A Boomer Offers Advice on Getting in Touch with Your Creativity

We like it when baby boomers help other baby boomers cope with life’s changes, and our lives are changing as much as they ever have. BoomerCafé contributor Liz Kitchens has some advice about coping. She calls it, Exercising Your Creativity.

Liz Kitchens

Liz Kitchens

I write a blog called Be Brave. Lose The Beige. The posts are targeted to reach Lady Boomers, the women of the Baby Boomer generation, of which I am one. In many instances the lives of Boomer women have turned beige from all the obligations and responsibilities we face on a daily basis.

We are truly the “tweener” generation, sandwiched between parenting our children and tending to aging parents. Statistics say thirty-one percent of Boomers are supporting older and younger family members. That is a lot of responsibility.

As comic relief for this generational pickle in which we find ourselves, Be Brave. Lose The Beige urges and encourages Lady Boomers to explore the playful side of life by escaping their incessant “to do” lists.

Color and creativity are key ingredients of the Be Brave. Lose the Beige philosophy. Of course the very word “creativity” can elicit fear and intimidation in grown women. Which is different from a child’s reaction to the word. Children readily and eagerly embrace this concept of being creative, while adults, so many years removed from this playful time in their lives, shy away from it.

Creativity is such a misunderstood concept. Anyone and everyone can choose to live more creatively. Trying a new recipe can be creative. Getting dressed in the morning can be a creative act. Creativity is not just about participating in the visual or performing arts. It’s a way of thinking about and approaching your life, a way of viewing the world. It’s owning your own life rather than letting circumstances or other people own you.

So, if you don’t view yourself as creative per se but recognize some merit in the concept, how do you go about cultivating this quality? My suggestion is… exercise your creative muscle.

exercise creativity

Liz sculpted this artistic fellow when exercising her own creative muscles.

As adults, we have come to recognize the validity of exercising our bodies. Working out at the Y, power walking, skiing or swimming all contribute to our health and well-being. There is even a book entitled, “Younger Next Year” which promotes daily exercise as a ticket to the Fountain of Youth.

Further, exercising our minds is a value our society promotes. We take classes, readliterature and news magazines, do crossword puzzles or Sudoku. Engaging in activities facilitating creative expression provides mental stimulation,which increases brain reserves and wards off declining brain functioning ordementia.

Somehow though, once we get past the age of about ten, we generally start paying less attention to our creative muscles. And, just like our physical muscles that fail to be engaged, so can our creative muscles begin to atrophy. So, resolve this year to engage your creative muscles. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, some of which include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Planting a swath of backyard dirt with a garden filled with colorful flowers or aromatic herbs.
  • Dusting off your guitar or piano keys and taking lessons.
  • Collaging some family photographs.
  • Taking a pottery class. Clay is a wonderful teacher; it comes from the ground and grounds those who touch it. After all, it’s not the pots you are shaping but yourself.

Go ahead and flex those creative muscles. They will definitely get stronger and more defined.
 

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