I am sure if you have ever pursued any type of creative pursuit. you have heard things like
- Practice makes perfect.
- Build up your muscle memory.
- Habits take time to build.
- You have to set aside regular time.
- You need to be intentional.
Those are all wonderful and accurate statements until you try to implement them when you have other high priority parts of your life requiring your time and energy like a career, parenting, and caregiving. My parenting is shifting from children at home to adult children on their own, but at the same time my caregiving is increasing as my wife’s Multiple Sclerosis continues to progress.
The pandemic really impacted my creative pursuits, many of which came to a complete halt. As the pandemic impact has subsided for my family, I have struggled to find motivation again. I have really been feeling the waning of my creativity and the impact that has on me emotionally and mentally. It really came to a focus on that recent extended trip for work (impacted by the ice storm in Texas). I just didn’t have the outlets I used to use to heal myself mentally and emotionally.
Upon returning home, my wife and I had some serious discussions about our current life habits, our daily/weekly schedules, and how much time we were spending just vegging while watching tv, streaming videos, or on social media. What we saw when we really reflected on our use of time saddened both of us. We are now making an intentional effort to reduce our vegging time and increasing our creative time. As Jack London said so well.
You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.Jack London
So, Angie and I have pulled out our “club” and looked at our schedules. We are now adjusting our evening and bedtime routine to add more reading time, and to read a book out loud together. Less time streaming videos and scrolling our social media accounts. We have shifted some of our weekly chores around to free up Wednesday evenings as a focused creative time for us to devote hours to our own creative pursuits including music, crafts, and writing. As much as I would like daily time to write, paint, practice, etc. our current lives do not permit that but it is a goal we both are pursuing. We are just starting this intentional creative time effort, so I will let you know more in the coming months how that is going.
Have you taken a “club” to your life to find more intentional time to be creative? If so, has it helped your mental and emotional health?