On the speed of change….
Have you ever felt like Wiley Coyote, and the world around you is the Roadrunner? BEEP! BEEP! With all the new technology, gadgets, and everything moving so fast that it seems hard to keep up?
Sometimes you feel like you just want to give up.
Well, have I got some GOOD news for you! You are stronger, smarter, and a better “creative thinker” than you know!
One of the biggest things that hold us back is our belief that as we get older, we have no choice but to lose ground as the world seems to pass us by. We somehow believe that creativity declines with age and that we are somehow too old to start something new.
This is simply NOT true….and I’ll prove it to you! After all, I’m 62 years old and I began my reinvention at 58!
In fact, studies show quite the opposite. Like Ripley – believe it or not – creative thinking actually INCREASES with age!
But I’m getting ahead of myself!
Let me share a truly personal story with you that proves-
You’re NEVER too old to start FROM RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!
This is the story of my mother. She spent her life as a military wife, moving from place to place, raising us girls, and keeping the home fires burning.
She had a nursing degree when my parents met, but this was NOT her calling as she told it. She always had a burning desire to go to art school, but that was not what girls of her generation did.
She was always a true artist in my eyes, with lots of exhibits and awards under her belt. My parents even owned a gallery for a short time. Once we were all grown and my parents split, my mother took one of the greatest steps of her life!
She packed up, moved away from her established life (all by herself) to Tennessee, to pursue her dream…an art degree.
She enrolled at Memphis College of Art at the age 60. In 1994, at the age of 62, she got her Bachelor of Fine Arts, and got her Master of Fine Arts at age 65. She then began teaching at the college level and truly felt she had found her place. Allow me to repeat-
You’re NEVER too old to start FROM RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!
Creativity, and creative thinking, does not decline with age!
Scientific studies show that aging can cause an INCREASE in creative thinking! SAY WHAAAT?
Well, evidently the less efficient connectivity leads to a “loosening up” of sorts, allowing ideas to flow more freely. You’re literally able to put things together in more novel and useful ways as you get older.
Plus, becoming a creative thinker is much easier after age 40 because we have a wider network of people to collaborate with and more experiences to draw from.
And here’s the best part, we’re more likely to focus our creative efforts on what really matters, having reached a point in our lives when we no longer want to spend time and energy on anything that isn’t truly meaningful to us! We’ve earned it, damnit!
Here are three things you can do to keep pace:
- Stay open to new ideas. Exploring your creative world for new techniques, new inspiration, or new subject matter can help keep your mind fresh.
- Continue to challenge yourself. Don’t become a one-trick creative. Repeating the same sort of activity over time without advancing your craft can be like doing no exercise other than push-ups your whole life
- Find new ways to do things. Change what you do or how you do it. Challenge yourself to look at your practice from a new angle. If you sit while creating, try standing, try a different room, or time of day.
That’s what Marilee Shapiro did, who only passed away in 2020 at the age of 107! Marilee was a sculptor, known for her beautiful 4- to 5-foot bronze sculptures. At 88, the award-winning artist realized that it had become difficult for her to physically handle those heavy sculptures. So, she took a course in computer design. Once she learned Photoshop, she began manipulating and transforming her old drawings and prints into new images that look more like watercolors.
She described the experience:
“It was just fascinating, and really seductive. I believe that every time a new medium is discovered, it just starts a new range of possibilities, even if you’re just changing from one kind of paint to another.”
So, take advantage of the changes in your brain and “loosen up!” You get to define you. It may no longer be based on what you used to do but on who you are now!
So, who are you? You’re a creative!
You’re not too old to start again or re-invent yourself. The world is not passing you by, you are simply more selective on how you spend your energy. So let that Roadrunner run…pick YOUR passion and run with it!
The best days are yet to come. Make them count.
Tell me in the comments below what you are going to tackle with your new creative thinking abilities! Join me in my free Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/virginiasstudiocats for community, accountability, and support!
2 thoughts on “BEEP! BEEP!”
You just kicked me in the butt along with my therapist. He and I picked four things, and only four, to work on that will put me back where I want to be. Those are fiber arts (spinning and knitting, weaving), drawing, meditation and I added tatting because I really want to learn how to do that. That excluded all the mediocre things I’ve had do on my list and relieves a lot of stress of trying to get too much done in a day. That in itself makes my creative self more open to possibilities because it makes me feel more freedom instead of looking at a list and saying, SIGH, OH MAN!! I don’t want to do anything. It was too much. Overwhelming! So I didn’t get anything done. Now all I have four and I love all four!
Glad to hear you are making progress. Indeed, creativity can keep us young at heart, feeling alive and purposeful! You get to decide what those things are and then GO FOR IT! Let that roadrunner run on past, stick with what you love! Congratulations!