“You are Never too Old to Set Another Goal or Dream a New Dream”
Many of us assume that when we near or enter retirement it also means giving up on unfulfilled dreams and desires. However, Lewis reminds us that age has nothing to do with it. Age is not a barrier and merely an excuse.
Not only do we acquire wisdom with age, but we also accumulate more memories of past failures and as a result we may hold back on our dreams. We also become jaded and wary thereby less likely to take chances in case we fall short of our expectations.
It is so easy to give up on longings and activities we didn’t have the time or opportunity to pursue during the years of earning a living. We may also feel slightly embarrassed, wondering what others may think if we take up a particular activity or pursuit at a later stage in life.
A lot of energy goes into suppressing the whispering of our longings and unfulfilled dreams, justifying why it would be ridiculous and silly to do so at this stage of life. Instead, all of that energy could be harnessed into doing just that, throwing caution to the wind.
So what if your friends and acquaintances think you’re going through a mid-life crisis and yes, you may very well fail and realize that it didn’t provide the reward and fulfillment you always thought it would. On the other hand, it might just and the only way to find out is to give it a go.
It takes courage to give ourselves permission to take the first steps in pursuing our unfulfilled passions. It is also difficult to silence the ever-present voice of the critical parent in our heads. Your parents no doubt suppressed their own dreams and longings. As a result they encouraged or insisted you pursue a proper job with the perceived security that goes with it.
In my case, my father had a strong belief in the power of education. On the other hand my interests and rewards came from artistic pursuits. These two belief systems were always in conflict and the result was that I was channeled into an education dominated by the sciences and mathematical subjects. Not only did these subjects not provide me with any fulfillment, but I also struggled in grasping to understand what they were all about.
In time I managed to find a way of shaping my education to provide me with personal fulfillment in my career, but deep down I continued to long for my first love of creativity, design and color. It has taken me more than two years to finally give myself permission to carefully open the padlocked box that contains my unfulfilled dreams and desires.
Slowly I am taking the time to reacquaint myself with my unfulfilled passions and also to allow them to be expressed in a way with the forms and shapes that reflect the person I have grown into over the years.
I am very fortunate to live with an artist who also spent many years as an art educator, drawing the individual talents and creativity from within his pupils. I therefore have my very own personal tutor to help me in discovering and shaping my hidden and unrealised dreams.
Who knows what shape and personality they will eventually take. I am enjoying the journey of discovery without trying to anticipate or control what the outcome should be. I can now indulge in creative activities without the need for an end goal to be achieved within a particular time frame. Instead I am allowing them the space to emerge and take the form they want to be.
So, what are the unfulfilled dreams and passions that you have nurtured over the years? More importantly, what are you denying the world by giving up on your dreams and secret longings? Is now perhaps your time too?