IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO BE CREATIVE IN YOUR 50'S

It's never too late to become creative - according to research we have a second peak at 57. What are you doing to make the most of your second wind? #creativity

DO YOU FEEL CREATIVE?

I saw a little article in the newspaper earlier this year that was a bit of an eye opener for me. It referred to some Nobel Prize winning research on creativity and it stated that there were two peaks of creativity in our lives - one in our late 20's and one when we're 57. It got me thinking about whether I'd experienced a surge of creativity in Midlife or whether things were much the same as they'd always been.

I cut out the article at the time, and it's been sitting in my journal just waiting for me to ponder it a little. The time has come to see how it applies to me, and to give others the opportunity of wondering if they agree with it or not. So before we go any further, here's the article:

It's never too late to become creative - according to research we have a second peak at 57. What are you doing to make the most of your second wind? #creativity

57 AND TIME TO BE CREATIVE

I've been 57 all this year (until a couple of weeks ago when I rolled over to 58 - time is speeding by!) and I find myself agreeing with the idea of having a second wind of creativity that appears in our 50's. I'm not sure how they chose 57 as the peak moment, but for me it's been an upward swing since I reached Midlife.

I've never really considered myself someone who could created anything, or who was good at right brain activities, or who was anything other than pragmatic and pratical - but since I turned 50, things have changed and I feel like I'm embracing this new facet of life. I've read other bloggers who have been using their retirement to re-discover their artistic skills, or the joy of writing, or learning a language, a new skill, or something quite out of character for them that raises a few eyebrows.

TIME, SPACE AND FREEDOM

With the kids off our hands, the job winding down, the debts paid off (or under control), we find ourselves with more time and more headspace and the freedom to wonder about how we'll fill that time. For me it started with blogging and that's been an amazing journey that's connected me with women all over the world, improved my writing skills, and even made me a little bit famous for 2 minutes!

From there I bought a bike and started riding again, took some classes in stained glass and created our stair rail,  dabbled in Tai Chi, joined an exercise class, stopped being embarrassed about my love for colouring in and bought some adult colouring books, and I have plans for other creative pursuits still in the pipeline.

It's never too late to become creative - according to research we have a second peak at 57. What are you doing to make the most of your second wind? #creativity

CREATIVITY IS PERSONAL

My idea of being creative will be completely different to yours. As I mentioned, I've always seen myself as practical and not in the slightest bit creative, but my 50's have given me the opportunity to play around a little bit with the idea of what "artistic" or "creative" look like for me. I may not end up painting a new version of the Mona Lisa, or becoming the next JK Rowling, but I can give myself the space to find the "non-practical" parts of life that I'm actually quite good at and then allow myself the time and freedom to indulge myself a little in activities that use my brain in a different way and bring a lot of pleasure along with them.

What I've discovered is that it's never too late to change your perception of yourself, we're given labels from an early age and tend to carry them with us for decades. Things like being "brainy" or "clumsy" or "scatty" or "messy" or "hopeless" or "helpless". I think it's time we peeled off all the labels and started redefining ourselves in the light of who we've become, rather than who we may have been when we were younger. It's time to dabble in things that interest us and (whether we do them well or not) enjoy the fun of trying something new and deciding if we want to include it in our life from here on out.

It's time to peel off  all the labels and redefine ourselves in the light of who we've become, rather than who we were. LLC #lifequotes

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you have any newly discovered creative pastimes? Do you agree that we get a new lease on creativity in our 50's? Are you embracing who you are now and letting go of some of the old, pre-conceived ideas about yourself? I really hope that Midlife is unleashing new and interesting facets of life for you because it certainly is for me.

RELATED POSTS



It's never too late to become creative - according to research we have a second peak at 57. What are you doing to make the most of your second wind? #creativity
It's never too late to become creative - according to research we have a second peak at 57. What are you doing to make the most of your second wind? #creativity

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55 comments

  1. Well, personally speaking, I made my first Etsy sale in 2013 which would have put me exactly at 57! I agree that with the lessening of responsibilities around the kids and things like that, we have more time to be creative. Good post, Leanne.

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. Isn't it funny how a random age can turn out to be exact for some of us Janet? Congrats on 6 years of Etsy success. And yes, I think the empty nest definitely allows more time for us to rediscover what makes our hearts and souls happy.

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  2. Hi, Leanne - That's very interesting research about creativity peaking in our 20's and again when we are 57. iLike you, I retired at 57, so any spike in my creativity I would have chalked up to my new lifestyle. I am impressed by the many areas in which you have been experimenting. Your stained glass raiil boards are absolutely stunning!

