Midlife Rediscovery

The journey through the second half of life
May 12th, 2012 by Gillian

Midlife Philosophy

little girl

As a child you probably spent a great of time wondering what it would like to be an adult, and thinking about the things you would like to do when you finally got to be in charge of your life. Some of them may have been influenced by things you already liked to do, and others may have been influenced by books, family members, people who influenced you or things you saw. For those with a talent or passion that was encouraged and nurtured, those dreams may well have carried through to adulthood, and perhaps even converted into a career.

For others the dream may have been the driving force through childhood, inspiring you to learn the skills needed to bring the dream to life in adulthood. For some perhaps those dreams were not nurtured or were financially impossible, so they were tucked away. For others perhaps the reality of the dream wasn’t what had been expected, or physical limitations meant the dream couldn’t be realized as fully as had been hoped.

Does that mean that those dreams that haven’t been lived, or that didn’t quite make it to fulfillment are gone forever? Whatever your history, at midlife we all have a chance to review our dreams; the ones we got to live, the ones we followed with limited success and the ones we regret not following, and may wonder if they can be recaptured. Perhaps now is also the time and opportunity to fulfill your dreams?

My take on this is that this time round we have the advantage of being adults, so are not as dependent on others to help us fulfill our dreams. Granted we are not as physically able as we were in our youth, so playing in the world cup or becoming a prima ballerina may no longer be realistic, but it doesn’t mean we can’t learn the skills to perform at our best now. There are teams grouped by age for all kinds of sports, there are dance classes, voice lessons, flying lessons, art classes – and pretty much any other kind of learning opportunity you can think of available for a minutes of searching online.

So, what were your dreams as a child, how many of them have you fulfilled – and how many more are still waiting for you to pick them up again and make them happen?

Creative Commons License Vince Alongi via Compfight

January 31st, 2012 by Gillian

Using art to explore your way ahead

buttonsCreating items or making crafts can be a great way of helping us explore our thoughts and ideas as we make the transition through midlife. Also, as we become more appreciative of the world we inhabit, we become better at noticing things around us. As a result we become better at capturing what we see on paper, even if our results are never destined to published or hung in a gallery!

Some people may have had bad experiences in art classes in school and now believe they aren’t creative. Don’t worry, the ideas on this site don’t require you to be able to create perspective or blend colors from opposite sides of the color wheel!
The ideas offer ways to tap into your talents and unfulfilled desires. The projects require you only to tear and cut things out of magazines, arrange them in a way that appeals to you – and to occasionally color in blocks of text. Now that doesn’t sound so difficult, does it?

The bottom line is that you are creating these things for your own enrichment and pleasure. There is absolutely no requirement that you share your work or have it critiqued. I suggest that you carefully pick who you share your work with if you have lingering feelings of doubt about your skills!

Creating projects is a great way to rediscover yourself, and letting the lost pleasures from your earlier life back into your craft suppliescurrent life. It is also about thinking what you want to get from the rest of your life, and using words and images to work out and visualize where you want your life to go. In addition to your common sense and intuition, there has been research carried out that found that if you know what you are looking for you’re more likely to find it.

Sometimes we also want guidance, reassurance that our gut feeling is what we should go with, and art projects can help provide this support. They can also simply provided us with objects we have created that we like to look at! However you feel about being creative, approach these projects with an open mind and see what you find.

January 31st, 2012 by Gillian

A question for you…

January 30th, 2012 by Gillian

Midlife 101

Ever since it has dawned on me that I was approaching midlife, I tried to find workarounds. My goal was to understand what was happening to me physically, mentally and spiritually, and to find things that helped me through the process. I began by reading everything I could find that helped me understand the process better, and then tried the techniques suggested for myself.

midlifeWhat I have learned is that midlife is an amazing gift life gives us. It didn’t exist for former generations as a woman’s life expectancy made the usual adult life trajectory look like this: have children-hit menopause-die! Now we are much less likely to die in our 50′s, so we have a period of between 10 and 15 years after our children have become adults when we are healthy, fit, energetic and enthusiastic to use as we wish. This becomes an amazing opportunity to look back over what we’ve done, decide what we want to continue doing and what we need to clear out, and review the aspects of that got lost among our more pressing responsibilities. This is the time to pull out those girlish dreams, dust them off and see if they still fit.

So much of life is about showing up, assessing what is going on, then using common sense to decide what action we need to take, but after years of taking care of everyone else taking care of our own needs can seem daunting. Since I love making things, singing and traveling, these formed the backbones of my methods for working out what I wanted to do. Your passions will probably be quite different, so look through the ideas and adapt them to your own situation. This store has many hundreds of items that might appeal to you so suggest you make a cup of tea, sit down and start browsing. Let your intuition be your guide through midlife – and enjoy the journey!