These years in our late fifties and early sixties are kind of like the rush to clean up the house before company arrives. You know how you’ve known all week that company is coming for the weekend, but you just can’t muster the motivation to get up off your duff and do the things that need to be done until late Friday evening and Saturday morning, just before the guests arrive? You know that feeling?
Well, that’s what this age is like for me. I know I’ve spent plenty of time doing things that needed to be done but many of those activities weren’t necessarily what I truly wanted to be doing. Lots of stuff was done by default, habit, and even laziness. Lots of stuff was done to help others manage their lives better and I don’t regret much of any of it. But now I know it is late Friday night, and Saturday morning is just a few hours away. If I’m going to get stuff done that is truly meaningful to me, it’s time to get up off my default and do those things!
Now here’s something that is important to remind ourselves of in these years–or maybe before we remind ourselves, we first need to convince ourselves that it is never too late to pursue our interests. Maybe it’s true we will never be a good enough musician to play in Carnegie Hall if we’ve never even picked up an instrument. But it’s never too late to pick up an instrument and learn to play. There are so many things that I wish I’d studied and practiced through the years when I was on default. But those years are gone and all I have is today. The good news is, my brain still functions and I can focus on learning those things now. And the more I learn, the more flexible my brain is and so the more I can learn. And at this age, I finally can claim more of my time as my own.
There are all kinds of things I’m going to expand my explorations: painting, drawing, cooking, dancing, blogging, writing, gardening. I always had too many things to pursue but now, one by one, or two by two or three, I will jump in, dig in, get my hands dirty while I learn and develop more skill with these things and any others that strike my fancy. The most important thing here is to remember, nothing is off-limits. I can learn about anything I want during these truly Golden Years.