Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks
A misleading title. My age being old is debatable, and I am not a female dog (I’m in a generation and belief system that will not lend me to embracing that misnomer.). Still, retirement has led me to understand the tools in my toolkit would need updating, and I needed to learn new tricks. I retired as a Director of Social Services for a non-profit in 2021. This shift was during COVID-19, and after more than a year of working remotely, our entire society was unraveling. We had a new normal that was now transitioning into something unfamiliar and scary. Into this abyss, I dared to brave my new frontier. I’ve had to re-calibrate my life and my leisure. It’s no longer living for the weekend, and I’m now learning to live for each day. It was time to complete long-stifled dreams.
Your Dreams Don’t Have An Expiration Date:
It’s a common misconception that you’re too old to pursue your dreams. Society often tries to limit what is achievable at a certain age, but age is just a number. (A cliché but true.) Dreams don’t expire; you can always start working on them, regardless of age. Let’s face it if you’re eighty—and you’re blessed—eighty-one is coming. A year has gone, and what did you do with it? Yeah, yeah, I love my grandbabies too, but come on!
For example, take Betty White, the legendary actress who started acting at 39 and continued working in the entertainment industry for over 80 years. She proved there is always time to start pursuing your dreams and that age is just a number. Bless your heart, Betty White, RIH.
Another example is Julia Child, who started her culinary journey in her late thirties. She became a renowned chef, author, and television personality, inspiring millions to pursue their culinary dreams. Side note: She was 6’2, considered unattractive, and faced ageism, but she did it.
The key to working on your dreams at any age is to have the right attitude and determination. Don’t let society’s limitations and expectations hold you back. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old to chase your dreams. Put on your track shoes, baby. Run, don’t walk to the next phase of your life.
Expanding Your Territory Will Expand Your Network:
Expanding your territory and stepping out of your comfort zone can help you grow your network and meet new people. You’ll encounter people from different backgrounds with creative ideas and ways of doing things that can help take you and your dreams to the next level.
For instance, if you’re an artist, participating in an art fair in a new city can introduce you to potential buyers, collectors, and other artists who can help you grow your career.
Attending workshops and conferences in your field can also help you expand your network and connect with people who share your interests and passions.
Putting old prejudices behind you and embracing new experiences can open up opportunities. So don’t be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. You never know who you might meet along the way who can help take you and your dreams to the nextlevel. Some of the most prominent experts in their fields have the biggest hearts. It’s those climbing up that are kicking downwards. IJS.
If Fear Has Held You Back in the Past, Look it in the Face:
Fear is a natural human emotion, but it can also be a powerful force that can hold you back from pursuing your dreams. Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of the unknown, or fear of not being good enough, it’s essential to face your fears head-on. Anxiety is a death angel that pursues us even in our sleep. Its goal is to kill your ambition and your confidence. Let’s give it its eulogy and look up and live. Faith without works is dead. Let’s work it out.
For example, if you’ve always wanted to start a business but have been held back by fear, it’s time to take control. Look that demon in the face and tell it to get behind you. Do your research, create a solid plan, and take the first step. Don’t let fear stop you from pursuing your dreams and taking control of your future. Not today, Satan!
Similarly, it’s time to leap if you’ve always wanted to travel but have been held back by fear. Plan your trip, pack your bags, and take the first step. Don’t let fear hold you back from experiencing new things and seeing the world. Set yourself free!
The bottom line is that fear is just a feeling, and it’s not a permanent state. By facing your fears head-on, you’ll be able to overcome them and take your dreams to the next level. You only have to determine and start, and the greatness in you will be answered by the new atmosphereyou’ve created. Go on, even if it’s baby steps.
In conclusion, teaching an old dog to do new tricks is all about breaking free from limiting beliefs and stepping out of your comfort zone. You’re always young enough to work on your dreams, and expanding your territory can help boost your network. Don’t let fear hold you back; face it head-on, and take control.
I am an author, a story development editor, a book coach, and a screenwriter. I continue to accept speaking engagements and attend book signings and fairs. I now sit on the Board of the Ohio Writers Association. My newest book, LATER, launched exactly one year after my retirement, and my next is due in a few months. I am also part of an anthology on Forgiveness coming soon. 2022 alone, I traveled to Jamaica, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Florida, and North Carolina. Life continued to provide some hefty blows with those I lost and mountains I challenged to move out of my way. It hasn’t all been uphill. Some blows caused me to lose my way, and I still sometimes feel heaviness. We are more than the rollercoaster of feelings we sometimes ride.
Remember, your dreams are the beginning of a promise you’re making to yourself and the world around you. Folks are waiting on your genius . . . me too!