Is There an Expiration Date on Success?

I read an interesting piece the other day that basically talked about, “can you make it when you’re older.”  I’m fascinated by this idea for 1) because I am no spring chicken and for 2) because I think the wunderkind / prodigy idea is mostly a myth.  I believe that extreme talent takes mainly practice.  Sure, is there a little something in there that’s inborn and can’t be duplicated?  Probably.  But, I think it’s a very small percentage and mostly it’s practice.

 

We’ve all seen those lists:

 

Top Business Owners Under 30
25 year old Self Made Millionaires
Child Prodigies in Science and the Arts

 

“Look, this kid is better than Mozart.”

 

“Holy Toledo, this kid made a nuclear reactor in his basement at the age of 12.”

 

The only way that I think kids become talents at this early of an age, is if they show an interest in something and then their parents stoke that fire.  In other words, the interest has to be really supported.  But, I digress…

 

The question I’m asking is can you make it as an oldie?

 

The way our society positions it, you would think we should all be dead after the age of 40.  Over the hill.  No one’s career is going to blossom after that age.  That’s what society suggests.  In a sense, I think  that notion has got to be wrong because it’s not accounting for experience.  I’ve read time and again of writers coming into their own at an older age because they can process more material through the wealth of their personal experience and that gives their work more depth.

 

But, then the other side of me says – the kid who makes it early, say as a writer, has a better infrastructure in place.  He’s got an infrastructure of connections and resources that can help him – at the very least – stay on top.  I mean isn’t that what nepotism is to some degree?  A very rich, leg up?  Or a very connected leg up?  And a leg that will help you stay there?

 

Of course, there are many examples of people who have “made it” later in life.  I always bring up Colonel Sanders – the guy STARTED selling chicken in his 60s.  And there are others.  While, at the same time, there are a bevy of young upstarts who seem to do nothing, but succeed from the very beginning.

 

 

I was talking to a German friend of mine not too long ago and during the discussion she mentioned that, “America was the country of second chances.”  I asked her what that meant and she said, “you can have a second career here.”  As she explained it, people don’t do what – for example – Wifesy did in Germany.  She went back to school in her 30s and started a whole other career.  It’s unheard of there.  You pick your career early and then you make it stick until you succeed.  That’s why there’s A LOT of successful Europeans in their late 20s.  But, if you pick the wrong thing or get inspired by something else, later in life, well, she says the battle is much harder.

 

Even in America, though, we value the 20 something brainiac who seems to conquer the world.  Witness, Mark Zuckerberg.

 

I think he’s crushing the internet there…

 

My only question is – why can’t we value the AARP card holder who opens their own business or writes their novel, just as much.  I suppose we do, but it’s not celebrated like it’s a possibility.  There is not this attitude of “hang in there, it’s just around the corner.”  I’ve always felt that as you age and try your hand at outside of the box ideas and alternative careers, the response is more like, “Oh, you’re STILL doing that.”  If these ideas were more accepted, we wouldn’t be asking these questions at all.  You know the one I asked, Is there an expiration date on success?  Or the one I read…Is your age a hindrance or a help?

 

Regardless, it’s an interesting question.  What do you think?

 

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77 thoughts on “Is There an Expiration Date on Success?

  1. SM,
    It might seem off topic, but we have a saying in Marketing: you’re only as good as your last project, I have worked with older gents and women who kicked some serious butt, and some other that disappear not because they had hit the age of nostril and ear hair, but because their concept flopped, after years of brilliant success. End of comment.
    Le Clown

    1. you know, there’s a very similar line that is used around stand up comedy, but it goes, “you’re only as good as your last set.” i always believed it, but then after a time, i went – that’s bullsh*t because you can bomb any time as a stand up. hell, seinfeld bombed AFTER he was a star on seinfeld. it’s just part of the game. so, i thought as it pertains to stand up, it was better to say, “you’re only as good as the majority of your sets go…” meaning if you do well most of the time, you’re pretty good. if you do sh*t most of the time, find another career. it’s not as catchy though… 😉 sm

