This Is What Happens When You Give Up On Creativity.
It got left behind. In between the mundane tasks of summer and making life organized. Maybe it seemed instantly abandoned, but the detachment happened slowly like a piece of warm salt water taffy pulled in half stretching slowly, languishing at the thought of trying to stay together. It was never far but always seemed too much to juggle when the siren song of warm July and August days made their debut. It sat curled up, loved but not unlike an old beloved family pet, left to its own devices.
It would call, and my voice would respond with:
"I'll get to you in a minute."
"You will need to wait until I have time."
"I'm too busy right now enjoying this warm summer day."
Isn't that always the case with something that makes us uncomfortable?
We put it on hold. We leave it. We disregard it for later. We stall.
That's where we grow.
This summer I put creativity on hold. I didn't make or do. I went to the beach, played with my kids, ate a bucket of ice cream, traveled to new places, took in sunsets, watched movies and went to bed early. It was a needed respite for the years of thinking, going and doing. Creativity, however, was missing from my life. Like a quarter needed for the car wash that fell between the seats, I realized even more that creativity is the currency to make our lives clean and whole.
First, it gives us direction by providing the possibility of expansion. If we are creating every day, we are working to build something new and grow our lives in a new way. It creates essential building blocks for the future.
Second, it helps us reframe the problems in our lives. Sometimes we think what we think and know what we know. We tell ourselves that's it. Our creativity points us to other options and solutions.
Third, it challenges us to find compassion for ourselves. Creating isn't easy. Most the time we fail, but creativity helps us to understand there is no right answer, no final product, and beauty in error.
And as we slowly pull ourselves from the hazy days of summer, I am saying hello to my old friend creativity and seeing what meaningful work I can do as fall flirts her falling leaves my way.
How about you old friends?