Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Creative time

Gabrielle's post today is one of those timely messages, as it hits right on what I've been thinking about lately. I'm in another one of those phases where my non-creative life is really busy, and I simply need to attend to those matters before I can work on my creative projects with a clear conscience. Now, you have to understand that I generally am quite good at blocking out the "have to" things nagging at me, to make sure I do some of the things that are important to me. I consider these things vital, recharging activities. My happiness and sanity depends on them.

But even then, my creative time might mean sitting for 15 minutes to look at a few pages of a new quilt book, or making sketches for 10 minutes on a project that is on my mind. Sometimes, like now, that's all the time I have. I have work deadlines pressing, PTO business to take care of, household necessities to accomplish, not to mention a child and husband who deserve my attention, too.

Here's what I've been thinking lately: It's OKAY. I'll get back to it shortly, and it'll still be there. My life isn't an 8-5-at-the-office life, with evenings and weekends free, or the life of a full-time professional artist. I've traded those options for a flexible work schedule so I can be home with Caroline after school, be involved with her school during the day, keep doing legal work but at my schedule and to my choice, and generally adapt my work schedule to family needs. It's great, truly, that I have the luxury of doing this. And that means that some weeks I work from 9pm to 1am every night, or spend weekends at my desk to finish a project on a short deadline, and I don't get to make progress on a creative project.

So, there are times when I can't work on quilt projects. Rather than getting upset about it (as I have done sometimes -- you've read that here, too), I'm trying to just relax and know that there'll be time. I'll enjoy that fun time more for having earned it, and I'll be able to relax and know I can spend that time because I've gotten some other business stuff out of the way.

This week, I've been mildly stressed because the challenge quilt I've made for our guild's challenge isn't totally complete. It's that sprinkler one I showed you, here. After quilting and binding it, I decided I'd sew some beads on to add water droplets. As this is my first beading effort on a quilt, I totally underestimated how long this would take...and I'm only about halfway done with the beading. Now, this could be vaguely embarrassing as I'm the challenge chair person and I figure that I should have mine totally done. I keep getting these niggling "Oh my gosh, I need to finish, there are only two more days" thoughts. But then I remind myself: I've researched and written 4 long pleadings in the last few days, attended I don't even know how many school board related committee meetings, I've dealt with bathroom repair guys every day, I've managed to get dinner on the table at night, and Caroline is wearing clean clothes to school. I'm not going to worry if the beads aren't done. It's not life or death. It's beads on a quilt, for goodness sake.

So, here's my thought for today: I'm going to let my creative life be what it can be. Sometimes it can be a big part of my day and sometimes it can't. The creativity is there, in me, whether I have time to use it or not on any given day. It's not going to go away.

2 comments:

Caitlin O'Connor said...

*HUGS* Yes, it's a matter of recognising that some priorities really are more important than others, I agree. It's so easy for me to lose perspective, too - thinking that I SHOULD do stuff when in fact I'm doing okay by just keeping afloat, some days. Be good to yourself, ok?!

gabrielle said...

The hardest thing for me to do is not work. Even though the children are grown and sweet Ronnie is happy with anything I might cook, I still have the business end of my professon...growing every larger as we speak and new grandbabies. Striking the balance is the key, and you are so right...the creativity will always be there.