Last week I wrote about adapting, how we must keep learning and changing in order to survive.  The comments were amazing, prompting me to continue thinking about the subject.  So here’s some new thoughts on the subject of adapt or die.

We’re going to start with an anecdote.  When my Husband was about 40, he decided he wanted to be promoted to the next level at his job.  After speaking with his boss, he was told that he needed to have an MS in Tax.  Without this piece of paper, there would be no more promotions.  He already had an MBA, so this would be a second advanced degree.   He already worked a lot of hours.  We had a young daughter.  He asked me what I thought.  I told him to go for it- get the degree.  And he did.  Three years of going to school at night, after a 10 hour day…he completed his course of action.  He didn’t love sitting in a classroom again.  He didn’t love studying on weekends when he would rather have done other things.  A few people actually mocked him- asked him why he was bothering, at his age.  At his age, they said, he should be teaching a class, not enrolling in one.  But he adapted to his environment, his reality.  If you want something you do what it takes.

40 is not old, yet people told him he was too old to go to school.

Which brings us to the next point:  is being old, or older a reason not to change?

There were some comments last week about being tolerant of older people who may not like using the internet, that maybe there was no reason why these people should change/adapt.  Here’s my thoughts:

We should be tolerant of everyone, regardless of the situation.  I ask for tolerance every day, because WordPress and I have a love/hate relationship.  I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing half the time.  I learn what I can, and hope that no one notices the obvious gaffes.  I get frustrated and I muddle through.  There are times I’m doing something technical, and I’m on with customer support, and I will say “Talk to me as if I know nothing.  Explain it to me in baby steps.”  I hope that I get help from someone who understands that it takes me five minutes to find the backslash key on my computer, and that I still refer to “hashtag” as “number sign”.  So yes, tolerance to all those who are not as savvy, whatever the situation may be.

But…

Age should never be used as an excuse.

Now I admit, I sometimes use age as an excuse.  This is usually when I’m trying to do something that requires an iota of flexibility.  This is when I feel my knees give out.  Then I blame age.  But honestly, I shouldn’t.  I should be doing things to increase my flexibility.  I should be doing things to ease my achy joints.  I have no right to use age as an excuse.

Age should never be an excuse for not learning something.  If you don’t want to learn something, that’s fine- but don’t use age as an excuse.

See, the problem with using age as an excuse is that it can backfire.  If people use age as an excuse to not learn something new, this could lead to ramifications in the workplace.  Like, why should we hire someone of a certain age, because they’re not going to want to learn something new- they’re not going to want to learn that new program.  Not wanting to learn or change because of age sets a bad precedent.  And what age is the right age to not want to learn something new?  80?  65? 57?  40?

Using anything as an excuse is ridiculous.  My friend had an employee say that they couldn’t do something at work because of menopause issues.  Really?  You couldn’t sit at a desk and use a computer because you had menopause issues?  Does that mean that women can’t do work because of menopause?  Bad precedent.

If you don’t want to do something, learn something new, adapt- that’s fine.  But own it.  Say I don’t want to learn how to use the internet because I think it’s a stupid waste of time.  Don’t say I’m too old.  Because you’re not too old.  You just don’t want to.  And that’s a big difference.

Don’t use age as an excuse.  It’s not fair to the rest of us who  want to  get up and get on.

 

80 thoughts on “Is It an Excuse

  1. Great post. You know how I feel about pursuing education – life long learning is something I completely believe in – you are never too old to learn new subjects, skills, etc. Excuses don’t make change, they only inhibit it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love your point of view Waking. Taking courses is stimulating and fun at any age. But I wish employers were as open-minded as you. Age discrimination, particularly with women, is a huge problem in this country. Many older women (and men) are under-employed because they can’t get jobs in their fields. Employers use age as an excuse all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I need to send this to my mom. She told me, on her 60th birthday, that she was done reading self-help books, because she was 60 and this was who she was. She was done changing. That always stood out in my mind as a WHOA moment. Like, lady, you aren’t done changing until you are dead- whether you want to work on yourself or not is beside the point. For the record, I’m pretty sure she’s still reading self-help books. She certainly sends me a lot of them. LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post! I’ve always believed that age was just a number. Not something to hinder you from whatever you want to do, or how you want to be seen by others. I am 56 but I don’t let that change the kind of music I listen to or the way I dress, why should it matter? Same thing with learning. I’m kind of addicted to it-I haven’t taken any “real” classes like at a college, but I use Skillshare and Udemy all the time to learn new things. Some are free and some cost a little, but I have learned a ton!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 1-I love that you still say “the number key” for a #.
    2-excuses are the leading cause of decline in everyone at every age. In our children we give them the skills to overcome their excuses such as “I’m not smart enough, I’m not fast enough, I’m not good enough” yet often some people forget the skills needed to overcome our own obstacles. Many people get scared of new things, i.e. technology, so instead of saying they are scared that they don’t understand something because it’s so foreign to them, they use excuses like “I don’t need to know”.
    3-people who said your husband was too old to go to school were just secretly envious that he was changing and they were staying stagnant.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations to your husband for getting his MS in Tax! In response to people who would say I am too old to study, I would have said, “You know, that’s the BEAUTY of having dreams and goals and driving to success – there are those of us who are driven to never stop climbing that mountain no matter what it takes. LET’s see who gets to the TOP FIRST… “ AND THEN SMILE REALLY BIG and say… “NOW, if you’ll excuse me, it is time to get back to studying!!”

