Life is interfering with my desire to write something new today, so instead I’m offering one of my most popular posts:
I grew up with the message that Creativity is Great! And that it’s something you should squeeze into any little extra time you can find after you take care of all the important things in your life.
I’ve spent my entire adult life doing battle with this idea. Trying to get myself to understand—to truly believe deep in my bones—that creativity is an important part of who I am. To believe that creativity is NOT something to be shoved into the dark little corners of my week. To believe it is, instead, something special, that should be brought out into the light and wined and dined. Something that should be celebrated every day.
When I’m not creating, I’m only living half a life. I’m cutting off a huge part of myself, throwing half my heart into a dusty corner and telling it I’ll try to reconnect with it later. If I can make the time.
It’s not easy in our culture to embrace our creative natures. Life is busy. Everyone I know is too busy. Everyone has always been busy.
Some days I have to work before I can spend time on creative pursuits. Some days I have to take care of personal obligations. Some days I have to clean house because people are coming over. Some days I have to do all of these things and more.
But other days, I can dance with my Muse and forget about the vacuuming. I can put off some of my obligations until tomorrow so I can ride the creative wave that’s here NOW. I can stop worrying that if I take time to be creative I might get swept off my feet by my Muse—only to return to Earth hours later, realizing that I haven’t gotten everything on my To Do list done. Worrying that I’ve let someone down or let something slide or not been perfectly on top of every detail of every thing in my life.
Here’s a fact I’m still working on fully accepting:
We will NEVER get everything done.
There’s always more to do.
You can always do more to take care of the people in your life. You can always work harder, and take on extra tasks to please your boss or yourself or to accomplish even more, even better. You can always make your home cleaner.
But we can’t do everything. We have to choose.
Every day we have to choose how we will spend our time.
I am working at getting better at choosing to spend time creatively every day. I’m not perfect—I miss some days. I get overwhelmed with deadlines and act like a madwoman on a crazy work bender. I get distracted by e-mails and people and Things That Must Be Done.
I forget to spend a few minutes flirting with my Muse.
But I try to spend 15 minutes doing something creative on busy days. And more on less busy days. And the more I do that, the happier I am. The more fulfilled. The more peaceful and loving. The more I embrace my Muse every day, the better a person I become in all my imperfect, messy-housed, work-half-done humanity.
Copyright © Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World, http://www.stranglingmymuse.com