Sunday, April 2, 2017

Never too old?

I have been a little fixated with age as I approach my 55th birthday at the end of next week. If I had stayed working in the NHS, I would be eligible to retire now!

When I remember my mother's 5oth and 60th birthdays,  I remember thinking how old she was and yet, here I am. .. Nevertheless, I am feeling inspired today despite my rapidly approaching old age$%^!?

The first story of achievement which has struck a cord is the record breaking row of the Atlantic by four amazing middle aged women in 2015. Their story was told at the Ocean film festival which I attended last weekend. The festival was full of stories of daring-do by young, white, hippy types. But it was the story of  Niki Doeg, 44, Helen Butters, 45, Frances Davies, 47, and Janette Benaddi, 51 who competed against 25 other teams in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge that I really enjoyed.

Granted they are a smidge younger than me, but to take on that challenge at their ages is truly awe-inspiring.

The second inspiring event that took place this week was meeting Ruth Inall. Ruth is a trustee of the Rhodanthe Lippsett Trust, which is a scholarship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwifery students. At the age of 92 she is just handing over the role of treasurer and was telling me about her visit to lobby the NSW premier just the other day. I wish I could successfully lobby politicians now at my age, let alone when I am in my 90s!

What I loved hearing her talk about was succession planning and mentoring, which I worry we are not doing well enough in health as we face a large proportion of midwives and nurses retiring in the next 10 years.

Clearly age is not a barrier to getting things done or achieving one's dreams. Which leaves me thinking about what I want to do when I grow up?!

What is your big dream or goal that you want to achieve in the next few years? How much do you feel that age is a barrier to achieving success?

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