knowing smart people
As time passed, we found we didn't need to start with someone else's lecture. Someone would come in with a short video clip or an idea, and we'd be off to the races, thick in discussion. Since then, things have blossomed. We make world-cuisine potluck meals (bring whatever you feel like, while respecting people's dietary issues) and we enjoy hanging out. In the summer time, we rotated houses and went to outdoor concerts. In the fall, a few folks went off to watch the bird migrations together.
Although most of us have some academic affiliation, we try not to get bogged down in "shop" talk. We are so different in some ways that conversation is inevitable. Our ages range from the mid-30s to mid-60s. The people in the group were born all over the world: Iran, Australia, Egypt, Canada, US, etc. Our religious backgrounds are really different, too. This all makes for rich conversation.
The tendency, as we get older, is to get comfortable in our peer groups. Maybe people hang out with family, friends with common interests, or people from their religious community. These habits tend to keep us from meeting amazing people who might not be just like us. For some, it's just hard to get up off the couch to try something new. The chance for intellectual growth is so great when we push ourselves to reach beyond those usual circles.
Today I was proud to know some of these people. This article about their important Alzheimer's research came out in the local paper. The researchers (my friends) were interviewed on TV news as well. In big ways, some of our friends are making a difference in the world. In small ways, we're helping each other move furniture, cope with job issues, or sharing recipes.
I don't think I could underestimate how it feels to know such clever, intellectually curious people. It's amazing...and, although I often bring my knitting on Sunday nights, sometimes I am just too immersed in stimulating conversation to knit as well. Now, that's saying something.
So, did you know that intellectual growth and activities (like knitting) help prevent Alzheimer's? What are you doing to keep mentally active?