Sometimes the Universe sends us messages – softly at first then louder and louder until we pay attention. The recurring theme that’s been coming up for me lately has been about reinvention and deliberate creation of one’s life – especially those transitions that occur later in life. Recently someone on my Facebook page asked her friends whether, at almost 50, she’s too old to go back to school and shift careers. My immediate reaction to the question was, “No! You are absolutely NOT too old for that!”
But then I got to thinking, this is a question that is on a lot of people’s minds.
And really, is it ever too late to make a radical change in your life, and if so, when’s the cut off? We’re living longer these days and there’s plenty of 70 and 80 year olds who have a much better quality of life than 50 year olds did just a few decades ago. Do we ever get to stop stretching our boundaries, growing, reinventing…?
I suppose that you could get to a point in life where you’re perfectly content, you’ve done all that you set out to do and you feel compelled to simply sit back and rest. I can’t speak to that personally, as I have not yet come to that place in my life. What I know more about is forging ahead and creating, which I believe is something that can happen at any age. Just as the vision and will to create something fabulous for yourself is not hindered by age, it is also not dependent upon you starting out from a place of privilege or positive circumstances.
I talked recently to AnYes Van Rhijn, who left a toxic relationship, her home and most of her belongings behind in France, and moved to London penniless and homeless. She was 58 at the time, and in the following two years has built up a thriving business connecting business people and helping others move through difficult transitions.
I also recently interviewed Christine Catoggio, who helps women working through life transitions, and many of her clients end up starting businesses, careers and second and third life acts during what are affectionately known as the ‘twilight years’. I’d say that maybe these years can actually become some of the most exciting and fulfilling times of our lives. All of our wisdom, life experience and knowledge can be put to good use when it’s coupled with vision and passion.
One of the techniques that Christine uses with her clients is to envision where they want to end up, then to work backwards to figure out how to get there. Life is short enough so let’s not waste time on deciding whether it’s appropriate for us to chase our dreams or not. We can create anything we want in this life, but first we have to make the decision to go and chase the dream, then we have to step into action around it. It really is as simple as that, but it does start with you.