…By Prill Boyle

Whether
you\’re eighteen or eighty, if the answer is no, it\’s not too late to
make a change. Demographers estimate that one in twenty baby
boomers—the generation born between 1946 and 1964—will live to be a
hundred. In other words, today\’s fifty-year old might well have another
fifty years ahead of her. During those decades, she could earn multiple
degrees, start a new business, or even join the Peace Corps.

These
late bloomers didn\’t just switch careers; they blossomed into the
fullness of themselves. How did they do it? Making a life shift isn\’t
all that different from restructuring a business. But whereas a
business owner can hire consultants to evaluate a company\’s strengths
and weaknesses and suggest a new course, individuals don\’t always know
themselves well enough to enable others to guide them effectively.

Those
who\’ve blossomed later in life validate their past, learn from it, and
move on. They don\’t allow traces of bitterness to tarnish their souls.
When another late bloomer\’s marriage ended, she said, “I knew I had two
routes I could take. I could either wallow in self-pity and do nothing
with myself, or I could pick up the ball and run. I chose the latter.”
At age 48, she won a seat in the Connecticut House of Representatives.

If you
still think it\’s too late to pursue your dreams, keep in mind a woman
who was interviewed on National Public Radio on her hundredth birthday.
Asked if she had any regrets about her life, she paused for a moment
and replied, “If I had known I would live to be a hundred, I would have
taken up the violin at 40. By now I could have been playing for 60
years!”