Well, it’s almost the end of 2015. I think this has been my most creative year yet. I was pondering why it was the most creative. It’s not like some huge event happened that allowed me more time and freedom for indulging in my creativity. I really think the change wasn’t in the amount of time I have, but more in the amount of time I allow myself to use for things I truly enjoy.
When the kids were small, I used to spend my time cleaning up after them. There was a place for everything and everything in its place. I was a bit OCD about it, and I let it consume me and my time. Too bad I can’t go back and collect the minutes that I spun my wheels in an effort to make sure everything looked “just so.” My daughter even nicknamed me Danny Tanner, the clean freak dad from the series, Full House.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I still spent some time making quilts, doll clothes, stuffed animals, pillows, etc. when the children were little. It’s just that I could have spent a whole lot more time doing the things that I enjoyed instead of burdening myself with the “shoulds.”
This behavioral pattern ruled my life for years – even after the children were grown up and no longer needed me so much. Then in 2010, my husband bought a road bicycle and joined a bike club. He became obsessed with cycling and anything else physical – racquetball, jogging, swimming, cycling – then training for marathons and triathlons. This could have been a point of freedom for me, but I was still struggling against it all, trying to make it like the picture I had formed in my mind of how it “should” be.
My dad and mom were inseparable. My mom went wherever my dad went, and vice verse. So whenever my husband took off to go do whatever his thing was that day, I felt like the wolf whose pack has left – alone, deserted, without purpose.
It took me a while to finally embrace that aloneness – to see the benefit in no one needing me or wanting me for anything. When the children were small, I used to long for time to myself, but then I just gave in to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen. It became such a distant dream that when it finally crept up on me, I didn’t even recognize it!
It wasn’t like an ah-ha moment, per se’, but more like a gradual dissipation of the fog. It finally was clear to see that my wish was being granted. I had time for me! I let go of the shoulds – no more cleaning house, because I should or doing laundry, because I should. No more work before play. Shedding the rules that I had burdened myself with, I have had more time for creativity! And I no longer feel deserted or without purpose when everyone heads off to their activities.
Better late than never, right? I love the new shift of perspective, and the freedom to indulge in what really matters.
My most recent creative discovery is this method of making little flowers to embellish quilts or whatever with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K4ckd5MlyY. This method is so easy and fun. I’ve only made two, but can’t wait to make more. They’re like little baby flowers. When I got the first one completed, I felt the same way I do when I find a little violet growing in the grass. I plan to make a whole bouquet and use them to embellish a negative space quilt. I’m so excited!
Happy New Year, Allie – and anyone else who might stop by and read my blog. Hope you all let go of your shoulds in 2016 and get jiggy with your creativity!!