Don’t retire, Refire: Be Curious

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

February, while a short month, tends to drag, just like January did, at least it does for those who long for the warmer weather.

How are we spending these short, cold days until Spring rolls around?

Many of us hibernate, becoming sedentary, eating too much, drinking too much, sitting too much and basically becoming couch potatoes.

As the days slowly get longer and warmer, we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and suddenly, spring is upon us.

What do we do in the meantime to avoid the “couch potato” doldrums?

There is an alternative approach that is uplifting and also enlightening and maybe something that has probably been far from our minds for a very long time.

That approach can be summed up in one word. Curiosity.

Have you ever been blessed and had the sheer pleasure of watching, listening and interacting with a child?  They are full of curiosity. Sadly, often times, through the years we put that part of us on the back burner and then forget about it.

I love what Eleanor Roosevelt said, I think at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.

As someone who is on the other side of “the hill”, I can tell you, from my experience that staying youthful of mind and body is all about staying curious, asking questions, learning new things and generally being hopeful and grateful.

While I disagree with Albert Einstein when he says he has no special talent, I DO agree with the second part. I have not special talent. I am only passionately curious.

I FULLY agree with Albert’s quote, The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.

If you’ve watched Jeopardy recently, you’ve heard Ken Jennings ask Amy Schneider, the forty day winner, how is it that she knows so much. Her answer was perfect! She said, “I’m curious about so much!” Bingo!!!!

To list what you’re curious about is a far better way to spend your days. Actually, making the list is half the fun. Then go down your list and decide what avenue is the best way to satisfy your curiosity on that particular item or subject. Google is my friend! When I’m not sure of a definition or a pronunciation or an explanation or even something as silly as wanting to know how old a celebrity is, I turn to Google.

There are other search engines and ways to find out information, as well. It’s also a great way to interact with people. I have witnessed some lively conversations that started with a curiosity question!

According to Punxsutawney Phil, we have six more weeks of winter, which may sound like a lot, but the days are getting noticeably longer.

Think of this half way point as a glass half full or half empty. How you look at your glass will determine whether your spirit feels light or heavy.

If you’ve been hibernating up until now, you have time to switch gears, rekindle your curiosity about everything, and look towards a better outcome as Spring will be here before you know it!

I leave you with one more quote from Albert Einstein; There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

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