Book reviewer Peggy Geddes takes us along with her on her journey as she works (and plays) through Julia Cameron’s book, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond. (Read Part One here, Part Two here and Part Three here.)
As I wrapped up my 12 weeks with Julia Cameron’s book of tasks, suggestions and weekly check-ins, I thought back: It was an interesting process, this breaking down my life into 12 segments. (In following the book, you divide your current age by 12 and then look at each one of those segments of years.) It’s funny how I keep thinking of myself as middle aged. If that were true, I would be going to live to 150 (who knows!). I’m going to try to keep up the daily pages that are such a fundamental part of Cameron’s journey to creativity and meaning. I like them, especially, in order to pass on stories, and, also, they’ve simply become a part of my daily routine.
The last few weeks of this adventure went quickly. I revisited a busy time in my life, looking at it from the perspective of adding dynamic energy to my life today. That segment was a busy time for me. Financial regulations were lifted, enabling banks to spread across state lines, so banks started combining services in different areas. I worked in the commercial loan area of a big bank, and they took our processing center out of the state. I did a lot of traveling to train people on my job. Then I worked for a couple of mortgage companies that did the same. I did get to travel to Texas, Arizona and Florida at the company’s expense, but I don’t want to reignite that sense of motion from those days, not entirely anyway. I’ll settle for short trips, daily walks and visiting with friends and family.
Finding Vitality and Adventure
We also looked at our sense of vitaility — making sure we’re taking care of ourselves. We were looking back to learn from how we maintained our strength in the past, how to involve a larger group of people in our lives, and be more creative. This was smooth sailing for me: I have always been crafty with yarn and art supplies and anything handy, so I feel I have that going on. And now, I wonder, what can I find that is new? I will be looking.
Week eleven was interesting for me, as it was about “Reigniting a Sense of Adventure”. Cameron tells us to reach back into our past and consider risks we took and those we did not. I’m not sure if all of my adventures were risks, but I was never afraid to try new things. This segment covered my daily pages between ages 60 and 65. During this time I decided to go to the community college and take a class in Floral Design — something I had always wanted to do. The classes were in the evenings at a local florist’s design center. At the end of the class, the center offered me a job, so another surprise career change happened. It was a great experience that wouldn’t have happened if I had not “Just done it”.
We finished our journey with Julia Cameron with a chapter called, “Reigniting a Sense of Faith”. By this, she does not necessarily mean religious faith. She’s referring to faith in yourself that you can be and can do.
Julia Cameron talks about how we may be officially considered old, but our inner artist is always a child. This is so true for me. Unless I look in the mirror (Never put bright light in the bathroom, that’s my advice!), I don’t feel I am in my 70’s. I’m in touch with that inner artist, now more than ever.
This was an interesting adventure, and one I have enjoyed, one I’d recommend as it takes you down a personal path to nurturing your own inner desires and also to giving yourself the gift of time — time just for you to care for you, to be you, to plan adventures, and to go on adventures just for you.
Book reviewer Peggy Geddes is an avid reader of all genres, a go-to source for friends in search of new books to read. She’s also a recently retired bookkeeper, currently part-time bookkeeper for Lucky Bat Books. Mostly, she is a woman finding time now to take her turn and try new adventures.