36 In Personal

Am I Too Old?…


Did I get your attention? I am not really talking about me persay, but rather a question I would get asked by adult students before considering lessons,  and also a question people may ask themselves once they reach a certain age. After teaching guitar for many years, I have heard the refrain, ‘ Am I too old… (to- insert interest here) “to learn an instrument?’ I can honestly say  I never thought there was a time limitation to learning. So, of course i tell the adult that wants to study guitar, of course not!

( my sister in law and I at a wine tasting event)

I look at my mom as a prime example. She is 73 years old, and is taking continuing education classes on European culture. My siblings and I purchased a semester of classes ( unlimited) as a gift after she expressed and interest.             My Mom was a teacher all of her life and wanted to continue to learn throughtout her life.

I decided a few years ago, that i wanted to take an acting class. Although I was a bit nervous, not knowing what to expect, I was excited by the idea of learning something new, and also seeing what my abilities were.

What are some benefits of doing something you haven’t but always wanted to do in life? Painting, acting, learning an instrument, dance.. or whatever you choose, has mental benefits as well, as we age. Not only can it be something that brings us joy, but according to “Harvard Health Publishing”,on-going learning  can help our cognitive processes.”Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them.” Learning a new hobby can help brain function in this way.

I also feel challenging ourselves, learning something new, keeps us “young’ in mindset and at heart. Having a “stale’ routine which is comfortable, but not perhaps, exciting or interesting, can create a lack of motivation and inspiration.

At the present, I work on the blog all week from home. My husband works from home in the IT business.xxWe have just 2 puppies here at home. So having friends over, or going out to see people we now really is important for our well-being.  Not only does taking a new skill or learning a new class help foster creativity, increase brain activity, but also is a social outlet. Being around other people, being social and learning from other people also stimulates us, and has shown to be one important factor in aging well. When I worked as an Elementary teacher I would visit the local coffee shop which was right next to Davidson University. I would often hear students and older professors engaged in discussion and debate, thinking to myself, ‘ that must certainly keep you young and your mind active.’

Studies have shown that being socially active, with friends, by taking up a hobby, etc. can lower your stress, develop less health problems as we age, and improve cognitive function. I  feel like I need to laugh more, and let my “inner kid” out! Not only does finding hobbies, interests and other passions in life have a positive influence on aging, it is what makes life more interesting and colorful! I have always believed it is never to late to learn something new, so don’t let age get in the way of your interests!

Have you ever asked yourself that question when wanting to learn something new or take up a hobby?

Have you ever held yourself back from doing something you wanted because you felt “too old”?

Thank you! I love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Jess xo

Lizzie in Lace / / Rachel the Hat / / Jeans and a Teacup / / Northwest Mountain Living / /Bright on a budget/ /Nancy’s Fashion Style/ / Color & Grace / // /Fashion Should Be Fun/ /A Pocketful of Polka Dots/

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  • Reply
    Laura || Walking in Memphis in High Heels
    February 14, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    I felt like I’m too old for a few things, just from hearing stereo types, but I think I’d love to learn an instrument!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 15, 2018 at 10:32 am

      That is fabulous Laura, I never think it is too late! xx

  • Reply
    February 14, 2018 at 9:24 am

    I have read that stimulating your brain with new experiences opens more pathways in the brain which literally keeps our brains growing and young.

    I find that today our biggest issues in adding new activities or hobbies are time management. I constantly feel like I’m behind on my old hobbies already.

    I do think as I’ve gotten older I am less likely to take risks which is a shame. It is often through risk that we learn and grow the most.

