Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity. –T.S. Eliot (poet)
Anxiety is part of creativity, the need to get something out, the need to be rid of something, or to get in touch with something within. –David Duchovny (actor)
Still, there is something in me that wants to create something everyday. That feeling has not diminished because I am retired although the focus has changed.
In my mind, that urge to create (with a small c, if you will) means being open to new learning, being curious about the world around me, really seeing the world around me as it is and as it might be, being flexible in my thinking and willing to change. It’s about giving myself a little challenge and a way to have fun. It is a great way to remind myself that I am not now nor never will be perfect, but that is perfectly okay.
So I get that connection with anxiety because if I don’t feel that I am being creative, I definitely do feel anxiety. If I look at my stated qualities of creativity, I think that the opposites of each of those is what I would dread as being “old” and set in my ways. I don’t mind being old in years (nothing to do about it anyway), but I do mind being old in habits, thoughts, and opinions.
When I think about my work in education, I kind of realize that there was an awful lot about school systems as institutions that discouraged creativity—sadly enough by not funding the big C things like arts and music, but also by a dedication to the little c of conformity. There is a need for some of that. Yet when I think about the most outstanding teachers and other educators I encountered over the years, it was creativity that made them shine.
I always had this secret desire to be creative, but here I am now coming out about it. I am not saying I want to become famous or renowned for any of my many little hobbies and activities. I am saying I want to be open to people and experiences, to the environment, and to have some fun. Golden years, right? I might as well get the most from them now.
As I flit around blogland, I am convinced that I am in good company in the creativity department (not necessarily the golden years department). I’ll mention (and link) a few here because these were among the very first blogs I started reading.
The New Sixty. Arkansas Patti is witty and wise. She has had some of the most interesting life experiences and encounters with people and animals that she relates with such wry humor that you will chuckle all day thinking about her. When I am in a pouty mood I can always work up a smile recalling the tale of her “butt ugly” glasses. The good humor and optimism with which she takes on life is true creativity at work.
The Cataract Club (formerly known as musings of a middle aged woman). Dani from Oklahoma, talk about an inspiration and example of nurturing love at work in the world. When life hands you a plate as full as this woman’s, I guess you get creative or go whoopdi-do crazy.
Finnegan Begin Again. Margaret was the first follower of my blog, so she is obviously a woman of discerning taste and wisdom. Well, at least she has a special place in my heart. She provides us with the wisdom of the goddesses—so many goddesses. So smart and funny to boot. She has a new book out, The Goddess Lounge. Smart, funny, and a published author. I am so glad she lives in California because if I knew her in person I would probably be jealous.
A Slower Pace. Linda transplanted herself from Texas to Portland, Oregon. We have the knitting thing in common, but otherwise are probably complete opposites. She doesn’t like to cook or to shop. She reads non-fiction almost exclusively. She doesn’t like hot weather—doesn’t even seem to mind all the rain in Portland. Still, I do so admire her blog because she is a thinker, an intelligent thinker who digs for the facts and states opinions in such a reasoned way. That is creative.