In the last post I shared about some of the ways I’ve found to keep growing and learning even as an adult. If you are reading this and feeling like life is already crammed to the corners with all kinds of important stuff, I know it can be a burden to feel like you have another thing you “should be doing”. And no one needs extra burdens. Especially, when the idea of having a direction to be growing or learning in is intended to be a gift – a respite of time to focus on something you’d like to pursue.
On that note, I wanted to share something to ponder today. I hear many women, in particular, say (and I think it is wonderful) that they realize if they want their daughters to have positive body image, that they must demonstrate having a positive body image themselves. It’s absolutely true. And in the very same way, I think that if we hope our children will grow up to be interesting, engaged people who never stop growing, we need to model those things as well.
Children see how we use our time, how we set boundaries, how we take care of ourselves, and what is important to us. And quite honestly, everyone we call dear sees too — even adult friends and family. I can’t tell you how much I learn from the way other friends demonstrate rhythms in their lives of work, rest and play. The ways they show how to say “no” when they need to, and the ways they take care of themselves so in turn they can give their very best. When we’re all running ourselves ragged all the time, it does no one any good.
So, if it’s not clear by now, please know that in anything you read here on this site, I’m coming from a place of believing it is good for us to keep pursuing the things that enrich our minds, hearts, souls and bodies. Even if it means tiny, little moments and steps. There’s value in minutes and hours. It all counts!
Okay. Pep talk over. On to some ideas…
I’ll give you three for starters. For example, could you give yourself ten minutes a day to watch a youtube video demonstrating how to make your own terrarium, cook up your own Sriracha sauce, or practice learning Spanish like you’ve always wanted to on an app like Duolingo, or even crack open a book from the library all about how to refinish old furniture. Carve out a tiny bit of time to investigate, create, or understand in a new way!
Something for Everyone
If you are at a stage of your life where you feel like your time is inextricably bound with other people, such as kids or aging loved ones who require much of your time and attention, consider ways you can follow your curiosity together. Some dear friends of mine started a tradition when they got married where every six months they would rotate their attention to a new theme to explore. For that six months, they were all about that theme.
It works like this, for example:
If someone in your family loves baseball, you could learn all about the game from different angles that might be of interest in some way to each family member, even if the whole lot of you doesn’t absolutely love sports. You could learn more about the history of the game by watching some of the Ken Burns Baseball documentary and planning some good ballpark snacks for the occasion, going to a game (major, minor or even little league can all be their own kind of fun), learning the science of how and why a curveball curves, looking up pictures of all the major league mascots and deciding on your favorites, or designing your own new and improved ones you could suggest to MLB. Perhaps even planning a trip to Louisville to tour where the Louisville Slugger bats are made – that kind of thing. And that’s just one idea for a theme. You could take any idea – even something as seemingly boring as “bread”, or “sheep”, or even “cement” (I may have a new challenge for myself) and see all the things you could discover, visit, or do on that theme. But the main idea is that almost any theme can be accessible in some way for everyone. And it will probably be more interesting than you could imagine at the start.
Especially as we approach the colder months, it can be fun to think about ways to fend off cabin fever with a little intentionality. If you’re feeling inspired by the idea of planning more time to learn and discover in your life, try jotting down a list in a notebook or on your phone of a few categories you’d like to explore. If you are feeling ambitious, try coming up with twelve ideas to try out over the next year. And don’t forget to write them down.
AND if you’d be so kind, share an idea below in the comments so we can all borrow it too!