    Great post Jess!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 14, 2018 at 9:29 am

      See, Suzanne, this is what i love about blogging. Interaction and thoughtful comments 🙂 I think time managment is what many people struggle with, fitting in all of our interests, can be tough, especially if one works full time too. I find myself learning to take more risks, even if something feels uncomfortable, it often is an experience we don;t want to pass up. I love your response! xx

  • Reply
    Suzy Turner
    February 12, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Such a brilliant post, Jess! I agree it’s really important to never stop learning. It doesn’t matter how old, or how young, keeping the mind active and social is a must!
    Suzy xx

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 12, 2018 at 9:08 am

      thank you Suzy! I am sure life would be quite humdrum if we didn’t learn new things! and I always feel better getting out of the house meeting others for dinner, out for wine etc.xx

  • Reply
    Christine Westermark
    February 11, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Jess – excellent, I completely agree. I love that your Mom is taking classes like that, what an inspiration. My Aunt started her social work degree, part time at age 40. Took 10 years to finish and then she started working in that field. She has always done things like that, bucking convention. She inspired me to retire from my first career at age 46, which took me 25 years to build. Now I am travelling the world with my husband and 2 teens for a year and building an online business along the way. So you never know what you can learn along the way, if you keep your mind open to the opportunities!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 12, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Hi Christine!
      Thank you for the comment on my mom. She is an avid reader and loves to learn. I think she is taking a course on Shakespeare now! How wonderful that your Aunt began a career that she was interested in and didn’t stop due to age. I love that you are traveling with your hubby and kids, as travel offers so many new learning expereinces and opportunities. Thanks so much for stopping bY! xx

  • Reply
    Amy Christensen
    February 10, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    We are never too old! Right? This was a great post, Jess and I’m glad I took a moment to read it. Sometimes, I think, “It’s too late for me to try to start a writing career.” But as you said, it is so good for our brains to try new things. Just this past week, I took a beginner’s photography class. My daughter is a professional and she began teaching, so I thought, why not! It was so much fun and I learned so much. I plan on taking more of these. Thanks for the encouragement! I needed it. – Amy

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 12, 2018 at 9:07 am

      thank you Amy! Being that I blog at home and deal with my disease, I try and think of other things I want to learn in life as well. I am back to playing my guitar when I can and am trying yoga at home as well. I love learning about new wines too and being educated on regions. Thats wonderful that you are taking photography classes, sounds fun and so useful! xx

  • Reply
    elle the Elle Diaries
    February 10, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    I totally agree with this premise. It is vital to keep our minds young, and to continue to learn as we age. Good to exercise both body and mind.
    You too look very beautiful sitting with your guitar, by the way.
    Increasingly, I find that age is just a number, but am constrained by my autoimmune disease, and by being immune suppressed.
    But we are all limited by something.
    Inspiring and thoughtful post.

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 11, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Hi Elle, thank you for your input. I know what you mean, with EDS i am unable to do all of the activities i used to, biking and rock climbing, i do try and find activites i enjoy and can do. Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for your lovely comment. xx

  • Reply
    February 10, 2018 at 11:45 am

    This is a great post Jess! It’s easy to slip into a stale routine and mindset, but nobody gets any younger so there’s no point in worrying about being too old. We often put up barriers because we’re afraid to try something in case we’re not good at it. I’m convinced that having an open and curious mind keeps us mentally youthful.

    Emma xxx

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 10, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Emma, thanks so much! so true! I am of the mindset that you can always learn and are never to old to pick something up. I understand what you are saying, as I was fearful of the acting class, becuase I wasn’t sure how good i would be, but enjoyed it so much, I just did the best I could. I appreciate your comment. Have a great weekend! xx

  • Reply
    February 9, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    I love hearing about your Mom & other seniors learning new things & perusing their interests! I’m 58 & last year I started learning how to handle Border Collie’s herding sheep–learning how to whistle cues for my dogs, how to read sheep & dogs etc. I’m encouraged because lots of people start at about my age & continue for the rest of their lives, finding it rewarding to learn skills & make lifelong friends. I’m also enjoying being in a book club & starting a food blog. Here’s to lifelong learning!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 10, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Hi Megan! That is wonderful! My husband, myself and my two little shih tzus went to a sheep hearding/border collie event this past fall. It was so interesting! I love seeing the dogs following the whistle commands. it must be rewarding to work with the pups and have them follow you. You will have to let me know about your food blog as I enjoy trying different foods and recipies. Lifelong learning is so important! xx

  • Reply
    Madam too Much
    February 9, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    As we grow old we learn therefore we are never too old. Your Mom is a prime example, she want to learn something new and she went for it. Kudos to her!!!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 10, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Thanks for your input! Yes, my mom just told me she is taking a class now on Shakespeare. xx

  • Reply
    February 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    We are never too old or too young to learn something new. New things are important to embrace. Thanks Jess for the reminder. Happy Fri-Yay!!


