I’m Paula Coop McCrory and I am a visual artist that fell into the digital space over 8 years ago. I grew up as an only child. My parents were driven by travel which meant I moved through most of my youth. I went to Scotland to complete my MFA, moved back to Ontario, and wound up meeting my husband of now 16 years. We have 3 children which changed my career focus. Now that they’re older, when the opportunity arose to move outside of the city, we took it. It was completely unplanned but has become the best decision for us all. We are based in Georgina, Ontario, just 50 minutes north of Toronto.
What would you say has been the biggest shift in your life since turning 40?
The decision to leave the city. The decision to expedite our long-term plans by 15 years has meant I’m reconnecting with my artistic side and feeling a renewed want to create, explore, and calm.
When do you feel you are most powerful?
I feel most powerful when I am grounded, at peace, and am making. I am a visual artist. This is something that has never left me but was put on hold when I became a mom. Moving houses has given me the space to create that I didn’t have in our old place. But also, it wasn’t until we moved to the home we’re now in, that I’ve truly felt like I could shed the old behaviours and thought patterns and reconnect with my artistic side fully. Painting, printmaking, photography, building custom terrariums, and pouring soy candles are just a few of the things that I love to do.
What are the top 3 most important things to you right now?
Having the time to think. Having the time to create. Having the time to connect with my family.
How do you make sure your actions are aligned with what’s most important to you?
For me, it’s about looking at the week and making sure I carve time to create; making sure I take time to just breathe. I often find access to the outdoors allows me this; living in Georgina is all about connecting with nature and community.
What seeds are you planting today for the future?
I’m committing to exhibits, artisan markets, and realigning my social feeds to support this. It’s about owning it, believing it, and doing it.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in redesigning midlife?
Listen to your heart. Free yourself of the outside noise we’re all surrounded by and listen to yourself – that inner part of us we too often ignore but truly holds the answer – about what you need and want to be happy and content.