Do you ever feel like you’ve missed the boat?
That you’ve passed your prime and are now too old to pursue a long-held dream?
Maybe you’ve always fantasized about being a published author.
Or you’ve imagined traveling the world.
Learn Italian. Sign up for a pottery class. Take up tennis. Join a book club.
Or perhaps you believe that a certain relationship in your life is forever ruined.
A falling out. A friendship that soured. A family drama that hasn’t been healed.
Your child still isn’t reading. Fractions feel impossible to teach. You’re drowning in self-doubt.
It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of despair and start to believe that you’re too old, or it’s too late, or you’ve messed up too badly.
But I’m here to take you by the shoulders, look you right in the eyes, and firmly say to you,
It is never too late!
Having trouble believing me?
Let’s look at some examples of well-known people who accomplished great success from mid-life to their later years.
Toni Morrison’s first novel, “The Bluest Eye”, was published when she was 39. And while critics sang its praises, it didn’t do very well commercially. She continued writing but it wasn’t until she was 46, that her third novel, “Song of Solomon”, won the National Books Critics Award.
Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until her 30s. And her first cookbook wasn’t released until she was 50. Not long afterward, her television career took off.
Grandma Moses began painting when she was well into her 70s. She took it up when arthritis forced her to give up embroidering. She became one of America’s most famous painters and her paintings have graced the walls of art museums everywhere.
Nelson Mandela was 44 when he entered prison, where he spent the next 27 years.
I’m about to repeat that.
Let’s take a minute and let that sink in.
During his time in prison, Mandela continued to educate himself and advocate for anti-apartheid negotiations. He was 71 when he was released from prison. Once released, he went on to lead the fight to abolish apartheid and eventually served as the first black President of South Africa from 1994-1999.
So once again…
Clearly, it’s never too late.
Now, while it’s inspiring to reflect on the accomplishments of these four famous individuals, I urge you to look for examples of people in your own life.
Can you think of someone who has taken up a new hobby or interest? Maybe you have a friend or neighbor who has recently started going to yoga. Perhaps you have a family member who has decided to pursue a new career path.
I can easily find inspiring examples in my own life.
In 2010, while working on my yoga teaching certification, I often took a regular class where one of the participants was 91.
That is not a typo.
She was 91!
This dynamo of a woman arrived on a regular basis with her yoga mat tucked under her arm and a smile on her face.
My mom volunteers weekly at the Monterey Bay Aquarium where they have over 1,000 volunteers. Many of these volunteers are well into their 70s and 80s, and for several years my mom had a shiftmate who was in his 90s.
My husband started learning Italian in his 40s.
Because, why not!?!
Again, it’s never too late.
I also reflect on relationships.
I know plenty of friends and family members who have experienced their share of betrayal, hurt, and trauma. But many of these relationships have been redeemed over the course of time, with communication and eventually, forgiveness.
I certainly have examples of this in my own life.
You can always try a new routine. Or experiment with a different curriculum or technique. You can reach out for help and seek guidance.
It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot
So here is what I’d like for you to do.
I’d like for you to identify if there are areas in your life where you have that nagging feeling that it’s too late.
Be honest with yourself.
Dreams, interests, relationships, homeschooling.
Is there a change you can make in order to help you achieve any related, desired goals?
Signing up for a class. Reaching out to an old friend. Reevaluating your approach. Trying something new.
Can you take a little step towards reaching this goal?
If you find yourself thinking “It’s too late” in any area of your life, would you let me know? I would sincerely love to encourage you in taking steps to realize your dream.