We hear it all the time: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This is mostly perceived as true – except in the case of the dog who did learn new tricks. Every new day brings a new chance to learn, and many respected philosophers and academics have said profound things about continued learning. We think Albert Einstein sums it up best when he said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
Michel de Montaigne said in The Complete Essays that Socrates found time later in life to learn music and dancing, and wrote that the philosopher “thought it time well spent.”
While many people find their time filled with family commitments and activities, there’s always time to learn something new every day, and there are more opportunities now than ever to try an activity or acquire more knowledge.
Where are the best places to learn?
Seek out a mentor. There are many people who have dedicated their lives and careers to what others view as hobbies. These professionals often run clinics, talks, offer coaching services and help to anyone looking to get started.
Attend classes. Whether you check out your local community’s city-run class guide, or enroll in a program at a local college or university, finding a class for your interest is easier than ever. If going to a campus or building isn’t possible or within driving distance, try signing up for online courses. Many local public libraries offer highly customized classes. Libraries like the Phoenix Public Library offer classes for learning new languages such as Spanish, ASL, Turkish, Russian and more.
Stop by one of Sunshine’s wellness and activity programs. Our corporate wellness director works closely with each community’s life enrichment director to bring residents fitness classes, educational seminars, informational sessions, community service and volunteer programs. Classes and seminars are offered on topics that range from finance and weight management to yoga and crafting for local nonprofits.
Where Do I Start?
Learn a new language. Whether you choose to learn a language that is widely used in your area or in the country, or want to reconnect with your roots by learning your grandparents’ native language, there are many opportunities to say something more than hola, bonjour or guten tag. Check out CD-based programs that you can listen to in the car or at home, or download one of the many language-learning podcasts.
Whip up a tasty treat. Many local government programs offer classes in baking that teach you each step of serving a savory side or delicious dessert. If you’re a foodie or just want to try your hand at your favorite dish, signing up for a community course, finding a local restaurant that offers classes, or searching online for the recipe are all great base ingredients in the recipe for a successful baking endeavor.
Athletics: Ida Keeling began running at age 67. Now, at age 100, still competes in national track and field events. She currently holds the American record for the 60-meter dash for women between 95 and 99 years old. If you want to pound the pavement, take up tai chi, or learn line dancing, it’s never too late to lace up for a new sport.
Get crafty. Crochet, macrame, scrapbooking and sewing – just some of the many past times people have found as creative outlets for their crafting sides. Try checking a book out of the library, visiting a local craft store for their class schedule, or creating an account on Pinterest where you can see what other users have used to make beautiful projects.
Sing out loud or play the piano, guitar or another instrument. It’s never too late to pick up an instrument or take voice lessons. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, for example, showed musical talent as a youngster, but didn’t begin to take music lessons until he was 21 years old. Local music stores sometimes offer meet-the-instrument days where you can learn more, and there are fantastic tutorials online.
It’s electric. Whether you have a way with words and want to try blogging or are great with gadgets, there are plenty of ways to enter the world of electronics. One of the best ways to learn to repair gadgets is through hands-on experience. As far as Internet-based learning, you can not only learn how to assemble electronics, but you can also learn to share your expertise. Create a blog or a social media account, stay connected and share your skills.
If you can think it, you can do it. Try your hand at gardening, interior design, writing a book, or styling hair. Volunteer at a local museum or nonprofit. You’ll learn more about the mission and will be able to give back. We’ve given you some ideas to start with, but the sky and your imagination are your only limits.
To speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members, click here today.
As the temperatures continue to rise, it is important to use bug repellent when you are outdoors! Mosquitos are most prevalent during summer months. Just like using sunscreen, it is important to protect your skin from insect bites, as well.
Unfortunately, mosquitos have been on earth for more than 30 million years, and are not going away any time soon. Make sure you are using bug repellent or ointment when you are outdoors this summer!