Angela Otts

I’ve always been one to suggest ideas on how to make life a little more interesting….especially to seniors like myself. Inevitably, I get the answer of ….

“I can’t do that.”

I can’t draw. I can’t write. I can’t play an instrument. I can’t bowl. I can’t golf. I can’t talk before an audience. I can’t be crafty. “ I can’t” goes on forever.

As we get older, there can be much regret in not trying things that might be just a tad fun to do. But “I can’t” rears its ugly head and stops us in our tracks.

At this time in our lives, especially retirement, we need to have a bucket list and see where it takes us. A bucket list lays out all the things we wish we could do. They can be lengthy because we have passed many of them by in our lives.

But, at the same time, they can become a reminder that we’re not in the grave as yet and maybe we might be able to do some of them, even if they are considerably toned down.

A friend suggested that we take up tap dancing lessons. Hey, that would be good exercise for our legs and we might realize that we’re sprier than we think we are. I remember dancing to “shuffle off to Buffalo” when I was in high school.

Why couldn’t I do a little soft shoe and shuffle around some? I wanted to dance in musicals when I was a kid. It’s never too late, as they say.

We all need encouragement to take that leap of faith. The leap could be putting paint to a canvas, shooting some photographs, writing poetry, becoming a storyteller. What do we have to lose? You have to have the inclination, I know.

I think a class in discovering our creative selves in retirement would be a great thing to have. We’ve all had great ideas that have passed through our psyches at one time or another. We just need to say that they are good ideas and give them a chance….at least, share them with someone.

I’ve been considering starting a blog on just that idea. Turning an idea into a fun activity for seniors. I’ve sought out an item on my bucket list. I now have an art studio in a gallery with other artists. I’m going to paint with abandon. It would be great if I sold one or two, but really it’s the journey that matter.

Who knows I might take up tap dancing. I have met a 91 year old gal who takes belly dancing lessons. Wow, that’s innovative. To her, it’s something she always wanted to do. And she’s doing it. There isn’t a “can’t” in her vocabulary.

What have you thought about doing at one time or another and never did it? Make your list and get out there….be daring.

Don’t worry about being embarrassed or concerned that you “can’t” do whatever you actually want to do. Doing comes in degrees and baby steps.

“I can’t” stops cold and gets you in the rocking chair. You’re not ready for that. Remember the belly dancer!!!

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