I am focused on learning (of course) but not necessarily for the reasons you think. Well, some of them. I am taking a class this summer. I am gaining a whole new understanding of what it means to be a student - a very healthy reminder.
I am thinking of learning beyond the books though, the kind of learning we seek out ourselves.
I was taught early on by my family to always keep learning, regardless of where we were in life. I watched my parents, aunts, uncles, and even grandparents continually seek new adventures. My great-Uncle Benny, at the age of 85, decided knowing two languages (Polish and English) wasn’t enough. He marched himself down to the senior center in Meriden, CT, and said, “Sign me up for Spanish class. I want to talk to my neighbors.” By the end of his third year he was fluent.
He had a purpose. He was motivated by his need to talk to people. (He was by all accounts a great talker.)
Right now my parents are learning to make goat cheese and goat soap.
Here’s the deal: The people in my family pursue the things they like, the things they most want to learn about. Nobody told them to do these things, just like nobody told you to learn to turn a cartwheel. You learned because you wanted to.
So, what is it you would like to learn to do this summer?
Do you want to learn archery? Build a fort? Bake a cake? Master 101 ways to use duct tape? Babysit? Pop a wheelie (please wear a helmet!) Do a handstand? Ride your bike up that hill without stopping?
List, write, draw all the things you want to learn. Better yet, make them into a collage. This could be notebook oriented, computer, or something to hang on your bedroom wall. Nothing inspires us like a goal; it’s part of being human.
Make your list.
Take charge of your learning.
Maybe, just maybe, you can keep up with my parents and grandparents and great aunts and uncles!
Footnote: The picture is of my grandfather and his siblings. Grandpa is on the far right, Uncle Benny is third from the left.
The other characters I'll tell you about another time. One received a purple heart in WWII and another nearly lost an eye to a firework.