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    1. Hi Donna - isn't it interesting that we both retired at 57 and that's when we found the time to do more interesting/creative things. I think I started in my early 50's when the nest emptied, but I feel like I'm willing to try my hand at a lot of things that I would have brushed off in my 40's and prior to that. So Yay to the empty nest and early retirement!

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  3. Hmmm...I don't agree with the idea that we 'peak' again at 57. I'm way past that age (late 70s, to be exact), and started my blog at 75. I am now completing my first book, a novel. I have written off and on all of my life, but have never been as creative or confident as I am now. My goal these days is to encourage people to re-think aging, and not put a limit on the ability to create. Thanks, Leanne.

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    1. That's an amazing time to have started blogging and writing Diane - learning all the stuff that you need to know for producing a blog post is enough to do most people's heads in. Maybe the story should have said that creativity begins again in our 50's and just gets better and better as we get older??

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  4. Much better, Leanne...Thanks for being flexible!

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    1. My pleasure - I love what you're doing - very inspiring :)

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  5. Absolutely. One thing I want to do next year is look at a series of posts to help women our age find our writing voices.

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    1. I think that's a wonderful idea Jo - the whole process seems very daunting (and expensive) for those who are keen but don't know where to start.

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  6. What an interesting thought! I’m just over 57 so can see that I fit into the age bracket. It’s certainly a different phase of life for us in our 50s, particularly if we’re retired. I use my blog as a creative outlet and always have, it’s why I started in the first place. But I also like cross stitch, when I can find the time, and writing in general. It’s funny how we find things to express our creativity and keep learning new skills. I think that is the crux of the matter, we have to keep learning and have a curiosity to be creative and time. Just my thoughts. Love your ideas and all you do!

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    1. Just popped back to share for #mlstl Leanne, I've pinned it to my group board :)

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    2. Hi Deb - I really think that 57 is probably a representative time of when we've had a few years of the empty nest or at least less "kids" needs to deal with, our relationships are solid and we're confident enough to start trying some new things for ourselves. I know my fear of failure still holds me back at times, but every time I push through it I discover a new creative outlet that I hadn't realized I was capable of until I gave it a go. I'm actually quite excited about what the future holds because I think this is just the beginning.

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  7. Both Grandma Moses and Mary Wesley are proof that it's never too late to chase creative pursuits (both at 90 and 70 respectively). #MLSTL

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    1. I think 57 is just the beginning of our next creative stage Lydia - and I'm wondering what we'll all achieve by the time we get to our 80s and 90s - watch out world!

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  8. Big thumbs up for being more creative. Like Deb I use my blog for my creative outlet. I used to sew and the occasional knitting though the nephew and nieces would be older by the time I finished their jersey so I decided to give the knitting away with no regrets as I wasn't that keen. Another creative outlet is photography.

    Leanne, I love your bike :-)

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    1. I think blogging definitely opens us up to our creative writing abilities Suzanne - when we get settled into it and find we want to write more and more it's such an eye opener. I think it's also given me the courage to try other new things and I'm looking forward to what I've yet to discover.

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  9. I started dabbling in fiction writing at around age 51-52, guess I was a little ahead of the curve. #MLSTL shared on SM

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    1. You were always ahead of yourself Donna - the rest of us are running to try to catch up!! x

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  10. Hi, Leanne - I'm stopping back in from #MLSTL. Thank you for another great LInk-Party. I've shared this post on my SM.

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    1. Thanks Donna - your support and encouragement is such a blessing to me xx

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  11. Hi Leanne - I think it's never too late to be creative regardless of age. Like you said, with time, space and freedom, it's easier to let our creativity flow, grow and change. Your stained glass for your stair rail is beautiful! #MLSTL

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    1. Thanks for the lovely compliment about my stair rail Natalie. I think we get braver about stretching ourselves and seeing what we're capable of when we hit our 50's. I find I'm less bothered by how I look to others (although it still holds me back at times!)

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  12. Wow - 57 huh? I've got a couple of years to go to reach my creative peak then and I can't wait to see what I'm doing then! I've dabbled in creativity all my life. Like you, I love to colour in! I love to draw and paint. I've done mosaics in the past and I love crafts like crochet, tapestry and long-stitch etc. I haven't painted in a long time though and I'd like to get back to that and maybe mosaics again too. Maybe by 57! :-) xo

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    1. 57 is beckoning Min - think about that photography muse calling you too! I always envy people who are naturally artistic and creative. I have to work harder at it, but I'm learning that just because I'm Left Brained, doesn't mean my Right creative side can't get a look in now and then!

