In the book It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been author BJ Gallagher shares stories of individuals who’ve achieved their hopes and dreams later in life.
For instance, she talks about one couple, Arnold and Raine, who started hiking in their 60s. They’ve hiked in Alaska and all over California, among other places, and they’ve hiked up 10,000 to 12,000 feet.
Today, they’ve switched to bike riding — getting in around 70 miles per week. Today, Raine is 69 years old, and Arnold is 74.
BJ also talks about Anna Mary Robertson Moses — known as Grandma Moses — a renowned American folk artist who didn’t start painting until she was in her 70s. And she only picked up a paint brush because arthritis forced her to stop embroidering.
In the last 30 years of her life (she lived to 101!), she produced over 3,600 paintings.
I’m sharing these stories with you today, not only because they’re inspiring, but because they’re great reminders that it’s never too late to make positive changes in our lives — no matter our age, concerns or experiences.
It’s never too late to feel more comfortable in your own skin, to improve how you feel in your body, to find movement that makes you feel alive.
It’s never too late to overcome your body image issues, to stop dieting and find foods and activities that really nourish you.
It’s never too late to become kinder to yourself, to rediscover your creativity, to find what brings you joy, to learn to cope with your emotions more healthfully.
These are all skills you can learn and practice. These are all stories you can revise and rewrite.
The key is to start. And then start small. (Maybe even tiny.)
Arnold and Raine started with short walks around their neighborhood. Then they decided to take up hiking because they wanted to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
They hiked for a few miles and eventually bought a book on hiking. From there they became more interested and started buying equipment, talking to hiking experts and doing more research.
If they hadn’t taken that first step, they would’ve never had these incredible experiences. According to Arnold:
I recall one hike we took out of Independence, California, up to Kearsarge Pass. We hiked past five alpine lakes to the top of jagged peaks, and when we got to the top, we looked down the other side to see the world as it must have looked thousands, millions of years ago — spectacular pristine beauty. It’s a spiritual experience. The clouds are rolling by, the rains come and go, and I swear it feels like you could reach up and touch God.
In her final question BJ asked if the couple had any regrets. Arnold replied:
My only regret is that we didn’t start doing this in our forties. Buy hey, you start when you start and it’s never too late. The only real regret would be never to start at all.
What do you want to work through or change? What resources can you turn to? What support can you enlist? What small steps can you take?
Start by experimenting with different exercises and activities. Start by finding a therapist who specializes in your concerns. Start by making an appointment.
Start by hanging out more with people who truly support you and less with those who don’t.
It’s never too late to nourish yourself — no matter what that looks like for you.
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Last reviewed: 21 Feb 2014