I’ve had a few questions over time on how I seemingly get so many things done in the day. I thought it might be easier to do a post, dispel a few illusions and set the base line once more.
First up stop cleaning, really just stop. Keep things generally tidy if you need to, or have one corner that is deliciously tidy, but apart from that, there are a whole lot more important things to do. Just leave it unless it’s absolutely necessary.
So what’s necessary you say?
Well that’s up to you, but scrubbing the toilet on a daily basis sure isn’t one of them and I’d rather be defined by the way my creativity breaks out rather than how well I keep the bathroom clean, (really, no one else cares.)
Secondly, work out what’s important to you, (hence the dropping of any excessive cleaning). If you really want to design a website, paint a ten foot canvas, draft a novel, draw up a permaculture garden, join an acapella group, or take pictures then do it. Don’t just talk about wanting to do it. Follow those words, and walk that talk. I know it’s not easy, (and it’s really not!) to find and make the time but if you nudge yourself closer and closer, five minutes here and there, make the plans, and start, it’s a beginning, and everything has a beginning.
Third point, set aside time each day/ once a week/ once a month to do what makes your heart sing and makes those excited bubbles in your belly pop. This is fuel, creative fuel and for me, no matter in what shape or form it is, it all goes into my own personal bank.
I like writing, and I like taking photos. I also up until recently have always had a child or children at home with me all the time. A long with the regular activities during the day that we do, I always set aside ‘time for me’. While it sounds indulgent, it’s what I can do at this stage, so I roll with it. I make sure she’s had her lunch, my coffee is ready and there is a dvd or activity ready to roll. This doesn’t hold her long, she always wants more food, and the interruptions can sometimes be every 30 seconds. But I do what I can within that allocated ‘me time’. If that means she’s sitting on my lap, head butting me like a young goat and placing her hands over mine as I (we) type well than that’s the way I get things done. Clearly I’m not going to win any Pulitzer prize winner novel-writing done in this manner, but…it gets some things done. Tiny nibbles of things done anyway. If I get to feel even just a teensy bit that I’ve done something I’ve wanted to do, I feel better for it. (Even if it’s just editing some photos…or a photo. I did it, and hooray!)
Number four, if I want absolute solitude time I have to either stay up later at night once everyone else has been tucked safely into bed or get up earlier than everyone else. I alternate between the early or late depending on what’s been happening. I’m naturally more of a morning person, but sometimes I just need more sleep. Again, I roll with it.
Which brings me to the very important number five point. Coffee. None of this instant stuff, but instead pure coffee. A simple stove top coffee pot is the highlight of my day. Just the one cup mind you, and it’s all perfectly timed that caffeine hit. Like I said, I get things ready before hand if I can at all. If that means grinding beans the night before in order to get that coffee made and sipped while the opening credits are being rolled out on the kiddo’s dvd or colouring in session. Well then that’s what needs to be done.
This book was a huge eye opener for me, in terms of reading how other creative woman juggled motherhood and creativity.
And this book too was also a huge eye opener as the comparison between the two books was bloody incredible.
Now I promise there’s no creative mother sainthood here, some days it all seems to slot in beautifully and other days…well there’s always tomorrow right?
These precious kids aren’t small forever and but then again life isn’t particularly long either. So for me it’s about squeezing as much into the cracks of the day as possible, because while my children are incredibly important to me. So is my creativity.
This post is part two in a series on creativity.