my take on the ageing process….

Having just celebrated my 70th birthday, I thought I would write something on my feelings about the ageing process.

First a quote by Sophia Loren

‘There is a fountain of youth:  It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love.    When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.’

watercolour demonstration at the school in Olhao


Sophia Loren’s quote resonated with me, because at the core of  all my work and way of being is the belief that the creative process in all its many forms is the key to emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.    

Of course our bodies will change and age – and there will be days when we feel stronger than others, but to walk through life on an aimless path ultimately brings a sense of deep frustration.       By integrating some form of creativity into our daily lives we bring substance, meaning, a sense of satisfaction and wellbeing.

Yesterday, I painted the portrait of musician, Sue Ballingall.     Sue has that ageless quality about her.   She has the vitality and zest that comes when someone loves what they do……

20-11-15 - 1 (97)

I have experienced two ways of being: – the first forty years of my life were fragmented, anxiety ridden and filled with a great sense of frustration.     Had I continued on that path….my life today would look very different.

For the latter thirty years, I chose a new path.     By introducing new habits, routines and  rhythms I was able to slowly but surely establish a life that works for me.    A life that brings me countless joys and a sense of fulfilment. I will be always be grateful that I experienced such a turning point.

Large oil on canvas – self portrait – painted at my turning point – 1989.     I keep this painting as a reminder, that we can always make new choices….


Today, I enjoy the flow of life… brings such wonderful surprises – in ways that I could never be creative enough to imagine.

Just before my birthday celebrations I gave a talk in Somerset…in the Bristol area and stayed with a woman who I met in Portugal last year….and there I met these two little angels:)    Bobby and Winston……that’s what happens when I am in the flow…….


I conclude with a magical hummingbird – and a quote from the book Buddhist Offerings 365 days. 

‘The first thing upon which we should meditate is our precious and fleeting human life, hard to obtain, and easy to destroy; – I will now give it meaning…..’


A Bientôt




76 thoughts on “my take on the ageing process….

  1. silverliz

    Dear Janet, I agree totally with your post, I had my seventy-seventh birthday six months ago. I’m exploring a different creative aspect of myself, I write. 2010 was a very difficult year for me, a turning point but not one of my choosing. Since then I have been exploring my own creative process. I think the picture of yourself at the changing point is beautiful and full of emotion. I love to see your pictures they are so charged with life.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Liz….it ‘s so lovely to see you here. I have often thought about you after leaving the old blog server…wondering how you are….
      Congratulations on your 77th and even more congratulations for exploring a different creative aspect of yourself….I always enjoyed reading your blogs…and so clearly writing is something you do well.
      Thank you so much for your comments about the paintings…much appreciated. Sending love and wishing you a full and creative weekend/life ahead…Janet. x

  2. Bushka

    What sprang to mind for me was the well known ‘Prayer for Serenity’ (Niebuhr/)
    ‘Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage (and patience) to change the things I can…and the wisdom to know the difference!’
    May we never lose the ‘child’ in ourselves….and its spontaneity to explore.
    Excellent post Janet! Hummingbird Hugs! ❤

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Bushka…..I love the Serenity Prayer and often say it in the form of a mantra. It’s so simple and yet says it all….and is so very comforting.
      I totally agree about keeping the child within us alive and well…it’s vital…Thank you so much, and wishing you a beautiful weekend filled with wonder and joy….Janet. xxx

      1. Bushka

        Thanks Janet….Yes! Serenity Prayer forms part of the Start and End to every day for me.
        Have a Serene Week-end. Hummingbird Hugs. ❤

  3. teagan geneviene

    Hi Janet. I loved the Sophia Loren quote, and your thoughts touched something deep within me. I can’t wait for your book.
    This hummingbird is perfect for today — after a day of heavy rain, and a gloomy week in general, I hope for some sunshine today. Mega hugs my friend. ❤ 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Teagan…I am so pleased you enjoyed this post. I have always admired Sophia Loren as an actress and human being. When I read her quote, somehow it didn’t surprise me that she held these views.
      It has been grey and very mild again here….spring flowers popping up all over the place…Hopefully your rain has washed away the snow….paving the way for spring – just around the corner.
      Meanwhile, I will continue to send you hummingbirds filled with colour and magic. Have a lovely weekend.

