You can’t start a fire without a spark
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of ‘Older Not Over’.
I recently finished watching the latest episode of “The Morning Show” on Apple. In the final scene of the episode ‘DNF’ there’s a beautiful cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in The Dark” performed by Nashville singer Biz Coletti.
It’s a slow, tender rendition and because of this you really get to hear every last lyric. While I’ve loved the song for many years, I’ve never truly listened to the lyrics because the original seemed so fast & frenzied. The tempo doesn’t match the sentiment. Only when I did, did I really understand their true meaning.
“I get up in the evenin'
And I ain't got nothin' to say
I come home in the mornin'
I go to bed feelin' the same way
I ain't nothin' but tired
Man, I'm just tired and bored with myself
Hey there, baby, I could use just a little help”
Springsteen wrote "Dancing In The Dark" about his difficulty writing a hit single and his frustration trying to write songs that pleased fans and his record label. This is something many of us can relate to. Trying to please others, not following our gut and casting aside aspirations of what you really want to achieve in life.
A lot of us at 40+ feel tired, bored, and stuck, exactly like the lyrics of the song. Maybe it's because psychologically, we are entering the second half of our lives, and in the back of our minds, we start to think time is running out.
“You sit around gettin' older,
There's a joke here somewhere and it's on me.
I'll shake this world off my shoulders,
Come on, baby, the laugh's on me.”
But is it? Is time running out? Maybe it is. Who knows what is around the corner. Do you really want to continue living the regret?
If you can today, take 3 mins and 37 seconds, the duration of the song to hit play, close your eyes, and imagine what you really want in life. It could be writing that book you’ve always wanted to write, it could be trying horse riding for the first time, it could be learning how to swim, joining a drama group, or a change of career, the list is endless.
You can’t start a fire without a spark. What will start yours?
3 stories to inspire you this week
21 Times People Discovered Their Passions Later In Life That Are Seriously Inspiring
Recently, Reddit user u/wibly_wobly_kid asked people who found their passions later in life to share their experiences. Here are some of the most hopeful, inspiring responses in the link below
It’s Never Too Late: Changing Careers at Midlife
A study by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) found that “In any given year, there are between one and two million older career changers.” That’s a lot of people in the same boat as you!
Why life experience is an advantage for the new wave of older debut novelists
Three newly published Irish authors, taking on a new career in their sixties and seventies explain why it’s never too late to follow your dreams
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X marks the spot
Every week I choose a post from ‘X’ (I know, I still find it hard not to call it Twitter) that contains an amazing thread or question to ponder around the themes of this newsletter.
This week it’s actually one of my own posts that got a bit of traction this time last year.
“The Late Late Show" is the world’s longest-running TV chat show, a staple of Irish television for many years. In the picture below, you'll see Pan Collins, the creative force behind one of the chat show’s most cherished specials, the "Late Late Toy Show." In 1975, as a researcher for the show, Pan pitched the idea to the host, Gay Byrne. Though the host was initially hesitant about the idea, Pan's determination was unwavering. She sought the support of Maura Connolly, one of Gay's most trusted colleagues for over three decades. With Maura's endorsement, Gay was persuaded to give the segment a chance.
The toy-focused segment was scheduled for a half-hour slot at the end of the episode that aired on December 7, 1974. Remarkably, this segment garnered the highest viewership of any segment throughout the entire season. Its immense popularity led to the birth of a dedicated special the next year, with the inaugural full-length "Late Late Toy Show" broadcasting on December 13, 1975.
Today, the "Late Late Toy Show" is the highest-rating annual television event in Ireland. Broadcast in the last week of November on RTÉ, it's eagerly anticipated by Irish viewers worldwide. It's heartwarming to think that a simple idea from a member of the production team blossomed into a cultural phenomenon, cherished both in Ireland and among the global Irish diaspora.
Starting her journey with "The Late Late Show" at the age of 47, Pan Collins remained a significant influence for two decades until she retired. Her legacy is a testament to the impact one person can have on popular culture. Even at 47!
As always every book I recommend I have read from cover to cover. My recommended read this week is “Unbreakable” written by the snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Framed around twelve lessons Ronnie has learned from his extraordinary career, what really sits at the heart of this book is Ronnie’s views on reinvention and dealing with the challenges we face in our careers & lives as we grow older.
On page 118 Ronnie makes this point “I don’t want that old life anymore. I don’t want to be involved. You may well have been through a similar arc in your own career; throwing yourself into your job, sacrificing your private time for the next gig or the next promotion. Pulling early starts and late nights and doing extras at the weekend, not just because they want you to but because you think you should, because you think it’s all going to pay off in some way. Instead you become a tight little ball of stress, and it leaks out in other ways — arguments at home, drinking too much, lying awake at night unable to sleep. Snooker is no different. It drives you to where the dark stuff manifests.”
“In China, pre-Covid, I got into a conversation about the aging process. I found out about this idea, in Chinese culture, that you have two lives: your birth to the age of forty, and then forty to whenever it might end. You change as a person in the middle of your life — what you want to do, what you need. It struck a chord with how I had been feeling. It’s about controlling the pace, as you get older. Embrace where you are. Your joy comes from continuing to do what you love, but to do it well, you need the time and space to dedicate yourself to it, and the time and space to be free of it too"
It’s a brilliant, relatable read which has so many lessons to share. You really get the feeling that Ronnie is relishing what’s to come in the second half of his life.
While the book was published earlier this year it’s just been announced that a new Prime Video documentary on Ronnie will be released at the end of the month. Here’s a quick preview.
“Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Edge of Everything explores one of the world’s most successful and unique sporting stars as he faces personal challenges and the pressure of success. Launching exclusively on Prime Video on 23rd November, before opening in select cinemas nationwide on 24th November.”
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