Last week it stopped. It went away; evaporated, disappeared. Somehow something sneaked into my life and sucked the urge to create right out of me. Whether the attack by “Uncle Arthur” on my hands, knees, and hip was the cause or an effect I don’t know.

A friend’s counsel included the reminder that changes in 3 major areas of our lives: career, domestic life, health can trigger a mid-life crisis. “Good grief!” I thought, “ I’ve already done the crisis thing: had the counseling, retired, sold the house, am taking the medicine. There is no career, no partner, no major health issue. A week ago all was absolutely well. How can this be happening, again?”

I prefer to think it’s just a dip, a ‘sinking spell’, a bit of after the holidays blues. Or perhaps, as my daughter suggested, a break in my previous frantic pace has given me thinking time: Time to reflect on aging both my parents’ and my own. Maybe I’m frightened and/or sad about that.

Do I stay busy being who I am or do I stay busy so that I don’t have time to think about who I really am?

Thing is, the urgency, even the interest in doing anything productive, simply packed up and left. When I opened the door to inspect it’s old room I noticed a light coating of dust beginning to settle. Then I picked up a crumpled piece of paper that had landed on the floor beside the empty trash can. The paper was a list. Didn’t even have to smooth it out to know. It had been so satisfying scribbling down the steps to a project, the list of materials, the names of the contacts; then, working daily to tick off each one and finally, ripping the paper from the pad, wadding it in my hand and ‘shooting’ it into the bin for another 2 points! Yea, you did it, again!


Do I continue to store all the equipment of my craft in the belief that the thrill of painting something I love will return? Or do I donate the trappings of my artist-self to Charity and finally have a room available for overnight guests? Why am I asking myself to choose? Why not do an expansion?

Better eat a good breakfast because, as the blogger says, it’s time to reinvent myself.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Ellen Gaddis Howell’s story.