    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 10, 2018 at 10:05 am

      I do think you can always learn something new no matter the age. I think it somwtimes works in the other direction. i taught kids at 5 years of age for guitar, and i wouldn’t recommend until they were 7 or so, as the dexterity, strength to press down on strings and sometimes attention span, was not there that young. Have a great weekend! xx

  • Reply
    February 9, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I enjoyed reading your post. In my opinion, I don’t believe we are ever too old to learn or to pick up a new hobby. Matter of fact, I think it opens opportunities and learning experiences that wouldn’t be there otherwise if we just lived our lives from day to day. Now that I have a family of my own, I am actually glad that I had hobbies prior to my son. The reason I say that is not only can I share these things with him now but I can do these things to change up my day to day. It gives me an opportunity to switch gears sort of speak. Blogging is my newest hobby and it’s kicking my butt but hey, I am enjoying it and I would have never known, learned and met amazing incredible people such as yourself if I didn’t take the plunge. 😀 Wishing you, hubby and the beautiful pups a marvelous weekend!

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 10, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Yes, I am with you Maureen. I think of things like rock climbing, which i got into at 33, if I didn’t have EDS, I would be doing it today. There were a variety of age groups in the class. I appreciate your lovely comment! Yes, when i was 20, if i would have thought I was going to get into blogging after 40, I would have thought i doubt it, but i am so glad i did! Have a great weekend yourself! xx

  • Reply
    February 9, 2018 at 11:24 am

    I think someone famous said that in order to grow, we must get out of our comfort zone and stretch ourselves…that can be applied to nearly every facet of life, I think! Please do tell what your mother’s secret to her youthful looks at 73!!! WOWZERS!!! The apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree and you’ve got it too!!! But you already know I think you ar a stunningly beautiful :).

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 9, 2018 at 11:35 am

      thank you Leslie for your kind words, very sweet of you! i did have to laugh however, as i realized i talked about my mom under my picture, and that is actually my sister in law sitting next to me in the photo. My mom has a young look, but not that young! xx

  • Reply
    passion fruit, paws and peonies
    February 9, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I think it’s so important as we get older to keep using our brains and challenge ourselves. I also think I will always want to learn or I’d feel like my life was standing still in some way. Good on you Jess! x

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 9, 2018 at 11:36 am

      Thank you Maria for your input. Yes, i do think it is important to learn new things and also have hobbies that interest us. I am back to playing my guitar after years of not being about to do to EDS. xx

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 10, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Thank you Maria! I so agree. without new things to learn and do, one’s routine could get very stale. And i mentioned, your brain needs stimulation which in turn, “keeps you young”.xx

  • Reply
    February 9, 2018 at 9:47 am

    We are never to old! Just do what you want to do! Happy weekend!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 9, 2018 at 10:08 am

      I agree Nancy, I heard this sentiment often, so thought about it. Enjoy your weekend as well. xx

  • Reply
    February 9, 2018 at 9:06 am

    I agree, now that I am working from home I am looking for things to do socially. It is super important for our well being! I love the idea of learning something new too!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 9, 2018 at 10:09 am

      hi Kellyann,
      yes! So important, as my hubby and i are at home, as well. Socializing is necessary for our healthy and well being ! xx

  • Reply
    February 9, 2018 at 8:28 am

    It’s funny because many of us ask the same question, yet I think it’s always the same answer—no way!!
    Enjoy your weekend, and I love that your mom is going to classes…how fun!

    • Reply
      Jess Jannenga
      February 9, 2018 at 10:10 am

      thanks Jodie! yes, my mom was a teacher of many years and loves to read and learn, so she was quite excited about these classes. i agree, never to old to learn something new! xx

  • Reply
    Martina EElegant
    February 9, 2018 at 1:17 am

    Very nice article. I never felt too old just a bit lazy 😁 Hobbies are good and any social interaction among right people is very useful for mental health

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