Your Gateway to Senior Resources

   It Is Time To Let It Out

How many times, when you were moving through the decades of raising a family and building a career, did you say to yourself that you were going to write the great American novel when you retired? Now as you settle into a life of retirement and the lifestyle of a senior citizen, did you forget that promise you made to yourself? After all, this is the time of life when you can uncork all of that creativity you have been keeping pent up all these years and let it spill out onto the world. So why not give it a try?

Being afraid has probably kept you from trying things that you wanted to, throughout your life. Isn't it time to fight back that fear and take a chance? What's the worst that can happen? No one will think any less of you for trying. No one will laugh at you (who laughs at old farts anyway?). And who knows, you might even earn a little more respect from those around you for having the courage to try. Greatness might even happen!

But even if you don’t achieve “greatness”, your years as a senior citizen are a wonderful time to explore the creative side of you. If not “the great American novel”, then how about that fantastic sculpture that is hidden inside you, or the painting still inside your head? We all have something creative and unique to share and our senior years are a great time to let it out. 

The idea that writing, or painting, or acting or any of the creative arts are the venue only of the young has been proven wrong time and time again. It seems creativity and creative expression really knows no age limits. In the last few years we have had Haley Joel Osment, Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood all vying for the Academy award. That makes a 10 year old, a man in his late middle ages and a senior citizen all being evaluated by the same criteria for greatness in acting. 

In fact, it is notable that a few years later when Clint Eastwood won the Oscar for directing, he remarked that much older directors than he were still making their masterpieces. So he was a youngster in his 70s just getting started striving for greatness. These are just a few examples to show that if these senior citizens can shine in their creative work late in life, so can you. 

You may have always dreamed of painting. Don’t be afraid to get out there with the youngsters and take the introductory classes in the art form you want to try out. You know that Picasso and Rembrandt did some of their finest paintings as senior citizens. So go ahead, go to the junior college or the local museum and enroll in classes. You may be the Grandpa or Grandma of the class but once the other artists see that you have something burning inside you to express artistically, they will respect you as a fellow artist and peer in the artistic community. And no doubt, some of your experience and perspective that the other, younger students lack, may rub off on them. What a wonderful legacy, doing what you love, and teaching young people why that's important!

This is not to say that writing the great American novel or other forms of creative expression are not going to take work to master. But in that department, you also have the inside track. Unlike others, your time is your own - you do not have a 9-5 job that keeps you too exhausted to be able to pick up that pen and squeeze out a few pages each night. As a senior citizen, you are not a stranger to hard work. You worked hard to raise a family, succeed in a career and provide for others all of your adult life. 

Now it's time to use some of that work ethic to let your own light shine. You know, it's OK for it to be about you for a while.