By: Sandy Churchill
September ushers in a whirlwind of emotions—wistfulness, energy, excitement, perhaps a last-minute scramble to get life together before the hustle and bustle of academic-year routines. Bathing suits and beach towels are packed away, replaced by schoolbooks, planners, backpacks, lunch bags, and fall clothes, as students head back to school.
Some wisps of morning coolness grace the waits at the bus stop or early commutes as families abandon vacation mode for the academic swing of school days and sports, rehearsals and homework.
But the wonder and challenge of a new year of learning can teach moms and dads, as well. Not only do we have the roles of encouragement and structure, safety and responsibility, inspiration and help, but we can also step on the learning train and embrace something new.
While this learning can be an evening class or community arts program, it can also comprise a do-it-yourself endeavor such as learning to cook Indian dishes, a YouTube jaunt into TED Talks, or forming your own club to watch classic movies.
There is an energy to these first few weeks of autumn, whispers of change and challenge, but also encouragement and wonder. What if this was the year to crochet that afghan, learn how to play chess, join a book club, or explore a new language?
The local library today is a bevy of exploratory possibilities—offering patrons the chance to learn the 3-D printer, convert memory-laden VHS tapes to DVDs, sample music, or join a book club or fiber arts group. The learning jaunt can be as simple as trying out a new author or movie genre or as large-scale as setting out to earn a new degree or change careers.
Imagine. Dream. Ask yourself, “What if?”
Whatever the size and scope of your learning, simply the possibility of sampling—or someday mastering—a new skill can breathe new life into your days. This quest is a bit magical, catching a glimmer of light upon turning a once-routine schedule on its edge.
So enjoy the fond memories and vacation mode of summer, but embrace the energy, learning, and wonder of fall. Breathe in that autumn cool, and ask yourself, “What would I like to learn this year?”