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Posts Tagged ‘deep thoughts thursday’

Clouds and rainbows

 

Creativity is intelligence having fun.

– Albert Einstein

 

 

This really struck a cord.  Thinking deeply about this one….

 

 

 

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Portrait of a Queen

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?

 

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Yellow block in the sun

My head is so full these days.  Of thoughts, of words, of images and ideas, of puzzle pieces suspended in mid-air, each waiting on the placement of another so they’re all just hanging there until I can get the first one in.  Lots of little steps to get that first one in.  I’m hoping once I get that first piece down the rest will fall nicely into place but you know how these gazillion-piece puzzles go – some parts are easy and some take *forever*.

I find I’m so preoccupied with the stuff in my head that by evening I’ve had it and all I want to do is zone out in front of the television or read a fluffy novel, neither of which are truly relaxing because the puzzle is still whirling and that first piece is still hanging.

I find at work I’m often thinking about home stuff, and at home I’m thinking about work stuff, and neither way is helping the current situation.  I have lists, and re-written lists, and reorganized lists, and I know what steps needs to be taken to get that first piece in place but I can’t do them while at work and don’t have a lot of unoccupied time to do them at home (becuase I don’t feel comfortable running power tools while trying to monitor a 2-year-old in the process), which means I need to wait until Forrest is in bed and I’m back to that point of the evening when all I want to do is zone out.

Luckily I don’t crave sweets right now or I’d be zoning out and growing an ass.

I know this is a phase, and I have plans on one of my lists to just get-er-done but SIGH it sucks to be here.  Are you ever here?  What do you do to move forward??

 

 

And now that I’ve written all of this out the dam should break.  Wish me luck!  = )

 

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My deep thoughts recently aren’t original, aren’t groundbreaking, aren’t really that deep.  But…

  • I CAN do it.  It, in this case, is the 30 Day Shred exercise program.  After day two I can feel the burn and I’m looking forward to more.  I CAN do it.  I CAN find the time to exercise, to feel better about the extra padding on my thighs (and hopefully trim that down!!), to increase my health and energy.
  • Little bits of creative time feel GOOD.  I started Tiny Treasures Tuesday posts and it’s making me feel accountable to all of you (to myself) to have done something in the past week that I can share.  Some little thing.  Doing the Shred in the evening is kicking up my creative juices, too – last night I just had to run upstairs (HAHAHAHA, not run, walk gingerly and with great attention..) to work on my Larger than Life painting for a few minutes before hopping in the shower and crawling into bed.  I imagine I’ll do the same tonight, too.
  • My painting is one big DOODLE and that’s soooo freeing.  Instead of second-guessing my impulses (just use the red, James, stop being a wuss), in fear that I’ll “mess it up,” I’m going to play.  I’m going to follow the voice that says “use the red, then dot on some gold, and really, we might have to add some bling eventually” with the knowledge I can’t mess this up.  I can’t.
  • ABUNDANCE is not just a word, it’s a reality.  A few weeks ago I decided to start washing my face at night again.  That meant adding another task to evenings that already felt full and overwhelming and tiring.  But it feels good, and I know it’s good for my skin.  Now I’ve added a 20-minute exercise routine 6 of 7 evenings a week, and I want to add in some creative time on top of that.  Abundance feels good too.
  • Treating myself well, with care and LOVE, is the best thing I’ve done for myself in a while.  It’s not like I was treating myself badly before, but I started treating myself better not for a particular reason but for a desire to STOP letting the days pass me by and START taking charge again.  Little steps.  Eat that elephant one bite at a time, friends.

Happy Thursday!

(p.s. does anyone else love the song Happy?  It runs through my head a lot these days.  I play it on repeat sometimes.  You can see me singing and bopping in the car regularly.  = )

 

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Yup, life is a little blurry right now.  Out of focus.  Full of beauty still, but in a fuzzy fashion.

It’s a lack of direction.  A stuck-in-a-spot-ness.  An overwhelming desire to be pregnant again but a life that’s currently conspiring NOT to make that happen, and a bio-logical clock that says now or never, girl, you aren’t getting any younger.  We aren’t getting any younger.

It’s having a 20-month-old toddler who’s very active, busy, talkative (though we can’t understand him when he’s chattering at us, not quite yet!) and wants us to be part of it all.  He loves to color but wants us to color too, and draw pictures that he can color.  I bought an awesome little table & chairs set at Ikea that he rarely uses because he’d rather be sitting on someone’s lap.  I can’t blame him.

