When I was a little kid, school was my haven. At home, things were sometimes not so fun. I won’t go into any details about my good old dysfunctional childhood, because heck, so many of us had them. Do you know anyone who lived a “Leave It To Beaver” or other TV land childhood? I don’t.
At my elementary school, I found the structure I longed for. And I discovered (with the help of my lovely teachers – all women, of course; this WAS the sixties) that most wonderful world of all: The world of reading.
Ah, the written word. Books have it all: humor, poetry, drama, tragedy. . . . you can lose yourself in them and escape from reality.
My love of reading and writing comforted me when I was a child, and led me to a lifelong love of learning.
After high school, though I dreamed of going to a 4-year college, (specifically, Michigan State University). However, family circumstances led me to a community college. I dragged that college career out for several years (hey, I had to work for a living too!) and finally got my Associate’s Degree in 1981.
In the back of my mind, I dreamed of getting that Bachelor’s Degree, someday. But as life slipped by, I never seemed to find the time, or the money, to reach my goal.
Then one day, it happened!! I began working for an employer who would give me (gasp!!) TUITION REIMBURSEMENT! (Obviously, this was when times were good)
I worked in a library, my daughter was starting high school ( and didn’t seem to need me as much, *sob*), my husband was supportive. I was 47 years old. Time to sh** or get off the pot.
I applied at Baker College Online, and through the magic of the Internet, obtained my BBA without ever stepping outside of my house. I got my degree the same day my daughter got her high school diploma: June 7, 2008. Commencement was, along with my wedding day and the birth of my daughter, one of the greatest days of my life.
Why, you may be asking yourself, is this woman rambling on about reading and education and blah blah blah? Simply this: I never want to stop learning. I think that lifelong learning is one of the most important things we can do for our brain and our mental/intellectual wellness as we age.
It’s not really about getting a degree, though that’s always an option. Just don’t be afraid to stretch your mind. If you have a talent, explore it.
- Learn a new skill.
- Learn how to blog.
- Learn how to create a website.
- Learn photography.
- Read a book from classic literature.
- Learn a language. (Have you heard of the Rosetta Stone language library? This electronic resource for learning languages can be obtained through your local library).
The possibilities are truly endless.
Lifelong learning can even help you in the workplace.
Hey, you don’t even have to spend money to stretch your mind. Check out these websites:
- Open Culture is home to “the best free cultural & educational media on the web.”
- YouTube Edu has a variety of content from top universities.
A little googling will help you find even more options!
I’m always in awe at what the Internet has to offer us! We live in an amazing world, truly.
Bea Boomer’s Quotes of the Day:
Live as though you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. (Mahatma Gandhi)
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. (Chinese Proverb)