It's Never Too Late
Years ago when we lived in a cute little colonial and had nothing more to worry about than how we were going to spend our weekend together without kids, our sump pump failed and flooded the house with nearly 2 feet of water. Most of our possessions were packed into plastic tubs but several things were just in boxes, including my husband’s prized collections of baseball cards and sports memorabilia. He was pretty calm about having to toss out hundreds of damaged cards, considering how much time he devoted to the collecting hobby as a kid. He was, and is, a real sports fan. You pick the sport, he has been a witness to it in some way, shape or form. He has pennants and foam fingers and ticket stubs and cards. Still, post-flood, tons of cards. At the time of the flood he admitted that most of them were “worthless” but they were meaningful to him because they represented a life-long dream of his.
“To collect cards?” I naively chimed in.
“No - to be a sports reporter or a sportscaster. I just never had the nerve to do it.” And that was that. Get out the wet vac, clean up the mess and live your life.
Fast forward to the present day and my husband, still the avid sports fan, has wiggled his way back into the sports dreams of his youth. He found a way to sell and enjoy sports cards once again, renewing an intense interest in not just the hobby of collecting but the dream of being a broadcaster. Through the technology of apps, he is able to sell and collect cards and for a few hours each week, play the part of an auctioneer, telling stories, selling cards, helping bring others into the sport along the way. He lights up when he sees a card now. And I couldn’t be happier for him. I thought about him the other day because it feels like he is finally able to live out some of his dream. I’m so glad he found it before it was too late.
There are so many things we might want to do. There are hobbies we have always wanted to try or nurture. There are careers we never had the nerve to put our neck out there for because we feared we wouldn’t make any money, or worse, we might lose money. There are places we have seen only in pictures that we have wanted to visit but missed our chance because of timing or real-life obligations or tight finances. It happens. Living life can often just get in the way of living our dreams. Funny how that works.
There are so many things we might have wanted to be. A workout guru with abs of steel. A trivia nut who knows all of the countries and capitals in Africa. A couch potato who has been disciplined enough to watch every single Turner Classic Movies film in their vault. I won’t judge. You get to have your dreams, I get to have mine.
So many of us have wanted to be different than who we are right now. I’m certain I never dreamed of being a life coach, or a social worker, or a wife. I dreamed about dancing on Broadway or being a judge in family court or being an author. Sometimes we all look back at those dreams and say “it's just too late.”
But is it? Unless we are dead, I don’t think it’s too late. We have today and, if we are lucky, many days that follow, to get started on doing whatever it is we really want to do. Hobbies can be nurtured. Dance shoes can be pulled out of the closet for sessions in your living room. Jobs can be changed, or at least adapted to include aspects that feed your soul in ways you always wanted. Friendships can be healed or eliminated, whatever allows you to proceed as you see fit. You can try something old again. You can try something new. You can put on new glasses. Or just put on a new attitude. Only when you are dead is it actually too late to be and do whatever it is you want to do to live your best life.
Remembering your dreams - even the silly ones - and nurturing their presence in your life is so beneficial. It reminds us that we are more than our job or our things. We have more to us that can sing and shine. We have more in our lives to enjoy and explore and do and be, if only we remember that it is never too late to try them, renew them, or just do them. We don’t need to quit our jobs or run away from home to realize the opportunities in daily life that bring us closer to being exactly who we want to be. It really is never too late.
My husband and his baseball cards were such a good reminder for me. I love watching him enjoy a small part of his new world that he has crafted for himself. He is living out his dream, albeit modified for his age, athletic ability and the bills sitting on his desk that need his regular paycheck, but dreams come to life just the same. Those water-damaged baseball cards are still worthless. But having the nerve to take the opportunity today to do what you wanted to do yesterday - that is priceless. Play ball!