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Exploring My Creativity

"You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou

Living my life with myopic macular degeneration has really changed what I thought my life would be like. The plans that I had envisioned when my husband and I retired almost 10 years ago revolved around traveling, spending time with our children in their various homes, long, leisurely days of reading and puzzle solving, creating new art pieces, and extended trips to fun and exciting places. We were retired about 5 years when this new direction of living with myopic macular degeneration cropped up.

The fear of the unknown path

The initial uncertainty and fear gave me reason to pause. Not knowing the potential trajectory of this disease quite frankly totally freaked me out. Fear is an unsettling emotion. The what-ifs create an unsettling path. I was totally depending on the knowledge and skills of a trustworthy retina specialist to eventually calm those crazy emotions of mine.

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This feeling of the unknown slowly became clearer and clearer (as clear as this eye can muster!) and I truly felt like I could actually breathe, could relax even with this situation.

Rediscovering an old passion for art

As life sometimes gives us alternative opportunities, my days became more and more attuned to a lost passion of mine: art. I had spent almost 40 years raising our 4 children, working, and tending to our home, so that art hobby of mine was put aside. The retirement days afforded me the time to rediscover what was once a big part of my days.

Almost ironically, as I was beginning to have some struggles and difficulties seeing clearly, I became more passionate about doing this art — any art. I have played with acrylic paints, watercolors, pastels, pencil sketches, and simple little coloring books. Every night, like clockwork, I check into my "art world."

It was as if I needed to capture it all. Those art sessions have become so important to my days. It is as if I am pushing myself to continually see all that needs to be seen, almost subconsciously thinking, "Before it's too late."

Art is my way of seeing what I need to see

Quite honestly the words that Maya Angelou spoke about creativity truly spoke to me and became the essence of my world. When I initially read her statement, it all made sense. I needed to create something, anything, in this attempt to hold onto that world around me.

It does not matter if anyone else appreciates my work; it is my personal therapy of sorts. This is my way of continually seeing all that I need to see. I am in my fourth year of life with myopic macular degeneration. If you could see my "art room," you might understand this a little more clearly.

This creativity is not being used up in my life. Every day, there is just one more project, one more painting, one more sketch, one more coloring page waiting for me. I am continually looking for a new design to create. It is so true that creativity cannot be used up; the more you use, the more you have. I hope others find this direction in their lives.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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