For the past few years, I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery that includes creating art, writing, teaching, and even gardening!
The catalyst was caring for both my parents in the final phase of their lives – kind of like a roller coaster ride in the dark, but with moments of joy, laughter, and deep connection. From that life-changing experience came The Dutiful Daughter’s Guide To Caregiving. It was pretty much everything I learned during that time, and written so other adult children might feel supported, understood, and less alone.
Although the process of writing the book turned out to be incredibly healing, there was still that struggle of trying to figure out who I was now. Getting in touch with my own needs more and more, I discovered a desire to explore thoughts and feelings beyond words – something more visual, drenched in color and light. So, in 2016, I picked up my mother’s well-used art supplies, carried home with me after her passing, and began to paint. It was love at first stroke and the rest is history, as I went from caregiver to artist with a book in-between.
As a Grade A over-thinker, making art is the one thing that happens in a judgement-free zone for me. Unlike caregiving, where we tend to second-guess our decisions (as if there was actually a perfect answer to anything), my only question has become, “Oooh, what happens if I try this!”
And that, my friends, brings me to now and my website, JudithHenryCreative.com, where I post new artwork as it comes available, and share observations about life and self-care, quotes/poems, readers’ words, art tips, and much more on my blog – Late Bloomer. Sound interesting? Then grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and come on over. If it makes you laugh or smile, let’s keep in touch.
You may even find yourself inspired to begin a creative practice. I know putting yourself first is hard, yet even a half-hour once or twice a week can give your tired brain and body a big mental and physical boost. In addition, it’s a powerful tool, along with writing, to answer those “Who Am I/What Now” questions that sometimes arise when the role of caregiver comes to an end.
Strong hugs to you all.