I read a neat article this evening on the Living Life Fully site called, “It’s Never Too Late.” I like what it had to say about learning new things. Did you know Grandma Moses’ husband died when she was 67, she took up needlepoint; and at 78 she picked up painting which she continued to do until she was 101! This is an image of her final painting, Rainbow, which she completed in 1961.
The cool thing is, as long as we are breathing we can learn new things. It’s actually good to learn something new.
“Leading researchers in brain anatomy point to the importance of dendrites – hair-like tendrils that allow brain cells to communicate with each other. Dendrites continue to grow throughout life and in fact, grow more when brain activity is stimulated and challenged. ‘People who find activities that are stimulating, entertaining, and even have a social context, tend to have the most robust mental responses,’ says Dr. Gene Cohen.”
It’s good to become engaged intellectually in stimulating subjects. Good to learn new things.
Most of my friends are around my age. Judi is taking a 2nd Spanish class this fall. Barb (my cousin) is also taking university classes; she’s developing her interests while making new friends. I admire them both for making time to learn new things. It isn’t easy.
I may not be enrolled in any official classes, but I do continue to be an experimental learner. I’m reading about things I’m interested in, such as how best to understand and relate with my parents. And I’m always experimenting in my own artsy/fartsy way with textiles, paints, markers etc. While I wouldn’t call this “challenging”, I do find it interesting and enjoyable. Sewing and painting are playtime for me – I suppose, because they contrast so sharply with my job. I have learned from first-hand experience that when you are proficient with administrative stuff, you find yourself being given more and more of it to do – after all, you are good at it – but having no time to do anything else, like actually think or design on the job. Eight hours providing administrative support fills up the day completely and takes a lot of energy. I used to look forward to “retirement,” but for many people like me there isn’t going to be a “retirement”. If I am fortunate, maybe someday I will be able to just work part-time. If I am, you can bet I will devote a lot more time to being creative. In the meantime, it feels really good to keep learning new things in my own little way.
I like that intuition leads me toward the stuff I study or experiment with. Is it the voice of a muse? Maybe it’s God’s nudge or the whisper of my Guardian Angel? I don’t know. (Does it matter?) I delight in the joy and satisfaction I discover in following it.
Read the article, “It’s Never Too Late.” You will be encouraged to keep on keeping on.