Tuesday, December 25, 2012
May I Help You?
I wrote a huge long post about things that make me happy, and it made me realise that aside from the obvious such as hanging out with my family, there really are two main things that make me light up. So I deleted everything else and I'm just going to concentrate on those two.
One is learning new things. Some of the happiest times of my life have been when I was a student. Lord knows I'm not wishing to go back to college a la Avenue Q. I mostly enjoy being a grown-up and cooking is definitely one of the joys of my life. But researching, learning, acquiring new skills and using that big brain of mine, so woefully under-stimulated most days, really make me happy. So obviously I need to look for something that allows or even requires me to do that. I've been taking online Continuing Education courses in Technical Communication from my local college and they have made my life so much better. Learning new things was the one part of my life as a research scientist that I loved.
The other thing that makes me happy is helping people. Someone asks for a recipe and woosh, just like that, I can Google it for them. I can teach people to make sauerkraut. I can help them set up a website or Facebook page. I can edit their writing. I've supported a university professor in using Learn. I've tutored high school students. I volunteer for my kids' school and my synagogue as a coordinator, making sure volunteers are in the right place at the right time. I love doing all of that. It isn't even the thanks and kudos, although of course those are very pleasant. It's the act of ascertaining a need and fulfilling it. Helping people was the one part of my job as a high school teacher that I loved.
All of this makes me think that I need to look actively for people to help. I can research topics and write reports about them. I am learning new skills such as website design (in which I've recently finished a course), editing and proofreading (ditto). I should learn more about Excel and Wordpress and find people who need help with them. Because I can learn quickly and well, and many people have less time and inclination than I do for these things.
So, I'll be setting up a website for these things, and I hope you will consider coming to visit, and maybe sending your friends. I would love to help you if I can.