When I decided to retire, I did not give a lot of thought about how I would spend my time. I knew I would take some classes and do some traveling and visit family, but as far as how I might choose to spend the majority of my waking hours, I just did not consider it.
After working for so long, you imagine what retirement will be like. For me, it has been wonderful. I have not missed going to a full time job and working for someone else. Even when I had my own business, I was always working for someone else — my clients. Sure, I could set my own hours but there were still demands. I wanted my retirement to be as ‘demand free’ as possible.
I have always self-identified as an artist. I am unfortunately not disciplined enough to work hours on end, apply to shows, advertise and sell my work. I just love to create and I do it for my own satisfaction more than anything else.
Learning to cut stones has always been a dream of mine so I was really excited when I discovered the arts and crafts school here offered lapidary classes. I have taken the same class many times because I do not have the equipment to do the grinding at home. It is also a very messy proposition, which requires a studio dedicated to this type of work.
This morning was my last lapidary class. I finished a few metered pieces and worked on a few freehand pieces. I am always sad to see my classes come to an end because I lose myself in the work.
My other dream was to make more jewelry using sterling or fine silver. I have done a lot of bead work, but as I age and my eyes get worse, it is harder to work with beads. My mind usually goes to the more asymmetrical designs which is not always the design of choice for people buying jewelry. I still make survival bracelets for victims of sexual abuse, but not much else.
I took several classes in Florida before we moved to North Carolina. I even made engagement rings for my daughter and my now daughter-in-law. Talk about stressful! I have taken a few classes since, but again, this work again requires specialized equipment and a dedicated workspace. I love this work even if I do not have a studio of my own.
This coming weekend I am taking a workshop with Molly Sharp. She is an incredibly talented jewelry designer and silversmith. She is also a kind and effective teacher. I am really looking forward to the class this weekend – I’m sure you will hear and see more about it after the workshop is over.
The Urge to Create
Taking continuous classes is not fiscally possible so I have been looking for something creative to do when I am not enrolled in art classes. I have been so inspired by Maitri Libellule and her whimsical watercolors of Anna. They are bright and beautiful and unapologetically Maitri.
I have also been drawn to the sketches of Lisa Wagner, who writes an amazing blog entitled “Places of the Spirit”. She has also been spending some time creatively and sharing that work on her blog. So, between the two of these talented women, I have been inspired to try to do a few drawings. I picked up some new watercolor pencils at Michaels, so I will see where this takes me.
These are the activities that I dreamed I would have more time for once retired. So far, I have been successful, but I am really looking forward to having more rainy day activities that do not require a studio and an elaborate equipment set up.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”