To have, you must be.
So what in the fresh hell does that mean?
I’ve spent a lot of the last year locked up in my head, trying to figure out career stuff and kid stuff and the answer to the big question that everyone who turns 40 must ask themselves at one time or another: What do I want to do with the rest of my life?
Surely slinging documents at adversaries like they’re ninja stars isn’t All There Is.
And also I realized something when I was dreaming up M. Panier and the Silly Skeins and mucking around in Photoshop.
I used to be silly, playful, and fun.
That was a lonnnnng time ago! I am none of those things right now, and haven’t been for a while. I’ve gotten pensive and navel-gazey. And everything-is-critical-and-seriousy. And snarky, which does have its purpose on occasion, but it’s really not the me-who-I-am-me.
The next 50 years or so are going to be a festering cesspool of misery if I keep this up.
To have, you must be.
That sounds obvious and simple, right? I mean, duh, you can’t have happiness if you aren’t happy!
But let’s look at this a little more deeply. Let’s say you want to make some time in your life for writing morning pages** (highly recommended) and so you commit to waking up an hour early each day to do them. And also, you want to crochet a blanket for a Christmas gift, so you decide to work on it for a little bit after dinner each night.
The morning after you make these decisions, your alarm goes off. You hit the snooze button. “Just this once,” you drool into your pillow, “and then I’ll get up.” An hour later you finally roll out of bed at your ordinary time and – uh oh – no time for morning pages.
No judgment here, bloggy friends! I do it too. Full disclosure: I did it this morning, which is why your Monday Motivation is arriving when Monday is more than halfway done. Don’t worry, you can still use this on Tuesday. 😉
This very small, seemingly insignificant act of self-sabotage grows, though, with each press of the snooze button.
After dinner, when the dishes are done, you settle down into your comfy sofa to watch some t.v. You glance over at your yarn and pattern and just don’t feel like it. You want to relax and do nothing but soak up the soothing rays of the television.
To have integrity, you must be a person of integrity.
Breaking a commitment that you’ve made to yourself is not a great idea. Nobody else will know and nobody else will get hurt (although they might be sad if you don’t finish that blanket!). But, when you start your day slapping the snooze button after you’ve made a promise to yourself to get up earlier, you’ve sent a message to your subconscious: “Eh, I screwed up with the morning pages, why not just scrub the whole day and start over tomorrow.”
If you do it enough times, it becomes a habit. Each time you don’t honor a commitment to yourself, it becomes a bigger part of who you are – a person who lacks integrity.
Peeps, these aren’t even huge commitments. The good news is that every moment is an opportunity to get back on track.
What does this mean for us creative types?
Remember, to have, you must be. In order to have a creative outlet, you must be a person who creates. You have to do The Thing. You have to make the time. And you have to keep the commitments you make to yourself.
To have love, you must be loving.
To have friendship, you must be a friend.
To have drama, you must be drama. (Not recommended!)
To have fun, you must be fun.
To have playfulness and silliness, you must be playful and silly!
To have a creative outlet, you must create:
- Follow through
Do The Thing.
So tell me! What do you want to have and who are you going to be this week? I’m cultivating my old friends playful and silly! =)
**Morning pages! If you haven’t read The Artist’s Way, I can’t recommend reading the book and doing morning pages highly enough. Getting all of the sleep gunk out of your brain first thing in the morning is a fantastic way to move into your day with a clean slate!