Are you familiar with those television commercials that show parents dancing in the aisles of an office supply store and celebrating back-to-school with their sad children in the background? That is how a lot of parents feel, myself included, as we approach another back-to-school season. However, my sons aren't sad like the kids in the commercials. They are just as glad to be back in routine and among their own kind as I am.
Let me plant a seed for you with the students going back to school: jump on the back-to-school vibe! Whatever your age or stage, August is the perfect time to take on something new. Try a new class, explore new ideas, develop a new skill. Find a way to somehow expand yourself. Join a club or organization, start painting or playing the guitar, design a computer app. Broaden yourself through reading, yoga, even horseback riding! You should always challenge yourself to learn new things. And our age doesn't matter.
This is true for all of us, parents, adults without kids, and college students. To truly be participating with life, you should never stop learning. Continued learning and growing are fundamental to our overall well-being, vitality, and anti-aging process. Having butterflies or feeling a nervous energy when we try something new is a good thing. As we get older, we tend to stay in our comfort zones and shy away from the risk and uncertainty that would surely promote our growth. We expect our children to explore and expand, so why not ourselves? When you are learning, you are growing.
Simply taking a different route to work or shopping in a different store will break the stagnation. Maybe you've always wanted to make a movie, go out Salsa dancing, or take a kayak out on the lake. Maybe you've always wanted to help animals, join a Toastmasters group, design a computer app, or discover how to be a Medium? Your new learning can be big, like getting your Masters or Ph. D., but it doesn't have to be. Whatever will expand you is perfect.
I am learning some new things this year, and I can feel the butterflies and anxiousness inside of me when I consider what's really happening. It feels very much like the first day of school. I'm nervous, but that is how I know I am growing. Push yourself into something new, too. It will be worth the uncomfortable feelings in the beginning Eventually, your confidence will soar as will your new found excitement!