January 12, 2010

Continuing Education for a Lifetime

Have you stopped learning?

It's a strange question to pose to an adult, isn't it?  Yet it is an important one.  In the last several years, studies have shown that people of all ages need to keep their minds active and engaged to remain happy and healthy into their golden years.  It's not a very surprising finding, but it is one that adults should bear in mind.

If your child stopped learning at any stage of development or had no interests outside of school, that would be a serious cause for concern; yet when adults find ourselves in that rut, we make excuses: we're busy, our careers are important, someone has to pay the bills, etc.

Just because you aren't a kid anymore doesn't mean you can't have fun.  Let yourself!  Find a hobby you really enjoy, or maybe take a course at a community college, university or community center.  Get involved in a book club if you like to read.  Pick up a sport you used to play in high school or college and play in an adult league, or try coaching.  The important point is to find something you enjoy that engages your mind and interest; don't let yourself become an island in the midst of humanity.

The advantages are many, but I'll list two in particular:

  1. You'll give your kids a happy, vibrant example of adulthood to look forward to (and models of that are sometimes few and far between).  
  2. You'll be a happier and healthier person yourself.  And all that hard work on career and raising good kids isn't much good if you can't relax and enjoy it.  

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