    With people who said he was too old… if they are young, it’s because they are lazy and are so busy on their phones, etc. that they think they can sit on their sofa and come up with the next App that will make them a millionaire.

    If someone his age said he was too old, then they were projecting their laziness on him. Basically, they would be too lazy to want to go to school at night, etc., so thought he was nuts.

    What a champ! Working and going to school at night and THEN finding time to study is HARD WORK!

    I was amused at the menopause issue. I thought about myself being in an executive meeting and suddenly having a “hot flash” and saying to the Executive team… “If you’ll excuse me, I’m having a hot flash, I just need to step outside in the below zero temperatures to deal with this, I’ll be back in 10 minutes.”

    What a hoot!

    THEN I come back to the meeting feeling refreshed and say, “Now, where did we leave off.”

    These sound like GREAT Seinfeld or The Office skits.

    Our world — what happened to the hard work ethic? Also, remember when people got older, our parents/grandparents, we really respected them for their maturity and knowledge? Our world is in a big mess right now.

    I say, “Have dreams and keep pushing forward.”

    Look at the Kentucky Fried Chicken guy who created fried chicken in his late 60s!

    How about a post listing off people who accomplished great things as they got older?

    I’ll fly to NY for your next Board meeting! (Smile).

    I see you giving a TEDx on this topic! DREAM BIG, I SAY!

    Laughing… first you start with a Blog, then you tell your family you are going to do a TEDx, that will amuse them! WHY NOT? I love listening to these talks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All brilliant ideas!! One of my friends says I should do a podcast…..now my excuse isn’t age…it’s my new yawk accent which some people would struggle with!! I think so many people put too much negative significance to a number, and not enough significance to actually doing things. If you keep saying how old you are, you’re going to feel older!! Great comments!! Thanks!❤️😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. People will LOVE your NY accent! And if they can’t understand you, they can get the SCRIPT of your talk! THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY.

        You will be the next Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I miss listening to her on the radio, she gave a lot of good “tough love” advice!

        DO IT! 2018 just started!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. FYI – you are right, if you focus on age, you become BORING! I mean how many posts can we read about this subject? If you keep this up, I have to move on!! :).

        I’m focused on the postive, need to read positive Blogs.

        If you focus on your podcast, suddenly, you have renewed energy, because you have goals — you’ll need your lipstick, put your cream on, and be YOUR perky self to give energy to your podcast.

        DO IT! I will listen in.

        PLEASE no more sad posts from you. Let’s move on from this “old” subject. OK

        I have things to accomplish, SO DO YOU!

        Sending Italian hugs! SHAKE OFF THE OLD BEAR COAT, you’ve got a NEW SHINY ONE, it’s 2018!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s not your nature… if you KNOW you are cynical, you need to STOP yourself from being that way.

        For example, if I know I am a certain way and my daughter says it hurts me when you talk that way.

        I have a choice…. DO I SAY, “sorry, this is the way I am.”

        OR

        Do I think… “I am going to make an effort NOT to talk that way, because I love my daughter and I don’t want her to NOT talk to me one day!”

        THINK ABOUT THIS!

        People can always try to change!!

        As soon as you start to type a cynical message… READ and then use the backspace delete button to turn a “negative” into a “positive.”

        I can say I am long winded, I can’t help it, I am Italian heritage.

        BUT I set a goal for myself to keep my posts to 300 words.

        It’s amazing how I have made en effort to cut, and delete words. At first it was HARD, now it is pretty easy!!

        YOU CAN CHANGE if you want to!!

        I wish I could do a heart, but don’t know to.

        OK, off to book a flight to Italy!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I like your views … especially that our excuses backfire … it happened to me actually..

