Never too old to begin

Jeff snapped this photo of me at Montalvo Arts Center, Los Gatos, California, February 2004.

Jeff snapped this photo of me at Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, California, February 2004.

“You’re never too old to begin a journey, if you don’t insist on completing it.”
Ashleigh Brilliant

No matter what age, nobody has any guarantees of success or even survival when they embark on a journey.  If physical or financial limitations do not stand in your way, why should chronological age?  Besides, one destination tends to lead to another, so that reaching the end of the journey — at least in this life — may not even be the ultimate goal, especially if we believe our soul’s destination lies beyond this earth.

Whether you are younger or older than I am, you probably have come to a point in life where you felt it was “too late” for a specific goal.  But maybe that goal, or a similar one, or a different but equally appealing one, might still be within reach.  I believe it’s never too late to grow and change. Some of the liveliest people I’ve ever known (including Ashleigh Brilliant, who is quoted above) continue to explore life with great interest well into their seventies, eighties and beyond.

If we are blessed with long lives, I hope that Jeff and I will be among them.  And I hope you will be, too!

One year ago today

Every exit


  1. sarvjit

    Learning never ends, even when you’re dying you’ve something to learn. Learning has no boundaries and luckily, no age limit.

    • Thank you, Sarvjit! I am happy to have you here. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? The ability to learn is a priceless gift.

      • sarvjit

        It’s priceless because it is a gift of God. God wants us to learn, that’s why we should try to learn.

        • Absolutely! 🙂 I couldn’t agree more!

  2. HarryS

    “It’s never too late but it’s always later than you think”!

    • Harry, I have definitely found that to be true. It’s a great incentive to avoid wasting time on fear, regrets, worry or lethargy.

  3. Long may you, Jeff and the rest of us reign! ♥

    • Thank you Misifusa! You are such a cheerful presence!

  4. Jack

    When I was a young man, a corporate shrink told my then-superiors that “intense emotional experiences” are vital for Jack, and that perhaps I wasn’t yet ready for the responsibilities that they were prepared to give me. I resented the verdict for some time until I realized just exactly how on the mark was the shrink, now a good and trusted friend. And let’s be clear, a good IEE is still a pretty good rush for this 50-something!

    Thirty years separated from my first bucket list (play piano, speak Spanish, see the world), my bucket list is that I would be happy, joyous and free not needing a bucket list. May all of us be filled with that Living Water that promises rest for the restless.

    • Jack, I find this comment so interesting! Were they implying that IEEs and responsibility do not go well together? Jeff is probably the most responsible person I know in most respects, and he is a L-O-N-G way from having many IEEs (at least until his illness; it seems to have changed somewhat lately) and I often say that he married me (a bundle of IEEs if there ever was one) so he could experience all the emotions vicariously! In any case, I agree that what is often called a “bucket list’ should be thought of more as a “fun things to do list” without any pressure attached. Of course, I would have to think that way, since I would need to live to 574 to get everything on my list done…maybe that’s what eternity is for?? 🙂 Or maybe all that will be totally irrelevant! YES there is rest for the restless if we are willing to “tune in” to it! Thanks for being here.

      • Jack

        I think their concern was more about my inability to let anything simply “be” for too long without wanting to change it. And your Jeff is my Leslie, the ying to my yang, quiet, stable, predictable, all the things I wasn’t (think it’s improved but not my call!). We’re probably going to make it, 26 years and counting… Recognizing what’s wrong in a business is an invaluable skill, in a spouse, not so much so???

        Vive la différence!

        • 🙂 I agree!

  5. MaryAnn

    What I long to do is ferret out the remarkable spots you visit. Your photos tell a story of an adventurer. Thank you for taking us on this “journey”!

    • Mary Ann, you are most welcome. I hope to keep adding photos to my bank of lovely things to remember, and I hope you are able to do the same! The great thing is you can find them anywhere, around the world, across town or just in your own back yard!

  6. Well said and lovely photo, by the way!

    • Thank you! That place is beautiful and we just sort of stumbled on it – it’s a well-kept secret.

  7. Hi, Julia. Great photo. I enjoy traveling but am limited due to health issues(anemia). We try for short trips and that helps.
    I pray you, Jeff and Matt will have many years of travelling. Blessings 🙂

    • Merry, for obvious reasons our most immediate travel plans are all focused on short trips, and all those are still in the planning stages. Luckily short trips are getting more and more appealing to me the older I get! 🙂 Thanks for being here with us.

