I have been seeing the benefit of pursuing creative pursuits personally for the last 6-8 months. I wanted to bring my life/work balance back into balance as the scales were tipped after working on a project that turned out to be quite a toxic experience – psychologically, emotionally and physically! I was spending more of my personal time working than enjoying other pursuits. I found this impacted my family, friendships and my ‘me’ time. I didn’t feel as though I had sufficient break time from work to renew and recharge for each new challenge. I got through it but with “war wounds” that took some time to heal.
It made me realise that work should not be the sole focus in your life – unless your work is your passion. In that case, I feel that is such a blessing to be able to do what you love and earn a living from it.I feel that being creative and being able to create something with your own hands, thoughts, body and ideas gives you a sense of fulfillment. If you are able to receive this from work, then I feel you are truly blessed. I read this meme about creative people and have shared it below, it may explain why sometimes you feel you need to express yourself in a different way or through a different medium.
When I read this list, all the creative people I can think of seem to have these tendencies including celebrities/ famous people that we are all familiar with, especially musical artists that have gone too soon – Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Prince. Earlier in history, other people come to mind eg Shakespeare, Liberace, Vincent van Gogh, etc. They were all creative geniuses in their own right. I’m not advocating that you need to be a creative genius but I feel that everyone of us has their own creativity that gives them pleasure and that makes them a ‘creative genius’ in their own right. This could be in the form of art, craft, dance, exercise, extreme sports, making cakes or gardening. It is an expression of your creativity that takes you out of your day-to-day routine and enables you to use the right side of the brain linked to creativity rather than just the logic, analytical left side of your brain.
As a result, I have been writing as per my blog posts, refreshing my high school French (that is still a work in progress), exercising, reading and keeping up my handmade cards and crafts. I have also been encouraging my daughter with her creative pursuits, ever since she was a baby, I have instilled the love of the written word in books and song. I took her to Bubba time and Story-time in the library where stories were read, songs were sung and craft was completed. I enjoyed the sessions as much as my daughter! As a result, she loves drawing, reading (I can’t keep up – her bookshelf is brimming with so many books so have recently bought her an ereader!), dances (ballet), writing and also loves gardening and cooking/ baking.
I have encouraged my daughter to write, she writes short stories for fun at home, songs, limericks and has her own blog too. She came home from school one day excited because she wanted to enter a short story competition through her school that was open to all primary students nationally. She wrote her short story and submitted it that very afternoon. Recently, she received a letter telling her that her story has made it through the first round of judging and has passed to the next round. It also means her short story will be published in their anthology which is available later this year. My daughter is very excited and eagerly awaits the final result – the winners will be announced later this month. So, at the age of 10, she will have had a piece of writing published! I’m excited for her and happy that she felt confident enough to share her creativity by entering the competition.
I have people around me who are creative in their own ways, one of my sisters’ bakes amazing cake creations for her children’s birthdays. I have a friend who makes amazing costumes to transform her into character for her children’s themed birthday parties. I have a friend who is a hairdresser who uses her creativity to enable other people to look their best. I have a cousin who is creative in his work with graphic design, I have also had the pleasure to and continue to work with creative people in my field of work. I feel I have been able to learn from many people in many different ways to help me to continually be better at what I do.
My creative pursuits have kept me busy but in a good way and as a result, enabled me to apply creativity to my work. I feel it opens you up to become more accepting of other ideas/ perspectives and helps you become better at thinking outside the square which helps you grow as a person. Life is short, it is meant for living, pursing your dreams and enjoying what you do – laugh, love, live! I’m sure if you think about what makes you feel ‘alive’ and provides you with a creative outlet – you will find your answer to what are your creative pursuits? What have you been meaning to try/ start? Maybe it’s time to pander to that longing and satiate the curiosity – even if you aren’t as good as you hoped, keep pursuing your creativity. Practice it, embrace it and as I say, with practice – you will make it permanent! The rewards far outweigh the fear of not trying!