Do you ever listen to podcasts? If you had asked me that question a month ago, I would have said no. But not anymore. I have fallen unabashedly in love with podcasts of all kinds. I listen to Barnes and Noble's "Meet the Writers" interviews while doing the dishes, the University of Warwick's "Writing Challenges" while giving Em a bath (in the kitchen sink, since our apartment only has a shower), and Focus on the Family audio episodes while panting on the treadmill.
A bit of a void entered my life when I began staying home with my baby. As much as I love babbling with Em in a chorus of "ba ba ba" and "da da da," sometimes I really just crave intelligent, adult conversation. Podcasts are the solution I found to fill that void. Maybe I don't have time to sit down and read the newspaper very often, but with NPR's informative and hilarious news trivia show, "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me," I have interesting tidbits to talk about with my husband over dinner.
The best part is, you can download hundreds (if not thousands) of podcasts for FREE on iTunes. Topics range from books, food, news, and sports, to philosophy, raising kids, religion, and health...the list goes on and on. I've been relishing 20-minute Yoga Sessions from Yogadownloads.com. Twenty minutes is totally doable! And you can download free Pose Guides with each episode, in case there's a pose you're unfamiliar with. I told my husband I'm designing my own college courses, with programs like "Stuff You Missed in History Class" and "French for Beginners." Podcasts are a simple way to continue learning and strengthening the muscle that is my brain, now that I no longer find myself in a formal classroom setting very often. As an added bonus, there's no homework.
If you don't have an iPod, you can listen to podcasts on your computer, or burn them to CDs. If you don't have a computer...you can borrow mine :) Really, it might be worth buying an iPod simply to listen to podcasts. Anything that has the potential to make it so you don't dread household chores, exercising, or long drives is absolutely worth investing in.