Midlife: Is Age Holding You Back?

“I’m too old, I couldn’t do that now.”  That’s a statement I hear all too frequently during my “Find Your Passion” programs.  Do you feel like you’re too old to start following your passion, even if you knew what it was?  What makes you believe that?  Other people’s comments, societal norms, your parents’ “self-talk” …?

Yesterday my husband and I visited the exhibition Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors presented by American University Museum at Katzen Arts Center in Washington DC. The exhibition showcases Australia’s leading indigenous artists with works from the traditional to the modern, some with obvious political overtones. Works include paintings on bark and canvas, sculpture, textiles, weaving, new media, photomedia, printmaking and installation.

When the exhibition made its debut in 2007, it coincided with the 40th anniversary of a landmark 1967 referendum mandating that indigenous Australians be included in the country’s census. Imagine that just 42 years ago, two-thirds of the artists were placed under the same category as Australia’s flora and fauna.

Racial conflict aside, what struck me was that one particular artist hadn’t started painting until five years ago, at the age of 90. Here was a man who was so passionate about wanting to pass on the story of his culture that he didn’t allow his “ripe old age” of 90 to stop him. Five years later he is being recognized as one of Australia’s top artists.

So let me ask you again, are you allowing age to stop you from doing something you truly love?  Perhaps it’s time to let go of that false belief and start living your passion.

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