Ramblings

Life, family, business

Why its Important to Teach an Old Dog Some New Tricks

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I started playing piano about a year ago.  I was so good about practicing every day, and I was even impressed how quickly I was able to play some of the songs.  But then spring came, and my true passion ensued: gardening.  I love gardening so much; planting seeds, the smell of fresh soil, the first shoots of germination, the breath of new spring life.

On rainy days when I was off work, I still practiced, but those were few and far between.  My poor piano sat neglected.  But then eventually, as it always does, the frost came, and the piano came back to life.  I lost so much from my negligence, but I’m gaining it back.  I’m working my way to where I was when spring sprung and I ran outdoors, leaping for joy at the new growth and spring rain, and plants.  I’m still ahead of where I was last year at this time when I just started.

My doctor told me that learning something new, like playing an instrument is amazingly good for your brain.  It creates new pathways, new connections.  The funny thing is,  I can feel them growing!!   I know, it sounds crazy, but I can feel my brain working, expanding and improving.  I can only practice for so long, before I can’t take it anymore.  Its as though my brain says, “Ok, this is all can muster for today,” and I need to stop.

I also want to learn Spanish, but I haven’t gotten very far with that.  Buenas Tardes!!   I have gotten through the first few lessons, however.  If only I had more time!!  I think this is why its so important to help our children learn these things when they are young.  When we are children, we learn so much faster, and we have the time to learn, and to practice.  But if we do not have the opportunities as children, there’s no reason not to learn the things we want to know as we get older.  Its good for our brains, and its good for our self-esteem.  I love being able to play a new song, or understand what someone said in Spanish, even though I maybe can’t say it on my own quite yet.  The neural pathways are still being constructed.  But once they are painstakingly built, I will work harder to keep them in good condition.  Perhaps I will try speaking Spanish to my plants, or play them a song.

Its so good for each one of us to learn something new.  Did you know that learning a new hobby or trade can ward off depression?  How about protecting yourself from dementia and Alzheimer’s?  I consider myself to be a bit young to worry about that yet, but as we all age, we all are at risk for so many mind-killing diseases and disorders.

You’ve always dreamed about learning a new language?  Speak it!!  It will only help you!  Always dreamed of learning to play a musical instrument?  Play it!  It will make you feel great!  Always wanted to learn a new hobby, or trade?  Learn it!!  It will set you ahead of yourself, and it will help your brain stay younger.

What are the dreams you have?  The things you want to learn?  What language do you want to speak?  Find your interests, and go with it.  Learn something new, no matter what your age.  You’re NEVER too old to learn some new tricks!

Author: jeanneahlers

I am a happily married mother of two awesome kids, an organic gardener, and small business owner.

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