Recently I wrote a guest blog post, Thriving Requires Letting Go of the Lies, for Sue’s Over Fifty and Thriving series. The idea for that post was inspired by the book, Girl, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis (my review here). I have since decided to turn the subject into a new blog series: The Lies I’ve Believed.
In the original guest post, I introduced Delilah, my harsh inner critic who constantly reminds me I am not good enough, brave enough or smart enough. Her loud, commanding voice tells me I am better off alone than out in the world pursuing my dreams. She is quite convincing.
But I’m tired of living this way. I’m merely existing rather than embracing an abundant life. It is time to replace Delilah’s lies with the truth.
This week’s lie: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
When I headed off to Gettysburg College in 1978, I had great dreams for my future. I planned to double major in French and Spanish so I could travel the world as an international flight attendant.
Four years later, I graduated with a French and Political Science degree. I soon traded my travel dreams for mommy desires. And I never looked back.
In 2001, however, family finances dictated I return to the workforce. I interviewed as a part-time church receptionist and got the job. I was more than willing to work a few hours outside the home in exchange for a little extra money. I was NOT looking for a career.
Two weeks later the principal of the private school that met in that church asked if I would teach the 6th-grade class. I tried to explain I had no credentials. I confessed my lack of patience was a severe deficit. I was over forty — too old to embark on a new vocation.
In the end, God won.
And that one act of simple obedience led to a fulfilling career that spanned nearly eighteen years. I had a lot to learn, but I also had a lot to give. And I discovered teaching is the perfect calling for a life-long learner like me.
In 2009 I took my first post-graduate writing course. The program was designed to help English teachers improve instruction in their classrooms. I took the class because I wanted to inspire my reluctant students. I never expected to discover a latent desire to write.
It took me another seven years to find my voice and subject matter. But just like teaching, writing is the perfect vocation for life-long learners. There is always room for improvement and new topics to explore. I’m thrilled to find a calling that will take me well into my retirement years.
Recently I’ve decided to tackle my life-long struggle with exercise. Forty years of misunderstanding is not resolved overnight. But with realistic expectations and a willingness to transform my thinking, I am making headway. I no longer think of exercise as punishment. Rather, I am grateful to be healthy enough to move every day. And dusting off the Wii console helps too.
We are planning a family trip to Italy in 2021. We want to visit the towns of my husband’s ancestors. We want to experience the Italian lifestyle. And I want to converse with them in their native language. With online resources such as Rosetta Stone or DuoLingo, I will achieve this goal.
Within the next two years, I also plan to learn PhotoShop, quilt placemats, and make homemade bread. And I don’t plan to stop there.
The truth: It is never too late to begin again.