      1. SM,
        Words of wisdom you speak. The difference I see is marketing is the money factor: when your “brilliant” concept fails, and you are responsible for an important loss – and let go – it’s a challenge to rise back from the ashes and Phoenix with splendour, as the stench of loss of profit is often unforgiven.
        Le Clown

  2. Hey SM,
    I’m a plodder. I have been lucky enough to be successful at the things I do but only very early on was it a supernova start, after that everything I have made happen did so at a much slower pace and I have really enjoyed feeding my energy into new things. I think that it’s about perspective. Look at Ellen D though she was working success came later, same with Betty White, Oprah was not a very young genius and had her share of setbacks, Charlaine Harris didn’t hit the big time till later, neither did J K Rowling. There are people making it later all around.
    Portia xx

    1. all very good examples, Portia. Though Oprah was doing that Oprah sh*t from almost jump. But, I think you are right on pretty much everyone else you mentioned. With Ellen, though, it was a whole different supernova of a story, all its own. She was a huge star, the Ellen sitcom was a huge hit. Then she came out. Then she couldn’t get arrested. Then society evolved here a bit (maybe even as a result of Ellen coming out, along with a mix of other things) and she found her legs again with her talk show. And then – BOOM – you are correct – she’s probably got unbreakable celebrity and fortune, now, i’d say. when did jk rowling hit? was it her 30s or 40s? i’m not sure. regardless, you bring up great people and great commentary. it’s always a delight to have you here. much love, momma

    2. but, to add to the other side of that, i have a performer friend who always screams at me, “YOU’RE MAKING ART!! YOU CAN’T RUSH ART, GODDAMN IT! YOU’RE MAKING ART!” it always makes me laugh and feel better at the same time… loool.

      1. ‘ken oath! You are making art. You are living art. Do it in your own time. If it comes YAY but don’t miss the great joy of MAKING art.
        I love being here to see you too. Thanks for providing a forum,
        Love,
        Portia xx

  3. “The way our society positions it, you would think we should all be dead after the age of 40.” Yes and yes and more yes. This sentences sums it up beautifully. Our society loves the young-uns, the rest of us be damned. The stuff I write now would not have been possible for the young Speaker7. The young Speaker7 was kinda funny, maybe? But mainly I was immature, inexperienced and self-absorbed. Now I am. . . well, I’m older.

    1. i feel the same way. sure i wrote when i was younger, but it was more all over the place. i still write about everything under the sun. but, in a strange way it’s more streamlined, in a way that makes sense. thank god. you know, like a fine wine… better with age! 😉 sm

    1. i did the same. loool. but, because she became successful later — both her and i will never be happy until i am too… sigh. so, that means more work for me, when really all i want to do is take a dip in a wine vat. seriously. 😉

  4. I think it depends on what the venture is. For many things, such as writing, age may be a benefit because of all of one’s experiences. For other things, such as underwear modeling, age may be a major strike against success…

    1. as always, astute and yet somehow also hilarious commentary. thank god, for you, carrie. and thank god for me (and everyone else) that i have no desire to be an underwear model… looool.

  5. It’s uncanny you should write this post today. I was lost in thought yesterday wondering what it would be if I don’t become a success by 40!
    I’ve heard that, save any neurodegenerative condition like Alzhiemer’s, mental acuity actually improves with age. Many of do not possess made-to-order talents. We have to flounder to find that one magical thing that we’re both good at, as well as derive great pleasure from. It will probably usurp a lot of our time, but I think it’s worth it. I’d rather discover it when I’m sixty than give up because I’m too afraid to find out.

    1. i’m glad that you’ve heard it improves with age. i’ve heard both – that it improves and that your mind is its best in your 20s and then its all downhill after that. i suppose – like everything else – it depends what you’re measuring and how you’re measuring it. but, i am with you on the ‘made-to-order’ element. if it takes you (me, or anyone) a while to figure out what works, then feck it. that’s what we should be doing. much love, sm

