I just came from a meeting with someone talking about our age group and how we feel forgotten. There is lots of recognition for a child prodigy, and well, there should be. It is impressive to watch a young child’s fingers dance over the keys of a piano with seeming ease. We know the child’s coordination and stretch of fingers cannot be developed enough to accomplish it, and yet, there it is! A young child who learns to read at a young age writes a book made into a movie before they are twenty-one. You’ve seen them on Facebook, variety shows on TV, or read about them in books. Bobby Fischer wowed his audience with his young ability to win chess against opponents with far more experience.
Experience has its rewards too. Age and experience foster wisdom and clarity. We may not have known what we wanted to do for the rest of our life as a child, and we may not have been encouraged to explore possibilities. We may find our children or grandchildren do not value the great wisdom we want to pass on. We can end up feeling stuck, depressed, and passed over.
Here is some encouragement! Many people like my mother’s family don’t find their gift for life until they are retired or in their later working years. Here are just a few:
- Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book in the Little House on the Prairie series when she was 64.
- Louise Bourgeois, a french artist, gained fame in her long career at 71.
- Joan Didion, an award-winning author, landed a modeling gig at 80.
- Millard Kaufman, the creator of Mr. Magoo, wrote his first novel, A Bowl of Cherries, at 90.
- Harry Bernstein catapulted to fame with the publication of his memoir at 95
- Grandma Moses traded her crochet hook for paintbrushes at 75.
- Fauja Singh was the first 100-year-old man to complete a marathon.
What might your gift be? What talent could you develop? Photography? Painting? Woodworking? Gardening? Writing? Many craft stores have classes for little money. Or start with a tutorial on something you are interested in on YouTube. I started blogging at 64.