Role Models Help
I am fortunate to have wonderful role models in my family who are of the “you are never to old to start something new” school of thought. My parents, my brother and my husband have never thought of their age as a consideration when they started something new. My mom went to college and got a BA in Dancing and became a professional modern dancer in New York City in her 20s. After she had my brother and me, she went back to college to get a second BA in History before she went on to Law School to become an attorney before she was 40. That was a number of years ago now, but that hasn’t stopped her from trying new things. In her late 70s she took up the harp. Yes, you heard me right. She has a lovely harp (just about as big as she is) and she takes lessons each week with a lovely instructor. She even meets with a group of other harpists and they play rounds together.
Changing Directions Or Adding New Skills
It may be that you are interested in changing your career. Or it may be you just want to add a skill to your repertoire. Either way, you are never too old to do it. My dad has always been very musical. He started as a flutist and then took up cello and violin sometime in his 50s and then began conducting in his late 60s. He has also worked in different mediums throughout his art career from pen and pencil to ink to oil to woodcuts in addition to his writing about science and art. Come to think of it, he got an EE degree at MIT then got a second degree in a very different field—Aesthetics at NYU. My brother, a successful computer scientist, changed directions and took up acting in his 40s. They are quite a marvelous inspiration to me and to us all! The breadth of what they have tried at different ages is amazing.
Getting Training Helps
My husband is another fabulous example of the “you are never too old” school. He has always been an excellent writer in his engineering field, but he found the joy of writing about gardening in his 50s. He also took up the trumpet in his 50s. He found an amazing instructor and is so devoted to his craft and committed to practicing. I have tried on a number of hats myself. Wedding Celebrant in my 50s. Professor in my 20s. Life Coach in my 40s. These careers required different skills and so I got more education. I love to sing and though I played a little flute and piano as a kid—and I had the requisite lessons—I’ve never been really great at musical instruments other than my voice. I’ve dabbled with the guitar in recent years, but although I certainly am not too old for that, I haven’t sought out training. And more importantly, I never truly committed myself to practice. And that is indeed a significant point.
Whatever Your Age, You Must Commit Yourself
It doesn’t matter how old you are when you try something new. But at whatever age you are, if you truly want to make an attempt at the new endeavor, you must commit yourself to it. You must practice and dive into whatever it is you want to try. You must get the training that is needed. You must be fierce. No excuses about age. Because unless there are real physical limitations, there is no reason why you can’t take up something new at whatever age you are. Think about it, if you were to take up something new each decade of your life, you would amass such a rich and joyful life filled with different experiences. It can be for a career change. Or it can be just for fun.
What are you going to try on this year?