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  13. I’m not at all creative Leanne. But in my 40s I up quilting and was obsessed for a while. Maybe retirement might bring on more creative urges #MLSTL Shared

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    1. Your blogging and fitness all require a creative bent Jennifer - and certainly when you have more time I think you'll discover many other creative outlets that are waiting for you to dabble in.

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  14. Hi Leanne,
    Honestly I don't think age has anything to do with being creative. I think it's always there, but when we are in our 30s and 40s we are just so dang busy we don't have the time! Now that the kids are out of the house, I have much more time to do the things I like to do. I have painted and remodeled my home and the kitchen is next on the list. Like you, a lot of my creativity comes with my blog. There's so much to learn and it's fun to dabble with photography. I think once I slow down a bit with my career I would like to take some classes, like you have.

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    1. Hi Theresa - you're spot on with the busy-ness thing. I think we find that slowing down a little and having more "me" time allows us to try our hand at things we wouldn't have been able to fit in when we were younger. I find we also have a few spare dollars to buy classes or resources that were used to put food on the table in our younger days!
      This creative thing is just another one of the many blessings of Midlife.

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  15. By the number of comments, it seems this post resonated with a lot of us. I think in our 50s and 60s we finally have time, maybe even money to explore some of our creative interests. When you are busy driving the kids to cheer practice and track, baking for the PTA, working fulltime, there isn't a lot of time or money left over for crafts and creative ventures. Your stained glass is just stunning! Wow wow wow. I have a mosaic that is a work in progress, have discovered Bible journaling and still enjoy scrapbooking. I think there is something to this!! #MLSTL

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    1. I think our 50's definitely opens up more time and more money to play around with creative stuff that we wouldn't have bothered with while we were juggling our motherhood roles - some naturally artistic people might manage it, but for those like me who found it a bit of self-indulgent back then, now translate it into self care and giving ourselve back something that we missed for so many years.
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment about my stained glass - I'd like to try my hand at mosaics at some stage too.

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  16. I love studying creativity, but hadn't heard of this study before, so I'll need to read it. Looking back, I was very artsy/creative back in my teens and twenties. Even into my early 30's. I did things like embroidery and crafts and even a little bit of sewing. Then it all kind of fell off and I concentrated on work. Blogging started in my 50's, so yes, I think I can see how it follows a similar pattern.

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    1. I dabbled a bit in embroidery and sewing back in my younger days too Jennifer, but now I just feel like I have a lot more "me" time that translates into trying my hand at things I wouldn't have before. I won't ever be artistic, but I like to think that I'm using the right side of my brain more these days.

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  17. Hi Leanne,
    It's generally believed that youngsters are more creative. Your post busts that myth.
    I believe that age is no barrier to be think differently and innovatively.
    When one is creative, it activates our brain and our thinking capabilities.
    I am not an extremely creative person. But I try best to be, when there is an opportunity.
    Being creative, makes me feel refreshed. I guess it's the same for many others as well.
    For me, being creative is trying to be different, but not for the sake for merely being different. But bringing some value by being creative.
    #MLSTL. Shared on my SM.

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    1. Hi Pradeep - I'm not particularly creative either and when I produce something that has a bit of creative flair I'm always so proud of myself. I think our 50's gives us more time to play around with things - we have more leisure time and more resources available to us - and we don't mind so much if what we create isn't perfect. I love that we can be different in our creativity without being too weird!

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  18. Hi Leanne! I hit my latent creative peak last year at age 58 (on the cusp of 59) when I took on my challenge to create a new painting every month in 2019 and to write an accompanying story revealing its inspiration. My journey has brought me so much peace. I get annoyed when my social media commitments chip away at my creative time which is leading me to re-evaluate my social media goals. What I am learning is any time spent creating is never wasted time and I am yearning for more!! Painting number ten is up on my blog if you'd care to take a peek. Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement and the opportunity to share my creative process on this platform. Barbie xoxo #MLSTL Sharing on my SM.

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    1. Hi Barbie, I've loved following along with the paintings you've shared with us at MLSTL and also the story behind each of them. The one that you shared this week about your journey into the gorges was truly inspiring. Your art is such a lovely expression of yourself and I'm quite envious of your natural talent - I need to work fairly hard to produce something that I can claim to have any creativity in it - that's not stopping me though. I'm finding my 50's is giving me time and confidence to dabble a bit more in areas that catch my eye.

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  19. I liked the range of things you put under creativity! I struggle with some of the more artistic aspects, but then see lists like yours and they tell me... Yes I AM creative!

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    1. That's how I feel too Pat. I'm quite a logical thinker (much like yourself) and gave myself no credit for having a creative bone in my body. However, I'm discovering that creativity has a wide scope and there's room for all of us. My 50's have allowed me discover more areas that fit my skill set and allow me some latitude.

