Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Creative Endeavor

Let me ask you a question:

How creative is your life?

Very? Not very? Huh?

Now, let me ask you a slightly different question:

How creative are YOU in your life?

A little? A lot? What?

Okay, let me ask you a third question:

Would you like more, and to be more, of it? (Creative, that is.)

Yes? No? Maybe?

Now, let me tell you why I’m asking.

Before I started Grad school two years ago, I was dabbling in creative things. I was working on my mixed media art, I was taking online art workshops, I had started a blog about my poetry/fiction writing, and I was frequenting dozens of creative blogs for inspiration and community.

But, then, I started school.

And with that, everything else “superfluous” took a back seat (or in some cases, was dropped off at my parent’s house, never to be seen again.)

That’s how it remained from August of 2009 through June of 2011 when I graduated. (Hooray!)

But instead of falling back into my creative endeavors, I did the opposite.

Now, yes, a break was needed. So, I told myself that it was perfectly fine to take a few weeks to decompress from the stress of it all. (And by decompress, I mean sit around doing nothing but watching TV in my pajamas. (And I may or may not have put on said pajamas as soon as I got home from work. (What?)))

After about a month, though, I realized that while I felt much more relaxed due to my nightly three-hour pajama-wearing TV time, I was slowly turning into a lifeless person with nothing to talk about but what so-in-so did on such-and-such TV show*. I had nothing to say about my actual life. (Except that work was fine, but busy.)

With that startling (and depressing) realization, I’ve been on a search for other things to occupy my time, and actually help me to improve my skills and interests as a person.

Now, don’t get me wrong, TV has taught me a few things that have added to my life, but by its nature, TV is passive. I observe. I don’t engage. But what I realized I was longing for was improvement by doing, by taking action, by living!

After this epiphany, I started setting parameters (because that’s how I am). I wanted to do something that wasn’t too hard, wasn’t too time-consuming (I still have shows to keep up with, after all), and didn’t cost a lot of money.

But, I wanted whatever it was to push me out of my comfort zone, challenge me creatively, and increase my daily joy.

All of this has been marinating in my head for the past month, and it wasn’t until last Monday night as I was contemplating my situation (which might have been while wearing my pajamas and during the commercial break of a well-known gossip show), I looked over to my bookcase and something caught my eye.



*Part of my TV viewing was shows on the Documentary Channel. Do you have this? It’s fabulous! Next time you see me, ask me about some of the documentaries I’ve watched. I will regale you with stories about fascinating people: like people who stare at the sun for energy, or the boy who looked for his invisible girlfriend, or the Mountain Talk folk, or what luminaries of our time have to say about forgiveness, or… **

**On second thought, you may not want to ask me. I’ve counted up and in the last three months I’ve watched 27 documentaries. It might be best to keep that door shut.


Hannah said...

Oh man, I am like rubbing my hands together in excitement over here! This is EXACTLY the kind of post I like to see...starts off with TV (of which I am a big fan) ends with a motivator for change! (Or, well, in this case ends with a cliffhanger which I am ALSO A FAN OF!)

Laura said...

I hate it when you do two parters!

I've had some of these same thoughts recently and pulled out a bag of mosaic-making stuff I bought at Michael's a long time ago. The receipt was still in the bag, I bought it April 20, 2007 in Texas and haven't touched it since! So, I made the intended project. It did NOT turn out well. But I went and bought some more stuff and am about half-way through another project. It's better but still not exactly the mosaic of my dreams. I have visions of refinishing some cute little side table I find at a thrift store and mosaicing the top of it in old china.

If you still want to go thrift store shopping - I'm in!

Liz W. said...

Laura, you're going to post pictures on your blog, right? Even if it's not perfect, right? Because I need to see it!

And, I'm still planning on having a "Thrift Store Bonanza" Day. Maybe in October? You're totally invited!