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too young or too old?

June 15, 2010

So which is it?

Are you too young to do what you want to do or are you too old? It seems that the first is a choice that you make for yourself and the second is choice others try to make for you until you start to believe them.

I know that I am not too young to sail solo around the world. Jessica Watson has taught me that.

I know I am not too young to take on the role of Aikido Sensei – the younger guys who lead classes at my Dojo (and I remember them arriving for their first class) continue to show me that.

I am not too young to be pre-selected for a federal seat – 20-year-old Wyatt Roy has proved that. But I already knew that because a good friend of mine ran against Kevin Rudd.

I am not too young to speak at TED.

I am not too young to have a blog. (Although it took me a long time to get to the point where I believed that and now I am wondering if I am too old to have one. People younger than me are writing much better stuff than I am …)

A good friend of mine had a difficult day today. We talked about what had happened and the phrase “a grown man crying like a baby” came up. My observation was that while our bodies grow older I am not sure that we ever really “grow up”. I know that I often feel like a 16 yr old inside a 40 yr old body. (Apparently there is research that shows that actually keeps me young!)

Trouble is that we spend a lot of time planning what we are going to be “when we grow up” and not so much time being all that we can be right now.

My youngest sister told me recently that the only thing that someone can say that will stop her in her tracks is “Aren’t you a bit young to being doing that?”. We agreed that before too long those same people will be saying “Aren’t you a bit old to be doing that?” and that in both instances they are wrong.

So here is what I am telling myself from now on:

Don’t worry about being too young or too old. I am always the right age to try.

And so are you.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    June 18, 2010 10:38 pm

    I don’t think I will ever be old enough or young enough to feel comfortable having someone’s future in my hands, or to feel responsible for another’s feelings.

  2. Megan permalink
    June 18, 2010 10:44 pm

    Correction…. have an immediate or (potentially) profound impact on people’s futures and feelings. Not ready for it. For good or bad.

    • June 19, 2010 7:38 am

      Thanks Megan for adding the extra dimension of other people’s lives and for summarising what I was trying to say better than I said it! I often have days when I don’t feel comfortable having my own future in my hands let alone acknowledging responsibility for my own feelings. As parents I know that we have times when we feel the weight of our girls’ future in our hands and wish that others would make it easier for us to choose – vaccinate or not, State vs Private school, Co-ed vs single sex school, allow them to get a tattoo or forbid it…

      But then maybe I spend too much time worrying about what they are going to be when they grow up rather than just being with them as they are now? I know that I try to have a positive impact on the lives of the people I come in contact with each day (and I know that I often fail) but in a sense I think I find it easier to place my attention on others. Taking responsibility for my own future and feelings is a bit harder – but I am trying!

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