Age is not the barrier, the real barrier is your fear
Updated: Mar 6
Regrets pile up around us, like autumn leaves
Video is Author’s, all rights reserved
My best friend in Australia completed her nursing degree last year. Certain people in her life weren't supportive of her gaining that qualification when she started out. What did she need a nursing degree at her age for? She was told, in a condescending tone “A nursing degree? You’ll be fifty when you get it!” To which my comment was “You’ll be fifty whether you get it or not, which would you rather?”
That’s her on her 50th birthday in the video above, with her oldest friend who came to visit from the UK. Isn’t she brilliant? It was a fab night, we all forgot that we’re supposed to be sedate and dull and past it, and rocked the socks off the place.
She’s a bloody good nurse, too.
Around 2012, I started writing again properly for the first time in years. Prior to that, I’d written sporadically throughout my life but rarely tried to have anything published. Too sick, or too busy putting everything ahead of my own joy. Such is the lot of many adults.
For a couple of years, I ran a fairly successful blog, I even monetized it with some advertisements, and self published a book. Then suddenly after years of limping along my marriage really was over, and I was dealing with all of that. I closed the Twitter account, closed the blog, gave up the a capella group, gave up writing for a while, and worked, parented, and worked some more.
But slowly, the writing bug crept back. It always does. So, on the advice of a Twitter acquaintance, I tried Medium out last year. And though disappointing on so many levels, it has been a good place to restart my writing engine. One of the genuine positives from Medium was being involved in various writing challenges, one of which was to start making videos, which led to the idea of making PodCasts. Six months after that idea, I’ve brought it to fruition.
Was I nervous about PodCasting as a middle-aged woman who was clueless about the entire notion? Of course. I’m not young any more. I’ve met with my fair share of failure throughout my life. Women are judged harshly for their looks and everything else. I don’t particularly relish making a twat out of myself, for the most part.
Fortunately, I have run out of damns to give on that score, if you don’t like my voice, or my face, your opinion is duly ignored.
And I do want genuine critiques, so if you have some to offer, please do comment, either on the video, or the blog, or anywhere that suits you on the various sites where you can now find me. Meanwhile, I’m having a blast making these PodCasts and videos and intend to make plenty more (she threatened).
Fellow travellers, please remember this - and I've talked about it elsewhere - almost nobody cares if you make a fool of yourself, but you. And I can almost guarantee that you won't care as you’re lying dying if you embarrassed yourself, or got it wrong.
But when your hourglass is almost empty, I bet you'll care if you didn’t do it at all, and let other people set your course for you. Don't let your regrets pile up around you, like autumn leaves.
Here’s a photo of Lynn and I trying out golfing for the first time. I think we were 49 when we started golf lessons. She got really good at it. I was really happy I'd finally tried it. We were both nervous turning up at the golf course, and embarrassed to be so clueless, and we had a great time and walked away with some new skills.
So, If there’s something you want to do, and it is at all within your capacity to go for it, just go for it.
Seriously, stop saying “What if?” and really ask yourself “Why the hell not?.
As for PodCasting, apart from enough money to buy a microphone, and a laptop to plug it in to, all you need is an opinion, or a story or an idea, and a desire to share it.
And don’t we all have that?
"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't" - Lucille Ball
Copyright Alison Tennent 2021, all rights reserved. Scottish by birth, upbringing and bloodline, Australian by citizenship. If you’re reading this anywhere but Medium or The Garrulous Glaswegian, this work may have been plagiarized.