Do you believe in continual self improvement?
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I do believe in self improvement.
Also, some of my goals are related to improving my work skills. For instance, I am working on positioning myself as the department expert on a particular piece of software, not only because it's useful in my work, but because I find it interesting, I already know more about it than the other people I work with and I can help them with it, and because it's a good transferrable skill if I find myself looking for a new position.
I have also been working on improving my parenting skills. I read parenting books and I took a parenting class recently. I don't think my parenting skills (or lack thereof!) are related to my work status. The things I need to work on--discipline, dealing with sibling rivalry, anger managment, etc.--would be just as relevant if I were to SAH or WOHFT.
Yes, I believe in self-improvement.
Just taking a quick mental poll here of the men and women I know...
The women seem more concerned about weight loss and physical appearence, but I know both men and women who are into fitness, running, skiing, etc.
The women are much more interested in parenting skills, spiritual growth, emotional growth, but I do know both men and women who have sought counseling for depression or stress.
My DH is very into taking classes or attending meetings, etc. to gain new skills. Over the years, he's taken real estate appraisal classes (which he's never used professionally), skill-based classes (woodworking, home design and building techniques, oraganic gardening, etc.), yoga, cooking, etc. One year he decided to run a half-marathon although he is not a regular runner, and he trained and did it. I'm more inclined to just read about something or talk about it with my friends rather than hop in and commit to hands-on learning. It's actually something I admire about DH, that he is so willing to devote the energy and time it takes to try new things.
Self-improvement to me means disciplining myself to go out and run every day so I keep my weight down or so I can run a certain distance in a specified amount of time. Sure, I need to watch my weight, but I've given up trying to get down to the weight I was pre-DS. I'd rather drink a beer and eat pizza and sit around with DH on Sunday afternoons.