Creatively Yours – Menopause, Empty Nests and Second Spring

This is the first post from guest blogger Angela.  Enjoy!

Having recently reached the “second spring” of my life, I am welcoming in the new possibilities of what might be. Saying goodbye to my younger years was a long, slow process which culminated in my official arrival in the land of “menopause” this winter. It was a stormy ride moving through the ups and downs of mood swings, hot flashes, sleepless nights, memory failures and general body changes that occurred over the past few years. At the same time I was silently mourning as my four children one by one left home and my husband and I were left with an empty nest. Now before I get feeling too sorry for myself, there have been moments of great joy and accomplishment as I watched our children learn to fly (without too many crashes)!  And I don’t get to miss them too much because the door to the nest is always open, and I think I raised homing pigeons! Ah but that too will change one day. So for now, I am rethinking, redesigning and reinventing who I am, having had a successful career, two great marriages (after losing my first husband to cancer) and having raised four fantastic children (though not always successfully at the same time).  From this new vantage point in life I along with many of you who have also reached this new plateau, am about to embark on what promises to be a rewarding and exciting second half of life!

So what do menopause, empty nests and second spring have to do with creativity?  Everything!  Throughout the fog filled days of menopause, I remembered the wise words spoken by my best friend’s mother. “Life just gets better after menopause”.  She experienced it as a time of freedom, renewed energy and explosive creativity!  Her artist within was born and she went on to create many beautiful paintings, sculptures, gardens and living spaces. It’s the life line I hung on to, as I lay awake, unable to sleep night after night after yet another hot flash! I only wished my mother had been around to say “this too will pass”. So to those of you who are lying awake at night wondering the same thing, I assure you that like all things in life, menopause does eventually pass. I am also inspired by the work of Gene Cohen, the guru of grey matter whose research supports the claim that “because of aging (not in spite of it) we acquire a new capacity to use our left and right brains simultaneously. (And in case you forgot, the right hemisphere is the creative side of the brain.)  Thus many artists are “born” in the second spring of their life! Finally my time has come! And what about the empty nest? Well for those of us who have been raising children, the empty nest leaves space and time for creativity in whatever form it takes from opening an art studio or a cooking school, to writing a book or starting a blog; from going back to school to study the universe to mentoring youth, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. And remember, your brain is now starting to fire on two cylinders!

So, you may ask, why am I so happy about crossing over the line which we all know can only lead to the eventual end? I guess it must be my right brain telling my left brain that the best is yet to come!  Or it could be that I feel that I have come out of the fog and into the light! Speaking of which, check out this AMAZING painting I fell in love with called “Out of the Fog”.  The artist is Sherry Rohl and I happened upon her work at the Watson MacRae Gallery on a foggy art filled day in Sanibel, Florida with my creative friend Marnie. www.watsonmacraegallery.com/sherry-rohl

Join me as I explore creativity in our second spring.

P.S. I owe credit for the term “second spring” to Dr. Maoshing Ni, author of the book  Second Spring which is filled with a wealth of tips for revitalizing and regenerating at any age and to Laurie for suggesting I read it!

Creatively yours,

Angela