Learning New Things Will Keep Me Young

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I believe that learning new things and staying active will keep me young. I’ve seen it work for others. Why wouldn’t it work for me?

I am very fortunate to work on a college campus, where I am around people at both ends of the spectrum. There are those at red, the bright, enthusiastic students, full of creative ideas. And there are the violets, older folks who may no longer be working full time but remain active on our campus and in the community.

I was once at “red.” I was young, eager, brimming with ideas on how to make the world, or at least my corner of the world, a better place. Now, I’m middle aged, nestled securely in the center of that spectrum – at about green. My son is nearly grown. My husband and I are secure in a marriage that’s just beginning its third decade. I have a great job. It would be easy just to bask in the green glow.

Yet, I see those older folks who are always busy, always trying new things.

They’re serving on boards in our city. Volunteering for Relay for Life or the United Way. Acting in local theater groups. Traveling to exotic locations like Antarctica and Africa. Their gray hair and crow’s feet tell you they’re older. But their spirit, their pluck, says something completely different. I want to be like them.

So, I get up before the sun most mornings and head to the gym to keep my heart healthy and my arms and legs strong. I read stories about health and wellness, columns about time management and balance, and, of course, articles about marketing…which is what I do for a living. I tune in to the Food Network to learn new ways to make some old favorites. (Ask my husband sometime about the lemon cookies.)

But my biggest venture is going back to college to work on a master’s degree. Even though I’ve been out of school longer than most of my classmates have been alive, even though I’m older than most of my professors, this latest endeavor has been a great rejuvenator. I’ve enjoyed reading the textbooks and academic journals. I’ve actually had fun writing all those papers. I’ve already learned so much. I almost feel as if I’m 22 again.

Now, my hair is graying a bit. I have some annoying lines around my eyes.

Some days my back just won’t let me carry the laundry upstairs. But my spirit is young. And I’m going to continue working on that as I approach the violet end of that spectrum.

I believe learning new things will keep me young.


James Guelfi
Bradford PA
Oct 06, 2010

I thought this to be very inspiring and well written.  I will print it and keep it.  Thanks for sharing.

Madeline Miles
Bradford, PA
Oct 16, 2010

Wow! Pat, you are right on.

Spence Garvin
Centre Hall, PA
Oct 30, 2010

A nice treat to read in today’s Centre Daily Times (Oct 30, 10) an article from a fellow Bradfordian Thanks for sharing.

Ann Hultberg
Bradford, PA
Jan 30, 2011

Great essay! I have my seniors write their I Believe essays in June, right before they graduate. It’d one of my favorite assignments to read!

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