Lifelong Learning


My parents were both teachers, so I grew up in a home that placed education and a love for learning high up on the priority list. I realized pretty early on in adulthood how much that helped me in my future work and life experiences. We always had reference materials available and were encouraged to use them, not just for doing our homework and writing papers for school, but also just to learn something new – for fun!

The love of learning has been in my make up since as early as I can remember. When computers became a staple in offices and then homes, I delved right in to learn on my own.  With the advent of Google and all the resources available at our fingertips and anywhere with the smartphone, I have relished all the opportunities for gaining further insights and knowledge.  The ASTRA website alone houses a wealth of resources for learning – webinars, books, articles and discussion topics from our members – all from which I have learned and continue to learn.

Last December, I was working on a project and through some research, I learned an amazing simple thing I could do on my new computer that would save me a great amount of time and frustration in the future. I said to myself, “Wow, you learn something new every day.” That’s when it hit me – yes, I do learn something new every day and I probably don’t even realize it!

Thus my new year’s resolution for 2016 was born. Beginning on January 1, I began making the conscious effort to pay attention to what I have learned each day and write it down in my planner. It keeps me constantly on the alert to what I may not have otherwise paid attention to. The entries include things related to work – a new computer program, a new app – and things more in my personal life – a new recipe, a new fact about a friend or even one of my own children. Every so often I look back at what I’ve written and remind myself to use the knowledge I have gained more often.

We live in a world full of new things to learn every day, not only from outside resources but also from all those around us.  Give it a try.  You may not be up for the year commitment, but try it for a week and share your answer to the question: “What have you learned recently?”

Sue Warfield is the Director of Member Relations at ASTRA. With more than 30 years of experience in the retail and toy business, Sue offers insight into industry trends and tips and works to connect the retailers, sales representatives, manufacturers and affiliates in the specialty toy retailing arena.
 Contact Sue at

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