New Careers for Old Coots

by Deborah on June 21, 2011

This is a fun one for me to write about since I did some personal work on it, but I didn’t initially feel this way.  I joined facebook and like many of you I enjoy hearing from old friends from the past decades – a nice warm feeling. One former client tossed the title of this column out to me and I laughed out loud. I’ve not liked any monikers having to do with aging in general, but somehow  “old coots” got me to thinking about how we’re all having to find new ways to do what we love.

Helen was faced with the career challenge of needing to secure a license in a state she had just relocated to in order to provide the hands on training she loves offering. Minimum requirement to secure this license  – a six month commitment to a training program, beaucoup dollars, not to mention time away from her practice.  The latter was what concerned her most. Having recently come through a long bout with sickness, she felt a strong need to protect her energy. She was dreading the training, but felt she had no other choice.

I suggested she look at the commitment maybe as an old coot would. What if she just took the training, showed up and gathered as little as necessary so she’d save what energy she had for her clients and her practice? As we age, we just don’t have the fire in the belly we used to, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to learn, do the right thing, or even take the eventual risk.  It just means we need to not be afraid of admitting the “age” thing and being wise about it. Isn’t that what old coots do? Or am I thinking of owls who hoot? They are the wise ones and maybe we can learn from them.

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