The Art of Midlife: Courage and Creative Living for Women

By Linda N. Edelstein | Go to book overview

becomes fully human only by her choices and her commitment to them. We attain worth and dignity by the multitude of decisions we make each day.10 We create ourselves by our thoughts and dreams and choices. We give form to our dreams when we are living creative lives. We are not simply engaged in knowing our world; we are engaged in a passionate reforming of our world by virtue of our interrelationship with it. Our reality is expanded. We further our emotional development and feel more complete as a result of creative activity. We grow; that is some of creativity's appeal.

The last word goes to Melanie: "I used to think that if I tried something and failed, I couldn't deal with the failure. I thought that I always had to be perfect. . . . I never competed in sports because I couldn't stand losing. If I didn't think I could Arin, I didn't go for it. That's how competitive I was. Tim pointed it out -- I won't even play if I don't think I can win. Then I said, 'Wait a minute. I can live through it if I lose. I'm strong enough.' "


NOTES

Quote in chapter title is from A great wagon, in The essential Rumi ( 1995), translated by Coleman Barks ( New York: Harper San Francisco), p. 36.

1
Margaret Atwood, ( 1978), Fortelling the future, in Two-beaded poems ( New York: Simon & Schuster), p. 12.
2
Daniel Levinson, ( 1978), The seasons of a man's life ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf).
3
Charles Drebing, Hendrika Van de Kemp, Winston Gooden, and H. Newton Malony , ( 1995), The dream in midlife women: Its impact on mental health, International Journal of Aging and Human Development 40(1):73-87.
4
Elliot Jaques, ( 1981), The midlife crisis, in S. Greenspan and G. Pollack

-199-

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