How does one know if s/he is curious?
If one isn’t curious, should s/he be?
Is curiosity something one either is or is not?
Can one learn to be curious?
To answer that last question, yes, you can learn to be curious! But why? Why bother being curious? After all, it did kill the cat, right? More on that later….
It is essential to maintain one’s curiosity in the aging process; the moment one feels that there is nothing that motivates us to keep learning, there is boredom. Curiosity leads to long-term benefits such as better memory, improved relationships, it inspires creativity, improves healthcare and generally makes one a more adventurous and interesting person. Besides, curiosity is the cure for boredom!
So how does one go about becoming, developing or expanding one’s curiosity?
- Be interested. Our natural instinct is to keep life in the realm of manageability, thereby missing some amazing things happening right around us! Being “interested” is a conscious decision to become aware of things that go on around you on a regular basis. Brewster provides a variety of activities geared towards special interests that you might find inspiring to check out – woodworking, writing, sewing, painting, gardening, reading, etc.
- Be humble. Ask questions! Do not be so proud that you cannot learn something new. Attend a Caregiver’s support group (every 2nd Tuesday/10am/Chapel) to ask questions and share encouragement or visit with a Washburn student to learn more about some technology that you want to use (every 3rd Friday/2pm/EV CR).
- Look. “Looking” is the beginning; then “noticing,” then “seeing.” Looking is intentional. Looking can become a habit. Look at things around you – colors, architecture, the weather, how does the chair that you’re sitting in feel? Look for things of little significance; then you can begin to notice and see things of more significance. Learn more about this skill by visiting the class on Mindfulness (every 2nd Monday/2pm/Chapel) or go to an art class with Sam Banks (Tuesdays/1pm/KAC) and let her teach you how to literally look at things differently than you ever have before.
- Ask…. Ah! How simple is that? Once you begin asking questions, other questions will follow. Who doesn’t like to be asked about something that they know about or what they think about something? You can always practice asking questions every weekday at 9:00am at the Brewster Bean over coffee while chatting about whatever is on your mind! Or attend the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute lecture on the Brewster campus and learn about the Lusitania shipping disaster (Jan 17/1pm/CAC) and the Andre Doria tragedy (Jan 24/1pm/CAC)
- GO and explore. Literally, take a step out of your comfort zone to experience more! Maybe sign up for a Day Out to Kansas City (Wednesday, Jan 25) with Brewster Connect, or ride the shuttle from Brewster’s campus to hear the Topeka Symphony’s “The Great Lover” program at White Concert Hall (Saturday, Jan 21/6:45).
- Try things. Along with exploring, trying new things is a way to become more curious. Attend the Washburn Music Student Program (Tuesday, Jan 17/7pm/CAC) and perhaps hear a different genre of music, try a Tai Chi Fall Prevention class with Julie Schmanke (Tuesdays/11:30/WWC), read a different kind of a book, or try playing a new game like Rummikub (Tuesday, Jan 17/6:30pm/EV BB and Fridays/1:30pm/EV BB), PickleBall (Fridays/2pm/CAC) or Bridge (card games Mondays 1pm/RW and 1:30pm/EV BB)!
- And of course, if nothing else, READ. Books will trigger your imagination, which will lead to asking questions and learning and exploring and trying new things, meeting new people, and considering new thoughts. Brewster has a wonderful library right on campus, or get adventurous and take a trip to the fabulous Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library for a whole new world of curiosities!
To learn more about any of these activities, download the monthly Brewster Connect calendar, found on the home page of our website as well as on the “Happenings” page. Also, check out the weekly calendar on the “Happenings” page for detailed Wellness Opportunities as well as some exercise videos with our own Julie Schmanke!
You can always contact Alyssa Granada for all things Brewster Connect or Jamie Fritz regarding activities on the calendars!
And about that cat…. Did curiosity kill it? Well, no one really knows. But, aren’t you curious now?
How Child-Like Curiosity Can Lengthen Your Life;
Six Surprising Benefits of Curiosity;
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institue courses;
Did Curiosity Really Kill the Cat?;
The Meaning and History of the Phrase “Curiosity Killed the Cat;
The Benefits of Maintaining a Curious Mind in Older Age;
Old Age Starts Where Curiosity Ends – Exploring Your Mind;
Concerts: 2022-2023 Season – Topeka Symphony Orchestra;
Three Ship Disasters of the 20th Century: The Titanic, the Lusitania, and the Andre Doria;
Curiosity Is an Act of Worship;