Last week Tara, editor and owner of Scoutie Girl, wrote a “how-to” article on how “she gets it all done”, something many creative folks and entrepreneurs, especially us women, struggle with. Her short answer was that she doesn’t. If it’s not on her priority list (which is directly taking care of her child, husband, or business), it’s probably not getting done. The comments left by readers centered mostly around getting it all done and household chores/child rearing, which led to another article by Tara “creatively questioning our role as a human being, woman, lover, and nurturer”.
It got me stirred up.
I commented on her post last night, but it continued to weigh on me. Because of regardless of how equal your partnership is or how helpful your kids are, daily life has its mundane aspects that have to be tended to. I realized what was nagging at me amidst all this talk of grocery shopping, tending to the children, and “Whose job is it anyways?” was this-
Treating everyday life,
household duties, and childrearing
as all being in direct competition with
your creative business and interests.
When we compartmentalize our lives, I think we begin to feel fragmented, broken, and stressed out. If we desire a creative life, why relegate it only to things we produce? Why not bring our creativity to more areas of our our daily lives and allow daily life be a source of inspiration that feeds that creativity?
I’m not saying that washing dishes or vacuuming are themselves creative pursuits, but opportunities for creative growth lie within the mundane and the everyday. For me, sometimes doing dishes or other no-brainer activities allows my mind to work out creative problems, brainstorm ideas, or contemplate blog posts. Sometimes it’s an opportunity to “meditate” and find my inner Buddha by being present in the moment. Cleaning can be a chance to “clean” my mind and allow my creativity a place to play again.
While you’re at it, why not…
Bring your kids, your family, and your friends into the creative mix. Share your creative interests and encourage their interests/talents. Even if their interests aren’t of a creative variety, you demonstrate the rewards of pursuing interests and supporting others in theirs.
Allow daily life and its “interruptions” to present ideas and experiences that you can use in your creative work. I used to get frustrated when my son wasn’t “cooperating” with the schedule I had for the day. Yesterday, for example, I was ready to get J. fed and down for his nap because I had a blog post to write, a pattern design to tinker with, and work on my website to do. Long story short, we ended up having a quick picnic by the water before naptime. In addition to enjoying lunch outside with my son, I brought along my camera and ended up with cute pics of J., an idea for some stationery, and an motif for a pattern design I’m going to work on after I finish this post.
Realize creativity is more than creating paintings, prose, drawing, or crafts. Finding ways to turn chores into family fun vs. drudgery for one, making more time for the important things (however you define them)and figuring out what to make for dinner with what’s on hand are all opportunities to flex your creative muscle.
All of this directly plays into my thoughts on creating life to be simple, happy, and relaxed. More on that soon…
In the meantime, how do you bring creativity to your daily life? In what ways could you integrate it more? Do you think I’m completely full of shit about all of this?
Leave me a comment and let me know!