  6. You ask an interesting question, but it also depends on how you define success. For me, it would be being able to support myself doing what I love, writing, and never having to work one second at The Grind ever again. I would also be able to afford to dine out at a great restaurant without having to think twice about affording the tab. Also, I value my anonymity. The idea of having my dinner interrupted by voyeurs or my picture taking by paparazzi due to celebrity status does not appeal to me. I don’t need to be Mark Z or Ellen D or find my mug on the cover of People. I don’t need to have my obit published in The New York Times when I check out. Who cares, I’m dead. Society celebrates exceptional talent that by and large did start at an early age. They had the drive and I think many of them made their own opportunities that most of us lacked when we were young and often, ambition-less. I do think that a degree of fortune is possible at any age — maybe that’s just the dumbly optimistic Yank in me speaking. If we didn’t hope for a better tomorrow, what’s the point of continuing to try today? Society, as a whole, does seem slanted toward youth possibly because youth is so much prettier to look at than age.

    1. honestly, lame, me thinks you are not lame at all. i could’ve written this comment myself as we agree to a “T” as to the definition of success. let me have enough money to eat out in a feckin’ restaurant without panic, make my living (a real living that is) in an entirely creative way, and keep my ability to be completely anonymous in a crowd. that all sounds just right to me. maybe i am the dumb optimistic yank too…as i think it can happen at any age, but then again – i agree – why go on if you don’t believe that? well said, my dear, well said.

    2. I agree with you. Do what I love, get paid well enough to cover the essentials and a bit extra. And to be able to help out other people sometimes, the way they’ve been helping us lately.
      Fame would be exhausting, but then again, I’m not a comedienne.

  7. I ask myself that alot, and for the same reasons. It’s tough, because you accrue a life as you go along, and renewal is harder with baggage.

    We’re also so focused on the immediate that we rarely look at the longevity and sustained ability of the wunderkinds. The career one-hit-wonders, so to speak.

    1. …and there are a lot of them in comedy, now, aren’t there? i hear you, byronic, it plagues me, but at the same time – in a lot of ways that don’t revolve solely around the almighty dollar, i’m doing alright. i suppose time will tell and staying out of the comparing game is probably the best angle… not easy to do though…sm

  8. Something I didn’t experience until I lived in Portland was the idea of a second shot at life. I grew up in Silicon Valley, and it’s pretty much a dog eat dog situation there. People are very competitive, and you have to go full throttle at a career after college otherwise you’ll never be able to make enough money to get by in life. The cost of living there is outrageous.

    I think you can, but it’s not feasible in every career or in every location.

    1. ah, so well said, jen. and this is part of the reason why i moved out of new york city. there – even five years ago – i struggled just to make a 1400 rent. here, we have 5 times the space and pay 1200, split between two of us. i mean, seriously… so, location is DEFINITELY a factor. i love new york, but i will not go back there to live unless i have seinfeld money, end of story. now, portland on the other hand, i’ve heard nothing, but amazing things about. wifesy and i are dying to go…and when we do, i’m looking you up… xo, sm

      1. Portland is where all the weirdos live. Seriously, it’s like the city did the best job they could recruiting misfits from all over the world. I love it here.

        You better look me up! I will do the same when I’m in your neck of the woods.

  9. A very good question. I wrote a one-woman play, but have been too scared to try and take it any further. I met with a director for advice once, and he mentioned my age (at the time mid 40s) and said it could still work. It’s now years later and I’m not getting any younger. Do I try to market the play at this late date or not? That is the question. What was the Col. Sanders doing before he started selling chicken? Did that aid his chicken salesmanship? How one lives their life before becoming successful surely makes a difference regarding future success?

    1. DO.IT.APPLE. that’s what i would say. i hear you about fearing to do something creative, but if you risk nothing than you reap no benefit. i say put the feckin’ thing up. you have NOTHING to lose. for me, i pause when the stuff i’m doing/ creating involves other people because though i’m a great collaborator, i hate having to do my creative stuff on another person’s time calendar with their vision, perhaps changing mine, etc. but, in some cases that is absolutely unavoidable…and if there’s pay involved, i can also get over that in a hurry. and i’m not sure what the col was doing beforehand. i do want to say it was in sales. but, good lawd, i’m not sure he could’ve envisioned what kfc has become today… and i’m betting he never could’ve foretold the fake chicken parts neither… loool. much love, sm

