My secret addiction: A fun, easy way to learn new things on the go

August 2019 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

I have a secret addiction. Well, maybe
it’s not so secret because anyone who spends more than five minutes talking to me knows what it is. I love podcasts. I listen to them all day – or at least I would if I could.

I listen to everything – parenting advice, writing commiseration, cooking and even society and culture talks. I can’t get enough. Sometimes I wonder what I did before there were podcasts to listen to. I mean, otherwise my day would be spent merely doing housework, waiting for those rare moments that I have to myself – I have three young children after all – so that I can either read a book or watch something on TV. With the magic of podcasts I have all day to catch up on just about any random piece of knowledge I ever wanted or – and this is more often the case – never knew I wanted to know.

While I wash the dishes I learn about nature verses nurture – no need for expensive college courses when you have TED Talks at your fingertips. While I fold the laundry I catch up on the best practices for getting your kids to do what you ask – I listen to a lot of these because no matter how many times I hear it, I need to hear it again. And while I cook dinner I always listen to The Splendid Table – my all-time favorite cooking podcast – because what better way to get inspired?

I cannot possibly convey how much podcasts have enriched my life. I loved school from grade school on up through college and I have often missed that amazing feeling of learning something new and then getting the chance to tell others about it – it’s one of the reasons I became a writer.

Now I feel like I’ve got that back but without the pressure. No exams, no papers to write and, more importantly, no tuition. Listening takes not one moment out of my day. In fact, the unforeseen bonus is that my kids are learning too. To be honest, sometimes I forget they are there, so engrossed am I in what I’m hearing, but then they’ll ask a question or retell a story they heard when their dad gets home. What a beautiful way to share chore time.

Now I know not everyone can, or wants to – though I can’t imagine why not! – listen to podcasts. But if you have ever been on the fence about trying them out I cannot recommend them enough. They are free for goodness sake – and so few things are anymore.

If you really can’t find the time to check out a few podcasts, just come find me. In five minutes I will probably regurgitate more podcast factoids than you have ever needed to know. It’s my other new addiction – quoting from podcasts ad nauseam – and to those who appreciate it, you’re welcome.

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