I firmly believe, in fact I am passionate about, staying involved in your own life. I just celebrated a birthday and, 60 (gasp) is only a few years away, so I have some wisdom to impart about not getting old. Sure, we all get older (beats the alternative) but I have fought getting old (or even growing up) all of my adult life. We are all subject to circumstance, health issues, and major setbacks, but even with those, as far as I am concerned, the secret to life is staying passionately engaged.
Engagement means, as I said, that you stay interested, that you stay curious, that you retain enthusiasm for your day. Of course, in my case, it is through creative outlets like writing this blog, building a gorgeous garden, or even putting a wooden model boat together. The point is, participation. Rather than live through television or tabloids, I recommend doing stuff. Lot’s of stuff. Wear yourself out, go to bed tired, get up ready to do it again.
I’m pretty manic about this, I’m building a new firm, blogging, being a full time college student, learning guitar, taking wine classes, taking ballroom dancing, and, most of all, gardening. (I’m a little overwhelmed thinking about everything I have to do this week). Keeping the brain engaged is more than just staying busy for the sake of staying busy. It’s a recognition that there is still a lot to learn, a basic curiosity about life is one of my hallmarks. I am trying to squeeze as much knowledge into this little brain as I can. I developed this irritating habit, when I wonder how something works, I go find out.
Someone once said, “If you are bored, it is because you are boring.” I fight boredom with creativity, I create an interesting life. Middle Aged Crazy was created because I truly believe that being creative just might save your life, like I said, it sure beats the alternative. To me, happiness is engagement, a daily fascination with life that keeps you grounded, a mindful approach that even makes mindless tasks like folding clothes or weeding a garden meaningful. It involves acceptance, loving everyone you meet as best as you can, understanding others, no small amount of patience, and, most of all, passion.
We can all have bad luck, bad health, or bad circumstances, things happen and we can’t always control them. What we can control is our response: we can withdraw or we can dive in. Choosing to live a creative and passionate life is a brave choice in the face of a world that many find isolating and threatening. Creativity and curiosity are the ultimate signs of optimism, they demonstrate hope and love, they help you find meaning in your life.
One of the things I am lucky enough to be passionate about is my relationship with my wife, Teresa. After circumstances helped me to understand what life would be like without her, I have been fortunate enough to get another chance, and she is my partner in this passionate life we are building together. She weeds with me, goes to classes with me, is my dance partner, and is a hell of a creative in her own life, developing a passion for painting and photography. I am lucky that this beautiful and strong woman is here, and I understand why those who don’t have what we have wish that they did. Loneliness is a horrible thing, but choosing to succumb to it and give up on life is even more horrible. For the lonely, the depressed, and even the addictive, I hope someone helps them reignite their passion, their curiosity, their creativity.
Releasing your Creative Beast is a powerful thing and once you do, everything gets better.
Now go make something.