  8. rayanard

    Julia for some reason this 12 hour work day I just had, got 3 songs stuck in my head. 1 the Italian Opera Song from the movie Shawshank Redemption, 2 That lady Susan who sang”I dreamed the dream” 3 Barry Manilow ‘I write the songs”.. Bucklist a few national parks, a cruise on a newer cruise ship and now that newer planes have wi-fi and stuff( it’s been 10 years since i been on a plane.God willing this will be our 2nd year of taking what we call’ Blues Brothers/Cannonball runs( unplanned Nike just do it trips)If you are tired of driving Greyhound has that “Bolt Bus and it’s really cheap. I believe you are about 4 hours from me driving, Amtrak “2 stops over lol BTY in your picture”you sound taller” be blessed

    • Raynard, if you are going to get a song stuck in your head, at least you picked some good ones! I hate it when it’s a commercial jingle or something not much better. Susan Boyle’s song is incredible and her story is even more so, she is one of my favorites for sure. I highly recommend the newer cruise ships – Jeff and I try to choose one that’s no older than 5 years although that did not work so well for the people who sailed on the Titanic! I will have to look up about the Bolt Bus – I am dying to try the Mega Bus sometime because they occasionally have fares to Tidewater (Hampton – near our York home) for just ONE DOLLAR from DC! and they have WiFi too! Did you know I have never ridden a bus anywhere except on school trips and day tours? I’ve ridden on planes, trains, automobiles and many kinds of boats, but hardly ever on a bus so I need to try it. I am medium height (5’6″) but those gates were TALL 🙂

  9. My first thought was “what a beautiful picture of Julia” and then “what a lovely gate.” Then I read the caption! I went to one of my first auditions there. I’ve been to plays and concerts there, too. We spent our first wedding anniversary on the lawn of Villa Montalvo watching Ben Vereen and I took my son to see a production last year for his school assignment.

    I love our small little world.

    I agree, you are never too old to try new things. I also hope that you and Jeff live long enough to put a big dent in all the things you want to do.

    • Alys, I wondered whether you had been there. Isn’t it lovely? What did you audition for? I think it is so cool that you live in one of my favorite places from where I have so many happy memories! I am hatching many as-yet nonspecific plans to make a few of the “big dents” you are wishing us! Thanks for being here.

      • You know I’ve been racking my brain, but it has been too many years since that audition to remember. Funny that.

        It is fun to realize we have this bay area connection. I love that.

        Thinking of you each day, Julia.

        • I just wrote a post for Feb. 4 (trying to get ahead since we have a busy week coming up) and it’s about San Francisco. I really did leave a very large piece of my heart there, or at least in the NorCal Republic! 🙂

          • It’s a remarkable place full of history, arts and interesting people as well as the piers, the bridges and the ocean. It has its own smell, too.

            • Long before I ever lived in California, I used to tell people that NYC was like all the countries of the world rolled into one, but San Francisco was like no place on earth! 🙂

  10. Michael

    Yes life long learning. It is my hope that life long learning can in part delay the too common affects of Alzheimer’s that are predicted to impact the lives of many boomers. So I am also going back to Spanish.
    I am reminded of the story about Pablo Casals -cellist world renowned-who was asked at the age of 92, why he still practiced every day. His answer, “Well. I think I am getting better.”

    • I just love that answer from Casals! And I have no doubt he got better til the day he died, as Victor Borge did – we heard him in concert when he was almost 90 and he was absolutely incredible, playing with the speed, agility and grace to match any pianist of any age I’ve ever heard. One could hardly choose a more useful thing to learn these days than learning to speak and read Spanish; in fact, I’d like to do that myself. Till then maybe the robots I get whenever I call anywhere will teach me a few words such as “to continue in Spanish, press 2.” 🙂 I do think keeping the brain active is the answer to many problems.

  11. Michael

    I was puzzled by the discussion on I.E.E.s -Intense emotional experiences. I seem to recall something about Abraham Maslow and Peak Emotional Experiences.P.E.E’s as to what we all aim for in life. We need these peak experiences, once in a while.
    Well here is another one, N.E.A.T which is something I ran across in regards to New Year’s resolutions. Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. These are small non-exercise things you can do on the spot-like doing gluteus isometrics in the check out line, or side table push ups Not sure I can do these. But doing the N.E.A.T plan can lead to two pound a month weight loss. But what is life without the I.E.E.’s ?

    • Hey, I was just reading aloud to Jeff out of some magazine or other (I forget which; it may have been Reader’s Digest) about NEAT, a concept that I hope is valid, as I certainly plan to try it. Some of the easier things I read included such ideas as NOT keeping everything within reach, so you have to get up frequently to get the phone, stapler, pen, whatever, and doing some things standing up. Also including bursts of high-energy exercise, such as running very briefly (a minute or so) in the midst of a walk; I’ve been trying that lately and I note that it does keep me from getting as chilled in cold weather.

