What are your dreams? Have you given them up because you think you’re too old to accomplish anything of worth?
Well, here’s a little reality check for you:
- Sarah Bernhardt was 78 when she acted in her last stage performance
- Sophocles was 89 when he wrote Oedipus at Colonus, one of his dramatic masterpieces.
- On the day of his death, at the age of 78, Galileo was said to be planning a new kind of clock that would tell time—in minutes and seconds, not just hours—using a pendulum swing instead of movement of water or sand.
- Robert Frost was 88 when his last volume of poems, In the Clearing, was published.
- Winston Churchill was 79 when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
- Igor Stravinski was 84 when he completed his last work, “Requiem Canticles.”
- Charles DeGaulle was 75 when he was re-elected president of France.
- Pablo Picasso produced 347 engravings in his 87th year.
And last, but certainly not least: Grandma Moses received her last commission as an artist when she was 99.
Obviously, age was just a number to such high-achieving artists and world-changers.
Torres, whose memoirs are appropriately titled Age Is Just a Number, won the first of her twelve Olympic medals in 1984, a year before Michael Phelps was even born! She broke her first of three world records in 1982, at fourteen, and has retired from swimming and has come back three times, She’s also the first American swimmer to compete in five Olympics (despite sitting out 1996 and 2004).
Torres is a role model for staying fit, aging gracefully, and pursuing your dreams. Dara’s dream of an Olympic comeback first hit her when she was months into her first, hard-won pregnancy. She returned to serious training while nursing her infant daughter and contending with her beloved father’s long battle with cancer.
Don’t forget one of the superstars of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Dara Torres, who was the oldest female swimmer in the history of the Olympic Games (at the relatively young age of forty-one). She came away from the games with three silver medals. Not bad for a gal who was called “Grandma” by all the young swimmers in Beijing!
Talk about an inspiration!
So what’s stopping you? Has Satan lied to you and told you that you’ll never amount to anything, because you’re “over the hill?” Do you feel worthless because you haven’t pursued something God has laid on your heart? Do you think it’s too late?
It’s not, my friend! God gives us dreams for every stage of our lives, and His grace continually makes all things new. So tell the enemy to back off! Claim the truth that God is for you, and that He is the author of dreams.
Want more on aging gracefully (and with humor) from Dena? Check out her book, Let the Crows’ Feet and Laugh Lines Come: Rediscovering Beauty and Self-Worth at Any Age.
We can accomplish many things in our later years. In graduate school I remember reading a novel by a 70 some year old lady, her first. And it inspired me. I plan to take up water color painting when I get old.
Theresa, thanks for telling me this. Your comment got lost–I apologize to just now be posting it. I love that you are going to take up watercolor painting. I am going to start writing fiction now that I’m in my 50’s and can get lost in the words and settings (no little ones at home to watch). 🙂