Turn Chaos Into Creativity

I’ve been having a couple of challenging weeks, as workers rip up and replace the roof of my building. My landlady seems to have hired semi-competent roofers for this job, resulting in many complications and damages. Not to mention the headache-inducing pounding and hammering!

The worst was last week, when it was literally raining inside my apartment for a couple of days. This happened after the roofers ripped off the old roof of my quirky, 100-year-old building and didn’t put down tarps—during a rainy, drizzly week! Since I both live and work at home, this situation impacted all aspects of my life. It even affected my relationship harmony, with both my husband and I becoming very cranky under these circumstances.

So, after a day of anger as I dealt with my difficult landlady and the non-English-speaking roofers, continually mopped up water, and put down pots under the worst leaks (including waterfalls coming through the kitchen and bathroom overhead lights!), I decided to go to my creative, silly place to defuse the negative emotions that were only hurting me.

I started writing haikus, metaphors and silly poems about my experience. I’m not going to claim that doing this gave me complete peace as it continued to rain inside my apartment while I tried to meet a deadline. But it did take the edge off my anger. It allowed me to go to a creative place. It offered me a few moments of silliness in the midst of my challenges.

I found the silly poems to be the most helpful at lightening my mood. When I write silly poems, I have no rules except they must rhyme. And I give myself permission to write very, very bad poetry! Here’s one I wrote last week:

It’s raining in the kitchen now.
I can only wonder how
The memo about Backwards Day
Somehow didn’t come my way.

How long will the rain keep falling
While the landlady won’t stop calling
Her tenants idiots for complaining
About all the indoor raining?

So next time things get rough for you, try a silly poem and see if it puts a smile on your face—even for just a few moments!

I’d love to hear about ways you use creativity to defuse challenging situations and negative emotions. Share in the comments section!


4 Responses to “Turn Chaos Into Creativity”

  1. 1 K A B L O O E Y July 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

    This is an impressive bit of Zen you’ve managed here. Turning contractor hell into silly poetry. I’d say that takes a maturity I’ve not yet achieved. Good luck maintaining your sanity and sense of humor.

    • 2 stranglingmymuse July 25, 2011 at 11:38 am

      Well, I can’t claim to have a continual zen attitude about this roofing situation, which is now continuing for a third week…but I’m trying to keep the steam that’s coming out of my ears from singeing me too badly. 😉

      Thanks for the support, Kablooey!


  2. 3 Janet Whitehead July 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    hmm.. maybe a bad sketch or painting of steam coming out of your ears?
    You know, since your ‘supposed to be bad but wasn’t’ poetry brilliantly lightened up the situation?
    Great post… great blog!!!

    • 4 stranglingmymuse July 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      A bad steam-coming-out-of-my-ears sketch or painting is a great idea! I think I may still need a little more silliness to make it through the tail end of this roofing madness! Thanks, Janet!


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