I’ve been reading Julia Cameron’s book – ‘It’s Never Too Late’ and I totally agree that with most things in life, it is never too late to make a start. My guest this week for the Over 50 & Thriving Series, is Kim Duncan from Older Wiser, Money Miser. I have only recently met Kim who has linked up with us at the #MLSTL link party, but we have much in common including running marathons in our 50s.
As a ‘late bloomer’ myself, in so many areas of my life, I appreciated Kim’s words when I received her contribution. I love her message that life is not over at 50, but really just beginning. You can connect with Kim through her links at the end of her post.
Thriving as a late bloomer
“I was a late bloomer. I tried out for the football team, and I got locked off the field. That’s how I wound up in drama.” Dennis Quaid
I can still remember a time when turning 50 was almost like a death sentence! “Over the hill, all dried up, your life is basically OVER! Make way for the youngsters because what you say and do no longer matters.” I’m so glad those days are long gone. I recently completed my 56th trip around the sun and I’m happy to say, while my life has been pretty good up to this point, I’m convinced the best is yet to come!
My recent birthday has gotten me thinking a bit about my life’s accomplishments. If I had asked myself about what I had accomplished with my life 20 years ago I probably would’ve said, “not much!” I did the things most of us do, finished school & got married (not necessarily in that order!), raised my son, got a job and earned a living. But what had I ACCOMPLISHED? I wasn’t really sure.
Fast forward to present day and I can see what I’ve accomplished. My 20s and 30s were pretty much a blur of me just getting by. When I was 42 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. We live pretty far from one another and I was sitting at home feeling rather helpless when I got this news. Not long after her diagnosis I saw a commercial for this walk being held to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.
60 miles in 3 days!
I signed up immediately, raised the money and started training. Then I trained some more! The people I met along this journey were so inspiring and I made many life long friendships. I became a bit obsessed with it, so I signed up and did the same walk 7 more times and raised well over $15,000!!
When I needed a further challenge I started running at the ripe “old” age of 47, which lead me to my 50th birthday celebration of running a marathon. THAT was an amazing feat and one that I don’t believe will ever be duplicated.
At 55 I started my blog and in the short time I’ve been writing it I’ve met some amazing people and learned skills I never dreamed possible.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve started paying more attention to the people around me who have achieved great things relatively late in life. My brother in law published his first novel earlier this year, just a bit after his 60th birthday. He’s had some success with it and is laying the groundwork for writing another.
A high school friend decided early retirement was NOT for her. After a career as an Air Traffic Controller, she decided she wanted to honor her father and train to be an Emergency Medical Technician. She graduated from training a few months ago and is, in her words, living the dream. Another high school friend went back to school after raising her children and she’s now a successful portrait photographer.
I never really thought much about late bloomers until I realized I AM one. I slogged through my 20s and 30s with not much of note to show for it except for raising a fabulous child into an amazing adult. Don’t misunderstand me-I’m incredibly proud of the man my son has become but something was always missing.
Running the marathon at 50 flipped a switch in my head and really opened my eyes to the concept of the late bloomer. I’m so happy to see attitudes about older people have changed enough for society to recognize that we may be a bit older, but we still have contributions to make that are meaningful and relevant. We ROCK!!
The thought used to be, “OMG-I’m turning 50-my life is OVER!!” No, my friends…I may be in my 50s but my life ISN’T over. It’s just getting started!
Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…