By Sabrina Roblin
“Studies are showing that the potential for creative expression in the second half of life is not the exception but the rule.”
– Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D. Author, The Creative Age
Reading the title of this blog, you might have had visions of a toddler finger painting, or of drama class in high school. Surprise! We’re talking about the second half of life- what our culture refers to as retirement age.
Independent research about aging and the plasticity of the brain, and books like Gene Cohen’s, The Creative Age are showing us that we continue to learn, grow, love and create throughout our lives. That old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” is being proven wrong. This is such good news! All we have to do is step into the possibilities that are open to us. Our culture’s preoccupation with youth and staying young can give us the message that once we come to retirement, we’ve reached our peak and we’re on the downward slide. If we can let go of the cultural myths about aging and retirement, and embrace a new concept of what youthfulness and contribution look like, post-retirement can be a time of blossoming into the as yet unmanifested gifts, talents and dreams of our lives. Freedom from the time and commitment we had to working our careers and raising our family, etc. gives us that opportunity.
Leaving a long held career can be disorienting due to the loss of the structure, goals and relationships related to the job. It can take some soul searching and the support of friends, family and colleagues to find our footing in this new territory. If you are going through this transition, big changes are happening in your internal landscape. By engaging in creative pursuits and giving yourself time to explore and awaken your potential in new ways, you gain new insights.
Another myth you may need to bust is that only “artists” are creative. We are all creative. Creativity can manifest in many different ways: writing in a journal, drawing or painting, tending a garden, taking photographs, playing with a grandchild, coloring, woodworking, problem solving. Find what is enjoyable and fulfilling for you. The creative process will inspire and support you through the growth and change of the transition. Books like The Creative Age and Angeles Arrien’s, Second Half of Life can be helpful resources. Engage in the activities you love and with the people you love. As you do, you’ll discover new insights and direction. There is so much richness available in the second half of life. Stay present, create, and enjoy!
The transition out of a long held career and into the next chapter of choice and freedom can be challenging to navigate. Life Reinspired offers guidance and support for the journey. Come participate with us in our workshops and programs to support and help guide you on this journey.