      Re: IEEs, I think “once in awhile” is the operative term. Some of us spend too much time on those peaks, and the air can get pretty thin! 🙂

  12. That’s such a nice photo Julia. You look so content and relaxed. I hope you’re getting
    re-aquainted with those kind of days again. I see it’s Los Gatos and very close for the next visit to Alys. Looks like a beautiful park. There’s just so much to see and do within driving distance from her home. Alys, being a super organized gal, has hosted me to so many fun attractions. We pretty much go full tilt the whole time, we just have the best time. It would be so awesome if you and Jeff were around at the same time visiting old friends. 😀

    • Maybe we can coordinate our visits sometime! The most wonderful thing about where Alys lives, or where we lived, is that you can drive literally in any direction (except due west into the ocean 🙂 ) and find fabulous things to visit near and far. You MUST make some time to go to Los Gatos and see the art center and surrounding countryside. Although there are so many other things to see and do, it will be hard to choose. some of which are lesser-known discoveries. If you ever make it to Salinas, the Steinbeck museum is well worth a visit, and then there’s the Gilroy Garlic Festival not too far from there…and if you’re up for a bit of a drive, the Hearst Castle is not to be missed, and the coastal highway is an experience unlike any other.

      • OMGosh, LOL….you should be on their Chamber of Commerce. Alys and I kibitz’d about Los Gatos last night, it’s now on the list 😀 Thanks for all the tips, I need to make a giant list and then hope that I don’t wear out my welcome with dear Alys. Her poor family might think…”oh gads, she’s baaaaack”. Although they are the dearest guys around. xoK

        • Well look at it this way, if her family ever kicks you out, there will be nothing for it but to get a tiny house or a studio apartment in the NorCal Republic so you can pop on over whenever there’s an airfare sale! So you really can’t lose!

          • WOW that’s really one teeny tiny home, thanks for the link. Can you imagine? I’d love to have one of those vintage trailers to take down, but the Hotel is much more convenient and they have a shower, LOL

            • I just love the whole tiny house movement (it really is a subculture) and my dream is to own a tiny house in San Francisco or in the mountains or other wonderful place. At Ikea they had the entire interior of a tiny house on display and it’s quite ingenious how much they can fit in only about 120 square feet! There are lots of tiny house bloggers online but the one whose book introduced me to the concept is at (don’t you just love that URL?) – I have quoted her on this blog before. Check out her post from 1-13-14 for an ADORABLE dog and a cool pic of her tiny house!

              • I have seen a few stories about tiny homes. I guess in reality you ‘can’ live pretty compact if you want to. I would fill that who space with just my craft stuff, LOL

                That is the cutest name for a site ‘Rowdy Kittens’. Makes me giggle. Is that date January 13, 2014? I couldn’t see it? Is it the house with the mountain views

                • I just love that site title too! I have known a great many “rowdy kittens” and they are such fun. We had a female cat when I was growing up, before neutering and spaying were common options, at least in our world. Though finding homes for her kittens was always a bit of a chore, they were a wonderfully fun part of life. The word “playful” describes them perfectly!

                  Yes, the post was for 1-13-14 (there’s another good one for yesterday, with more “tiny house” links. I believe the night photo is of the home the blog author lives in with her family. I don’t think it has mountain views, though some of the ones I linked do. I would not want to have a tiny house as my primary home, but I think it’s a fabulous concept for a weekend or vacation home. Not quite camping, not quite the palatial and even opulent lifestyle most of us consider “normal.” Or (speaking of opulent) wouldn’t it be fabulous to have a tiny house JUST for crafting? When we build our golf-cart community in Boomdeville South, we will have to build a cute litte semi-tiny house that would function as a community craft center for all those who live in our community, and their friends. The loft would contain a big table and workstations. The downstairs would be for supplies, with a little sitting area and of course, tea and coffee always available! 🙂

                  • Hehe, that sounds absolutely dreamy. Wouldn’t that be just so awesome. A crafting cottage club House!!! I love that. I could ‘pretend’ to be a golfer by mornings, then head over to the club house for crafting and tea. I hope a lottery ticket pays off so we could make that dream a reality because it’d be a retirement I could go for in a heartbeat!

                    • Yes, I’ll let you know if they discover oil or gold on my property. Til then maybe I should just write a cozy mystery series called “The Lively Ladies of Boomdeville South” starring you, Alys, Sheila, Amy, me, and a revolving assortment of other interesting characters, some of which would be humans! The nice thing about fiction is that you can create fantastic worlds without spending anything. 🙂

  13. Michael

    Oh- back to Mary Mac’s -I did get one of Jo’s cards- official greeter-
    or something like that. Also have you been doing your NEAT- practice. I did some toe raises on the plane trip back.That is the worst thing about flying for me; the long and painful periods of sitting still. Thank I will be getting up more often.

    • I have been doing the bursts of running while walking, and so far it’s not bad at all. I have also been consciously trying to make more trips up and down the stairs (in a townhome with three levels that’s fairly easy) and for a day or two I would set a timer and only sit down at the computer for ten minutes at a time – I started with five, but I got NOTHING done on the computer that way. I haven’t done that the past couple of days but on the days I did it, not only did I move around more (which made a big difference to my joint pain as well) but I also got WAY more stuff done around the house. A computer has such a hypnotic effect, much like TV I imagine. I want to keep using the timer to at least be aware of how it can eat through time so insidiously.

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