Search our Blog

Search our Blog

Sunday, March 5, 2023

They Tried Something New or Difficult; You Can Too

It absolutely does not matter how old you are to learn, to try, to begin something new. Let these people be your inspiration. 

You can forget about every other New Year’s vow if you just make one: to try something new every month this year. Before you say, “Bah, humbug!” hear us out. Each attempt can be as little, or as big, as you want it to be. You can try cornflakes instead of oatmeal if you never eat cornflakes. You can try going around the block if you hate getting outside. You can try finishing a nonfiction book if you prefer romances. Say hello to everyone you meet. Smile at a stranger. 

It’s Never Too Late Series  

The New York Times has created a series dubbed “It’s Never Too Late.” This inspiring collection touches on a wide variety of topics, from flying on a trapeze to changing your career. This month, we provide you the story link to explore the “something new” that six people undertook. Their comments and experiences reveal how one became a Bollywood actor in his 40s, another learned to swim at 68, and a third climbed the daunting El Capitan, for her first time, at 66.

Here’s some of what they said:

You can decide for yourself what you think you’re capable of. It’s just so sad when people say, oh, I’m 50, I can’t … fill in the blank. Try it anyway! Who cares! You might be surprised. 
-Dierdre Wolownick

Don’t give yourself an option to give up. I never thought about quitting. If I invest mentally, I don’t quit. 
-Vijaya Srivastava

Dream a big dream, then figure out what all the little incremental steps are to get there, and hit those steps one by one. There are always obstacles. 
-Richard Klein

You can also set your goal higher. Read every Sherlock Holmes mystery. Study the violin every day for a month. Get through a month without alcohol. Travel to a country where you don’t speak the language. Do an online yoga session every day. Get your heart rate down five beats. Learn the language of finance so you can talk to your financial advisor about your retirement nest egg with more confidence. 

Or you can alternate some easy and intermediate goals with some that may take you longer to accomplish, that challenge you more, and that you think may be impossible. It’s fine if you stick with easy ones, because accomplishing them may encourage you to try something else. Success is a strong motivator. Besides, what is easy for someone else may be hard for you. If you haven’t touched your toes in five years, that is a worthy goal. 

To get you started, we’d like to introduce you to some people who challenged themselves as older adults to do something rather remarkable. You don’t have to be remarkable on a world stage, but if they could do these things, ask yourself if you can do something.

  • Aged 66, Noah Webster finished the American Dictionary of the English Language.
  • Aged 68, Sir William Crookes started investigating radioactivity and then invented an alpha particle detector.
  • Aged 69, Ed Whitlock finished a marathon in under three hours.
  • Aged 71, Katsusuke Yanagisawa climbed Mount Everest.
  • Aged 75, Barbara Hillary became the first Black woman to reach the North Pole. She was a cancer survivor.
  • Aged 79, Asa Long was the US champion checkers player. 
  • Aged 81, BIll Painter reached the summit of Mount Rainier.
  • Aged 82, William Ivy Valdwin crossed the South Boulder Canyon on a 320-foot tightrope.
  • Aged 85, Theodor Mommsen won a Nobel Prize in Literature. 
  • Aged 86, Katherine Pelton beat the same age men’s record for the 200-meter butterfly.
  • Aged 88, Michelangelo created the building plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
  • Aged 89, Arthur Rubinstein gave a recital in Carnegie Hall.
  • Aged 91, Allan Stewart finished a Bachelor of Law from the University of New England.
  • Aged 94, George Burns performed stand-up in Schenectady, New York.
  • Aged 96, Harry Bernstein published his first book, The Invisible Wall, that he wrote to cope with his loneliness after his wife of 70 years passed away.
  • Aged 98, Beatrice Wood exhibited her latest ceramics.
  • Aged 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mount Fuji.
  • Aged 100, Fran Schearer waterskis regularly.