  10. I would second that, A. and SM. Put it out there.Whenever. No Matter What. I have my theories about emphasis on youth and the blandness of success in a way now, but for this bear? Knowledge and intelligence are what make things work. Hard to have an oversupply of that in youth. Older people are often missing it as well, sadly. Despite the challenges of having to make money to live, I think you simply have to show up. And keep showing up. Other people cannot define what success really is and until you bring it, over and over, that additional piece of YOUR “whatness” that completes and adds to what success is in the big scheme of things won’t be there. And the current arbiters of culture will not always be on top, either. Especially if they’re only as good as their most recent thingy. Think how hard it is to make a good dinner every night! Jeesh. So. As long as there’s breath in you and the marbles are rolling around the flippers in the proper direction, GO FOR IT. It’s hard, but what the heck. What else is there to do?

    1. I like this idea of ‘simply having to show up’ — in a way you seem to be saying, trust the process and i like that. it’s such good commentary, booz. i especially loved, ‘think how hard it is to make a good dinner every night.’ totally hard. i struggle there, there, and everywhere. looool. thanks for leaving this here. seriously. it’s really great food for thought. xo, sm

  11. Sweet Mom i think it all depends on two things..A if you have the time and luxury to take risk and try something new..B infrastructure and money…i am a content writer…i don’t like my job and i keep wondering if i will do something else someday…and it all comes down to one thing ..can i afford to leave this job to try something new? 😛
    your post just made me debate with myself… 🙂

  12. I have thought much about this myself, Momma. But you know what? I’ve seen so much evidence of how people can hit it big at any age. One of my teachers in high school was Frank McCourt, who wrote Angela’s Ashes. When I knew him, he was a NYC high school English teacher, not an author. He had a sort of local following with his brother Malachy, because of some small shows they did together, but that was about it. And then suddenly, WHAM! He writes Angela’s Ashes and it’s a best-seller. He was already in his 60s at the time (I think). Then there’s Stephen Ambrose, the historian who wrote the book on D-Day and founded the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. He had been an author and professor for years and years, but hit the big time with D-Day when he was in his 50s. And that’s just the two examples I can think of off the top of my head because I’ve had the privilege of knowing both of those guys personally. But anything can happen, at any time.

    1. ok, i love frank mccourt and his bro. rumor had it they would both read at the bullmoose saloon on third. is that still there? i never caught a live reading, but i truly wanted to. read angela’s ashes and loved it. tho as far as the irish go, ugh, it was depressing. it sort of went – we were poor, we were poor, and then we were poor again. a totally great read, but a lot like the book version of ‘rent.’ only rent went more like this, ‘aids, aids, aids, and more aids.’ looool. lawd. but, i think you bring up such great points and with our youth obsessed existence, it IS nice to hear. xoxo, sm

      1. They were a great pair, the McCourt brothers. Frank died a few years ago, sadly. I don’t think the Bullmoose is there anymore, I never saw them read there but they had a show that they put on called “A Couple of Blaguards” that was quite entertaining. And yeah, Angela’s Ashes is a bummer in the way that only the Irish can be, right?

      2. ‘in the way that only the irish can be…’ you had me laughing out loud there. it’s a beautifully written bummer, but then again that’s what goes best with beer, now, isn’t it? loooool. love you, weebs, love you. sm

  13. I believe in talent but I think the modern worship of it is a cop out by everyone else. Calling Tiger Woods or Michael Phelps ‘talented’ is ignoring years of practice and sacrifice. Talent gets us interested in something and gets our well-wishers to invest time and money and support in it. The product after a few years is a polished success, and everybody says, “He always had it in him.” This works like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Lots of people make it later in life. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about it. Here’s a cracked.com article about it too.
    Finally, I think people should do something if it makes them happy. Only that will give them tenacity, which is essential for success.

    1. i actually approved this one too because i want to go and read the articles…;) i didn’t know about the gladwell ‘late bloomers’ one – thank you for leaving it here, bharat. xo, sm

  14. Hard question, I will be 55 this month. It gets harder. I would not have the patience to do what I do as well 20 years ago as I do today. But most organizations will not hire me today because of my age. So I work as a contractor and thus will never have the real opportunity or a safety net.

