Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what I want to write about at this quiet, still dark time of the day at 4 am. That’s my wake-up time, thanks to our new puppies favorite time to rise and shine. My habits have greatly changed during these last three months, shifting from sleeping in every morning and then staying up until 2 am. Now I get up way too early and start my writing and plan out my very busy day. By the time my husband gets up, I’ve written articles for both of my websites, “DogTales.blog” and “EmbracingLife.blog” and still have loads of time left.
It’s a full and rewarding life that I have finally established after the sale of our beloved business, “The Pooch,” in Denver in 2014. This is a much needed change, after sitting around for three years doing absolutely nothing more than playing video games and watching TV all day. Other than our playtimes with our grandkids, I had no purpose in life. My years of consulting and owning our business were over. I was coasting through life, bored and slowly gaining weight after struggling to lose 100 pounds twice in my life.
So why I am sitting here looking at a pile of paper, the various application forms and requests for transcripts and IT instructions for my new college, Grand Canyon University? Because I never finished the business degree that I started 44 years ago as a young girl out of high school. I’ve had that dream lurking in the back of my head all my life. I am still hungry for the knowledge of things that I know nothing about and yet do not really need.
I took the free “School of Life” route because there was no money for tuition in my family, yet my parents made too much money to apply for any student loans and my high school advisor didn’t tell me about the “free” money sources through scholarships. However, I had great success in my career, learning everything I could about accounting, finance and strategic visioning from the most talented mentors around.
I have always loved to read and research so my folks bought me the full set of Britannica Encyclopedias in high school. When the annual updates arrived even years later, it felt like Christmas to me. They have been out of print the last five years but they are still available online. My soon-to-be university provides e-books for a very low cost of $85 per class. It’s so much cheaper to produce an electronic copy these days, but I still prefer holding a book in my hands, the musty smell of the paper in the air.
Before I start each story every day, I research what I am going to write about. The internet opened the doors to my search for more knowledge many years ago. But I missed out on the opportunity to sit with other students and have a dialogue with the professors, the social aspect of learning that fuels your life, filling you with the desire to learn even more.
“If we stop learning along the way, our life is over,” a mentor once said to me about 25 years ago. My life is starting over at 62, and I am going to finish my bachelors degree and hopefully my masters in Business Administration. Will it change my earning potential at this point? No, but it will earn something far greater than that. I will have accomplished something that I always dreamed about and was cruelly reminded of every time I filled out a form asking about my level of education, something I was always ashamed of in a life of business success.
Don’t stop learning in life. Fuel your life with the quest for knowledge; a new foreign language, a cooking class, an art class or golf lessons. Or pick up your backpack and head back to school. You are never too old to learn something new!