March 24th, 2014

A Bucket List of Learning

At first, I thought she had been abducted by aliens. Or, more urgently, had run out of coffee. Either way, my phone was telling me I actually had a text from my mother, the woman notorious for always carrying her cell phone…in the off position.  But here, with formatting and grammar to make Emily Post proud, was a family birthday party invitation from my mother.  In the form of a text message!

After recovering from the shock and consulting my sisters, I learned this new skill had been born strictly out of necessity. My brother never answers a ringing phone (only a beeping text) and my mother was tired of being ignored. Those who don’t adapt see their grandchildren less.

Beyond practicality, this need to learn and grow throughout life can spring from untapped potential, latent desire or childhood dreams.  If you still wish you had pursued a writing career or gotten that certification in project management, it’s never too late.  The library now offers free online, instructor-led courses designed to boost your skills both personally and professionally.   Through Learn4Life, you can explore topics such as:

– Start Your Own Small Business
– Teaching Smarter With Smart Boards
– Start Your Own Edible Garden
– CompTIA Security+ Certification Prep
– Secrets of Better Photography
– Explore a Career in Medical Coding

Or, in my mother’s case, the course aptly titled “Get Assertive!” might just kick-start her plan for a summer vacation with the grand-kids. At least until my brother catches on…

What topics are on your to-learn bucket list?

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August 19th, 2013

Status: Type-A with Nothing to Do

Zinio bookmark-1

In less than one week, my son will be starting ninth grade and, as much as it pains my type-A soul, I admit I was flummoxed. Where was the list of unfindable school supplies, the needed nagging to finish required summer reading or the last-minute dash to replace too-small cleats? The year I thought he would need me the most, the back-to-school routine turned into a blank to-do list.

Intoxicated by my first ever mall-free end of summer vacation, I dusted off the always handy auxiliary to-do list. At the top, highlighted and underlined, lay “cancel magazine subscriptions and download free magazines from the library.” Optimism shined as bright as the sun as I reclined on the porch and powered up.

Guilt-free, I opened up my Zinio app, primed to save a few dollars and explore the selection of periodicals. I plunged right in and what started as browsing soon became quite a binge. Only when the “what’s for dinner call” rang out did I realize that a whole new list of complicated, unwieldy projects had been added to my to-dos. I couldn’t have been happier.

Replace kitchen countertop—Family Handyman
Repurpose beer tap into garden fountain—Country Gardens
Lose belly fat in two weeks!—Shape
Try bacon-wrapped corn recipe—Food Network’s 50 Ways to Make Corn on the Cob
Start watching Duck Dynasty—US Weekly
Create all homemade Christmas gifts—Best Ideas for Christmas
Learn to crochet—Interweave Crochet
Plan 2014 summer vacation—Hawaii? National Geographic Traveler

What have you discovered in Zinio (and what’s on your to-do wish list because of it)?

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