      1. teagan geneviene

        There’s only a little snow now, under my front window, where so much fell from the roof (and of course the street piles from the plows). It’s forecasted again Tuesday; hoping it isn’t much. 🙂
        Yes, my friend, this truly is one of your best narratives. I agree completely, even in the face of people telling me I can’t get a different job because i’m too old at 56 (the required federal forms state your age at the very top line), and too fat. (Then they go and imitate my resume and apply for the job… Ha.) Well, at least the fat puffs out my wrinkles! 😀 Now for a bit of noveling. Mega hugs.

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        My dear Teagan…almost bed time this end…just watched the conclusion of War and Peace on BBC TV – absolutely wonderful….and oh so thought provoking. The wind is really blowing up a huge storm outside and the rain is falling….something I quite like when I am fortunate enough to be in a nice warm bed and flat. You are so young in mind and heart and that’s the key – what do the people who organise forms know anyway???:) I can see you in the southwest living a very colour full life surrounded by cats, books….those that you are reading, and those that you have written and are writing. On that note…I wish you a very good night. Janet. xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you dear Sarah….Having just read your post for the day… are clearly seeing everything in double vision at the present which must put a new slant on all the images you are observing…..:) Have a wonderful weekend…and remember ‘this too shall pass………………….’ Janet. xxx

  4. Carol Balawyder

    What a beautiful birthday present you’ve given yourself. I love all your quotes and your paintings are as usual stunning. They always make me feel serene and joyful at the same time. Thanks, Janet. 🙂

  5. Bonnie Halsey-Dutton

    Beautifully said, Janet, thank you! I suppose everyone on this earth, before and after us, struggle with the concept of aging. I’ve read and come to remind myself that aging should be thought of as a privilege: denied to many. The Sophia Loren quote adds seeking beauty and love to the ultimate measure of a life… I love that.

  6. Tish Farrell

    That is a wonderful quote from Sophia, and one you surely live by. As I’ve grown older I’ve tried to focus on the making the most of my potential. I guess that’s the same thing.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Tish. Yes, indeed, making the most of one’s potential is indeed the same thing….and you do so beautifully in so many creative ways. Writing, gardening, photography, strawberry vodka:) You see I remember these things. Have a lovely weekend. Janet.

      1. Tish Farrell

        You remembered the strawberry vodka!!! Thank you, that’s more than I did, though I did taste some before Christmas, and it was very delicious. Better go and hunt it out, though not before breakfast 🙂

  7. Vera Komnig

    Janet, you are not only a sister in art, you are my sister in art & heart. I can see myself a little bit in your story . I am a little younger than you, but had the first 40 years not really lived…I was very very ill and more death than alive…it was a very hard time. I could not even paint and I think that was the hardest loss in a whole series of frustrations.

    The next over 10 years I try to catch up what I lost…but I feel very more calm and peace in me. I am not longer forced and know that all is with me what I need… Only the wish to live from my art is very alive, but maybe one time…
    I thank you so much for your telling and how ever for your unbelievable beautiful paintings!
    Warm greetings from your sister in art ❤

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Vera….my sister in art. One day when we meet in person I have a feeling that we will find many things in common other than the obvious love of painting.
      Thank you so much for your comments..not only does it help me to hear of others who have travelled a similar path but it can also touch those who might be struggling – feeling that there is no way forward. I can remember during my first forty years, I could never imagine that I would feel normal…or be without a deep sense of anxiety and frustration, but it changed, and since my turning point, the journey has been rich and most definitely creative.
      Once that turning point has been made, then we can be calm with the knowledge that at last we are on the right path….
      Like you, my art is my life….this is what we understand in one another so very well. We are so blessed to have reached this point.
      Sending love and wishes for you to have a beautiful and creative weekend and life ahead:)xxx

      1. Vera Komnig

        Oh, yes, dear Janet, we are so blessed to have reached this point! And one day we meet in person, I am sure.
        Many hugs for you, my dear sister in art and have a nice weekend 🙂 ❤

