I am currently working my way through Julia Cameron’s newest Artist’s Way series, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again – a program specifically targeted to help those in midlife discover creativity and meaning.
This week I focused on chapter six: Reigniting a Sense of Humility.
I continue to follow the four cornerstones of the program:
- Daily hand-written Morning Pages (wrote 6 out of 7 days)
- Weekly solo Artist Dates (made Taralli and posted the recipe)
- Two 20-minute solo walks per week (basset walks only)
- Ten weekly Memoir prompts (this week focusing on ages 26-30)
I think my biorhythm was off this week. Even though I accomplished quite a bit, I consistently felt behind. I couldn’t seem to garner the energy (or desire) to do anything but essential tasks. Even the memoir prompts proved difficult and uninspiring.
- Describe your major relationships.
- Where did you live? More than one place?
- What was the role of your ego in your life at this time?
- Describe one sound.
- Describe one taste.
- Describe one fear.
- What dream did you harbor during this period?
- What was your greatest challenge? Do you relate to this challenge today?
- What did you have to learn? What did you feel you already knew?
- What other memories feel significant?
The word I would use to define this period of life is DRAMATIC. We went from DINKS (dual-income-no-kids) to two children in 2.5 years: the true highlight of these five years (and the center of my major relationships during this time).
We moved three times: from a one-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village (which was a wee bit small for a family of three) – to a three bedroom condo in Norwalk, Connecticut (overpriced for the amount of space) – to a four-bedroom house in Johnson County, Kansas (just right).
Between my husband and myself, we had a total of six different jobs/careers in five years. Some were planned changes, others a depressing surprise. While this took a toll on our finances and self-esteem, we developed a sense of resilience and persistence that remains strong today.
Perhaps reliving these challenging years took its toll. Perhaps that is why I’m currently feeling a general malaise. Or perhaps it is just the summer heat. In any case, rather than force myself to complete this week’s exercises, I decided to give myself grace. This is a rather new practice for me, but fortunately, I’m learning this important self-care lesson in Midlife.
So instead of sharing an epiphany this week – or a fun creative artist date – I will leave you with my favorite definition of humility:
But if you are content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.
This is Eugene Peterson’s translation of Matthew 23:12. I like it.
Humility isn’t about false modesty or thinking little of yourself (what I incorrectly assumed for the past fifty years). Rather, it is about self-acceptance and becoming who you were meant to be.
It’s never too late to learn new lessons…