    1. that bums me out, but I think you are right, val. i think a lot of employers have an ‘age thing.’ and i think it’s worse with women… sigh. that’s why i believe in building my own brand/ business/ whatever you want to call it…because in terms of longevity sometimes i think YOU is the only YOU, you can trust. well, keep fighting the good fight, sistah. i’m right beside you. much love, sm

  15. Success is relative. If you spend your life comparing your success to a success of another, than you will never have enough success any way. Pushing yourself to be more successful is for the birds.

  16. I’m with Valentine. 55 and starting over…again. The hiring age has dropped and experience counts for very little. Patience is key, you know they say it is a virtue. It’s just most days I don’t feel to virtuous.

    1. mg, i feel you. seriously, i feel your pain. women have such value as they age, to me, at least. i don’t get why the rest of the world doesn’t always see it that way. it’s pathetic in a lot of ways. all we can do is carve out our own thing. and that has got to be a worthwhile endeavor. xo, sm

  17. I think age can be a hindrance if you’re applying on a job that requires those youthful attributes — being hip, very attractive and knowing all the top trends. But I was there in “my day” so I try not to compare myself. It’s difficult in this youth-oriented society in which we live. But really, hasn’t it always been that way? To answer your question, I think age, maturity can be an advantage in some situations and to those people who appreciate what a more mature person can bring to a situation, endeavor or company. I think it depends on what your craft is. Laura Ingalls Wilder wasn’t published until she was in her 50s and Toyo Shibata published her first book at 99!

    Doris Lessing said this: “What I did have, which others perhaps didn’t, was a capacity for sticking at it, which really is the point, not the talent at all. You have to stick at it.”

    Shel Silverstein said this: “Anything can happen child, anything can be.”

    I try to aspire to that when self-doubt plagues me, which happens often.

    Great post, becks.

    1. i should say, great comment, briges. cause it was, from beginning to end. i hear you, it’s way important to keep in mind the authors who published later and even the entrepreneurs who kept banging on the door and it either finally opened or they broke it down. either way works, in my opinion. but, of course, i doubt like we all do. however, i keep hitting ‘publish’ on this and many other things and that – for sure – has its value. much love, sm

  18. I think drive and ambition are two necessary ingredients in the whole success thing. Plus knowing ‘what’ you want to be successful at. My Dad had 3 successful careers in his life – champion gymnast as a young man, engineer in mid-life and sort-of-famous busker for the last 20 years of his life [he played the violin and had write-ups in the papers, was filmed etc]. So a measure of success can happen if you want it badly enough.

    For myself, writing was just something I did, like knowing how to put your pants on in the morning. Wanting to tell stories with my writing came much, much later and may never amount to anything in the grand scheme of things but at least now I have the freedom to at least /try/. In terms of being a successful person, isn’t that all that’s really important?

    1. that is, in the end, the most important thing i think – the doing. and i like what someone else said above. you have to show up. over and over and over again. i suppose the rest none of us have any control over. xo, sm

  19. Hey I commented on this a few hours ago, but it says, “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” I guess it’s stuck in your spam queue because it had two links. Below is my comment without links.

    I believe in talent but I think the modern worship of it is a cop out by everyone else. Calling Tiger Woods or Michael Phelps ‘talented’ is ignoring years of practice and sacrifice. Talent gets us interested in something and gets our well-wishers to invest time and money and support in it. The product after a few years is a polished success, and everybody says, “He always had it in him.” This works like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Lots of people make it later in life. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about it. There’s a cracked.com article about it too.
    Finally, I think people should do something if it makes them happy. Only that will give them tenacity, which is essential for success.

    Feel free to accept the original comment and delete this one. Thanks.

