I can’t play the piano (I did take lessons when I was 12  along with my next youngest sister and the teacher hated me and loved her…well, my sister did practice but still…), I don’t speak another language (ask my spouse who relied on my high school French on our honeymoon in Paris…it turns out mostly what I can say is “Je voudrais une aqua minérale avec gazeuse” –  well, at least we never went thirsty), I don’t really like Sudoku although I know I should (I do like the Set Daily Puzzle so I guess my brain isn’t total mush) and I love to read.  What am I getting at?  Okay, I am reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova (she was a Spring Fling author but I am just getting to it now despite rave reviews from friends).  It’s about a woman who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at 50 years old.  Now, I will not be 50 soon (as in not in a few days) but it is looming large on the horizon…actually, I feel like it is already in the room.  Funny, how charming it is to go to someone else’s (!) 50th birthday party and how un-charming it feels to think about your own.  But I digress…

So I am a little freaked out by the thought of aging and maintaining brain function – I know that has nothing to do with preventing Alzheimer’s which is genetic…let me just go…I also know that to keep ourselves sharp we should keep learning.  I have friends who inhale Sudoko (sharp, so sharp) and others who are taking music or language lessons and that is wonderful.  I am not doing these things and thought at first that I was lacking and not priming my brain (poor, poor brain).

But I did start to learn something new and didn’t even realize it (sharp, so sharp).  When I started this blog I learned how to configure it (not with code, heaven forfend – although I am toying with the idea of a taking a class in it – shh…geek alert) and then I learned about how to promote my blog so that people could find it (CoffeeShopBloggers is a shared blog where I write about that with the super bright and really wonderful Pragmatic Mom) and I started to go on Twitter (tentatively at first) because it seems so silly to tell everyone (anyone!) that I am stuck in traffic or having an iced tea…with lemon no less.  But then I started to get into it.  Two of my sisters talked me into Facebook (not so scary, you can control your privacy settings – really you can), and I was already on Twitter and I had started a blog so it wasn’t such a big deal.  I  joined LinkedIn a while ago but hadn’t really done anything with it.  Just recently (and with apologies to my entire address book), I sent out a mass email inviting people to join me on LinkedIn. There was a button that I pushed and then could not undo. Sigh. Technology is wonderful until you are screaming “Noooo!” at your computer. Lucky that is all I said. Stupid LinkedIn.

So now I am learning social media and can throw around terms like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and HTML ( HyperText Markup Language). I know, impressive, right? I have practiced and screwed up on my own blog so I know what not to do. It is time consuming and interesting and frustrating and fun all at the same time.  I have had hardware crashes and software loops (one of the seven circles of hell is on the internet).  Although I have still not yet made the jump to WordPress.org where I could have ads and make money (!)  –  I am nervous that I will need tech support when so far I just read the FAQs at WordPress.com.  Weirdly, I like to solve stuff even if it means hours…really, hours. I would tell you how many but then you would know how obsessive I am and that is not pretty, so I won’t tell.

I even attended a workshop on social media this week. I dressed in “work clothes” and commuted into Boston and walked with all of the other commuters to my workshop and felt a little like I was play-acting and a little like I would like to do this more often.  I got a lot of good information from the workshop (run by 451 Marketing at a conference room at The Westin Hotel).  Going out of my comfort zone has been working well so far – it isn’t that big of a zone and needs constant expanding.  Have you gone out of your comfort zone? or learned something new? or both? Let me know…

0 comments on “Learning after 40…okay, okay, after 45… is kind of fun…”

  1. Capabilty Mom: You’re a geek, but we love you for it! Thank goodness you’ve found other modes of communication beyond simply talking, bc you’ve certainly pushed that one to the max. Now you can talk and type and tweet all at once. So much to say, so little time!! xo

  2. As a “just over 50” I’m with you on the scary part. I think it’s the same as everything in the body – use it or lose it. I do think there is somehting to be said for blogging and understanding more of the technology – brain stretching is very good. Thanks for all you have done to help me with it all – love the Coffee Shop Bloggers blog and pick up great tips there.

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