The Clock is Ticking Fast

Turning Back Time “The clock is ticking fast. Burn the candle large.” – Diane Sawyer

I thought I’d be further along in my career as an artist by now. When I was a girl, I dreamed of the fruits of my talent being respected and compensated monetarily. I saved drawings with Cray-pas on Manila paper to make it easier for my biographers after I died. At age 57, I’ve had some measure of success. A painting I did of Oprah hangs in her home and my portrait of Chelsea Clinton was displayed in her mother’s private study when she lived in the White House. What is lacking is the kind of recognition that includes a steady income. Without a husband to support me, I would have thrown in the towel long ago. In retrospect, I’m shocked I didn’t realize how difficult it is to make a living as an artist sooner. That glitch in my perception may well be part of my gift. Surely without that kind of naivety I would have given up long ago.

Last week long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad gave me new hope.  She calmed my fears of being washed up. If she can swim from Cuba to Florida at age 64, a feat she failed at 28, surely it’s not over for me. Entering the third act of my life can only give my work more depth. My experiences over time have added a vibrancy to my art that was absent in the struggles of youth. I’m refreshed by Nyad’s assurance, ”Never, ever give up. You’re never too old to chase your dreams.”

No matter how uncomfortable it is, keep stretching, keep believing. Risk is an extension of self-love. If you were born to sing a song, sing it. Whatever gift you were born to give, give it. Live it. It’s no accident we can’t turn back the hands of time. There is a season for everything. The gift you came to share may just have reached its full gestation and is about to be born into the world. And in perfect timing your audience waits…ready to receive it…with open arms.

Reference photo for the above illustration from my soon to be released book app, Glory in the Morning.

Reference photo for the above illustration from my soon to be released book app, Glory in the Morning.

All text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved.

19 thoughts on “The Clock is Ticking Fast

  1. An illustrated book of wisdom. That is your gift in this chapter of your life. Your words have added such depth to your beautiful illustrations.

    Btw, I voted for your Christmas card using both of my email addresses. If this is actually allowed perhaps you can let people know.


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Dear Sue, Yes! Diana Nyad’s accomplishment gives me hope that I might still share my artistic gifts with the world. I expect you have touched many more lives with your art than you will ever know. Thank you for being an inspiration for me. Blessings,


  3. Amen! I waited nine years and wrote five novels before being able to hear the words, “We want to publish your book.” You have exceptional talent and I’m glad you are able to share it with others. (Hopefully the financial payoff will arrive soon, too). 🙂


    • Thanks for the compliment. There has always been an ebb and flow to the monetary rewards of my career. Now I’m in a flow cycle so I’m feeling pretty good. I’m glad you didn’t give up either. Who would have wrote your book if not you?


  4. A beautiful post, Sue. It’s timely for me, too, since I’ve been feeling a little down about waiting and wondering when things will fall into place. Meanwhile, I’m writing, writing, writing. What else is there for a creative type to do but create?


    • In truth we create because we can’t not create. I’ve tried to throw in the towel but it seems to be glued to my hand. We are blessed in this day and age to have the opportunity to connect with others. Hope has a ripple effect to it.


  5. Sue, Thank you for sharing this. I asked myself years ago, what was I thinking, when I started writing. I haven’t published a book yet, but it is in the works and a second title already chosen. I’m just now feeling I have something to offer.I turned 66 this years and feel closer to doing what God has for me than ever before. Joining the American Christian Writers has been my greatest encouragement. Never give up.My dad did not accept God until he was in his 70. God can use us at any age if we are willing.


    • Your comment lead me to think of actress Kathy Jooston. She moved to Hollywood at age 56 to take guest roles in Roseanne, Home Improvement, Picket Fences, Murphy Brown, ER, Seinfeld, Frasier, Just Shoot Me!, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dharma & Greg, The Drew Carey Show and Desperate Housewives. Quite a career, eh? Good thing Kathy didn’t dismiss her talent on the grounds of her being to old. Good luck with your book. What you’re writing may well be a gift from God, via you, to the world.


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