Aging healthily and well needs to pay as much attention to physical fitness as mental and social well-being. That’s why Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida made GetSetUp available to Sally for no additional cost through her SilverSneakers membership.
Sally a Florida native, who has resided in several states all over the US prior to resettling in Orlando, first heard about GetSetUp in an email some months ago.
“The free part caught my attention of course.”
When Sally went on to GetSetUp she was blown away by the number of different classes available to her to learn about diverse areas of life.
“Although I'm in a meet-up social group, participate in a book club, and enjoy artist friend meetings, I still felt like I wanted to do something else. Learning something new really appealed to me.”
She found a couple of classes that appealed to her artistic nature like creative writing, drawing, and drawing with colored pencils.
“I didn’t take up art until I was 65 and I’ll be 75 in a couple of weeks.”
Despite not taking up art until later in life she joined local art shows. She even had one of her pieces of artwork selected to be on display at the local hospital. Her piece that was on display at the hospital was also purchased there by a local fan. Twenty-five percent of the sale price went as a donation to the hospital. And Sally’s artwork continued to garnish interest. She sold a couple more pieces locally.
Prior to the pandemic, she was teaching English to non-English speaking people and she happened to create a charcoal drawing of a woman who looked like she was in ecstasy. This piece easily sold as well for its unique qualities.
Exploring new horizons post-pandemic
Now Sally is looking to get back to refocusing on her art.
“I was not inspired during the covid lockdown, unfortunately,” like many people and Sally let this passion of hers fall by the wayside. But now she’s looking into how it might fit into some of her future endeavors. She’s considering starting a business and looking into some classes that may teach her a bit more about that.
“One of the things I do like is seeing who else is interested in similar topics as me. I don't always join Zoom sessions, sometimes I just hang out in the Lounge. I can still hear and see the class. It’s nice if I want to eat during class as it allows me to hang out and participate anyway.”
Diverse ways to participate in classes from passive watching to active video participation help to make classes fit the needs of a broader community of learners with diverse learning preferences.
“One of the features I really like is that you don't always have to plan way ahead to take a class. You can join at the last minute if you find you have time and know the schedule. Even if you don't know anything on the schedule then you can go online and find a class then and there, join, and participate.”
Sally appreciates the flexibility of the site and its ease of use. She knows how important keeping up with technology is over time.
Learning Zoom helped her book club to continue meeting via Zoom during the pandemic. They were even able to host author, Lisa See, to talk about her book The Island of Sea Women, and interview Ms. See about her motivation for writing.
One last item that Sally thinks might be helpful to other would-be artists is how she deals with a slight essential tremor in her dominant hand.
“I didn’t have a tremor when I began drawing 10 years ago. But as it progresses I have learned that some days are just not art days. I have to wait and see each day if I will be able to create. If not, there is always a book waiting to be read. It’s such a mild, though sometimes frustrating impediment that I don’t let it get me down.”