Today I Give Myself Permission To Be Curious #atozchallenge

Letter CSome people are content with being an expert in what lies behind their front fence.  Then there’s me.

Whilst I enjoy my home and my front yard, my imagination and thoughts have always had a wider calling. I have always believed that good things lie beyond my front fence and that the world offers endless possibilities for the curious. I remember that in my circle of friends growing up there was always one fascinating individual who knew a lot about a lot. In those days, given that we were not of driving age, that knowledge would have come from reading a wide range of sources. From science fiction to world politics, this dude understood it all. As a result, he was fascinating to be around and fascinating to talk to.

These days, I feed my curiosity in various ways. Reading blogs on a wide variety of different topics is but one. It is certainly refreshing to be able to hear different viewpoints from sources other than the mainstream media. Our press here seems to have a developed a homogeneity to it and what I personally feel is an element of intellectual snobbism. Information and news should be accessible, digestible and debatable by all but that’s a whole other topic and blog post. Another favorite way is to talk to people I haven’t spoken to before. You never know where such a conversation will lead, what nugget you may glean.

Remaining open and receptive is key.

When I first starting work after graduating from university, I found that I missed academic learning. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of learning to be done on the job, but most of that was of a practical nature. I

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

craved something that involved digging a little deeper. So after a year out, I returned to undertake postgraduate studies and my curiosity was appeased for a time. Then came children and my learning curve and curiosity transcended a whole other level. However, in our little work team, I was the one that would ferret out new developments and report them. The ferreting was a welcome distraction from the day-to-day churn.

Then there’s the curiosity about other lands and cultures. Travel just ticks so many boxes. I see a lot of it in the future of my second act.

Curiosity in my midlife years has taken on new life and new urgency as the search for answers and new ideas escalates. I love having a variety of teachers, from the very young to the very old. We can learn something from everybody, whether they deliver the lesson with eloquence, articulation or just gesticulation.

And just to show that I’m still totally insane curious, I have just started a new course of postgraduate university study in a field that is totally different to that in which I work. The last four weeks have been a real eye opener in terms of what learning is like in the technological age and have been wonderfully gratifying even in those moments of pure stress during the submission of my first assignment. Last weekend was a real fun time in our household with mother and son engaging in a fascinating discourse on the Harvard in text method of citation. We both had assignments due either side of Easter – he as a university freshman, me as a postgraduate student. But THE very best thing about this experience is that I am undertaking this course of study simply because I want to. This is purely to expand my world. If something comes out of it in the job sense, then great, if not that’s great too. Whatever the case, I will have gained something other than just a university fee debt.

And remember as an undergrad how you looked upon mature age students as slightly freaky and not quite understanding why? Well, now I AM that mature age student, motivated and grateful for the opportunity to do it all again.

So did curiosity really kill the cat? I think not.

 curiosity killed the cat

 Are you curious by nature? Would you ever contemplate undertaking further formal study? Maybe you are already engaged in further formal study. If so, I would love to hear from you!

Today I give myself permission to be curious.

About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

37 thoughts on “Today I Give Myself Permission To Be Curious #atozchallenge

    • Thanks Hugh. I was thinking of your blog as I was writing my first assignment. Thinking I would love to emulate your ability to think critically on an issue and articulate your thinking. I always preferred logical thinking and exams over writing papers and I’m now studying an area which is all about writing essay papers. I wanted to push my boundaries and I’m certainly getting that!

  1. Sometimes the curiosity makes it hard for me to function. There’s always something new to study, to read, to experience.
    On the other hand, without being curious about so many things, I’d probabbly be really really bored.

  2. I admire your tenacity and courage to take on further studies. My brain couldn’t cope, I know that for a fact, what goes in doesn’t remain long. I am curious about other countries however and love travelling and curious to see if and how my writing develops, but for knowledge I will be forever one who reads the paper or watches the news now and then…I know how sad am I 😦 Excellent Post and I’m glad you have given yourself permission. 🙂 x

    • We all learn in different ways. These days the means and information are readily available for us to teach ourselves and delve into what we find interesting. It doesn’t matter how you learn or feed your curiosity as long as you do 🙂

  3. Yes, I’m curious – and more so as I, um, age up. 😉 I would definitely engage in formal study if something was that compelling. It’s cool that you and your son were both working on class assignments. Another line of dialogue opened. 🙂

    • Indeed, another bonding road. I chose formal study road because of the doors it could potentially open, but I would have studied this area anyway. If no doors open than that’s fine too, it’s not for career development, but rather for personal development.

  4. “Then there’s the curiosity about other lands and cultures.”—That’s my big one. I love learning about other cultures, whether through travel or reading, preferably the former, but the latter is better for those dangerous lands. 🙂

  5. Great post …. great subject. Curious ??? I suppose I’m because I want to try new recipes .. travel… listen to music … but I’m not as I want to go out there so seek for answers and questions, they will come to me in time *smile
    Good luck with the challenge.

  6. I’m always curious and always asking questions … I wrote a post Curiosity Killed the Cat for Nick Wilford’s anthology .. Overcoming Obscurity … it certainly helped me with my mother’s illness and definitely improved my intelligence! Cheers great C for curious .. Hilary

  7. I have never been so curious as I am now. We have a university in my city and seniors can take any classes they wish to for zero dollars. The only negative side is they cannot obtain a degree afterwards.

  8. I’m still in high school, but I am really looking forward to going to college for the learning experiences.

  9. I think very highly of curious people. It’s the best way to learn — our constant thirst to discover new ways and possibilities. I see no other way. Staying receptive and open to opinions is vital. Even if we don’t always agree on the matter. Yes, I too give myself permission to be curious. 🙂 Now I shall go find your “follow” button.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

    • I love this comment Silvia and agree with you totally. Too many people my age are totally set in their ways. It saddens me that they deny themselves the opportunity to reall listen and see.

  10. I can relate – I have just started writing my master thesis a as mature postgrad student! 😉 Though studying is job-related I do enjoy the journey. In addition, I have maintained some sort of private self-study physics learning program – indulging in theoretical stuff I will definitely never use on the job. And finally social media made me curious about anything. I am watching too many funny videos 🙂

    BTW a very thoughtful post – again!! I would not be able to write such posts on a daily basis!

    • Thanks E. Your wonderfully inquiring mind comes across in your blog and tweets, which is why I love following you. It’s funny what you say about social media. Social media set me on the path of formal study as well. I’m studying media and journalism,

  11. I have toyed with the idea of going on to study, but cannot for the life of me, figure out what I would do… Congratulations on this post, a really captivating and compelling collection of curiosity facts. Loved it! DAF

    • Your comments are becoming cunningly clever :). I had a hard time chosing as well, in the end, I decided to go with something I felt I could be passionate about and ended up going with journalism.

  12. Harvard is easy… try APS referencing systems! Just like Harvard but more confusing. Great post Judy!

  13. Pingback: Today I Give Myself Permission to Explore and Experience #atozchallenge | Raising the Curtain

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