Are You an Old Dog?  Have You Learned Any New Tricks Lately?

By Brenda Clark Hamilton, MA Ed.
My dad, Jack Clark, is 77 years old.  I don’t think he’d be too offended if I said that his age might just qualify him as an ‘old dog’.  As he says, “It’s better than the alternative.”

About 10 years ago, Dad was debating whether he should take the leap and purchase his first computer.  At that time, his hands had never touched a keyboard and he had no idea how to ‘surf the web’.

After a little convincing from his daughters, Dad purchased his first computer in the early 2000’s.  On the phone with me yesterday, Dad repeated what he’s told me numerous times over the last few years:  “How did I ever get along without my computer?”

As my mom—his wife of 54 years—can attest to, Dad loves his computer.  A former grain farmer still active in the business side of things, he’s able to check the weather and markets in an instant, and he can access the list of CD interest rates for banks across the nation to get the most competitive rates.  He checks his grandsons’ state golf rankings during the season, and he receives regular emails from us girls.  He even added a new favorite recently in checking the Midwest Speakers Bureau site for any updates on his daughter.

Okay, so Dad’s an old dog, but he certainly has been happy that he added a new trick to his repertoire several years ago.

What about you?  When is the last time that you added a new skill or an invigorating hobby in your life? 

One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou, who says, “The woman who challenges herself to invent herself daily displays sublime creativity.”  For women and men both, one of the things that keeps us vibrant throughout our lives is having a willingness to pick up new skills, knowledge, and activities, and to stretch our comfort zone on an ongoing basis.

I encourage you today to think of what new trick you could add to your repertoire.  You may not know what you’re missing out on.

P.S.  Hey, Dad, I know you’re reading this on your computer.  Sorry about the ‘old dog’ comment…

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