Enjoying Mah Jongg, and Life, after age 50

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I remember as a young teen, thinking that once I reached my 40s and beyond, I would have little interest in social activities and little energy to do them. Perhaps it was that era or maybe I simply imagined that I would be similar to my mother, going to work and performing necessary chores and shopping, but not otherwise physically or mentally active.

Surprisingly, I have never been as physically or mentally active as I am now. My list of new hobbies and pursuits since age 50 is extensive. I continue to work full-time and obtained a medical coding certification a few years ago. I took a musical keyboard class on a whim and to my surprise, learned to read music. I purchased a piano and continue to take private lessons weekly. I will never be a concert pianist but I have exceeded my expectations several times over and really enjoy playing.

I am an avid bicyclist. Of course I learned to ride a bicycle as a child, but those were the days of neighborhood riding with fixed-gear bicycles. Shortly after my 52nd birthday I got back on a bicycle and learned to use hand brakes and gears, and to ascend and descend hills. Now I often ride 30 or more miles in a day and take week-long excursions with other middle-aged and older cyclists.

In addition, I volunteer as a literacy tutor for a young woman who is on course for a GED. I want to help her achieve her goals and be successful and happy. Recently I completed my third college-level on-line course, strictly for the knowledge. These classes were subjects I have previously known little about- mythology, macroeconomics, and philosophy.

AND: I learned to play Mah Jongg and love it! Unlike most of the other players, I had no exposure to the game until two-and-a-half years ago. Looking for a new hobby, and having a friend who had recently learned to play, I decided to give Mah Jongg a try.

So get active, stay active, and never think you’re too old to learn something new!

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