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  20. I wonder if it has more to do with the fact that we just have more time on our hands to pursue things we've always wanted to do. I've actually been creative all my life (hence the name of my blog "Amy's Creative Pursuits", but I enjoy not having kids around all the time so I have more time to really pursue my creative endeavors. I have more "me" time.

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    1. I think you're spot on Amy - it's definitely been a time thing for me. I feel like I have enough spare time now days to allocate chunks of it for myself and for discovering things that I'd put aside when I was busier. I'm not a naturally artistic person, but I'm finding elements of it within myself that I'm working on developing - and that's been a really nice facet of my 50's.

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  21. I love this phrase: "that it's never too late to change your perception of yourself" My fifties started off rough but have been amazing in terms of growth, trying new things, and accepting myself. I've always been creative but I couldn't harness it in any practical way until after 50. Great post!

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    1. Hi Sara - thanks for the compliment :) I always considered myself non-crafty, non-arty, and non-creative (I enby you creative souls!) but with time and self confidence, I'm finding there's more out there to try my hand at, and I'm actually quite good at certain areas that I never expected. This blogging journey has been responsible for a lot of that and I'm eternally grateful that I discovered it. Welcome to MLSTL btw x

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  22. I think that research is right BBB because at 57 I retired and started the blog. For many years I felt I wasn't creative and it is only recently that I've come to realise that a blog is being creative and to also acknowledge other things I do in my life that would be considered creative. Thanks for being my co-host at #MLSTL and glad to see that retirement is a new phase you are embracing and enjoying. I've shared on SM. xx

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    1. Hi Sue - isn't it interesting that so many of us see our blogging as a creative outlet - and something we started in our 50's? I wouldn't have considered it creative either when I started, but as we learn to craft it into a reflection of our personality and style then it takes on a life of it's own! It's also interesting that you were 57 when you retired and so was I - another similarity in our Midlife journeys.

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  23. I'm going to have to think about this a bit, Leanne. I also just turned 58. Blogging is probably my most creative pursuit now, but I have been writing for most of my life in one form or another. I do think midlife gives you more freedom, maturity, and confidence to experiment with things, which in itself is creative, now that I think about it. #MLSTL

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    1. That thought is exactly what the article and research alluded to Christie - life experience, freedom, maturity - all those come into themselves in our 50's and I guess it takes us a few years to realize that we're now more creative than we were in our child rearing phase.

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  24. My creative life soared when I needed some 'escape' from grief and stress when we left Sydney. It became a literally mind-saver I reckon when I was diagnosed with cancer at 67 and found that designing, making and colouring mandalas and more worked for me. Right now, I am so fortunate to be re-discovering new ways of making things and creating. I do it just for me. I like to share but not for approval as it might have been. I admit though I was always one who enjoyed some of this type of thing as an Infants teacher and as a grandmother but now it's for me and it's the best. Denyse #mlstl

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    1. Hi Denyse - I think when we take approval of others out of the equation it frees us up to enjoy being creative without the judgement we often worried about. I'm prepared to have a go at more things these days and to claim a bit of creativity that I never would have in my 30s and 40s.

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  25. Hi Leanne,
    I've seen this article about a second chance at creativity, too. While I'm cruising into my 60s, I do agree that creativity begins to reemerge from MidLife on. I think this has something to do with actually having more time to devote to whatever our passion is. The kids are grown and gone, our career is established (or we are retired!) and we are not micromanaging every second.
    So, right now my creativity expresses itself in blogging and knitting and they each fill different needs.
    Visitin' from #MLSTL

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    1. You are so right about our creativity re-emerging because we finally have the time to discover what lies under the busy-ness of life. I'm loving the little bits of recreational creativity in my life and I intend to keep adding to them so that I'll have a nice little pile of pursuits by my 60's :)

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  26. I am in my 60s and still feel as though I have the passion and imagination to be creative. I am so lucky that I have so much more time now than I did at any time since my teens. Lots of outlets for me to explore!

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    1. I feel the same way! My 50's have opened up the time and headspace (and maybe given me more courage) to explore things that I'd never have tried in the years when I was busy working and being a mum - it's a great time of life!

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  27. I love this idea of peeling off the labels, Leanne. Mine come from my childhood and I'm definitely ready to let them go, and be the happy creative person that I'm meant to be. right now I'll be focusing my creativity on designing the living space in our new house. Love your post and sharing to FB.

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    1. Hi Christina I can't wait to see how your new place turns out - it has so many interesting vintage features and I'm sure it'll look amazing. I think we were pigeon-holed too early in our childhood - told we weren't good at something and we believed it. Now we're willing to give it another shot - and that's just one more facet I love about Midlife xx

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