Monday, August 4, 2008

Making creativity a priority

Last week I biked to work in a t-shirt every day. No need for a jacket or sweater even at halfpastsevenish in the morning. Today? Not so... The rain poured down and I had to wear rain gears all over. If it hadn't been as warm as it was, I'd guess it was a fall day.


In the last couple of days I've gotten many compliments on things I have done myself; my dress, my Grocery Bag and the potholders I sent to Pikku Kettu. It's been here on the blog or on Ravelry, it's been in the store and this passing weekend when I met up with family and relatives.

I really appreciate having nice words said about things I make. And I'm usually proud to tell people I've made the [insert whatever item you choose] myself if I see them looking at it or they say something about it. I guess I might occassionally be fishing for compliments... Even though compliments can make me very embarrassed and self-conscious at times. I tend to find it easier to accept compliments that are towards the item (like That's such a great looking sweater or That fabric is perfect for the design) than compliments directed at me as a person and my abilities (like You have such talent or You're so good at making straight seams).

I consider myself being a creative person. I am creative when I knit. When I sew. When I bake. When I wrap gifts. When I write. When I take pictures. When I blog. When I make plans.

I've been asked many times how I find the time to make the things I do. It's easy. As a creative person I like (and also need) an outlet for my creativity so I make it a priority. I've arranged my life so that I have time and energy to produce scarves, sweaters, bags or whatever thing when I'm not at my paid job during office hours. Some arrangements are by choice and some are fluke.

  • I've made the decision not have kids. This leaves me with more me-time than a lot of parents get.
  • I never bring work home and try to stick to 40-45 hours of work every week.
  • I live close to where I work (one way is about 10minutes on a bike). I don't waste my time commuting to and from work.
  • I don't cook proper meals at home after work but usually just eat sandwiches or yoghurt.
  • My pets don't keep me from being creative. I don't have a dog to walk. Or a horse to ride every day. My cats happily sleep in my lap when I knit or sit by the sewing machine.
  • I don't exercise as much as my body probably would need me to.
  • I don't do a lot of house work. I vacuum once or twice a week. I clean out the litter boxes and give the cats fresh water every morning. I iron once a week or every other week. All the other household chores I share with my boyfriend. We both do laundry. We both cook during the weekends. We both do the dishes. We both wipe of surfaces. We both take the garbage out. He does all these things more often than I do. He also takes care of the garden; he mows the lawn and water the plants on a regular basis. He washes the car. He mops the floors in the house.
  • I go through periods of time (can extend to months) in which I don't see my friends and therefore have many evenings unbooked.
  • If I'm on the couch I'm usually sitting there knitting. I rarely give all my focus to the tv. I listen to tv shows and give 'em the occassional glance while turning my knitting around or something.
  • I keep one knitting project at work at all times so I have something to occupy my hands with during breaks. I might get 2-3 hours of knitting done at work every week.

It's very important to me that I make my creativity a priority. I feel much better when I can be creative. When I can produce something. When I can keep my hands occupied. When I can focus my thoughts on either something simple or something hard. When I can retract to my own world.

I don't want to blow this out of proportion, but I'm a much more stable person now than I used to be. And I think making myself and my need for being creative a priority have a lot to do with it. Instead of constantly directing energy inwards (and thereby turning my thoughts into a plate of spaghetti) I use it outwards and balance out what's inside of me. Flaky? Could be. :)

What is important enough for you to make it a priority? And how do you make it happen?


Anonymous said...

Living close to work is important to me as well...I could not imagine sitting on a bus for 90 minutes a day, as many people do. Commuting can be extremely exhausting and a great stress on the mind. -Shell

swedish fishie said...

It is (unfortunately) such a different mentality over here, at least in my field. The bosses in my company eat, sleep, and breathe work. They expect everyone else to as well. They don't care if you have to drive an hour to get here. They don't want to hear it when they ask you at quitting time to stay because they need you to do something for them. They don't want to hear that you have any life outside of work and can't work 50+ hours a week. Sorry for venting! I guess my point is I can't have a career, kids, and hobbies all at the same time. I'm still just trying to admit that to myself.