I read a while back that to be creative requires solitude, quiet, and freedom from interruptions.....hmmm. I think there's something to that. I absolutely love having our whole family home for the summer, and I would not trade it for anything....but it is true that when everyone is home, my creative process crashes to a halt. I noticed the truth of this back in April, when I drove up to visit my family, by myself. On that eight-ish hour drive, all sorts of ideas came to me- ideas for photographs, paintings, writing. If I had pulled over to jot down each idea that came to me, the trip would have taken a great deal longer. It's like my brain is a body of water. Regular life keeps it stirred and moving, like a lake with a stiff and shifting breeze blowing across it. Lots of chop and whitecaps. On that long drive, it felt like the surface of my mind became calm and still, and thoughts and ideas started rising to the surface...like bubbles coming from a deep place, breaking the surface and bursting into the open.
This explains also why I haven't written much on here in the past month. In addition to having everyone home, our schedule in July has been much busier than in June. With so much of my day spent making sure that I get people where they need to be (on time and with everything they need), and that I remember to do all that needs doing (returning phone calls, making appointments, doing piles of laundry, making meals happen, etc), there is little time for my mind to settle into calm creativity.
Knowing this, that a busy life and a creative life are in some sense mutually exclusive, helps me. It frees me from being frustrated with myself for not accomplishing more. I can relax into enjoying the summer with our whole family home, and all the busy togetherness that brings. And I can know that this fall, when the older kids are gone and the younger ones are back in school, there will be room for my creative mind to come awake again. Having kids living elsewhere is a blue and lonely thing, I've found. I'm truly excited for them to go out and make their place in the world, but I really miss them. If I give myself freely to the fullness of the summer, maybe I'll be able to take more joy in the freedom to think and create that comes with the emptier hours of Fall.
I think I need to plan proactively what I will do with my time and energy once school starts again, not just with things that need to be done, but to plan for my own creative enrichment. I'm thinking about taking an online college class, taking that first step toward a degree. Maybe it's also time to look into some other things on my Someday list, like learning to paint, or to speak another language.
I need to put a few more things into my "nest" so it doesn't feel quite so empty. :) I want to pursue more of the things that are possible when things are quiet and calm, and to enjoy them fully.