Tuesday, October 6

love where you live: learn something new!

I'm gonna drop a little truth bomb on you: sometimes when you think you're bored with where you live, you're really bored with yourself. One way to kick that sense of malaise in the boo-tay is by seeking out local opportunities to learn something new. There are opportunities for learning and growth no matter what size your "treat yo self" budget may be.

First, is there a college in your area? In my community, there are two outreach centers that offer sattelite courses from major universities, a community college, and a small private college. In addition to traditional academic courses, there are courses in things like CPR, photography, and sign language that would be practical and fun to learn.

As you know if you've been following my yoga journey, I'm a huge fan of my local parks and rec department, and I get ridiculously excited when each season's new course catalog comes out. Our parks and rec offers arts and crafts classes, adult and youth athletics (I really want to take tennis classes in the spring), indoor and outdoor wellness classes, music lessons (I harbor a secret dream of learning to play the banjo), and gardening workshops. Our YMCA also offers some fitness classes I've never tried before, like pilates and kickboxing.

One of my favorite sources of inspiration for fun new things to try is Groupon. I'm not sure if it's true in your area, but around here ladies are going nuts for wine and painting nights. There are a few companies and independent artists who run these events in my area in conjunction with local breweries, wineries, and restaurants. I was sure my painting would look like a three-year-old's finger painting, but instead I have a cute mountain scene worthy of hanging in my upstairs hallway - and a new interest in taking future fine arts classes I never would have had otherwise.

Finally, there are plenty of 100% free opportunities to learn new things in any community. One way to gain new skills is in exchange for service as a volunteer - for instance, someone who has always wanted to learn to ride a horse could spend time shoveling hay at a local therapeutic riding barn, or someone interested in learning abut other countries and cultures could tutor local ESL students. Women's clubs, church groups, and that person you know from work with the crazy talent or hobby provide other cost-free opportunities to learn everything from knitting to beekeeping. There's nothing like learning a new skill for a renewed sense of energy.

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