2017 was rough.
Like, barreling-down-the-highway-at-the-speed-of-light, jamming-on-the-brakes,hurtling-through-the-windshield rough.
But I survived, and 2018 is a chance for something different.
After a lot of reflection, I realized I haven’t been doing things for ME.
- My library job fills a huge creative element that I need in my life. I love prepping for programs, doing crazy art displays, taking fun photos and doing social media…for work. It feels light, fun, a good reflection of me and how I want to do things.
- But my personal creativity is at the other spectrum. It often feels forced, required, dark, made for the wrong reasons, and all about recognition. (Gotta get those likes/follows!)
My husband–the sweetheart who listens endlessly to me moan about this failure or that–gathered me up so many times this year and set me back on the right track. But after the umpteenth time, I think I really listened to what he was saying.
Do the thing that makes you float.
I wasn’t floating, not with my writing, or my crafts, or anything that was supposed to give me joy and relaxation and inspiration outside of work. I was just dragging on the ground. And then I came across this great quote from creative guru Austin Kleon:
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR DAYS TO LOOK LIKE?
Read his blog post–it goes into a lot of detail there as to how he started with this statement, but the idea is…if you need to make a decision, ask yourself the question, “What do you want your days to look like?” and figure out how to get there.
I thought this might be a simple idea. I started with wanting my days to be bright and sparkling. So, I bought some beach water blue sparkly paper, and thought I’d do something around that. I could:
- take photos on it
- use it as a background for a giant paper fishtank that I hang on my wall in my creative space
- make things out of it, like crowns, or paper dresses, or…fish
- cut letters out of it and post a big, sparkly quote on my wall
I can do all of those things, but it’s not the bigger picture I’m looking for. What do I want my days to look like? I want to go to work inspired. I want to come home feeling like I’ve accomplished something. I want to have energy in the evenings to do things that fill me up and enjoy the few hours that I do them. I want to stop feeling tired and uninspired and stuck—and dragging on the ground. I want to make things that I like, and not care about what others think of them. I want to do more than one thing—that’s a big one.
Can I do this? No idea. But I have these little notebooks to help me start. Lists, ideas, exciting things to think about, what I read, what I watch, places I go.
Day one….I’m thinking about things, trying something new with what I’ve propped up behind me, and actively moving forward. Goals. I need goals…..and a new glue gun.