It’s working in an office that’s crazy-busy, but not so much for me.  Our methods have changed over the last year or so, with so much going out digitally instead of on paper, so that part of my job has gone away almost entirely.

It’s wanting a new purse/bag.  Girls, you know this one, right?  You have a purse/bag that’s working but it no longer makes you happy, but you don’t want to just buy any old thing because you want some specific features (without paying an arm and a leg), something different that you aren’t finding so you keep telling yourself (okay, maybe this part is just me), “I can make one!” but your weekends are full and by the time your very active toddler is in bed at night you lack the energy to start a new project…

Or the energy to exercise…

Or the energy to pull on my creative pants and do something…

I know Mars is in retrograde, I know this is just a phase, I know we’ll get pregnant or we won’t and either way is really, truly OK… but life is a blur right now.  So I’ll continue moving ahead with care until I can see clearly where I need to go.

 

 

 

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Sunrise 3.13.14 - western view

There’s a little voice in my head, an annoying voice, that sometimes says “Don’t stop and take a picture/collect a stone/dance in the parking lot –  you’ll look silly!”

Go away, voice.

Each time I stop to take that picture, I’m giving myself permission to play.  Each time I stoop down to collect that stone, or feather, or interesting leaf… I give myself permission to continue playing and exploring and experiencing the world around me.

I hope I’m giving permission to someone else, too, who sees me there:

  • Running through the parking lot with Forrest because that’s what he loves to do.
  • Getting my groove on in the aisle of some store because my favorite song just came on.
  • Jumping out of the car on the side of the road because I HAVE TO take a picture of that glorious sunrise or sunset.
  • Singing silly songs to make my baby smile.

You have my permission to play and explore and experience.  Thank you for giving me yours!

 

 

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A couple of tiny opportunities are in my blog life right now.  This blog that started out with huge intentions to be full of art (and the reason to get back into art and creativity and making), but has morphed into a photo/mommy/life/tiny-bit-of-art blog instead.  These little opportunities – and they really are tiny things – might bring more traffic to my blog.  Might.  Likely will, at least for a short time.  And I find myself thinking, “But I’m not doing anything here.  Why would anyone want to stick around?  Now I should/have to put more time, effort, and art into the blog, do I have the energy to do that?”

I find myself starting to run away from these tiny possibilities.  Because they might lead somewhere good.

How silly is that?

So I’m not going to run away, I’m going to embrace these tiny opportunities and see what happens.  Today’s Truthbomb was right on target for me – I can do it.

I can.

(Remember: Abundance, Jamie.  Plenty.  Tiny things are good.  = )

 

 

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smile for mommy - 17 mo

It’s hard to get a good picture of Forrest these days because he’s always moving.  Here you see me holding his hand to stop him for a moment while I quickly take a photo with the other hand, as he of course focuses on everything but me and the camera…

I’m learning a lot from and about the little man of the house these days.  Monday on the way home I had a big Ah-ha.  You see, when I picked him up from daycare he was in a pretty small room with 2 adults and 7 other kids his age and slightly older, all running around in various states of action, volume and discontent at 5:00 on a Monday evening… it was chaos.  Instead of running over for a hug he ran over to get his jacket.  He wanted out of there, and I couldn’t blame him.  That got me thinking about an ongoing trend lately of super-clingy evening whines that I’ve been attributing to a phase of toddler life but no, here’s my ah-ha:

I think he’s an introvert.  He does fine in that classroom chaos while he’s there but when he gets home he needs down time, and quiet time, and some serious one-on-one time with HIS adult person – me.  There’s very little one-on-one time at school.  I’m his current base and anchor when life is overwhelming.  If I take the time when we get home to sit with him for a while, to cuddle and watch some TV until he’s ready to get up and play, the clinging and whining go down drastically.

He’s not clingy and whiny on Tuesday and Thursday nights when he’s been with the Grands all day, because he has a day full of one-on-one and a general lack of chaos, and it’s not so overwhelming.  In fact those days when he gets home he’s often a little firecracker of energy – Grands are all well and good but being home with his stuff, his toys, his dog-dog, brings on the energy.

Lets not play in that - 17 mo

I’ve also changed up our bedtime routine to include playing the “get-you” chase game up and down the hall as long as he lasts or 20 minutes, whichever comes first, before we brush our teeth, gather up the animals (we’re up to 4-5 stuffies at a time now which makes for interesting times…), kiss daddy and head upstairs for a little TV time and couch-wiggling before bed.  I also cracked down on putting him to bed at 9:00 on the dot (and I’ll gradually move this up to 8:30), *without* rocking him to sleep, and results have been mixed so far: day one, cried 15 minutes; day two, cried for 20 because he threw up watermelon all over his lap and bed so he was wet and miserable and I won’t be feeding him that much watermelon again even though he loves it; day three, I put him down in the crib under his pile of stuffies and he was asleep in that same position an hour later when I checked, no crying or objecting at all; we’ll see what happens tonight.

