Old Dogs and New Tricks

I went to an art opening the other night, a photography school in the city.  I was invited by a friend, who had a friend exhibiting in the show.  The exhibitor was a woman in her fifties, married with 3 teenage/adult children and 2 teenage/adult step children.  She had a wonderful career as an architect and decided that she wanted to have a change of pace, so she quit her job and went back to school to learn photography.  At fifty something.

Sometimes, we think of being in our 50’s and above, or being empty nesters, as the end of the road.  Why do we do this?  Fear, society, I don’t know.  But we do- many people look at the second half of their life and sigh with resignation.  We need to stop doing that.  You know in a sporting event, how many second half comebacks there are?  And aren’t those come backs the most thrilling to watch and experience?  Well, it’s time for our comebacks.

As my writing class nears its conclusion, I noticed that the younger participants have dropped out, literally and figuratively. (to be fair, one of the older participants did as well)  Last night, the only ones to do the writing assignment were the over 35’s.  Why?  I don’t know- I didn’t take a poll, but I’d say the younger ones are either not ready to be writers (writing is really, really hard) or realized that they don’t want to be writers.  Which is great that they figured this out.

But let’s focus on the over 35’s.  They want to write.  They’re writing.  They’re taking classes.  They’re improving.  This includes me.  We want to do it.  We can do it.  We will do it.

So here’s the PSA- we can virtually start over now.  Age doesn’t matter.  We’re not ready to be pushed aside and looked over.  We can do anything.

So if you want to pursue a degree in something- go for it.  I mean you Carol(e) sorry- can’t remember how you spell your name, but I think you should become a phycologist, or at least study it- you love it.  And anyone else who has a passion or a yearning- it’s not too late to try.  We are not too old.  Go be whatever you want to be.  There are a plethora of online classes now- you could be in a yurt somewhere in the middle of nowhere, but if you have a viable internet connection, you can study Chinese cooking or art history or virtually anything.  Go to school, buy a book, join a group.  Get back in the game.

Here’s the best thing about being older- we have a much better understanding of who we are as people.  Our life experience has made us stronger and smarter.  We know how crappy life can be and we learned how to bounce back- no one makes it to fifty without a few setbacks.  And because we have a better understanding of who we are, we have a better idea of who we want to be.

I want to be a writer.  I don’t know if I will succeed, but I’m going to try.

What do you want to be?  Isn’t it worth a try?

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I’m too Old for That

I play this silly app, Design Home (where I get to live out my fantasy of being Joanna Gaines for 20 minutes a day) and when I was voting the other day, I noticed an interesting screen name: “I’m too old to play this game”.  Now, I’m not too old to play the game, but I thought about other things I am too old to do.

  1. Wear stilettos.  Yes, I know I look hot in them, but really, standing in heels is not something I want to do
  2. Maintain my hair in it’s natural brunette state.  Vanity has precluded me from going grey, so I have turned to the shade that has more fun.  If you knew me, you would know that blonde is the last thing I ever thought I would be.  And I’ve always been fun…
  3. Be petty.  Of course, just because I’m too old for it doesn’t mean I’m never petty.
  4. Be mad at my parents for parenting mistakes, or things they did.  It’s done.  My life is my responsibility.
  5. Care what others think of me.  Frankly, you are too old for this on the day you are born.
  6. Eat after 9pm.  Seriously, there’s logic behind the early bird special.
  7. Leave the house without a list of everything I’m supposed to do, buy or see.  And list should be in chronological order.
  8. Finish a book that I hate.  I used to have this thing about finishing every book I started- it only succeeded in making me miserable.
  9. Argue with my husband about stupid things.  It’s never worth it.
  10. Accept an invitation to something because I’m “supposed to”.  Unless I can think of a valid reason as to why I am “supposed to”.
  11. Shop at Forever 21.  I realize the name implies that I’ll always be 21, but I can’t fathom shopping at the same place my daughter does.
  12. Sit in the direct sun at the beach.  Or sit on a blanket on the sand.  I like an umbrella and a chair.  Call me a Princess.
  13. Hold on to anger.  It doesn’t mean I can’t get angry (you may have read a rant or three of mine) but it does mean I have to let it go.
  14. Hold on to sadness. Same rules apply.
  15. Pretend I am younger than I am- why bother?  What’s wrong with the age you are?
  16. Obsess about my looks.  When I say obsess, I mean constantly wondering why I don’t look the same as I did 20 years ago.  The goal is to be healthy and take care of myself.
  17. Snapchat.  Seriously- anyone over the age of 30 that says they know what snapchat is, is lying.
  18. Ski.  I know I’m not too old for this, but I just don’t like skiing.
  19. Engage is discussions about politics or religion.  No good can come from this.  Everyone is entitles to their own opinion.
  20. Play tennis with my daughter and win.  Two years ago, I was able to beat her.  Winning is now a distant memory.  She is faster, stronger, and I hate to admit this, smarter than me.

Don’t worry- there will soon be a list of things I am NOT too old for!