It's Never Too Late: Life on the Other Side of the Hill
by, Sep-21-2013 at 5:24pm (996 Views)
When I was a young woman I, like many people, was overly concerned with what people thought. Also, like most people, I have managed to overcome that madness...thank heaven! When I decided to resume Mandolin lessons after a very long absence, it never occurred to me to question if I was too old. I mean, age is the least of my worries. Considering the alternative, I am pretty darn thrilled to have made it to the other side of the hill.
When I go for my lesson, I sometimes see a young lad of about 10-years of age waiting to take his guitar lesson. It never ceases to amuse me when I see how he looks at me. Seriously, he looks at me like I'm some kind of freak and seems to be surprised that I have managed to navigate the stairs to the lesson rooms. He immediately whips out his guitar and starts playing some pretty classic riffs...as in 1960s riffs, although I am certain this boy has no idea of this fact. He makes me smile because when I was 10-years-old I thought people in their 40s were old. Now I not only take lessons at the same time the kids do, but their parents, who are the age of my children are waiting for them. It kind of puts everything in perspective. Getting back to the boy, yes, his obvious shock is forgivable because he has not yet learned that dreams do not end in childhood.
What really gets me is when people in my own age group infer that I should somehow be embarrassed or ashamed of what I am doing. While many people are encouraging, some are not happy unless they are trying to plant seeds of doubt. An acquaintance actually said, "Don't you think you're a little old to be taking music lessons?" Not wanting to get into a philosophical debate with someone who had an obvious mindset, I simply stated, "The desire to learn has no expiration date." After being told I was ridiculous, this woman walked away. I guess she believes the over 60 crowd should find contentment in knitting socks or meeting friends at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast...not that there's anything wrong with those activities if one has a passion for them.
Passion is the key. Passion keeps us vital; passion keeps us connected to this gift called life. There are always going to be those who want to put you in a little box and put you on a shelf somewhere so that you will not only be forgotten by your peers, but by yourself as well. I believe this to be especially true as one begins to age and this is the kind of thinking we must fight.
Those of us fortunate enough to be passionate about music are a lucky lot indeed. Music is one of the best mental exercises in which we can participate. On this slippery slope on the other side of the hill, the slide will be slowed considerably. I see lots of people in their 60s and older on this Mandolin Cafe site. I like that. It helps to know there are others who share my love of the mandolin...it keeps me immersed in the craft. I would also like to say that if anyone tries to rain on your parade, don't let them. Just keep on pickin'!