AGEISM C

Age is More than Just a Number!

As a woman in my fifties, I have not read a quote that I could identify with more than this one:

Life is not quantifiable in terms of age, but I suppose in my fifties I am more grounded and more at ease in my own skin than when I was younger. I have confidence that I didn’t have before from the experiences I’ve had.” – Annie Lennox

Fortunately or unfortunately, we live in an incredibly ageist society, especially for women. We are led to believe that success at a young age is to have it all–be young, beautiful, and have the world at our feet. Truth be told, we do not even know what “have it all” even means. We don’t have the same life experience when we are young that we do in middle age and I should say, “thank goodness” for that reality. In most cases, we do not even know yet what it is we want, and no amount of pressure when we are young is going to get us there faster. 

Here are just three examples that are proof that dreams can be realized at any age!

Find Your Heart and Soul in Food

In the 1950s she began to teach the art of French cuisine to housewives, which branched into a passionate career spanning television programs, winning awards, and writing cookbooks about her chosen specialty and great love: food. If you guess Julia Child then you guess right! Julia Child was over 50 years old when she wrote her first cookbook.

The World Speaks in Color

Starting off as a figure skater and journalist, there would have been a little prediction that the world-famous fashion designer Vera Wang would pivot into fashion and design. She was over 40 years old when she began her career in fashion and design. Another example that just goes to show that you can try many things before really landing on the thing that you shine at.

These are only a few examples of why it is important to make the move toward your passion and worry about how it will be received later – or not at all. Do it simply because you must. I challenge you to find other later bloomers that discovered their true calling later in life. The list is endless.

Let Your Passion Guide You

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, known as ‘Grandma Moses’, was a twentieth-century artist who began her painting career at the age of 78. Until Moses turned to painting she had worked as a seamstress for her entire life. A piece of her work sold posthumously in 2006 for $1.2 million, and her work has been displayed in galleries around the world. Moses was also mother to ten children and her work was lovingly distributed on the well-known Hallmark cards.

You can be a Winner as the Underdog – Literally!

Carol Gardner, 52, newly divorced and feeling depressed, with little prospects and a lot of debt. Her divorce lawyer told her to either ‘get a therapist, or get a dog. Well, she chose the dog. She got an English bulldog she called Zelda. She entered Zelda into a Christmas card competition and Zelda won. After sending the image of her and her pooch to the family on Christmas cards, Gardner decided to start her own unique company designing greeting cards, clothing, jewelry, books, and gifts. Her original spin is the hilarious wit she added with such one-liners such as “Go braless…it pulls the wrinkles down”. She encourages one to laugh with life – and Hallmark seemed to like it! Her company, Zelda Wisdom, is now valued at approximately over $50 million.

So there you have it. There is no such thing as ‘too late’ to reach a goal or to achieve a dream. If you believe in yourself and do the work, define your own personal idea of success, there is no reason you should not have the things you want for your life.

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