Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lost my creative dawdler

On the 18th of January I partially wrote a post, which I never finished and posted. Partly that was due to being interrupted and also my own willingness to be interrupted. January just got completely away from me and my intentions. I sit here today kind of lost. Where was I?

A creative dawdler has to learn to start. To practice starting and even restarting. You see - there will always be interruptions or obstacles or committees.

Do you mind if I tell you a little about what happened to me? See January started off with great enthusiasm. I had a word and focus and a strong desire to get back to my blog and do some other creative things.

First I found out that my shoulder/arm pain was not a torn rotator cuff. Thankful for that. Then I found out a volunteer committee I'm on had come back to life. Then I realized - oh if I'm going to get rid of and hand off my secretary treasurer job for my homeowner's association to the next person I must do a lot work between now and February 1. That first week of January the dominoes started lining up.

Well, then I started physical therapy to help with my shoulder/arm pain. Of course I do NOT live anywhere close to the place so factor in a bunch of extra commuting time. Then it dawns on me that I have to make my schedule possible for accommodating the sudden classes for this volunteer committee that's been resurrected. Okay, no problem I make sure I can do physical therapy and attend these classes and move the cat vet appointment a week ahead.

Notice my creative dawdling time is rapidly disappearing. Then the dominoes all started to fall last week. I started the week with an appointment that had been made in November 09 (wasn't going to try to change that one since this appointment was the first available). I did hours of sec/treas work. Went to physical therapy (which at this point as they added exercises with my improvement it meant I was there longer and longer). The cat's appointment that had been moved ended up in this week. I was going from one task to another and all the details for the homeowner's sec/treas job and the details of this resurrected committee were making me feel as if my life had been swallowed. It had. My stress increased as I had less recovery time. My creative life, which is what I consider is my life, was no where to be found.

So this week I am saying, "Now where was I?" What was my intention at the beginning of the year? Oh yeah, "I choose......" was my theme. I was choosing to become a more productive creative dawdler and to attend to my creative projects. I was going to explore tracking my creative dawdling. Well, one month down and I can say I did very little creative dawdling in January.

This is an opportunity to explore. It seems not okay to say "no I cannot be on that committee anymore because that would take away from my creative dawdling time" I wanted and needed to get my shoulder better. I'd waited two and a half months for that physical therapy. I made the mistake of not recognizing the amount of time I needed to close out my work and train my sec/treasurer replacement. What I had a real choice about last month was this committee. And I just went along. I just said well I agreed to be on the committee last year - then it got shelved. Yet, here it is. Now is the time for it, and I'll make time.

And I admit I didn't choose. I was too embarrassed to say, no I cannot do this now. I really want to help this organization. I thought this is a temporary tightness in my schedule. And it is and was. Except, I feel really sad this week. I just completely abandoned my creative life. Gone. I'll never get that time back.

This week I'm still a volunteer with this organization and I wear a few hats there. I'm still on this committee. I believe it won't interfere too much in the future with my creative dawdling time, but there is a part of me that worries it will because of what happened last month. My physical therapy is going to start winding down. Thankfully, I'm much much better. I did all the work for the sec/treas job and gave it over. There are a few details, but I'm done with the job. So now I have the chance to get back to something creative.

I think this blog of mine is about practicing this muscle that says "No, I cannot do this because I must tend to my creative dawdler." How do you say no to things you care about but are less important than your creative life? Why do we in this culture minimize creativity? It seems only important if you are a bestselling author or painter or musician? I do not really believe that. I believe creativity is just as important to human beings as breathing, loving, eating, etc.... But it still feels wrong sometimes to put my need for creative puttering time ahead of the requests of people I care about.

I am proud of myself for one thing. In the month of January I stayed consistent with my exercise and I cooked meals for my husband and I. I just feel so sorry I neglected my creative life. How do you handle this when your creative life gets swallowed? Do you have any tricks for getting back to it? For starting again?