I have been fortunate in my adult life to have learned many new and exciting things. At age 30 I became a certified lifeguard and then a SCUBA diver. A few years later I took a couple of immersion courses in Spanish and now have some skills in that language. I my 40s I learned to write a book and had two published. Eager to harness more media, I learned how to produce and edit videos. Along the way I have enjoyed learning to make homemade pasta, candy and how to grow herbs on a windowsill. Perhaps my most exciting learning happened the year I turned 50 when I enrolled in a Physics course. This subject was not readily available to me when I was younger and it always fascinated me. So when my school district offered a program that would allow me to learn and teach Physics, I jumped at the chance. For the first time in my life I failed several tests. Physics challenged my brain in new ways that I could not have predicted. But it was surprisingly calming. During a very difficult time in my life, this new type of brain engagement allowed me to focus, to find a sort of anchor for my thoughts. I now enjoy reading about the topic just for fun and relaxation. Sounds weird, doesn't it? But when I think back to other times when I have experienced intense learning, it had the same result. Calm focus. The human brain is amazing. It reorganizes itself to find new pathways whenever necessary. During this time of reorganizing, the noise of the world seems to move aside. If you want to interrupt anxiety and worry, learn something new. If you want to maintain your memory into old age, learn something new. If you just want to have fun and experience being human, learn something new.
What will you learn next year?