It’s difficult to think of a person who doesn’t have the desire to learn – whether the subject is history, sports, politics, cooking or just plain trivia.
Research suggests that individuals who are avid learners are likely to be more physically and mentally healthy than their less-engaged peers. There has been incredible validation by science in this area. What we learn and how we do it will greatly influence our future.
I can still see my grandfather at 86 sitting at the kitchen table with his espresso, Italian newspaper and stacks of books.
And my mother never stopped flaunting her latest finding about the stock market or something interesting she’d heard on the Larry King TV show. Every time we chatted, she would challenge me to see if I knew what she knew. I felt compelled to keep up with her.
I try to do the same thing with my children and grandchildren because I want them to stay on top of things, not be pushed under by them.
The grandkids know I won’t put up with the common kid complaint: “I’m bored.” I knew never to say that because I’d always get the same response: either “go read a book” or “I’ll give you something to do.” The latter meant manual labor. My mother could always find something for me to do that was not particularly exciting, such as cleaning the bathroom. Reading a book became my savior.
Having a brain that can function into our later years takes effort. Yes, some of our genetic coding and circumstances out of our control mean something. But every day we can make a point of increasing our learning capacity. Even simple acts like becoming more observant or listening more carefully instead of thinking of what you’re going to say next can be great educational experiences.
Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a great quote from Eartha Kitt: “I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.”
As a young teen, I would beg my mother to let me wear blue jeans. Her response was always a very forceful “No!”
Her rationale was the fact that she felt they were unladylike. I finally got my first pair after I was married. They were baggy and had the look of someone who was about to plow the North 40. My kids practically lived in overalls called OshKosh B’Gosh, which were all the rage, and my husband had a grownup version. I loved how comfortable my jeans were, and they really suited my lifestyle. A T-shirt and a pair of sneakers was all you needed to get through the day.
Well, blue jeans have certainly evolved and transitioned into an entire industry that seems to have created a national uniform for most Americans. When I travel I see hordes of people wearing them. There are still individuals attired in the slouchy jeans of my generation, but some of the newer versions look more like applied body paint.
Recently I was in the airport sitting at a coffee shop when I happened to notice a few women standing in line waiting to get served. They all had jeans on, but they were so tight they looked as if they were going to shred into a million pieces if they made one wrong move. As I continued to observe them, I kept thinking, “How do they get them on or off?”
I gave up wearing panty hose because I would often feel like a sausage. I hate tight anything because it makes me feel like I’ve been captured by maniacal fashion designers who care more about their designs than how they look or feel on real people. Believe me, I’m not advocating for shrouds, but shouldn’t there be a modicum of common sense around what we look like?
Tight jeans, tight underwear, tight anything has some unhealthy side effects. Skin and our parts are supposed to be able to breathe and have circulation available to them. I’m surprised there aren’t more people calling 911, because they can’t get their pants off and are being strangled by them. The other issue for me is that a lot of individuals who encase themselves in tight jeans should find a three-way mirror and have a good look. They just may think twice before they go out the door.