Sometimes I feel that way too. Ideas like that started occasionally creeping into my mind after watching my mom get older. I wonder at what point I could lose the power I feel inside me so strongly. It's facing my own mortality. And, frankly, I don't like feeling that way. So my way of combating that kind of power-weakening negativity is to look to women who remind me that it’s never too late.
That's what happened yesterday when I met with Chester County author Elaine Kelly and her daughter Christie and Delawarean Pattie Painter, a cancer survivor and wedding celebrant.
During lunch at restaurant in West Chester, my purpose was to connect the Elaine and Pattie, both my friends and colleagues, to share marketing ideas. Elaine, with the help of her marketing maven daughter, has been doing wonderful things with her Philly-focused book, Among the Buildings That Touch the Sky (amongthebuildingsthattouchthesky.com). Pattie, the survivor of multiple cancers, reinvented her life-after-cancer as a wedding celebrant with her company Vows of the Heart.
Here’s what I thought was so cool about the meeting of these two women – and something that can make both you and me feel really good: both women are in their 70’s and going strong!! Elaine never even thought about writing a book until she was 74. But she did and Among the Buildings is selling like hotcakes at places like the Reading Terminal Market and the Philadelphia Art Museum! Now, at 77, she’s working on a similar book about Boston. It looks like it could become a series!
Similarly, Pattie, newly 70 and now fully retired from corporate life, has grown her wedding business (VowsoftheHeart.com). When we had lunch last month, Pattie shared an idea with me. I thought her idea was so good that I wanted her to talk to Elaine to get some marketing ideas. Which is how we all got to the table in West Chester.
For almost two hours, the energy was fast and furious. Elaine and Christie had great ideas and gave Pattie wonderful advice. Pattie was taking notes like crazy. With all the ideas flying, we barely had time to eat!
Later in the afternoon, I was thinking about Elaine and Pattie. I wondered…when is it too late to have it all? Does it happen when you stop dreaming of something more or when you start telling yourself you’re getting old or that time has passed you by? Any of those thoughts, when embraced in your mind and heart, are killers. And the worst of it, they are seldom true unless you believe the negative self-talk.
After all, Elaine got her book idea during a trip to Philadelphia with her grandson. Pattie new business idea developed because she wanted to help her autistic grandson. Both women could have said, “I wish somebody would...” and then wait for someone else to do something. They didn’t. Both women, in their individual ways, took the lead with the talents they were already comfortable with and stretched them into new skills. That’s what victory is all about, at any age. Pattie and Elaine are making things happen that not only help others, but enrich their lives in ways that would make any of us happy.
What do you still want to do?