Creating Amidst Chaos

Apparently, the Universe has decided I’m ready for an intensive exam on living a creative life even “when work is overwhelming and life keeps throwing curve balls and everyone is always cranky,” to quote myself. In other words, she’s insisting I put my money where my mouth is.

hanging by a thread

I’m not going to write a long rant on my existence since returning from vacation nearly two weeks ago. Actually, I already wrote it, but I’ll keep it to myself. I’ll just mention my fortnight has included trying to meet demanding deadlines while dealing with neighbors sent by my landlady to rip up remodel my apartment. These guys don’t speak much English and have the work ethic of Shary Bobbins.

My life has consisted of trying to prevent them from destroying our belongings (a demanding task, it turns out), while attempting to write about movies and real estate law. Also consuming lots of take-out, since the sink, kitchen counter and stove have all disappeared, with no firm date given for their replacement.

So, how to remain creative?

word help scrabble

I first tried escaping from the chaos my life has become. Trekking to a café with my laptop for an afternoon worked—but once I’d finished meeting that day’s deadline, I’d run out of time for any soul-writing creativity.

I returned home to find the “contractors” had randomly attacked our Comcast modem while I was out.

I spent half the next day getting our phone and Internet service restored. My afternoon included persuading the Shary Bobbins crew to cover ALL our furniture, not just the sofa.  Then I opened windows when they began painting with every single one closed. Maybe they were hoping the fumes would knock me out and I’d shut up.

Another day lost.

So here I sit, listening to hammering and drilling and what sounds like cursing in Polish. Trying to create reasonable copy for work. Trying to take a moment to create for myself.

underwater anchor

I take a deep breath and I remember what I wrote about the he’e in Hawaii. Visualizing the deep, oceanic part of myself, I realize I don’t need to physically escape the stress zone my apartment has become. I need to slow down. I need to breathe.

I can rescue my Muse by letting go of the voices in my head. The ones that are mentally screaming at these invaders in my home and at my landlady for sending them. The ones who are thinking of the next rant for my husband when he calls from work to see how it’s going. And especially the frequent shrill pronouncements of my inner control-freak, who is very unhappy right now.

I can stop listening to those Muse-strangling parts of myself. I can stop. I can turn my attention deep inside myself.

So, my found moment of creativity has given me this 6-word story:

Universe, I’m ready. Bring it on.

Copyright @ Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World, http://www.stranglingmymuse.com

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9 Responses to “Creating Amidst Chaos”


  1. 1 slacker-chick July 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Good lord Sandy! High-fives and pats on the back to you for managing to work and create in all of that “I Love Lucy”-show chaos! You rock!

  2. 2 stranglingmymuse July 10, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks!

  3. 3 JustWordsNiagara July 13, 2009 at 6:53 am

    Your posts always make me smile, provide me with a hey, it’s okay. I get it. Michelle

  4. 4 stranglingmymuse July 13, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Thanks, Michelle!
    –Sandy

  5. 5 K a b l o o e y July 14, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Serious focus. Very inspiring and a reminder that people write amidst all kinds of chaos. I was just talking to a writer friend living through a hellish patch and I said “it’s material” and she agreed and said she’s writing a lot of notes. Someday they may turn into something, but right now they’re a path to sanity, I’d imagine.

  6. 6 K a b l o o e y July 14, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Oh, forgot to say: the images worked very well with the words. I really liked the frayed rope and the scrabble tiles.

  7. 7 stranglingmymuse July 15, 2009 at 11:52 am

    “Path to sanity”–that’s so true. I’m going to hold onto that phrase to keep me grounded as I go through this remodeling chaos. Thanks for that, and for your other comments, Kablooey!
    –Sandy


  1. 1 Get Creative With Your Leftovers « Strangling My Muse Trackback on July 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm
  2. 2 How to Use Creative Leftovers « Strangling My Muse Trackback on June 4, 2010 at 5:03 am

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Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

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