Art and The Aging
Now 63 years of age, I can recall the first time I took a seniors discount. It was for a lifetime park pass which I use to visit Skyline Drive National Park in Virginia. After years, no decades visiting the park with my annual pass, I was honestly quite happy about being able to purchase a forever pass at the age of 62. Did that officially make me old? Well, I hope not, but it did give me a sense of my aging.
As we age we will all find benefits such as the one I’ve mentioned above and in gained wisdom. We will also find setbacks in the loss of balance, agility, and memory. To some degree, these things happen earlier than we think and for some, the range in time may trick you as some age more rapidly than others. There’s an old saying though that goes like this, “Use it or lose it!”
In that light, we all need to stay flexible to maintain a level of fitness. We all need to exercise a level of repetitive behavior to maintain memory. We all need to keep some kind of schedule to know what day it is. We all need some internal and external exploration to allow the mind to grow, and we all need to have accomplishments to give us purpose. Making art is a great foundation for all of this. Even in it’s simplest form, say, crayons and paper, making art and being creative on a regular basis is just plain healthy. Making art keeps your brain fit and keeps the signals between your brain and your hands connected and firing. It gives you a reason to get up and a great sense of accomplishment with completion.
Perhaps most of all, making art has a profound way of bringing happiness. It’s fun and it’s even something you can share and do with friends. So it’s important to keep the art you make, fun to do! Allowing it only to become as complicated as your fun factor meter will go. Aging can be frustrating enough for many, so there is no need for art to become an instigator. Working with a pencil one month doesn’t mean you need a full-fledged studio the next. Certainly, artistic or creative growth is important and can be fun, but just remember, the mechanical part of creating art is only there to let you express yourself. All the paint, brushes and stuff like that are not the soul of the matter. You and having fun are!
Live an artful life,
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