The other day someone asked me, “What’s the latest age that someone should begin to write?”
My answer to them?
When you’re dead. Then, it is definitely too late to start writing, I’m sorry to say. Unless you are reincarnated as the next Stephen King or James Patterson, in which case I suppose you’ve managed to circumvent the limitations of time anyway, which is a pretty nifty trick, if you ask me.
There should never be an age cap on writing. To be clear, there should never be an age cap on anything you love to do. I know I’ve talked about this before, but too often we convince ourselves that there are age limits or expiration dates on starting new hobbies, learning new skills, or even continuing to do things we already know and enjoy. I say to hell with that nonsense.
Remember Sergeant Roger Murtaugh in the 1987 film Lethal Weapon? You know who I mean. Sergeant Murtaugh was known for the infamous phrase, “I’m getting too old for this shit.” Any time things started going sour, he would let out a sigh from deep within his weary bones and mumble, “I’m getting too old for this shit…” And I felt it. You felt it. We all felt it. The man had a point.
I think we all feel a little too old for this shit sometimes. I mean, I can certainly see why… *waving vaguely at everything*. There are bound to be days when we feel too old or too weary to go about our normal routines, much less add anything else to our plates. And it’s totally okay to feel this way every once in a while.
Operative phrase: every once in a while. Don’t convince yourself just because you’re having an I’m-too-old-for-this-shit kind of day, that it’s going to be a permanent feeling.
Perhaps there are some things in life that are best left by the wayside when one reaches a certain age. Who knows, maybe you’d want to give up extreme-MMA fighting, or shark wrestling, or even volcano surfing – once the midlife crisis has passed, anyway. But who am I to judge? You do you. I am a firm believer that there is no “latest age” to begin anything.
Does happiness have an age limit?
Does joy have an age limit?
Do feelings of content have an age limit?
A resounding NO – a thousand times, no. Picture yourself doing something that brings you joy. Go on, picture it! Is it baking? Painting? Horseback riding? Writing? Surfing? Moving to the wilds of the Australian Outback? That feeling that arises, that inherent sense of delight, does not have an age limit. There’s a whole world out there, offering you a chance to feel alive and joyful – age be damned.
Don’t fall for the trap of “it’s too late.” It’s never too late. Take ownership of the life you’re living. Learn that new skill. Take that class. Visit that place you’ve always wanted to go to. Write those words. And, above all, forget your age – it’s just a number.