  8. olganm

    Thank you for sharing, Janet. Beautiful quote (I read a biography about Sophia Loren years back and it was a fascinating book and she’s a fascinating woman, for sure), and I love your reflections and your paintings. I so love your self-portrait. That’s how I imagine you. Thanks for the magical hummingbirds. ♥

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Olga and thank you so much for this lovely comment. I have always been a great admirer of Sophia Loren….she is a wonderful actress and has lived a very interesting life. The large self portrait, which I keep and have with me in London, is very important to me because it is a reminder that big turning points and changes can, and do happen. If I am going through a difficult patch, I look at the painting, and again I am reminded…that I can get through it…and that no matter what’s going on, it will pass……:)
      Have a wonderful weekend. Janet. xx

  9. Katherine

    If we have work or interests of a creative kind we can continue to develop.I enjoyed this very much and yet am saddened by some of my friends who are too nervous to try to write or draw or knit and sew as they are so afraid of judgment.Many happy returns of your birthday,

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Katherine, I am always saddened when people are too nervous…usually fear based – to try something creative. As we both know, there are so many things we can do within the creative realm….sewing, gardening, knitting, writing, painting, or for that matter take a walk in nature and simply observe, where money is not necessary….You don’t have to join some expensive club, or be part of some special group in order to partake in the creative process….You are also right, that judgement is usually the baseline for the fear…….
      I also believe that it is by example that we can all learn and see how something changes a life for the positive…..and so the likes of you and I must continue to do what we do, and hope that by example – the gift of creative pleasure rubs off on others:)
      Meanwhile, have a beautiful weekend. Janet. xxx

  10. kathryningrid

    An absolutely splendid meditation, with the requisite glorious illustrations, from a truly fabulous woman. I love it!
    ❤ ❤ ❤ and a whole chorus of hummingbirds twittering!

  11. inesephoto

    Dear Janet, you and Sophia Loren made my day. Your self portrait speaks volumes. I have always believed that people can change themselves and their life. It saddens me when I see the trending idea in the social media that we are grand the way we are. It is a big lie holding people back from their progress. I have read your blog since 2014, and I know that your life is an amazing journey, and that age is nothing but a number of fantastic, creative years. Huge hugs and best wishes!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good afternoon from London and thank you so much for this lovely comment. Yes, we can all change and continue to grow ini so many ways….and knowing that gives me a great sense of hope. I hope you are enjoying a lovely day….Janet:)x


    Dear Janet, Lovely to see Bobby and Winston immortalised on your blog. You must spend a lot of time on it. How do you fit everything in? Love,

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Melanie…..One of these days, I would love to paint Bobby and Winston together…I might even use the photographs you sent as my ‘jumping off point’ Remember, the jumping off point, from Portugal? I have been blogging for eight years now, and one point was blogging five times a week, but now only once a week. I enjoy it thoroughly and have met some wonderful people over the years, virtually and some in the flesh. Hope you have the same sunshine in Somerset that we are enjoying in London this morning….Sending love to all three of you…..Janet. xx

  13. Paul J. Stam

    Greetings from Hawaii.
    I’ve said it before, “Thank you so much for letting me know my posts.”
    You and Sophia are absolutely correct. Now at 85 I still love writing novels and love doing my ceramics stuff. My first novel was published in 1967. I think one has to have a passion for some kind of art to feel in anyway alive. Now I’m thinking of taking up painting.
    Love all your art. Till next time, blessings and Aloha – pjs/

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Paul, and how lovely to receive this comment on what is a sunny morning in London. The creative process is clearly playing a huge part in your zest for life….and yes I do agree that having a passion for some form of creative endeavour does give a sense of living to the full. How exciting that you are going to take up painting….What was the name of your novel published in 1967? You live in one of my favourite places. Janet. :)x

  14. Pingback: Janet’s ‘take on ageing’ | Success Inspirer

  15. OyiaBrown

    i could recognise the self portrait immediately; your wonderful style. But the animals don’t seem to be ageing! So much talent xx 🙂


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