Wait for me - 17 mo

My focus on Abundance these days makes me remember to be more patient (abundant time in the day, right?), which means when he objects strenuously to shoes the first time I wait a few minutes until his mind is on something else and then he’s perfectly happy to put on shoes rather than screaming and crying and yelling Noooo.  Win, win!  I also stopped trying to change his diaper first thing when he’s barely awake, which was a knock-down, drag-out struggle some mornings but I was set on doing it, darnit anyway…so now I bring him downstairs with his clothes and diaper and he’s perfectly willing to lay on the couch and watch morning TV while I change the diaper and dress him for the day.  We aren’t late for daycare or work, the world hasn’t ended because his diaper was wet a little longer, and we’re both in a better mood to start the day.

He has opinions, I have opinions, and they don’t always have to clash.  I’m the adult so in the end I get my way, but I’m the adult so I know when to bend or wait, push or stall.  He can’ t be the loser all the time – we all need to get our way sometimes, right? – especially if MY taking a little time to adjust makes all the difference.

What are you going to teach me next, little man?

 

 

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tree texture

I couldn’t resist the texture on this tree.  Had to hop out of my car in middle of a parking lot, in the rain, and take a picture.  One of the intentions I’m working on this year is trying really hard NOT to curb those impulses anymore, NOT to talk myself out of “doing something weird” like taking a picture of a tree when it catches my eye.  It’s not weird.  It’s natural art.  I’m not weird for documenting it.  And I’m in good company on Instagram.

As for my first week of Abundance, apparently right now it means lots of junk food.  Popcorn, cookies, too much coffee, gummy bears… I went to Target when I was craving a crunchy snack and came back to work with piles of crap.  Most of it is gone now (yes, in less than a week), so that’s good, but in my (dubious) defense we’ve been eating better at home (quinoa, kale, more veggies, a few less carbs…) – there’s my balance of sorts.  I go through these phases of junk food binging so I’m not too worried, but that’s not the Abundance I meant!

I do think about my word every day.  When I start to feel harried and rushed at home – stop, slow down, you have plenty of time.  When Forrest is really whiny and I’m at the end of my rope – stop, take a second, find your patience, does he really *need* something from you?  When I’m buying diapers at Costco because I’m out at home and they’re on sale – stop, go back and get that second box, yes you do have the money for it and $12 combined savings counts toward more money in the future!

I have another intention to create more – an intention I have every year – but this time I decided to get a big ol blank sketchbook and use if for everything – notes to self, lists, sketches, ideas, doodles, shopping lists, whatever.  I wrote several “rules” on the first page:

  • This is not precious.  USE IT.
  • You don’t need a special pen.  No you don’t.  USE IT.
  • Anything goes – lists, ideas, sketches, thoughts, rants, to-do’s, etc.  USE IT.
  • Decorate the cover.  Come on, put in some effort here!
  • Make errors.  Cross stuff out.  Destroy a bad drawing if needed but no tearing out pages.  Nope.
  • USE IT.
  • Once you fill this one get another.
  • Ditch the rest of the little notebooks and slips of paper in your bag.  Use this one.
  • Make layers.  Paste stuff, paint stuff, sew stuff.
  • USE IT.

Do you have a word?  Do you have resolutions or intentions?  Do share!

 

 

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Sunset 1.1.14

Happy 2014, friends!  We had a spectacular sunset last night of the glowing-pink-sky variety, lighting up the fog rolling in – not as showy as some but so very beautiful.  What a great way to start the year.

On another note, I chose a word for the year (which I don’t usually do but this year the practice was calling me):

Abundance

Abundance.  Plenty.  Plenty of time, plenty of money, plenty of patience.  Lack of scarcity.  All I need and more.  Lack of worry about not enough – I have enough, I really do.  Abundant creativity, abundant joy, abundant love.

On the way in to work this morning a very apt story was playing on NPR about scarcity.  Give it a listen if you have a moment, there are some great points in there.  It resonated for me especially since I’m so focused on feeling and being abundant right now.

(Hey Universe, now’s a great time to help me out with that abundance that comes from having another baby, right?  = )

May your year ahead be full of all the abundance you need and desire.  xoxo

 

 

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