The Art of a Creative Real Life

I am guilty about complaining about Real Life.

How can I not complain? I’m a busy girl, with lots of interests. I love learning about new things. I consider myself an artist. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a pen in my hand, or charcoal, or paints, or guitars, yarn, violins, hand shovels, fabric, beads, wire, jewels, or exotic food. I’m learning Japanese, in my car and via Rosetta Stone. I read like there’s no tomorrow, not only fun novels and engrossing literary fiction, but history books and biographies. The tired old adage of not having enough hours in a day doesn’t begin to describe the frustration I feel as minutes tick by and my List of Things to Do is not even approaching completion.

Let’s face it: mundane Real Life, with its responsibilities and drama, often keeps me from my Creative Life. There’s a lot of items on the “CON” side. I have kids – yes, they are grown, so what? grown up kids often have grown up problems – and a business – several, actually – and it all sucks up my time. I have a house (huge) and a yard (even huger), both of which require constant maintenance. On the flip side, the Real Life gig does pay the bills, a huge plus on the “PRO” side.

My one defense in the fight against Real Life doldrums is to approach Real Life with a different perspective. It’s really not so hard; you must be creative in order to obtain a creative Real Life.

It’s easy to find inspiration when you’re young and unattached, moody and naive, and infinitely more difficult, albeit not impossible, as you are weighed down by things like paying the rent and starting a family. When my kids were very small, I tapped into my creative side. I used to make their clothes, and of course, cooking is a wonderful way of crafting edible creations.

Soon my days became more harried and time evaporated, but I strove to make every action a creative one. I’m sure my son’s second grade teacher, Mrs. Siciliano, did not appreciate my heart-felt and inspired apologies for his abhorrent behavior, but hey, you do the best you can with what you have.

I’m flabbergasted by the number of people who sit in front of a device and play games or who are otherwise ‘entertained.’ Granted, I’m a huge offender. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of Facebook, TV, or video games (or a number of other mindless distractions) and spend their precious time wasting it away. I’m constantly amazed by people who see what I’m doing and declare, “I’m not creative at all!” I want to shake them silly and say, “Yes, yes, you are! Give yourself a chance.” A person doesn’t have to accomplish a task with pinpoint accuracy; the main thing is to try. The only way to get the juices stimulated is by making the attempt, or in my case, the many attempts. Learn from your mistakes; correct them, and move on.

My time is limited, but I don’t let the lack of it limit me. If the phone’s not ringing at work, I will twist up some wire while I wait for the action to begin. As much as I strive to carve out a niche of quiet for myself, I often don’t have time to pound out a chapter in one of my novels. If that’s the case, I might open one of my blogs (as I’m doing here) and write a few words, or take out my notebook and read what I’ve written in the past and jot down new ideas. I’ll use bits of time to research, update, and catalog.

Living a creative Real Life isn’t a given. It takes dogged determination and a desire to make everything and anything you might endeavor to do a work of art.

Isn’t that what life’s all about?

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One Response

  1. I concur. It does take “a dogged determination and a desire to make everything and anything you might endeavor to do a work of art.”

    Which is where I come in. As you say, “A person doesn’t have to accomplish a task with pinpoint accuracy,” although, arguably, that’s what keeps me and the staff employed.

    Consider paragraph 6 of your latest installment:

    “…I’m sure my son’s second grade teacher, Mrs. Siciliano, did not appreciate my heart-felt and inspired apologies for his abhorrent behavior…”

    Contextually speaking, we presume that you are referring to your then young son’s ‘abhorrent behavior.’ But then there’s the minor case of that damn equivocal possessive — his. Well, yours, but ‘his’ in regard to the one you selected. You see, read another way, we might inadvertently assume you were referring to poor Mrs. Siciliano, even though we’re assured by conventional wisdom she’s a she. She is/was a she, yes? (Don’t hold back.)

    But then there are the conventions of grammar. Now, I grant you, if it had been “Mr. Siciliano,” the dilemma might be more pronounced. Did the teacher have mood swings? Did he take the pointer and spear the class hamster? Did he chuck the apple that the young lady in the third row left on his desk, as an act of contrition or a well placed bribe, like a 108 m.p.h. baseball ? So, the gender works to your advantage; it reduces the possibilities. (Which is not to suggest that girls can’t throw as good/well as boys. Whoops.) Nevertheless, if you want to remove any doubt whatsoever about whether or not Mrs. Siciliano might have once paid an unscheduled visit to a doctor in Switzerland (using his, er, rather her saved up sick days, of course), you might restate the line as thus:

    “…I’m sure my son’s second grade teacher, Mrs. Siciliano, did not appreciate my heart-felt and inspired apologies for the precocious though, at times, tiresome boy’s behavior…”

    Yup, that should do the trick.

    After all, “The only way to get the juices stimulated is by making the attempt…” which, I believe, I have done.

    — ed out

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