Saturday, December 28, 2013

Keep Learning, Keep Doing, One More Day

Another Pithy Quote from the rocks at Butler Park.

The Visible Woman...learns.

When I am wasting time I try to pass it off as something useful. 

Playing tennis? Every day I can stay on my feet is good, right? "Trot over and pick up that ball," I tell myself. "It's cool you can still trap the ball between your tennis shoe and your racket and smoothly make it bounce into your hand," I marvel. It may seem to others, and some days to me, that I'm not learning anything new. But I am, I swear. My 82-year-old companion for tennis (it is almost always us and two other people) has recently (in the last year I think) begun to aggressively play the net biding her time and making a great angle volley. On her serve I have her go forward. We are old ladies and we are stuck in many habits, but we can evolve.

Wasting time on the puzzles in the newspapers? can learn a new word or fact. Yesterday's The Wall Street Journal crossword (Friday is the only day The WSJ  has a puzzle I like) reminded me of a word. 
abscissa, n.  Mathematics (in plane Cartesian coordinates) the x-coordinate of a point: its distance from the y-axis measured parallel to the x-axis.
I say 'reminded' because, with a degree in mathematics surely I knew this word at one time! I love knowing this even if I only remember for a few hours or until it pops up on Jeopardy! 

Clearning? Around here a lot of cleaning is dusting and straightening books and magazines. I stop and open them at random occasionally just like I do in the book store and read a paragraph or two.

As long as you are learning (and forgetting and learning) you are alive. I know it won't keep the grim reaper (18 down in yesterday's WSJ puzzle: death personified) permanently at bay. I read the obituaries. Mortality is always at hand. No, it just makes still being alive worthwhile.

No comments: