Today would have been the final official day of my challenge. I was determined to push through come what may but, I didn't. My family got the type of sudden news that you simply can't be prepared for and we are now in the midst of some intense decision making. No worries, no one is sick or dying we are just having some major upheavals at the moment.
I am sad that I could not finish what I started this time but, even in this disappointment, I am learning a lot. I've discovered that when you stop your daily creative process, it can be very difficult to get it back in gear again. It is much easier to keep your momentum going even by the smallest and simplest of creative acts than to have to start from scratch again. It's like cycling, starting to peddle can be hard work but, once that bike's in motion, it can feel like you are effortlessly coasting along. Hit the break though, and you have to start all over again building up momentum.
During my successful 20+ days of this challenge I experienced the joy, peace and growth of prioritizing creative time and then the unsettling feeling of loss without this creative outlet. This lead me to think about how our lives evolve over time and how our creative practice must as well. Regardless of our big decision coming up, this summer is going to prove to be intense and I am unlikely to be able to find the time and energy to do even a fraction of what I have been. I need my creative outlet but, I will need to redefine it to keep it alive.
Looking back, I have more or less succeeded in doing this many times over. Before having kids, I was kind of crazy and constantly had a million projects going in more medias than I could list. When our daughter entered our lives, I chose to focus on paper crafting as it could provide me with a small bit of income and I could scrapbook this new baby! Once our son joined us though, it became clear that the paper crafting was not in the cards and so, I moved on to digital crafting. It was a great fit at the time, no set up, a minute here a minute there, no clean up: the perfect media for a busy mom. I wasn't fully satisfied with the digital projects though and longed to get my hands dirty for real so, when the kids got a bit older, I started to pull out some of my fine art supplies and basically just dabbled a bit. More recently, some health crises forced me to slow things down and at the same time enabled me to focus more on painting. I would have loved to use my wide variety of experiences and materials to do some large mixed media pieces but, during this time, the simplicity of watercolour was a better fit.
So what's next? I don't know. Maybe for a time I will focus on sketching or watercolour pencils which are easy to tote around and use when you have a spare moment or maybe something else will develop. The importance will be to keep the creative spark alive so, that it can start the fire burning again quickly once life permits grander endeavours.
Do you find yourself not doing creative work simply because your chosen media doesn't fit in your current life situation? How could you adapt? Could you scale back the size of your projects or simplify your media? Could it be time to step out of your comfort zone and try something completely new that would be more compatible with your lifestyle?
I would love to hear about your creative evolution and I will continue to share mine as much as I can in the future.
Here's to creating a more beautiful, thoughtful and inspiring world together! wink emoticon