The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to keep learning and expanding my areas of interest. I could easily retire, but then what? Retirement–whatever that means–never seemed like a viable option. When I was a kid, my grandparents retired and moved from Ohio to Florida. My grandfather left his noodle company to my father and dedicated his retirement years to fishing. Every morning he would take his rod and reel, walk down to the public peer and wait for the fish to bite. My grandmother was the opposite. She spent her retirement years at the pool, playing cards and shopping. My parents weren’t much different. My father retired to play golf and cards and my mother followed suit. As I approached retirement years, none of these options made sense to me.
Lifelong learning is more my jam.
I recently became a member of eWomen network–a networking organization that helps women business owners achieve great success. They offer several ongoing live and online and networking opportunities as well as various classes designed to help women entrepreneurs succeed. We are all better together and this organization has mastered the fine art of giving and sharing. At every meeting there is an opportunity for members to introduce themselves and their business. I’d been looking for someone to help me create videos and one of the women on yesterday’s call, Marcia O’Malley, offers that exact service through www.MindfulnessMediaServices.com. Quick! Hit the easy button.
Yesterday, in addition to networking, there was an online class called “Maximizing LinkedIn.” The instructor, Shannon Danesteh, a charming young woman from Kentucky, was a wealth of useful information that everyone who attended could easily digest and implement. If it weren’t for the pandemic and the upsurge of Zoom calls expanding our networks exponentially, I would not have met Shannon or any of the other women who were on the call. I spent an hour or so after the class updating and completing my online profile and rethinking my online marketing strategy. I still have a lot to do, but I have a much better understanding of the platform.
Community College Classes
In addition to enhancing my social media skills, I also take classes offered through adult education. Last quarter, I took an online class on voice-over training offered by Such a Voice. I’d always thought this would be an interesting career path. Why not keep options open, right? But, I was also looking for tips and suggestions for being a better speaker which I got. The current issue of “Kaleidoscope,” a publication listing community classes offered by Sierra College, has several courses that interest me. “Keeping a Healthy Back” is at the top of my list followed by “Beginning Piano 2.” The catalogue has something for everyone from business and finance to photography and travel. Just about every community offers some sort of adult education.
A side benefit of taking classes is meeting new people who share similar interests. Anyone who has tried and failed with online dating might want to give community college classes a try. Photography, music and mountain bike fundamentals might have some interesting prospects.
For me, retirement means learning new things and sharing what I know. I don’t expect that to change any time soon. Learning and sharing is the best way I know to keep my brain active and my attitude properly adjusted.
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Jan Fishler is the author of Searching for Jane, Finding Myself (an adoption memoir), Don’t Stop Now: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life, Flex Your Writing Muscle (365 Writing Prompts), and PTSD: Lessons From Vietnam. She is a motivational speaker who also teaches writing classes online. More about Jan at www.JanFishler.net