All the excitement surrounding the Toms River Mural Contest got me thinking a lot about art lately.  I've always admired people who can draw, paint, and design.  I love going to museums, galleries, and admiring murals anywhere I see them.  Though I'm a big fan of the arts, I've never felt I could create anything worthwhile.  Until recently.  The photo you see here was made by yours truly.  I painted it with help from an artist who led a fun class.  It's no Monet, but it makes me smile and reminds me how cool it can be to try new things.  I entered class that day saying, "I can't even draw a good stick figure!"  Now, my approach to new artistic challenges is, "Just do it!"

Research has shown that there are many benefits to expressing oneself creatively. Artistic endeavors nurture our sense of well-being, provide a sense of control, reduce depression and anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

I've recently started taking singing lessons.  It's too soon to report on my progress but I can say that I'm enjoying the process.  It's challenging, but exciting!   At some point, I want to take up piano again.  I regret giving up my lessons when I was a child.

Have you taken art or music lessons in your later years?  Is there something you'd like to learn?  It's never too late!