Learning Something New: What’s on Your List?

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Do you have a list showing things you want to learn?  A mental bucket list, perhaps?

If you don’t, I hope you will consider starting one.

By the time we finish school, at whatever level, we have usually had enough studying to last for a long time.  Yet have you noticed that once we’ve been out of school for several years it starts to sound intriguing?  What makes it fun at that point is that we can please ourselves rather than satisfy requirements for  our major.

My sister has always been an inspiration about this.  Even today she will still take randoms classes.  Currently it’s a course on geology.  The last was economics.  I have grown interesting in sociology and anthropology, partly as a result of the changes technology has brought.

It can be anything. Isn’t that freeing?

Write it down…

Maybe it’s a college class, or maybe it is a course for a hobby.  Photography, painting, creative writing, whatever we like.  Even all of the above.  Several of those ideas are on my list.  The thing is, if you don’t make a list it is far less likely to get done.  As with any goal, writing it down is the first step.  Without it, the idea is too easily pushed aside by the busyness in our lives.

Click here to study meteorology

Confidence and commitment…

Depending on your age and how much studying you do, it can sound overwhelming to learn something new.  I still remember how nervous I was, dry mouth and all, when I was first learning how to use a computer.  I can understand why so many seniors consider it something to avoid.  Yet once learned, think of the fun they could have exploring the internet or just playing games.

Because learning isn’t necessarily required, it can be something we set aside.   We might start a course but find we don’t have the time for it.  Are you patient when you are learning?  Will you stick with it until you get it?   I find sometimes I will, other times it doesn’t seem that important.  Then I might put it off or decide to stop.

Even if it is frustrating…

Right now I’m in the process of learning something new.  It’s taking me a long time to figure parts of it out. It’s a big thing, one I am determined to learn even if it seems impossible at times.  It gets frustrating.  My mind starts to feel drained.   On the other hand, from experience I’ve learned that eventually I’ll figure it out.  It’s good to be at a point when I know for all the exhaustion and stress, I’ll reach the place where I want to be.  It’s taken a lot of lessons to realize that.

The harder it is, the better it might be…

It is so worthwhile though.  Keeping the brain stimulated helps keep it healthy and strong.  It is natural for our brain to slow and deteriorate as we age.  The more we can keep the neurons working, the connections charging, the better it is.  It may even prevent or postpone dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.   That should be reason enough to keep learning throughout our life. 

Click here to learn Italian

A starter list for you to grow…

  • Painting-watercolors, oils / Sketching or drawing
  • Photography / Photography editing
  • Learn to write that novel you’ve dreamed about
  • Creative writing / Article writing / Blogging
  • Computer skills / basics / designing websites / coding
  • Learn another language / Study astronomy / Take a course on Geography
  • Sewing / Knitting / Crocheting
  • Crafting / Building / Woodworking
  • Dancing / Singing / pilates
  • Fish / Hunt / Shoot
  • Surf / Kayak / Sail



Where to go from here…

Click here to learn to paint watercolors

There are a dozen things listed above that are on my personal list.  The next step is choose one or more to start, then schedule them into the day.  You know what they say; do something for 21 days and it will become a habit. there is a good goal in itself.

Just as Garfield once said about catching a mouse, “It’s not the having, it’s the getting,” so it is with our education. It’s not just the knowing, it’s the learning too. Stretching my brain feels good.







Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry

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