I’m well and truly in middle age now, so am watching the older generation to see how to age gracefully. Unfortunately, all too often I see older people for whom everything is too much to learn. They can’t learn how to use things because they are ‘too complicated’ and sometimes that is the case, but quite often you can see that they just don’t want to. I have noticed that those are the people who age more quickly.
We have all seen the stories of older people doing amazing things – skydiving, completing university courses etc in their 90s. I really admire them – they are grabbing every bit of life and draining it for all its worth. That’s what I want to be like when I get to that age. I want to leave this world, kicking and screaming, because I have more to learn before I go.
But it doesn’t just happen overnight. You don’t just suddenly want to stop learning, (barring exceptional circumstances) I think its more of a change of attitude and a gradual transition. Which means that if I want to be a true life-long learner, I need to be laying the foundation for it now.
We have two streams of focus in our library – reader development and lifelong learning. They both go right through the life cycle and I plan to make the most of both.
So what are my plans? I learn something new pretty much everyday, through my work, through my family, through everyday life. But I think lifelong learning needs to be more than incidental learning. So every now and then I plan to learn something new. My next learning project is going to be Drupal 7 – the most recent and very changed content management system. We are using Drupal 6 for our library website and a community group site I administer, but I know enough to get by with the day to day. With Drupal 7, I hope to learn more about how the thing works properly, so I can get our websites updated to it and be able to do more with them.
That should take the rest of the year at least, lol. After that, I’m sure I’ll find something else to keep my mind well and truly focused and engaged.
What about you, what are you planning in your lifelong learning journey?