I huddled under a blanket on the sidelines of netball on Saturday with the grandmother of one of the girls in my daughter’s team. We got talking, and she said she hadn’t made it to many games because she’s recently taken up drumming and plays in a garage band on Friday nights.
She’s sixty-six and she’s wanted to do this since she was a teenager. She’s having formal lessons and also teaching herself with tutorials from YouTube. She found a band happy to let her jam with them once a week and she’s having the time of her life.
Inspired by this story, a friend told me her nearly 69-year-old mum now spends about 6 months a year teaching English in random countries. She calls it her “retirement career” and has taught in Russia, China, Vietnam, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Ecuador, Japan and Italy (as well as summer schools in the UK and Ireland – she’s in Glasgow now).
Another told me about her grandmother picking up a PhD in her 70s. She also started a modelling career at that age.
When we were in London a few years ago, we came across a festival in a park where you could graffiti your thoughts on a wooden wall. The quote that stood out for me was “I’m a banker, but I want to be a guitarist.”
When we’re ‘in the trenches’ with careers and young families it can feel like there’s no time to feed our passions. There’s always something ‘more important’ to be done.
But life is a whole book, isn’t it? We don’t have to cram all of the action into one chapter…
My friend Rob works in the educational field and has two teenage kids and has always wanted to be in a rock band. He plays in one now, and loves it, and in 2014 they toured to the towns of Tingha and Coonabarabran in NSW where they performed for school kids and community groups and shared their love of music.
And many more are not chasing a passion right now, because it’s not the right time, but it will be…
Perhaps we’ll do something now, or we might do it later. We might have done it when we were teenagers. We might do it in our 70s.
Our timing doesn’t matter, and feeling hideously pressed for time won’t help.
Brian Andreas said, “Everything changed, the moment she realised she had enough time for all the important things in her life.”
And we do. Now. Later. It’s never too late.