So the day before yesterday, I had to learn to drive a stick shift. At 55, I’m just now learning to do that. Am I crazy? I live in the mountains this is not where you want to learn this particular skill. I’m also working a job really catered for younger or, at least, more fit people than myself. I just bought a guitar and am trying to learn to play it.
What the heck am I thinking? When I was younger, I assumed that when I was 55 years old I would be planning to retire, sitting on the porch knitting, and generally starting to slow down. Well, that is not the case in the least. Almost everything in my life is new: new state, new job, new surroundings, and an entirely new way of living. There is no time, or money, to retire. No time to knit and definitely no time to slow down. What wrong turn did I make in life to get here?
I was thinking about it hard the last few days. I was feeling like I really messed my life up. I have spoken about this before. Starting a completely new life with almost no belongings in a completely new place was starting to seem less courageous and more plain stupid. Am I too old to keep learning new things? Some days I barely have enough energy to walk from the couch to the shower.
Then I realized that I’m the kind of person, if not pushed or slightly prodded, that I would sit down and not get up. For many years I dreamed of these changes but was paralyzed with fear of change. It took something drastic to make me move. Now here I am, moving onward and upward. So instead of feeling like I took a wrong turn, I’m going to start thinking of it as finally making the right turn. Although I have days I want desperately to just sit down, I’m not really ready to just sit down. I need to continue to push myself and learn things. It’s good for the body, the mind and the soul.
So even when I’m tired and don’t think I can go on, I will know in my heart there is joy in the pushing of oneself. It means you are alive. And it means there is purpose in life. Who knows what other life skills I am about to learn, but for now I’m open to the possibilities and age has no bearing….well, ok, I’m not going to sign up for gymnastics or anything like that. Stuff within reason and somewhat age appropriate.
I am learning there is a special kind of joy when you learn something you never thought you could do. Today I got the all the way into fourth gear. I was ecstatic. And I got home in one piece, even better! I look forward to learning new lessons.
Now if I could only figure out chords on the guitar…..