    I used to make excuse ( I still don’t like using this word )of having toddlers at home for late sitting at Office ..and when I appeared for promotion .. it backfired .. I was told on my face that despite being a promising candidate you can’t be considered due to your availability issues…

    Thanks for sharing your experience and adding clarity to mine 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have to say both my parents embraced technology by learning how to navigate smart phones in recent years. So you could say they have adapted. My mom in particular is slowly turning into a techie because she is living with my dad and he is not. 🙄

    Mom is mid 70s, he’s 80. She does occasionally ask us for help, not that we always have answers. Between us and perhaps one of the tweens we can usually figure it out.

    As far as my very complicated dad is concerned, he’s only allowed to push 3 buttons on the remote or click a select few icons on his phone. And the computer? As long as updates don’t change the layout, he’s fine.

    Point? They’re both seniors and quite capable to use contemporary technology. They have adapted.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. people who say he’s too old for school can blow it out their ol’ wazzoo. there’s no age limit for educating oneself. one of the nicest ladies that I attended classes with (as a 30 something non-traditional student) was a lady in her 70’s. she was retired but working on a degree. she said she got married right out of high school and started raising a family right away. and one thing led to another (typical if you have kids) and the next thing she knew she was retired and bored. she wanted her degree and be on the dean’s list just to show her kids and grands what one can do if they set their minds to it. I thought she was very inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wait…let me change the font size here, as the old eyes ain’t what they used to be. You write, “Age should never be used as an excuse.” No, but one’s age, be it, the very young or very old, has been used as a societal and scientific marker in determining the relative capabilities of specific groups within a general population since Moses was a minor.

    And you write, “Using anything as an excuse is ridiculous. My friend had an employee say that they couldn’t do something at work because of menopause issues. Really?” Wow, you do flow from the overly broad to a hot flash of the anecdotal in a wink of the eye, with nary a glance at circumstantial commonsense.

    I could just as easily and cavalierly sum the whole of human existence with the pablum “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”

    But I’ll stoop to the autodidactic understanding that after all that formal schooling we become, or should become, in one way or another, an autodidact. We school ourselves.

    Which brings me to your tolerance concerning your technical set-do’s regarding WordPress.com. Why that be? You post kick-ass content, but let the tags and toggles of the platform whip your butt.

    Oh please, Mr. WordPress,” “Talk to me as if I know nothing. Explain it to me in baby steps.”

    Well, here be some rug-rat reality for ya. WordPress, like all social media platforms, have evolved from a one-trick utility to a multi-facited muscle memory monster of like exchange and stat view addiction. So work the front and backend of your site accordingly, and with the understanding of that purpose.

    You’ve got a hot site. With great content. And you appear fearless. And I’m willing to wager, that if set your mind to it, you could master the platform within a month.

    Then again, you might just be too old. And the technology will master you. Oh well.

    Regards,
    r.douglas

    Like

    1. Never say I’m too old…I’ll show you old…😉 I just hate all the widgets and the crap. I don’t care if my site is pretty. I just want to write about what’s on my mind and converse with people about actual ideas and philosophies. I want to blaze new trails with the words, not the bullshit. What’s the thing, you can’t put lipstick on a pig…. great comments as always!!

      Liked by 3 people

  11. That is a good point! Just the other day, I said to my husband, “When I was 25, I thought I should have it all…the perfect career, the husband, the home, etc. and I didn’t. I was too hard on myself.Looking back, I ran with some great opportunities. And now I am much older and I still want to have the perfect equation: shouldn’t I have the perfect life with the perfect career, etc. The sooner you realize that at each age, you have different strengths and sometimes you do have everything you need. The important part is wanting what you have.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Quite a fantastic post. I’m pondering my response as there’s a few things rattling around at the moment. Let’s see if I can even process thoughts in an orderly fashion, as at 40, I’m a creature of habit; yet I will try to think differently. Oops, I already failed your test! Okay, on a serious note…

    There are days when I think about my age, attempting to decide what it truly means. Besides the things you can’t necessarily change in whole (you can exercise and eat healthy, but the body and mind just decline/change as you age in some areas), there are the environmental conditions around you, and your own willingness to change. Both have to work in conjunction to have that forward momentum, or it won’t work easily.

    I applaud you and your husband — not because of age, but for having the discussion together. Should ‘WE’ take on getting another degree. Asking how it changes your future life. What if he took the courses, got the degree and then wasn’t given the promotion. It’s not fair, but it happens often.

