Bocce Ball and the Joy of Learning

My birthday was a little over a week ago, and my husband actually got away with setting up a surprise party for me.  I went to the party location under the guise that we were going to use a “Happy Birthday” coupon for a free dinner.  It was wonderful to see the many people who have meant, do mean, and always will mean something important to me (and the cake and dancing were great too)!

I want to mention one particular gift:  a bocce ball set.  I sent out all my gift “thank yous,” and when it came to the bocce ball set, I said something like “”Thank you so much for the bocce ball set.  I don’t know how to play it, but, heck, learning yet another sport is a great idea!  Ha ha ha!”

I added the “ha ha ha” because I hike, I play tennis and badminton, I shoot pool, do yoga, race a sailboat and work out…and do at least one of these daily.  But then I thought about my “joke” and realized it IS a very good idea to learn yet another “whatever” all the time.  Part of the joy of being alive (and a large part of what keeps your brain and body healthy and your mood positive) is having purpose in your life and learning something new all the time.

People who don’t continue to grow, be challenged, learn and be involved in activities tend to “contract,” have depression problems, and compromise the quality of their aging and actual life span.

So, while this blog is not an ad for bocce ball, it is a suggestion (and don’t forget who’s making it!) for you to constantly challenge yourself with everything from crossword puzzles to chasing butterflies.  The more you are invested in the opportunities of living, the more you will enjoy it and be alert and happy.