Creativity in the Midst of Family Life

First, let me make this clear. I’m not complaining. I love my family and my life. That said, I was waiting for my kids to get a little older so I could ‘FOCUS ON MY ART’.

You know –   long, leisurely days spent painting without interruption; kids in school, nothing else to do except maybe cook dinner. HA. Medical forms, phone calls, ‘Muffins with Mom’, cleaning the cobwebs off the front door, washing the baseball uniform for the game tonight, email, running the forgotten signature form to school, paying the electric bill…..

You got it. NOT GOIN’ TO HAPPEN. So, how do you as an artist (or writer or photographer or creative soul) stay creative? Set studio hours. Check. (Well…sort of.) Music. Check. Designated studio space. Check. Long, uninterrupted periods of painting time. No.

I re-read the old book The Girlfriend’s Guide to Getting Your Groove Back. The author, Vicki Lovine, discusses waiting for your family to ‘not need anything’ before you chase your dreams.
Ok, let that sink in……

‘waiting for your family to not need anything’.

Who are we kidding? We wouldn’t want it any other way, right?
I thought when my kids started kindergarten or even when they turned 10 or maybe 14 I would go back to ‘who I was before’.  I waited. And waited. Until I had time. Lovine tells me us  ‘who I was before’ is just not going to take place. After teenagers, it’s the next thing: college challenges, sick parents, or grandkids. I’d say, it is life. We are smart women, I guess we don’t always get the obvious. Or I don’t.

 Make art around life, not life around art.

I have to tell myself that it is ok to work in 15 minute increments. But I also need to allow time for creativity. To not rush. I’m chasing my dreams slowly. Methodically.
Do it now. Or it will NEVER happen. If we wait for a day when we have nothing scheduled before carving out creative time, it is just not going to happen.  Which means waiting is not an option.
Even if its only fifteen minutes between making cupcakes for the Fall Festival and filling out the three page form for summer camp.

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