So I’m sitting in the barbershop, waiting for my youngest when The Rod Temperton Beatwagon comes on in the random play on my headphones (I really DO listen to everything). It’s one of my favorite movie end credit songs, “Never Too Late To Start” from the 1985 buddy cop movie, “Running Scared” with Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal. I turn on my Shazam app to find the lyrics, but no luck. I open Firefox and search. Again, no luck. What I DO find is an article titled, “It’s Never Too Late When It Comes To Your Songwriting Dreams”. Before I know it, I’ve finished it because, as a long-time undiscovered songwriter, my interest had been piqued.
It was a great read that left me thinking about the general message: Forget age, it’s only a number. It’s never too late to start.
But how can that be? I’m 51, overweight, recently been through Aquatic Therapy for an injured shoulder, back and knee (which was finally replaced in April to match the other “new knee”) and taking meds for conditions I never thought I’d have. Many of my health-related social media posts end with “#iAmRoboPop” because as Obi Wan Kenobi described Darth Vader, I’ve become “…more machine than man”. Well, I’m not that bad off, but I DO feel like a walking wreck sometimes.
But hey, C’est la vie.
So I ask again… How can this be true? How can I, in my current state, embark on a new hobby, career or life choice? Certain activities require strength, stamina and agility that I no longer possess. At least not like before. Other endeavors mean investing brainpower and time. Brainpower, I got (I think)! But time. Ooooooh. That’s gonna be a tough one. Exactly how much time DO I have left?
From the moment we enter this world, we’re in the non-stop countdown to our exit. To add insult to injury, no one but God knows our expiration date.
Dear Lord, what’s my final number?
101, if I improve my physical and mental state of well-being?
71, after succumbing to a stroke or heart attack?
51, while- WHOA! Stop there!
Here’s the thing. We don’t know and we CANNOT let that stop us. Whatever it is that you hope to accomplish, don’t be afraid to start, TODAY.
5 years ago I traded in my old “point and shoot” camera for a DSLR and began a journey into the world of photography. I never ONCE in my life saw that coming. Thankfully, although it does require increased physical activity, it’s not 8 hours on a production line. Sure, I may do more walking and standing, but aside from occasional squatting and minor climbing, I work within my limits. The good thing is, those 2-4 hours I dedicate to a photo shoot fly by, leaving me to spend my extended time at my computer desk, editing photos. Not a bad deal, especially when I get paid for doing something I’ve grown to love. I just need it to bring in as much cash as my former day job – give me time (uhhh – “time”).
In 2010, at age 43 I returned to school and forsook all of my NCAA College Gameday Saturdays to get that elusive college degree that I failed to obtain back in the late 80s. Now I proudly brandish that B.S. in Occupational Safety & Health whenever that hiring manager asks, “Do you have a degree?”
Other goals or new hobbies for me?
Well, I plan to get back in the roller rink. It’s been 25 years since I roller-boogied to some funky R&B and I miss it.
I’m working on that Great American Novel! Three, to be exact. I’d also like to learn to play classical or bass guitar.
While we’re talking about music (my first and greatest love), maybe I can assemble an R&B/Funk group, comprised of people my age who just want to jam.
Other than that, I’d like to get into good enough physical condition to run at least a 5K marathon, one last time.
The great thing about it? Since I’m not physically impaired, none of these things are beyond my reach. The challenge is beginning and continuing. And guess what?
Some, I’ve already begun.
You see, what’s most important is that I not allow my age or body to lead me to believe that I can’t, because I CAN! And I have to remind myself that this is for no one else BUT me. It’s not a mid-life crisis. These are dreams that have become real-life projects!
I could go on and on about what it takes to get me motivated, but I’m sure you already know, especially when it comes to you and your dreams. All that I ask and offer is that you dismiss the notion that it’s over. Nothing is over. You may not do it as quickly as you want to, or as effortlessly, or as elegantly, but dagnabit, you can still do it! (I like saying “dagnabit” because no one else says that anymore, other than Yosemite Sam)
- Identify your actual desire and what it will take to accomplish it.
- Take inventory of your body’s condition and your mind’s faculties so you know the effort(s) required.
- Budget and carve out the time.
- Tell your family and/or friends, if need be, to establish a support base.
- Talk to those who have accomplished or are already doing it, for guidance.
Then… …no. I ain’t quotin’ NIKE.
- Git-cho ASS off dat couch and live your life!
Live your dream. Live your LIFE. LOVE your life!
Just press go…
Now, sing it with me… “It’s never too late to staaarrrrt…”.
(That’s the link to the song, baby)
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