    I think in the end… at least how I choose to approach things… which was not how I did the first 39 years of my life. It’s all choice in life. I agree with you completely about knowing why you choose to do something or not to do something — be truthful and honest to yourself at least if you don’t want to learn the Internet. It’s how I felt about SnapChat for a while. Everyone was using it around me who was about 5 years younger, and since I was trying to fit in, I kept telling myself to learn it. And I tried. Ultimately I don’t like videos or posting things like that. It wasn’t because I couldn’t learn the new interface or tool… it just didn’t appeal to me or make sense. I had other social media tools. Why did I need a 5 second snap of a weird expression and a funny comment. I could do that in FB or IG or Twitter. Someone else may look at that and say: try it a few times, it is fun. Another may say: it’s all silly. Get out and breathe fresh air.

    I’m way off topic, but ultimately, I want to learn every day, but I also don’t want to feel pressure to do it for any reason other than I wake up and think that’s the right thing that day. And if I’m 41 and want to learn snowboarding, I’m gonna do it. Even tho it’s scary. And I hate snow. And I’m more likely to break a bone. No, I won’t be doing that (I’m old enough to know better!). At the same time, I thought about going back to school, as I would like to be a professor in the future, but I did say to myself, at 40, I’m too old to do this — not too old as compared to other people, but in terms of what I wanted for myself. It would be a 4 year commitment for a Masters and PhD, then teaching in entry college courses, which meant I would spend my 40s differently than I wanted to. I should have started at 30. So age does play a factor there, but it’s not because I think I’m too old to be able to do it — I’m too old to do it and achieve what I want in totality for my life. Hopefully that makes sense.

    Excellent post – really gets you thinking! I think you’ve got a very brilliant approach in how you look at it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe I’ll write enough bestsellers that someone will give me an honorary degree and slide me into tenure. 🙂 Eh… I wouldn’t accept it if they did. I’m old-fashioned in that I want to work for what I get.

        This post must be a topic for the next tea/coffee discussion. More to say.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. OMG! I’m still laughing at the menopause statement. Can’t men-o-pause! 🙂 I’m personally an avid learner. Self confessed nerd. I’d be perfectly happy if I could earn a living just learning. Knowledge=power=empowerment.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Excellent post! I am learning new things every day… even technical stuff that makes my toes curl. I remember making a comment (which I thought was funny) at work one day along the lines of “… at my old age.” When no one laughed, I realized that the millennials in the room might not have realized that I was kidding. I NEVER said anything like that again!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great post and I mostly agree, but allow me to be critical on your statement 😉
    A colleague told about his son with a high IQ. He was ready to attend university at the age of 14-15. His parents didnt let him, Becaus of age. He was simply too young for such a step.
    Sometimes age apparently is a good excuse 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Fantastic post! I couldn’t agree more. Age should never be a barrier to anything for anybody. I hear it a lot from a lot of people “I’m too old for xyz” and it drives me nuts. I’m the second to eldest person in my fitness class but I’m the one who works the hardest. That’s how I approach everything, I out 100% into whatever I’m doing and I don’t let my age get in the way. If I had to go back to school I would do it, wouldn’t phase me that I’m almost forty and would probably be in a class of 20yr olds. I think too many people are far too hung up on age. I make jokes about it but I’m not worried about it which is the difference for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Aging affects people differently. One of the things my friends 70 and older complain about is loss of mental agility. Frustration grows as facts escape you and thoughts don’t connect as easily as they used to. So yes, I believe it is ok for someone to say they are too old to choose to learn something new. That being said, I see a trend among my retiree friends to begin new careers in fields they have a passion for and I think it is great.

    Like

  18. Great post! This subject is at the core of why I started my blog. I learnt how to snowboard in my 40’s & you wouldn’t believe how many people thought I was nuts! Made me want to do more. I absolutely love snowboarding now & would call myself an intermediate, not brilliant but ok. I started ‘off road’ mountain biking in my 50’s & love it. People said shouldn’t I be slowing down? Aghhhh! I say all the time age is just a number it’s irrelevant, it’s your attitude to life that determines how you live it. Well done to your husband 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Guilty! My profession requires me to continually learn to stay on top. And I do love learning. A couple of times I’ve considered specializing in something related to my profession, I’ve told myself it would be hard at this stage of my life. But I guess the truth is I’m really not that interested. After 25 years I still love what I do, but I’m also realizing there are so many other things I want to do (like blogging). And that’s okay…….

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh my goodness! Amen and amen! Amen x infinity!
    Age is an oftentimes irrelevant number. Lifelong teaching and learning keeps one’s brain active and healthy! I truly believe that one is never too old to…anything if the willingness is there. You wrote “own it” an that’s the absolute truth! We must own our willingness to do or not, never use age, or (gender for that matter) as an excuse!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great and a positive post finally. I also have a love/hate relationship with wordpress it drives me nuts. I’ll wrote view post I don’t see it at all others comment. I’ve not been blogging lately either. Big! Congrats to you and your husband!

    Liked by 1 person

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