Doctor Love: Personal Achievement

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

Readers, email your question to [email protected] Your letters are edited solely for grammar, spelling and length

Dear Doctor Love,
I am a woman in my mid-fifties with absolutely no talent in anything. I cannot sing or dance. I can’t draw or paint. I can’t dazzle with a dress I sewed, bake amazing dessert creations or grow a beautiful garden. I have nothing to brag about and nothing to show for my time on earth except raising two children to adulthood, which is nothing more than most women my age have done.
I would like to be proud of one creative achievement. I want to exclaim over something I’ve accomplished. I want to surprise my husband and see the pride in his eyes at my new talent.
How do I learn something new at my age? How would I pick up a guitar and just learn it? How does a middle-aged woman become good at doing things they were never good at before?
This obviously isn’t a crisis. I am hoping you might have a suggestion or two for an average woman who would like to live more than just an average life.
/s/Name Withheld

Dear Withheld
The brain needs stimulation to be creative. How does a brain receiving no new input become stimulated to create?
Travel. People who travel and immerse themselves in different cultures are often very creative so start stimulating your mind by looking for new sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and experiences. Travel to a place you’ve never been and instead of visiting only the tourist attractions enjoy the real life, cuisine and art of the local people. You will begin to see things differently and this can fan the creative spark into a flame.
If you aren’t ready to jump on a bus or plane, join one of the many activities available on the island. Much of the brain is devoted to movement so use yoga to stimulate your brain as well as your body. Empty your mind of the ordinary and the extraordinary will flood in.
Get help getting started. Painting groups will help you create something with the guidance of an art instructor.
You have just written a letter that expresses your feeling so well the reader can feel your discouragement. Write something. Write your thoughts and experiences in a diary or write about one topic every morning. Take thirty minutes to describe anything—the way you feel about your cat. How your cat feels about you. Free-write about anything that comes to mind.
It’s about developing a new “average”. Delve into the unusual and stop settling for the “norm”.
The brain grows and learns at any age, so give yours something new to experience.

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