Last week, Chris went over to our neighbours’ place so he could help them with their uncooperative computer. An hour later, Chris returned with a big smile and an even bigger box. Apparently, our neighbours thanked Chris for his services by gifting him with something that had been hiding away in their basement for the past fifty years – an old accordion.
A new passion was ignited.
Tell me THAT’S not a happy boy with his new toy!
Playing the accordion is definitely not my “cup of tea” but I’m telling you, Chris (Schmengie) is so excited about it. This musical husband of mine sat down at the kitchen table and proceeded to spend the next couple of hours learning how to play the accordion from Youtube videos.
As fascinated as I am watching Chris find his way around all those black buttons on the left side of the accordion, listening to a newborn accordion player is like listening to a teenage boy learn how to play drums – it’s painful. I’ve decided to conveniently start timing my gym workouts when the accordion lessons begin in our home BUT I have to say that it makes my heart happy to see Chris enjoy this new challenge. He is learning a new skill and he’s passionate about it – he’s motivated to learn and dedicated to the process.
Isn’t that what life long learning is all about?
I love this quote from Ralph W. Sockman: “the larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.”
We all need to remain curious as we get older. Life is an adventure and there is always something to learn. When we start learning, we stop living – every experience, every relationship and every every has something to teach us. Thomas H. Huxley gives wise advice when he encourages us to “try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” I reluctantly admit that it is not uncommon for me to google for a quick answer to trivia these days but real learning takes more than Google. Real learning takes time and discipline. Chris is learning how to play accordion, one friend is learning how to ball room dance and another friend is interested in learning how to walk on a tightrope. I’m still learning how to write books, I recently took on the challenge of club coaching a struggling Toastmaster club, and I’m fascinated by the ice fishing history of Lake Simcoe.
Whatever “turns your crank” – learn about it.
I recently read that several Toronto universities will waive all or part of your tuition fees if you are over sixty and want to go back to school – I think that’s brilliant – it communicates the value of life long learning.
So, back to Chris’ new passion – anyone need a newbie accordion player while you’re learning how to polka?