Writing, painting and other creative pursuits are probably some of the most misunderstood occupations a person can aspire to…and yet, I encourage all seniors to try their hand at these pursuits.
At a time when ageism is rampant and most seniors find it next to impossible to find viable employment and to secure little more than opportunities to volunteer their services, they need to find activities that are challenging and that offer a feeling of accomplishment. The arts afford seniors a unique opportunity to express themselves and contribute something of themselves. Pursuing the arts is a natural and worthy outlet guaranteed to counteract the feeling of worthlessness that so many employees that have no place to go experience.
The arts give seniors a new lease on life.
Whether working with wood or paint or yarn or words, seniors who take up new interests soon discover that their creative efforts give them a new lease on life. The challenge of learning how to create something of beauty that will last for years – even generations – enables them to keep their motor skills nimble and their brains focused on beauty and accomplishment. Beyond that, the practice involved in perfecting an artistic pursuit, no matter what that might be, gives seniors a sense of accomplishment and usefulness that in itself combats the feelings of uselessness and boredom that is foisted on too many by retirement.
You don't have time to grow old when you're focused on creating something of beauty.
Retirement is a time to explore and enjoy all those activities you couldn't pursue when you were working 9-5 and raising a family. All that extra time you have now might be better spent doing something you love or something you've never before had time enough to try.
If you're actively learning and practicing new skills and challenges, you really don't have time to obsess about how the world has chosen to put you out to pasture. You don't have time to worry about all the negative feedback you've been getting from the workplace. And, you may discover an occupation that will set you on a new path of productivity that you never dreamed possible.
Don't forget the example of Grandma Moses who began painting in her 70s, Master carver Ito Susumu, now in his 70's, who began his apprenticeship in his 60s, and Dolores Durando who published her first novel, Beyond the Bougainvillea, at the age of 90.
The arts are waiting for you and world welcomes your creativity at any age.