I have a dear friend, a fellow, who retired after decades of working a high stress job in financial services. Now he could’ve sat back and enjoyed the fruits of his labour, and no one would’ve judged him, but he didn’t. With a zest for life and a passion for music, he re-invented himself and launched a solo music career, in his sixties. How’s that for inspiring?
He performs at local pubs and was recently featured on a local radio show as an ‘up and coming new artist’. The fact that he has musical talent aside, one has to admire his gumption. It’s not easy to put yourself out there at any age, so to do it when you’re past middle age speaks not only to his courage, but also to his confidence, and that’s what got me to thinking.
We spend so much of our lives learning, practicing, and proving our worth, in our home, our relationships, and our careers, and it is the collection of these experiences over a life time that gives some of us the confidence to forge into new territory in our advanced years. Now not everyone feels compelled to launch a 2nd career. Many are happy to retire from one role and enjoy a quiet life, i.e. they don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone because they are content with what they’ve accomplished and they just want to relax and enjoy life. For many though, the completion of one cycle just signals the start of another.
The husband (who has since passed) of another close friend, preceded his own upcoming retirement from a career in law enforcement by returning to school to get a law degree because he knew there was more in him to offer. Returning to school as a mature student is daunting enough, let alone taking on the challenge and discipline of higher academia while middle aged and working full time. He finished out his 2nd career, as a lawyer, then tried his hand at acting, (something he’d always enjoyed) landing several support roles in movies, television shows and commercials. He lived life to the fullest and were it not for his untimely passing, I’ve no doubt he’d be on his 4th career by now.
These two individuals not only warrant our admiration, but reaffirm to anyone over 30 that our worth never expires. The lessons we learn throughout life contribute to our library of knowledge, feeding our self-confidence and fueling our ambition. It is never too late to learn something new, or launch a new career, or make a new friend, because despite the snow on your roof, it’s the passion in your heart that ignites the fire that is our driving force. The older we get, the more open and accepting we are, and the more open and accepting we are the more freely our creative juices flow.
Don’t sit down and look back on your life, sit on the edge of your seat and look forward with enthusiasm because there is still so much to accomplish before you write your last chapter.