    1. so weird. i don’t know why stuff gets held up in my spam queue when it’s someone who has commented before. but, it does happen from time to time. as per usual, that’s a great comment, bharat. i’ve read malcolm gladwell and his 10,000 hrs theory. i mostly agree with it. i agree tenacity and persistence are a huge percentage factor. those qualities, i think, i have in spades. the ones i lack may hold me back though. i’m not sure. at the high levels, it’s hard to say what the winning difference is between an oprah and say a top newcaster…sometimes i do think it’s a convergence of a lot of things and timing being one of them… how else to explain people who are making money on youtube these days…a lot of them have talent, but some of them… oy vey. xo, sm

  20. Great post, Sweet Mother.

    When I turned 50 it dawned on me that I could put old age and treachery to work for me and keep up just fine in the Construction Trades. Mechanical skills developed and honed over a lifetime, combined with continuing education allow me to get-to-the-gettin’ sooner than I did in my youth and still turn out a decent installation.

    Now that I am 60+ I have my days when I feel like a fat guy in The Donner Party, but that is only my interpretation and it can be put aside at any time. Age is very much a state of mind, both in our heads and in the minds of those around us. Go into any Apple Store and look around at the customers. In my area it is mostly adults 55+ who are developing a new skill or getting help with a current project.

    We are an invisible generation to the media and at the same time, we are a vast resource of experience, strength and hope to anyone who takes the time to ask.

    I have survived the Past, I look forward to the Future.
    Allan

    1. Allan, i heart you. Seriously, you are an awesome humanoid. I can tell from that comment alone. i loved this line, “we are an invisible generation to the media and at the same time, we are a vast resource of experience, strength, and hope to anyone who takes the time to ask…” so well said, allan, so well said. thank you for leaving it here. much love, sm

      1. Yeah my pop started out as a physicist designing computer programs for flight simulators for F16,s and was still attending advanced physics classes well into his eighties, studying cold fusion theory. He actually made it to ninety before he passed. He had a great friggin’ line about turning ninety. My mom asked him how he felt about making it to ninety. He said “I feel brilliant! And if I make it to one hundred, I’ll feel brillianter!” Miss you pop.

      2. that’s feckin’ awesome, lorence. but, then again, i’ve always thought you were. 😉 what a great story about your dad. i don’t think you ever told it to me. and when are you going to start one of these blogs? you’d be a fun addition here… i’m just sayin’. loool. “MEDIA BISTRO!” they still don’t help me. but, at least i get paid for writing now, at least a bit. much love to you, ld, and then some. xo, sm

  21. I definitely see both sides of the story and I agree that both young and older people can be successful and make changes and reinvent themselves – but not for the same reasons.

    Take therapists for instance. Going into counseling is a very, very popular second (or third) career. The vast majority of my colleagues are not only older than me, but are of my parents’ generation. We’re all awesome therapists, just for different reasons.

    My older colleagues have all this awesome life experience that they bring to the table that I can’t learn from any book. As for me, I tend to jive a bit better with the young crowd, and I may have a fresher, more energetic approach to therapy. It’s all yin and yang, but I do agree that, from what I have seen, America is the land where you can constantly reinvent yourself.

    1. lyssa, i think the therapists point you bring up is such an interesting one. i loved my therapist in new york. LOVED her. i saw her every single week for 10 years. i really think she’s a lot of the reason i’m comfortable and good in my own skin to this day. and i will say this… at the end of my ten year run with her, i eventually asked her how old she was. and she was a STICKLER about almost never mentioning herself or her own personal stuff. she said to me, “would it matter?” and I was like, “no, but it dawns on me that you may not be much older than me.” turns out she was ten yrs older and i was one of her first clients. so, i must have seen her when I was about 25ish, left her at 35ish and she was probably around 45. something like that. it was the perfect age, actually, because if she had been too old, i wouldn’t have felt that she could understand the stuff i was talking about. but, being a bit older than me and probably more mature and wise, really helped. it’s really interesting, your comment. very interesting. worth of a post in and of itself. much love, sm

      1. Thanks for that feedback. It really goes to say that age (or our perception of it) isn’t everything.

        I’ve had new clients request an older therapist because they assume an older therapist is “better” or “more experienced,” and these clients are surprised to find out that I am licensed when my older colleagues are not, so it’s all relative.

        It all comes down to wanting to be understood and heard by your therapist, and so we seek that out in any way we can.

