Well, after much pleading by friends and colleagues I had a professional photograph taken to put on my website. Alex Lowy, the photographer was wonderful. He arranged for a makeup artist, Kathleen Scanlon, to make me “camera ready”, he placed the lights just right, chose the clothing that would complement my coloring, then set the camera speed just for me. With one click I was immortalized on film! Then Alex said “ I’ll do just a little touch up. With this camera I can erase your lines and wrinkles.” My first thought was “Yes! Make me younger and wrinkle-free!”. Then reality set in. If he erased those lines and wrinkles you wouldn’t be seeing the real me. Those lines and wrinkles are part of my life’s experiences and what I learned from them. I’ve learned a lot! I’m a mother and a grandmother (that alone is a learning experience). I have waited tables, sold Avon, worked for several large organizations, taught internationally, and owned several businesses. Through all of these experiences I increased my knowledge and skills and acquired more wrinkles.
Webster defines learning as “acquired wisdom, knowledge or skill”. Consider the things you learned yesterday, the new skills you used, the bits of information you came across that made you go, hmmm. From birth to old age our mental abilities depend on us using our brain. Use or lose it is the phrase we hear. We need to challenge our mind to keep learning. Learning new things. Expanding our knowledge base. The more we learn the more we grow personally and professionally and the more successful we become at work and in life.
I challenge you to acquire some more lines and wrinkles and to share the ones you have with others. More than 500 organized lifelong learning institutes at colleges and universities exist throughout the U.S., serving an estimated 150,000 older learners. In addition, with more than 75,000,000 Americans expected to turn 65 within the next six years, a new generation of students has been making an appearance at colleges and learning institutes around the country. Join the crowd. Add to your professional knowledge with career building programs and college level courses. Add to your personal knowledge by learning something totally new for you – musical instrument, dance, sports. Learn something just for fun. Expand your knowledge. Strain your brain. Widen your world. Be proud of your wrinkles – you’ve earned them.
Oh and just an FYI, my latest wrinkle is a Certificate in Forensic Psychology which enhances my understanding of people development and increases my skills in behavioral interviewing. I know there are more wrinkles to come..stay tuned.