Old dog learns new tricks!

During the process of my personal evolution, I had begun an informal list of sayings or phrases I wanted to eliminate from my vocabulary. Though widely accepted and used by popular culture, I began to chafe at their negative connotation. So, “I’m too old for that!” has the dubious honor of joining “I’m having a bad day” and “It is what it is”.

RaeLea's childhood dog, Lobo

RaeLea’s childhood dog, Lobo

I found there was a distinct correlation between my age and the frequency I used  that particular phrase. As children, we were told we could be doctors, lawyers, or anything else our heart desired. But, once we reached a certain age, we stopped reaching for the stars. We stopped trying to reinvent ourselves. We got too old to learn new tricks.

Early in our relationship, Frank responded to a comment I had made. I don’t recall what the conversation was about, only that I had said I was too old for something. In the wake of that conversation a whisper of a thought began to take root. Perhaps, just perhaps, age is only a number.

When did we stop believing we can do anything we set our minds to? When did our increasing age determine our hopes, goals and dreams? I am inspired by some famous people who didn’t let their age hinder their dreams. Julia Child didn’t begin cooking until she was nearly 40 years of age. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t write Little House until she was in her 60s. And, did anyone know Ronald Reagan began work as a radio broadcaster before he was an actor? Of course he ultimately became the 40th President of the United States.

I decided to make some life changes. I began to take my health more seriously and cut a lot of foods out of my daily diet. I became more active and added such activities as hiking, walking around town and pounding out miles on the treadmill. Change was quite a challenge in the beginning and honestly, not a great deal of fun. But, I was determined not to let my chronological age deter me from living life as I dreamed.

At the beginning of the year, Frank and I started the process to attend an online university. For me, I had been wanting to complete my college education for over twenty years. Doubt and uncertainty that I had the capability to do so were among my biggest obstacles. Seriously, college is a young person’s journey. Isn’t it?

I’m proud to say that I’m now officially a student of Western Governors University. My most recent challenge has me quite excited and invigorated. And yes, nervous. The worry that I can actually achieve this goal (earning a BS in Business Management) is still there, but it is a mere shadow to my hope and enthusiasm. And, you know what? I find I still like learning new tricks.  

Who else has jumped in and decided that you were not going to let age determine what you can or cannot do? What stories of inspiration can you share?

About RaeLea Hurt

When she’s not practicing her fake laughter in response to Frank’s jokes, RaeLea’s nose can often be found buried in a book. Not only is she a voracious reader, she is also capable of creating new content with peerless zeal.

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