It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stopConfucius
I find myself collecting stories about elders in my community who break through barriers after many years in order to follow their dreams. Each of these stories reveals that perseverance and passionate persistence can culminate in some amazing achievements. And each story comes with unique hurdles that must be surmounted and overcome.
This past week, I have been following the story of Jackie Arnason who published her first children’s book later in her life. The launch of this published book took place this past Sunday on “Book Lover’s Day”. In an interview with local media, Jackie described how reading and writing stories helped her while growing up in the 30’s. A time of immense challenge for most people growing up in the Canadian prairies.
Like many of the writers that I know, Jackie spoke of her passion for story telling and the fact that she finally came to terms with her fears which kept her from following that dream for decades. Finally, with encouragement from a family member who had connections in the publishing industry, she was able to push forward and realize her desire to see one of her stories in print.
What makes this journey even more noteworthy is that it occurred at age 87, which many of us can’t even quite imagine living to see, let alone being the age in which you finally begin accomplishing your long held goals.
Now energized by this success and with a new direction for her creative pursuits, Jackie is hard at work on her second children’s book to be published in the near future. As I listened to an in depth interview about this fascinating late in life journey, I couldn’t help but wonder what might have been different about this woman’s story if fear hadn’t intervened and kept her from moving forward.
How often do we find ourselves stuck or stymied because we are afraid of taking a risk? Afraid of being judged or of failing or of not measuring up to what we believe others can do. Fear holds many of us hostage and as I have been learning, it is never too late to stand up to our fears and overcome them.
It is remarkable to see the tenacity of the creative spirit. By seeking these amazing artistic elders out, it gives me courage to formulate my own later in life goals. By following our dreams at any stage of life and finding the courage to shed the chains of fear, we can only move forward.
Be healthy and safe!