kindergarten.

“Everyone has something about them to love,” the instructor said. “You just need to find it. “Here, we can leave all the stuff that’s going on at the door and just enjoy each other and have fun. Now let’s go. I want you to push yourself. You can do it.”

I was so impressed with those words, I almost forgot to be shell shocked by all the jumping jacks and push ups she forced us all to endure for one incredibly long hour.

At the end of her class, I have to say I felt pumped, and, for some reason, the sky seemed just a little bluer and the leaves on the trees just a little more vibrant. I even found myself humming that song, “It’s a beautiful world,” on my drive home.

Weird!

As far as music, this friend of mine whom I have known for longer than forever said, “why don’t you try playing some songs by ear. I know you can do it. You have the music in you. Here, I will help you.”

I scoffed at his words.

“I can’t,” I moaned. I have always relied on reading the notes. And I just can’t get any better. I’m so discouraged,” I whined.

He just laughed and printed off the words to the songs “You are my Sunshine’ and “I Heard the Bluebirds Sing, marking in the chords.

“Okay, you play the melody,” he said.

And so, still grumbling, I tried. And much to my amazement, after much fumbling of the keys, I did it.

And, once again the day seemed just a little brighter and life seemed just a little better.

And, weirdly, I do believe I heard the Bluebirds sing.

Actually, I’m kidding. I didn’t. But, still it is awesome to know we are not alone and, when we are ready, one thing we can know for sure.

A teacher will appear!

Treena Mielke is a Central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.