You’re Never Too Old to Pursue a Dream

I remember it clearly. I’d just met her a few days earlier at the writers conference. Her warm and outgoing personality drew people in, and I immediately liked her. Young and beautiful, she seemed to have everything going for her. It wasn’t until she came out of an appointment with a popular agent with great news that I felt a twinge…

It wasn’t caused by one thing. Sure, I was a little envious that she’d garnered the agent’s attention after only writing for a few short years. But I was also thrilled for her. Really, I was!

I think my feelings had more to do with realizing that I was probably 20 years older than my new friend. That meant I had 20 less years to accomplish a goal she’d already reached.

A bit of worry and regret seeped into my thoughts. Why hadn’t I chosen to pursue a writing career sooner? If I’d found the courage to focus on creative writing in college instead of science, I wouldn’t have taken such a long detour to get here.

I experienced several years of writer anxiety. I worried that if I didn’t “break through” soon, it would never happen.

Finally, the Holy Spirit got through to me. I needed to rest in God’s timing, not my own. And since then, there has been a peace at knowing when the time is right, the time is right. I can look back at disappointments along this journey and see how I’ve been spared some desires that would not have been in my best interest.

When you’re just out of college, 60 looks pretty old. But now that I’ll turn 59 before the end of the year, I have a new perspective. You know…60 is the new 40! I’m claiming that! 

I see things differently than what I did when I was a young woman. Now I believe you can accomplish great things at any age. And those dreams that are physically or financially impossible? I encourage you to not let them go completely. Instead, consider altering them a bit.

Maybe you’ll never be a ballerina, but you can still find a way to dance, even in a wheelchair. Take ballroom dance classes or move to music on the radio. Let your imagination go and feel the dance in your heart.

Perhaps a career as a concert pianist is impossible, but why let that stop you from learning to play or providing music for those who would love to hear it?

If you dreamed of being a teacher, but life’s circumstances didn’t give you the opportunity, there are so many children who could benefit from your tutoring.

Traveling the world may not be feasible, but you can experience it by reading, visiting museums and cultural restaurants, and watching movies and TV travel shows. If you have a computer, you can access almost anywhere in the world—it’s all at your fingertips.

I think the important thing is that we never forget to dream…and we never give up on pursuing one. For when we do, I think we risk losing an important part of living.

Are you giving your dream a time limit? If so, why?

To inspire you, here is a short list of women who became successful after forty.

Vera Wang, known world-wide as a designer, was a figure 
skater and journalist before entering the fashion industry at age 40.

Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until she was 40. 
She worked in advertising and media before writing her first 
cookbook and launching her popular cooking show when she was 50.

 Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 when she 
published the first book in the Little House series.

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as 
Grandma Moses, began her prolific painting career at 
78. In 2006, one of her paintings sold for $1.2 million.

Betty White wasn’t well-known until she got a role on
The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was 51 years old. 
She’s now 93 and still going strong in her career.


  1. I needed this post more than you know. I struggle with all the feelings you described because I am now 61. I need to print this and put it in a prominent place for me to see every day Thanks for your insight.

    1. Barbara, I appreciate your comments. Thanks for letting me know that the post was helpful. I think a lot of people in this stage of life struggle with feeling we have so much more we want to do. My hope is that we don't end up feeling so discouraged that we give up trying. We shouldn't give up! ;-)


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