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The Only Way to Learn is to Live

The Only Way to Learn is to Live


~Wisdom from the Midnight Library~

Over the weekend, I read the Midnight Library, by Matt Haig.

What may have once passed as a “George Bailey” retelling, the story took on a new light through the lens of being a Modern Midlifer.

The main character Nora is afflicted by regrets that lead her to the dark realization that she has nothing and no one to live for.

As a Modern Midlifer (and a Modern Elder!), I read the story as both fiction and non-fiction as a tale of multiple interests and relationships for us to pursue as we continue to grow: having the wisdom to keep learning and living into our adulthoods.

Nora was blessed with intelligence and talent: in psychology, science, music, chess, swimming and more. Maybe even more important were the strong relationships she had at her fingertips. As it comes to be known throughout the story, she is actually very lucky to have so many avenues of pursuit to strengthen her mind, body and spirit.

The Only Way to Learn is to Live

Together we have a long time to live and thus a lot more to learn. According to the Stanford Center on Longevity, the average life expectancy is approaching 79, on its way to 85 by 2050. That equates to an entire adulthood to pursue a current or new passion, interest, skill, relationship or career.

The message to me, in the famous words of Andy Dufresne and later repeated by Red Redding is “Get Busy Living” — and get busy learning.