“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
So, in its' place between the butter dish and the cut glass mini pitcher that holds a collection of teaspoons... I placed my pretty cookbook holder with a cardboard backed Mary Englebright picture I once had propped on a shelf in the tiny bathroom.
It is quite timely as I've been shaking myself from the doldrums, making every attempt to set aside that feeling of "the best days are behind me". I view the date on the calendar marked "Brenda" (it used to say Mom until the only person needing a reminder is Hubby) which announces the truth of another birthday.
But ummm... whose truth... what truth?
Why would I think the best days are in the past when only God holds our days in His hands and the Word says He promises hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)?
Now, I do know the George Eliot quote has limitations. One in their 30s could not become a ballerina when most dancers begin in childhood. But in a world that is not "all or nothing" one could very well learn more about the ballet and become an informed patron of dance. If it is dancing you love, ballroom dancing classes are springing up everywhere due to the popularity of TV shows.
In further ponderings about our giftings and such, I've been thinking of those things I either 1) once did long ago, or 2) always wanted to do. Those skills one could reasonably still attain even with many years now lived on the planet.
At one time I painted (canvas... not walls) and was fairly good at it. Even my quite critical father-in-law thought a birthday card (or was it Father's Day?) I painted for him was lovely. I think I mentioned somewhere within the past years that I gave up painting for enjoyment due to a wickedly critical high school teacher who turned art from joy to painful memories.
I rather doubt I'll paint again but it does remind me that I love creating and that one is never too old to take up a new hobby or dust off an old skill.
I have prayed about all of these ponderings, asking for wisdom as passion meets ability and budget. They are something like mixing oil and water! But He answers, He always does if we listen and look for what He is saying.
In our youth oriented culture, once one reaches their twenties they are considered too old to learn at times. Also in a culture where most learning has been accomplished in schools that are highly structured... where now most of the teaching is for doing well on a test... no wonder we think once we graduate from high school or college our learning is done.
I love to read history and biography and one learns quickly that great men and women who came before us considered learning a life long accomplishment, mostly through the reading of books.
Also, as was touched upon on a recent Saturday post, people in past generations learned the basics of cooking, baking, sewing, gardening, carpentry, etc. from growing up in homes where these skills were often necessary for survival. Today one can live to be a hundred and never sew on a button, bake their own bread, or grow vegetables.
So what if one is twenty, or thirty, or seventy, or ninety... and there is a passion for learning a skill that has laid dormant for years... perhaps decades? If it is doable... do it. Stop thinking about doing it or wishing you had started when you had a chance... get over the fear of learning curves (a challenge I admit to feeling)... and do it.
Perhaps you already have basic skills and it is time to take them to another level. For instance, I bake cupcakes but Stephanie creates... Art. :)
Edith Schaeffer wrote that her mother didn't learn to sew until she was much older and it became necessary to clothe her family. She learned all she could and through trial and error was able to not only sew beautiful garments but to redesign old outfits to make a brand new creation.
I will continue pondering this week as I think through what it is I'd love to accomplish that I have not... given imitations of health and budget. How about you? Is there a latent burning passion or talent that has been buried for years?
If it is a true God given gift and something one can reasonably accomplish... you can do it... or you can learn all you can and become an expert (for instance, if it is too late to become a ballerina). :)
As for me, I have a reminder sitting on my kitchen counter that it truly is "never too late".