August 4, 2019

About the Author: Sarah Lodge

Sarah describes herself as a “traveller that got carried away with travelling”. Most young travellers maybe take a couple of years out but Sarah took 17. Those years took her far and wide across our planet meeting people of all creeds and colours and had “far too much of a good time” seeing all the best and some of the worst our world has to offer. She then used all the knowledge she gained in a 14-year career passionately selling long-haul travel from both London and New Zealand. She is now a PA to 3 Barristers in the heart of the law industry in London. Beyond her work life, she loves to get creative with painting, photography and writing. She is a great advocate for keeping your brain active and enjoying hobbies and firmly believes in re-creating yourself when you need to. Sarah says it’s too easy to write yourself off as too old, useless and not capable when actually change is as good as anything once you put your mind to it. Sarah likes to keep active mainly through cycling and a local gym, but is always open to new ideas and trying new things including great food and wine. Sarah lives in South East London at present but looks forward to the day when she has a view of an ocean to inspire her lifestyle and creativity further.

I will imagine that you are at a stage in your life when you are quite content: you know your job role and you know if you want to progress there will be extra training provided and promotions to aim for. You have a wonderful home and a lifestyle you are happy with. Your friends and family keep you busy. You think you are fulfilled.

You learnt how to walk, how to drive, how to cook a while ago. You know how to ride a bike, build a wall or may even be a contender for Mastermind with your knowledge of the cause and effect of World War 2…

Or maybe, you are just someone that just doesn’t want to learn any more than they know already.

But maybe, just maybe, you are hungry for more learning? Would you even know if you were until you tried? If you are reading then you must be at least curious.

Some people have high-powered jobs and need all their brainpower to keep them on the ball. But what if they found a way to balance all the work stress with a new skill but not in the corporate zone so much. Maybe found in your creative side. It is a known stress buster to channel negative energy into positive by learning a new skill i.e a beautiful instrument that you enjoy. And if you learn well and play well you will overcome negative stress by being able to take it out on the keys (within reason!) and create a wonderful sound for you and others around you to enjoy. Even singing is known as stress relief. Whatever beat you prefer, be it rock and roll or hip hop.

But channelling some extra energy into learning will benefit you in more ways than one. The self-fulfilment aspect being the greatest, the health benefits such as emotional well-being, cognition and hearing function being secondarily very good for you and then the added extras like meeting people through group sessions or social events. Maybe the joy of playing in front of an audience one day.

Learning inevitably gives you another string to your bow (excuse the pun), another thing on your “I can…” list.

It could increase your income at some point. If you’d like to earn out of your new-found skill. It will most definitely increase your self-confidence and social scene, therefore making for a happier you. It could lead to you tackling other things on that To Do list.

What about people with time on their hands? Kids have grown up and fled the nest. Partners working odd hours, partners have an interest that doesn’t interest you. Maybe a partner has passed on. Retirement makes for a lot of time on one’s hands. Now there is time to fill. We must all admit daytime TV is monotonous. Filling that time with learning something new at any age will be advantageous in so many ways. Learning when you have an illness, depending on the scale of one’s illness, can be very helpful, taking your mind off any pain at the very least. Filling long days with new skills and new friends can only be food for the soul and healthy for the brain. There are so many courses in adult learning centres you can go choose which ones take your fancy. That internal voice that keeps whispering to you. “hmm I’d love to know how to cook Indian food or play the piano” can finally be silenced!

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

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