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3 Ways to Unlock Your Talents After 60 and Embrace the Perpetual Gift of You

By Joan Rudder-Ward April 03, 2018 Lifestyle

Who doesn’t like to receive gifts? I certainly enjoy beautifully wrapped surprises. I will admit, however, with a gift that’s wrapped really pretty, I can get ‘wrapped up’ in the beauty of the presentation and delay opening it.

Do you recognize yourself as a perpetual gift – holding within you valuable, waiting-to-be-discovered gifts and talents? You are a gift, continuously being unwrapped.

There’s a Lot More Inside You

You may be asking “What more is there to me?” Perhaps you’ve had a satisfying career, are now retired and no longer using those skills your career required. You may feel you have little more to offer.

Perhaps you are lamenting that if you had made better choices in pursuing certain interests in your younger days, your life would be a lot better.

It may be that unexpected setbacks and disappointments in life have caused you to be cautious about getting your hopes up about trying new things. It can be tempting to look at the things that didn’t meet the desired expectation and not want to take a chance again.

Realize that you have the God-given capacity within you to evolve. There is always more in you for you to discover.

A Woman Who Didn’t Let Age or Arthritis Stop her

We can all find some inspiration from the life of a woman named Anna Mary Robertson Moses. She lived from 1860-1961 and spent most of her life as a farmer’s wife. She had 10 children, of which only 5 survived infancy.

One of her favorite pastimes was embroidery, but when in she was in her 70s, her arthritis got so bad she could no longer grasp the needle.

She could, however, hold a paintbrush, and therefore returned to an interest she had had in childhood – painting. Her charming simplistic paintings of rural life were developed from memory. The captivating scenes soon catapulted her into fame as the beloved folk artist we know as Grandma Moses.

During the next 20+ years of her life, she created over 1600 paintings and became one of America’s best-known folk artists. She was 76 years old when she started. You’re never too old and it’s never too late to take your life to a higher level.

‘Accidental’ Discoveries

Many times, our gifts are dormant and are discovered by accident.

An engaging floral designer, 67 years old and widowed, told me how her passion started with a simple request several years before. The women’s ministry leader from her church had asked if she could make some table top decorations for an upcoming luncheon.

Her local craft store was giving a short, 2-hour floral decoration class, and she decided to take the opportunity. Afterward she was hooked and pursued developing the craft. She now creates beautiful, special order floral decorations, and has more than enough requests to keep her happily creating.

Where to start? Here are just a few suggestions that can help you get started.

Give of Yourself

You may discover more of you by being of service to others.

  • Reach out a little more to others, expecting nothing from them in return.
  • Make a commitment to send an encouraging note to someone different each week.
  • Adopt an elderly person in a convalescent home or in your neighborhood.
  • Befriend someone else’s teenager.
  • When baking some goodies, make extra for a friend or neighbor.

Make a List

Think over some things you’ve had an interest in, no matter how vague the interest. Then decide which three would make you happiest to pursue and go for it.

Take a Chance

Do something just for the fun of it. Painting, singing lessons, cooking classes, golfing, woodworking. You won’t know what you may have a knack for if you don’t try different things.

I took a woodworking class at my local community college and was surprised to find I love making wooden pens!

Move forward and pursue that thing you’ve relegated to the back of your mind – that ‘someday’ thing.

What are some things you’d like to pursue? Have you made recent new discoveries about yourself? Please share them in the comments below.

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The Author

Joan Rudder-Ward is host/producer of Silver Sage, a weekly TV program featuring inspiring conversations with people 50+, travel and more. A career professional photographer, she’s expanded her life-long passion for storytelling into filmmaking and screenwriting. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter or visit her website here

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