Edna Parker, the oldest person in the world just died a couple weeks ago, she was 115 years old from Indiana. Born in the 90's, that's 1890's, she outlived her husband by 75 years, as well as her sons and could probably offer the best definition to Webster's on the word "change." Known to push other younger patients around the nursing home, she was always a proponent of high energy, happiness and the idea that she felt young therefore she'd act it. One of the last things she was quoted as she celebrated her title as world's oldest was never stop educating yourself.
I just got off the phone with my dad....he's been a nut for staying active his whole life. Well I shouldn't say nut because he's not A.D.D. or annoying in any way, he's just worked to impress the M.O. of getting outside. At 56 years old he's entered me into running races in our old hometown so we could challenge eachother to run faster, and since we've done several triathlons together. He never stops looking in the newspaper for local things to experience rather than letting his mind saturate in stillness. He's going to an observatory tonight to see what stars the telescopes are zoomed in on, and tomorrow there's an annual Christmas Tree lighting at EAB Plaza that he'll check out no matter how cold it is. It's the point of getting out and enjoying the world; seeing new things in this one life we get. I've become a reflection of him, not a mirror image, but an HD representation. Feeling inadequate if I haven't at least stepped outside once all day, I strive to keep learning new things and drive roads my tires have never touched. Avoiding the repetitious because really, I already know it.
A few common sense ways I've taken on to continue learning even in drabs without stepping back into a classroom:
1: You're flipping through channels.... a familiar episode pops on of CSI, Law & Order, Seinfeld, Friends, Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park.....don't leave it. Turn to something you've never seen, even if not educational. In my opinion, you've already tapped into your experience for that episode and nothing particularly new is gained by re-watching it. Yea maybe a couple laughs, but you're not going to lose your sense of humor if you don't watch it..you'll laugh another day I promise. Obviously you can guess the best channels to turn to for eductional means so try one out for a change.
2: Driving in your car.....how many times have you listened to Stairway to Heaven or It Smells Like Teen Spirit? Our music is on constant repeat and it's played out until we give it some time before wanting to resurrect it. In that break period go buy a few audiobooks. SOme of those books you've heard so much about throughout life but never wanted to read because it would take too long. Just pop the cd in and turn it up loud so that you cant think about anything other than the dialogue. I suck at reading, but listening, that's a different story. When I'm driving now, I'm learning. Whether it's a book or lecture which you can buy lectures, let's say if there's a topic you ever felt like learning, or another language. The options are endless.
3: Travel one weekend a month. Instead of sitting home and relaxing because you have days off...plan a drive every month for one weekend to something within a few hours distance, and make it a trip. Whomever you do it with, it'll become a part of your life that you never stop looking forward too. How many years can you save, save, and save for what might never come. There's so many beautiful local spots near your home I guarantee you'll find life much more fulfilling....and if not, a good drive always spurs some great opportunities to think and see some landscapes.
You can write about them on here if you'd like. Possibly become the world's oldest blogger..after all, I heard the oldest, a 108-year old woman in Australia has left us as well. Let me guess....a 108-year old woman using the computer and writing to the public about her life....hmmm, I'm gonna go out on a radical limb and guess one little thing..........she never stopped either.