July 5, 2010

Life-Long Learning

One of the nicest benefits of not working (at least full time) is you get to choose how to fill the time that is suddenly available to you. I believe that is a true statement for anyone who has retired. As long as you are breathing and above ground you can decide how to spend the most valuable resource you have: time.

I am not going to get into a qualitative discussion that says watching TV is less valuable than playing golf. Or that hitting a small white ball around a large green lawn for three or four hours doesn't use your brain to its fullest potential. Or that going back to college and getting that degree you have always wanted is the best use of your free time.

Rather, in this category entitled Creativity and Learning, posts will give you ideas to explore, possibilities to follow, and suggestions that may help you build an active, happy, satisfied lifestyle. I will also say these ideas are ones that have worked for me. What I enjoy or have explored may not interest you one bit. You might wonder how someone can not be fascinated by model plane building, or going on an archaeological dig in Greece, or playing 36 holes of golf a day. Your idea for the best use of your time may never have even occurred to me. So, the only logical goal I can have is to get you to think about what would leave you satisfied.

One thing I ask is that if a specific idea or suggestion doesn't make sense to you, think about what would. Use the presentation of my bad idea to spur you to think of a good answer for your situation.

A quick example that I'll probably bring up again: I started to teach myself guitar last spring. I had been involved in music as a youngster but stopped playing any instrument in my early teens. A few months ago I decided I missed making music and I wanted to learn something new. So far, so good. I'm enjoying the challenge and I feel good about the process. I stepped out of my comfort zone and allowed myself to be poor at something for awhile.

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