There are so many thoughts swirling around in my head these days about creativity (this is pretty normal – I’ve talked about it before here. And here.). Right now they’re about what I have perceived as my LACK of creativity, when in fact I just need to shift my internal meaning of creativity to see that I have TONS of creative in my life right now. I’m not sure if any of this will make sense to anyone but my mom, but here goes:
I’ve been bemoaning my lack of time in the studio to do “my stuff.” My art, my craft, sewing, paper-dabbling, painting, futzing, etc. Dancing. My studio currently resides in a little pop-up room, our third floor “fire tower” bonus room up a spiral staircase, and the energy it takes to walk up those stairs has been huge lately. Too much effort. I look at that staircase after putting Forrest to bed (at a perfectly good time most days, mind you), and sigh in defeat. Can’t do it.
Which is insane.
But recently I had a mini epiphany when I realized my TON of creativity resides right now in raising a toddler. This is work, people! This is a study in creative problem-solving effort, and it’s good. Lately we’re singing a lot of mashups in the car, mainly Old McDonald, Wheels on the Bus, and Twinkle-Twinkle. Old McDonald’s tiny farm has a Lion Bumblebee (and “tiny” means high-pitched voice). The horse on the bus says Neigh! all through the town. Twinkle-twinkle little Bus was in heavy rotation one morning. Then he requests ‘ol mcdonal baby airplane bus?’ and I have to figure out 1) which song he wants to be the main one, 2) can I mash that all together effectively? and 3) am I willing to do it (a dozen times if he likes it)? If that’s not creative, I don’t know what is.
My creativity is all wrapped around teaching Forrest about the world, in naming colors and counting ducks and presenting concepts and ideas and stuff in fun ways. It’s about playing with him, not at him; joining in the play but not trying to lead it. It’s about trying to show him new ways to look at things – look, the playdough is a snake! a ball! – and rolling along with where he takes it. He opens my eyes daily to new ways of seeing the world – that umbrella does look like an airplane. So does that fish!
It seems these days I’m on a crazy constant roller coaster with my creativity but it helps when I can see when I’m on the upside rather than feel like I’m always spiraling, screaming, down the hill. The trick here is embracing this creative space and not longing for the other. Because frankly I can’t find the energy for both right now.
And that’s okay.
What are your current thoughts on creativity?