Larisa had me thinking recently, regarding a quote in her last post from Calli in Pew Pew Lazers.
The problem is, I’m 41 next month. My reflexes aren’t what they used to be, there are youngsters in our raid who act like they have the reaction times of rattlesnakes on crack and they handle fights like this with ease. Me, I need time to process things, time to let muscle memory take the slack that my reflexes can’t handle and my brain can’t process.
It hit me hard….briefly. I hit 43 in April. And then some serious thoughts kicked in.
In my last place of work I remember taking a phone call from someone regarding sending in artwork/photos for an advert they were placing. I asked her if they could scan and email the photos to us, as it would be quicker. To which she replied “Oh, I don’t use computers, I’m in my forties, I’m too old to learn.” A little bit of me died inside.
Too old to learn….
I could have told her that my father didn’t use a computer until he retired, or that my elderly aunt was taking a computing course…..but I didn’t. She’d already put up a barrier and the only person who would break that barrier down would be herself.
And it’s easier to put a barrier up and hide behind it than push ourselves that little bit more. We can hide in our comfort zones, safe behind the knowledge that we can’t learn because we’re too old, or that we can’t improve our performances. Hell. I do it. I’ve done it for a year or more myself in life. Hiding behind that wall of “I can’t, I’m too nervous, I can’t, I’ll be rejected, I can’t because of some silly little reason or another.”
When we start putting up those barriers, it hurts us. It stops us looking into other ways of overcoming the issues. And we make performance ceilings for ourselves. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am aware of my limitations physically. I’m NOT the spring chicken who could go out, live action role-play for an entire weekend, while camping and drinking til 4-5am in the morning just to start a full day’s adventuring at 9am. I’ve put on weight, I’ve slowed down. BUT……should I so desire, I could lose that weight, I could still enjoy a weekend of live action roleplay if I put my mind to it. My memory isn’t what it was either, but that’s because it’s out of training. If I put my mind to it, I know I could train it back. And my reflexes? I’d bet my bottom dollar that I could outperform some youngsters!
What I really want to say is that I don’t want to believe that age is a barrier. Just like I refuse point blank to believe that women of a certain age should cut their hair into a respectable and easy to maintain short style. Bugger that, I love my long hair and so does my husband! I would far rather ignore that age issue and toss aside the can’ts associated with it. If I have limitations I want to find them myself, and if I can overcome them, to do so. I’ve spent a long time hiding behind can’ts myself, and making my own ceilings.
In short…..throw out the I can’ts, replace with the I cans. Tear out the ceilings you believe exist, and the sky’s the limit! And I’ll promise to try to do the same.