Forget a Fast Car. Creativity Is the New Midlife Crisis Cure.
Who needs a Ferrari when you can pick up a paintbrush?
This from The New York Times …..
Remember those days? When a midlife crisis meant swapping your hatchback for a sports car, preferably red, or taking up a boozy, illicit affair?
Not today. In this era of mindfulness, and today’s preoccupation with pursuing a meaningful life, a new antidote has emerged to cure the doldrums of midlife: creativity. Creativity classes and seminars for those in their 40s and 50s are thriving. So are books devoted to creating a meaningful life plan ahead of retirement.
Some experts chalk up the goings-on to the do-it-yourself maker movement, which means that it is easier for older Americans to take up new activities. Others experience creativity as an outlet to combat anxiety and depression. Still more people want to bolster a flagging career or reinvent themselves.
“People see creativity as the solution to the midlife crisis,” said Julia Cameron, the high priestess of the creative movement whose book “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Creativity” has sold more than four million copies since it was published in 1992. Requests for her workshops and seminars have doubled in the past year, she said. The book, too, has inspired spinoffs by Ms. Cameron, including, in 2016, “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond.”
“People find themselves asking, ‘Is this all there is?’” Ms. Cameron said. “And the answer is, ‘No. There has to be more.’”
More, of course, does not mean more things or the outward trappings of youth. Instead, it’s a look inward, to passions and possibilities long thought to have passed.
Creativity helped Ashley Henry, 49, regain an identity tucked away since college. Two years ago, she held a concert in Portland, Ore., to raise money for a mental health organization. “If you asked my friends in high school, they’d tell you I was ‘the singer,’” she said. “My political friends and newer friends didn’t know this.”
Ms. Henry had thrown herself into a career in nonprofit work and politics. When she reached her mid-40s, though, she longed to sing again. So in 2016, when she learned that her favorite jazz club, Jimmy Mak’s, was closing, she decided to get onstage before it was shuttered for good. “That was the universe saying, ‘You have to get this done,’” Ms. Henry said.
She rented the club and hired a singing coach. That night she raised $7,000. Her friends cheered her moxie. So much so that a few of them told her they were inspired to pursue creative projects of their own.
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