  22. Great points by all. I firmly believe that you can make it later in life. I might be clinging tenaciously to that hope so that I have a reason to get up every morning, but I have seen many friends reach their peak later in life, so I believe it to be true. I also think that if you make it later you might have the good sense to appreciate it and leverage it into a real future and not end up on the “what ever happened to… ” lists, which would negate any “top 30 under 30” designation. So many young people (get off my damn lawn!) who experience success don’t really know what to do with it or take it for granted. But if it’s a slow burn maybe there’s a chance that it is sustainable.

  23. Everything is shifting, as it does from generation to generation. The generation before us, they got educations (some of them), got jobs, and that was that. Ok, so I’m over simplifying. That is the stereotype, however, and I can’t help but wonder if we’re basing expectations of ourselves on this (probably very) inaccurate idea of success?
    I dunno. I really don’t. You saw my post, I’m at an effing loss.
    You must have heard the expression “there’s no such thing as an overnight success”. Barring the extraordinary feats of Bobby Fischer and Mozart, I think we fit in pretty well with the rest of the pack.
    I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Maybe we all want to be extraordinary, and get anxious when we start running out of time to do so?
    Again, I haven’t the foggiest.
    I am happy to be at an age where I know better what I want and don’t want, and also possess the self confidence to pursue said “wants”. But competing with young kids willing to take shit and suck up…bleg.

    1. i’m with you on all of this. and i feel like my “paying dues” time is over. not like i won’t work hard and work my girl-balls off. i will. that’s not what i mean. for ex, in the comedy biz, you’re supposed to hang out at the clubs, network, meet peeps, get spots, etc, etc. i won’t do it anymore because i did it for over ten feckin’ years and i have a wife and a life now…so, book me or i’ll just sit and write. maybe not the best way to get a paycheck, but so far it works for me… loool. xo, sm

  24. Forget 2nd career! I am on my 5th career and planning my 6th… I am 61. I don’t think about these things, just always going forward, or trying. Having health problems now has made it more difficult, but I am in it for the long haul. Currently planning my exit strategy on current career and putting the things in place for the next chapter. My DH is not supportive, but he’ll come around. Hang in there, I believe that you will make it where you want to make it!

    1. bold, you are bold, indeed. i can’t believe you’re doing all that without the support of said dh! i love ‘he’ll come around’ though. that made me smile. i think you have hit on something though. there is REAL value in not giving a sh*t and just pushing forward. real value. xo, sm

  25. Well my definition of success is a little different than the norm. To me, true success is about how happy a person is, not how far up the status ladder a person has gone or how much money a person makes so success is always available to anyone, no matter what age. And there are a lot of so-called successful people who are miserable so how successful are they at living their lives? Not that much in my humble opinion. So yes, age, smage…. it’s about how happy you feel that truly counts!

  26. I think that our society has a screwed up perception that glorifies youth (and I’m saying this as a young person!) I’ve been getting very frustrated with myself because I still work in retail and I’m not sure what direction I want to take my life, but then I stop and realize that this isn’t fair. There is no reason why at age 24 I need to have all the answers, and if I did what would be the point to keep living? I think it’s totally fine to come into success later in life, as long as that success is what truly makes you happy. At the rate I’m going I will be too!

  27. Interesting thoughts. It seems like the youth get the glory for most subjects, but based on some of the books I love, I think writers of all ages (especially over 30) have a great shot of penning a book that becomes a favorite of millions of people. That doesn’t mean others don’t have that same shot for different subjects. There were the 30+ year olds in the 2008 Olympics that are usually dominated by the younger crowd (swimming and gymnastics). It’s a matter of having the determination, passion for what you do, a way of connecting with others, and knowing the right people. I know there’s a lot more to it than that, but you have to start somewhere!

  28. My husband has an unusual spin on this question… He says it took him 52 years and three crap-marriages before he finally hit “success.” (We have one rule in our marriage: he’s not allowed to have a FOURTH ex-wife.) He also calculates that if I’m his “mid-life crisis” (new wife a generation younger than himself), it follows that he’s going to live to 104… 🙂 Never too late to get something right!

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