I am an intensely right-brained person.
Sometimes more intensely than others.
And though I'm probably more organized and methodical about my life now than I ever have been, I'm also aware that it's a coping mechanism I've learned over time -- how to corral the chaos into labeled bins and systems -- but not, ever, because its second-nature for me to do so.
I turned 32 today, and while writing something was on the top of things I wanted to do on my birthday (translation: the one day a year where I can guiltlessly do whatever I want), I didn't have anything pressing I wanted to say. Instead, I thought I'd make a list of 32 things I wanted to do this year.
Yeah. Epic fail on that one, I'm afraid.
This proved more difficult than it sounds, because as the list unfolded, my conscience ran off with my imagination, and I found it hard to reign myself in from creating a to-do list of responsibilities like "get that box of papers filed" and "clean out the garage."
Can I confess to you that filing papers and cleaning the garage are not actually things I ever want to do? (Who does though, really?) And thus began a war with myself about what the point of the 32 Things list was really about.
I scrapped the "should do" list and created a "want to do" list, but that wasn't working out so hot either, because a lot of my "want to's" are "shoulds" that I only "want to" wipe out for the sake of clearing space in my brain. My "plan to" list didn't fare well either. And I realize now, how badly I have to clear myself of the straight-jacket of "supposed to" so that I can experience the real meat of this life -- things that never appear on anyone's to-do list -- things like "love extravagantly", "laugh hysterically", "listen deliberately", and "internalize the sheer beauty of God's grace until it changes everything."
Aren't those the things that matter?
Ultimately, I discovered something about myself that I probably knew to be true but connected with in a very real way today.
Nearly everything that drives passion inside me, that makes my heart skip a beat and feels extravagant and beautiful and refreshing to me, when I let myself go there, is about creativity. I am closest to God when I am communing with the creative process, when I am delighting in that which makes my heart soar.
Of course, I've always considered myself a creative person, but trying to catalog the things I crave, those I cherish close to my heart, the things that would really nourish my spirit as an individual and a woman were creative actions - setting up a craft space, taking long stretches of time to write, connecting with nature, painting, decorating, baking, and finding encouragement in those activities. I've been daydreaming, lately, of working toward a goal of making a living by creative endeavor, something I've been on track for many times in the past but have always sabotaged my efforts for fear of failure, for doubt in my own abilities and talents. I'd love to reach the goal in a few years... and more planning and prayer to come in that regard.
See? My right-y brain is taking me off track already.
The point? I think I'd like 32 to be an age of creative nourishment for me. I think this works nicely for my 2012 word for the year ("HOME"), too, since home, to me, is mostly about a place where one can be most safely and comfortably their authentic self... where I grow and spend the hours trying to squeeze as much living as possible out of this one life.
I'm pretty excited about a few recent developments that will make creative time fit easier into my full-time-work-at-home-mom-of-3 lifestyle. One is that I was able to re-work my day job hours to arrange another day off during the week, giving me 3 "weekend" days off work each week.. This is huge to my stifled brain, not to mention my tired (of sitting in an office chair all day) butt. Another is that my mom is gifting me 24 kid-free hours to enjoy as I please this upcoming weekend. Hubby works the night they'll be gone, so I'm deeming this my Create-Space Bonanza. Everyone's heard of the sentiment that every woman should have a room of her own, and I'm inclined to agree. Being that we don't have an abundance of bedrooms in this house, I'm happy to expand the purpose of our laundry room and looking forward to the overhaul. Stay tuned for this decorative kickoff to my year of creative nourishment. (And trust me, 24 hours isn't nearly enough to contain the amount of crafty/sewing/artistic