Eileen McKenna Art & Design

Watercolor Art | Creative Inspiration to help you be creative on a regular basis


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I’m turning 50 and the kids are growing up

I paint the ocean in watercolor. Eileen McKenna

In 2020 I turn 50. It doesn’t bother me that much because I feel young, but it is strange. The biggest sign that I’m getting older is that we have one child away at college, another applying to colleges, and our “baby” started high school.

As I enter this new phase I was happy to find MidlifeRambler.com and connect with Katy the founder. Katy says,

“I started Midlife Rambler because I like reading so many of the great lifestyle blogs out there written by all the creative 30-somethings of the world but I wished I had something to read that was a little more focused on the interests and needs of women my age. 

Women my age often seem to be under-represented and it can be difficult to find places on the Internet that speak to us and value us. Women at midlife are entering a new phase of our lives: a phase where we (mostly) stop focusing on raising our children and starting planning our next act. What will that look like? What do we even want anyway?”

Personally, the things helping me with these transitions are having work that I’ve been able to expand on, and having a hobby that I love. I have had the pleasure of contributing an article on “Finding a Hobby you’ll love” to Midlife Rambler. Visit https://www.midliferambler.com/how-to-find-a-hobby-youll-love/ to read it.

Have advice on navigating the kids leaving the nest? I’d love to hear.

Photo by Dawn Herlihy Reilly.

Would you like to: Be creative on a regular basis and experience the joy that creativity brings? Explore mediums and subjects, in search of your thing? Learn about my new book Creative Exploration: A Six Week Process for Introducing Regular Creativity into your Life by clicking here.

Creative Exploration book -

This post contains affiliate links to products/brands I use and recommend. I earn a small commission whenever you buy using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!


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How to Find a Hobby

There are transitions in our lives where we suddenly have more time for ourselves – the youngest starts kindergarten, the kids go off to college, or move out on their own, retirement. With many of these transitions there is a mix emotions, yearning for the time before, coupled with excitement for the possibilities of next phase.

People may advise – do something for you, get a hobby. But the question is often, but what? Here are steps to exploring and finding hobbies that you will enjoy.

1. Compile a list of everything that appeals you. Write a list of every hobby, activity, goal, project, that has peaked your interest over the years. Think both broadly and specific. For example, hiking (broad), refinishing the living room coffee table (specific).

2. Prioritize the items on your list. Use A, B, C, D to assign your level of interest. If there are several items with an A priority, number the As to prioritize them. Rewrite the As in order. You now have a list of what hobbies and projects to try. For more details on the prioritizing process click here.

3. Schedule the time. If you don’t make time for it, it won’t happen. Schedule time to research, learn, and engage in the hobby or project. I recommend at the least five short sessions, and one longer session each week. I try to paint for 15 minutes in the mornings, and once a week I schedule a longer painting session. Put it on your calendar!

4. Focus on one hobby or activity a week. Write a weekly to do list based on the hobby/activity you chose. For example, for hiking your list might include: researching hiking trails in your area, assessing your wardrobe for hiking gear, reaching out to friends to join you on a hike, looking online for hiking tips and info, planning a hike for the week, and ultimately going on a hike.

Tips: Start small. Don’t start out with a 5 hour hike or a large canvas. Try a shorter beginner trail or a small drawing on paper – something less intimidating. Don’t invest a lot. When possible use what you have at the start. If you determine you love a hobby and are going to continue with it, then spend money as needed.

5. Reflect on the week and the activity. Did you enjoy it? Do you want to continue with it? If so do it. If not, go to the next item on your list.

6. Repeat until you find something you want to continue with. Trying new things is fun, but at a certain point you may want to focus. Focusing allows you to improve in a specific area.

Through this process you may even uncover several hobbies you enjoy. You may also find something you like, focus on it for a few weeks or months, and then decide to move on to something else. At that point you can always refer back to your list – or create a new one – to find the next thing to try.

Interested in exploring your creativity? Creativity is for everyone! Talent is just a starting point.

Learn more about Creative Exploration: A Six Week Process for Introducing Regular Creativity into your Life by clicking here.

Creative Exploration book -

This post contains affiliate links to products/brands I use and recommend. I earn a small commission whenever you buy using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!

How to Find a Hobby You'll Enjoy | Retirement ideas