Sunday, April 13, 2014

Involving a Lot of Imagination and Many New Ideas

The other day my younger sister Erika came over and I showed her some of the projects with which I'm currently obsessed.  "Oh you are soo creative," says she.  "How do you come up with your ideas?"  My answer was "Everywhere!" "I think you should write a book on the creative process," she continued.  At my strangled gasp she continued, "Fine, I'll write the book. You can just tell me how you do it..."  What amused me about the conversation is that I consider her to be quite creative, more so than myself, and I told her that.  She said "Oh, I can copy other ideas, but I don't come up with them on my own." Our mother used to say the exact same thing.  I disagree with both of them about themselves, it did get me thinking about creativity.  

What does it mean to be creative, really?  In the dictionary it says creativity is the ability to create new ideas or things using one's imagination, but I'm not sure I agree with that definition, entirely. I think it's a bit more complicated.

After all, isn't it creative to just make something you like, even if it's a copy of something someone else has done already?  You're still making something - still creatiing, right?  Does it have to be new to be considered creative?  I'm not sure about that...besides, rarely is something an exact replica of something else.  Most people put some stamp of their own on the things they make, even if they don't realize it.

Curiosity and desire, and even discipline are part of creativity as well.  There's that old saying, familiarity breeds contempt, but often it also causes creativity as well.  It's a process - first one starts copying other ideas or things, and then after a while they start to make small changes from the proscribed formula...eventually new ideas start to flow.  It's been my experience that creativity eventually asserts itself into almost any task I am deeply interested in and spend a lot of time doing. Not just the artistic kind, either - one can be creative with almost any task.  But of course one has to have enough of an interest in the thing to want to think about it, to spend time on it, to have the desire to be creative about it - which means in my case, I won't be coming up with a new mathematical theorem any time soon.

I also think it takes a certain amount of fearlessness to be creative - a lack of caring about what others think or say.  My husband has often said when we are discussing how people can be so critical, that it's much easier to be negative about a new idea, or it's much less risky, because you have a better chance of being right - there's almost always someone who doesn't like any given idea or object - but what if you say you like something and no on else agrees with you?  Then you're (GASP) wrong!

But what if you don't care if you're wrong?  What's that saying "What would you try to do if you knew you could not fail?"  Some might call this attitude confidence, others arrogance.  Whatever - it's pretty liberating to not really need approval.  Of course it's great (even helpful)  if other people like what you create, but it's not necessarily a prerequisite for being creative. The world's a big place, and if, like me, you believe we are all connected, you can be pretty sure that someone else out there will like your ideas too.  But even if they don't, it seems to be enough for me (most of the time) that I am satisfied with it.  (I say most of the time, because there's still that part of me that needs some sort of validation to feel that I'm not wasting my time with all this's there, but it clearly doesn't own me!)

It's undeniably true that some people seem to channel creativity more naturally than others - for whatever reasons.  Maybe they are somehow outside the mainstream, they haven't been formally trained, they have some physical characteristic or disability that makes them go in a different direction than most people, or maybe they have just been left alone a lot with their imaginations and so have a more natural inclination to create.  I personally think that spirituality is very much entwined with creativity.  After all, all creativity comes from that one creative source that created everything (some call it God) and what an everything it is!

I have no trouble accepting and blessing those who are lucky enough to be wildly naturally creative - bully for them!  Because I'm also one hundred percent certain that we can (all) learn to be more creative, to develop our creative skills.  From years of experience as a teacher, I've learned that there's almost always more than one way of coming up with the "right" answer.  Often, there's even more than one right answer - just not on a standardized test (which unfotunately at the moment is taken as the measure of all things educational). Our educational system at the moment is designed to erase any freedom of thought, whether it's new ways to come up with old answers, new and maybe improved answers to old (or new) questions, innovative ideas, even the asking of entirely new questions.  We discourage kids from coming up with any original ideas of their own to the point of stifling or killing most creativity.   Even the art teachers expect the kids to come up with same damn pictures!  It's okay that they might be learning a certain technique, but is it creative to expect them all to make the same thing? NO!

The truly sad result is that we aren't at all preparing our children to meet the challenges that they will face in real life, let alone the looming problems that we ourselves have created here on this planet that need to be solved in order for us to survive as a species.  There simply are no ABC answers to climate change or overpopulation.

The point is, that if we encourage our children to think of their own ideas, if we ask them thoughtful questions and accept that there can be more than one correct answer, if we reward children for thinking their own thoughts and for asking questions, we are teaching them to think creatively.  Of this I am certain.  The good news is that it works for adults, too.  All it takes is a certain degree of openness, a willingness to take a chance.  The unadulterated joy that results from this kind of freedom is undeniable, formidable -- and seriously addicting.  Besides, who knows where it might lead...World Peace, here we come!

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  So I've been in a frenzy of creating lately - I think in the last few weeks I've completed almost a project a week - I can't stop myself.  Some are new ideas, some, like the one below, are old ideas I've had in my head or in my sketchbook for literally YEARS!  What gratitude I have for being able to finally see them come into being!

I don't have a name for it but whatever- it's nearly done, I really like it,  (although as usual I am a sucky photographer- sorry it's crooked) and I only started it last week.  I've had an absolute blast making it...but my bulging mind is already going to my next project.  Don't know if that's a bad thing - I mean, I'm absolutely not rushing; I've taken the time to try to get things exactly the way I want them (which in my case often means a lot of tearing out stitches) I'm seriously enjoying the moment, but still  - new ideas are bombarding me, pushing me into action...I can't stop and I don't even want to!  So beware: it's a weird thing, giving oneself over to creativity.  Fun, freeing, exciting, even fulfilling...but definitely, very, very exhausting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Taking the long way - was it worth it?

Ever since I made that shower curtain for my sister, I've been wanting to make one for myself, only perhaps not so complicated as the other one.  Well, I did make one for myself, but whether it was simpler?  Well, that's certainly debate - able! 

Let me first say that I'm pleased with it - it's cheerful and bright and it fits the shower perfectly, at least, now it does. (See below for explanation).  Still, there is a small thought niggling at me - I have to wonder if the finished product was actually worth the full two weeks of time I spent on it.  After all, one can get a perfectly good shower curtain for thirty bucks at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  But I wanted to make my own, simpler and easier to make than the one I made my sister but still custom-designed, one-of-a kind shower curtain, didn't I? 

Here's the (sad...amusing?) tale of simplicity gone wrong.   

To begin, I knew I wanted to make the curtain using my favorite African fabrics.  When working with heavily patterned fabrics, it's less about the design than it is about the fabrics themselves, but Initially I had a few key pieces of fabric I wanted to use in their entirety, (for some unknown, stubborn reason).  I put them up on the design wall, and then using my trusty blue masking tape, I taped up a grid that pleased me, intending to fill in the squares as I went along..Here's how that looked:

You can see that that particular method failed pretty much immediately - the sewn squares are already completely out of the grid!   I decided at this point that  I needed to use grid paper, so I dutifully drew a sketch (or five) and measured out the sizes of the squares, attempting to do the thing to scale.  " Of course, you clever thing," I thought to myself,  "a practical, mathematic approach is EXACTLY what is needed here - why didn't I think of that in the first place,my being so clever and pragmatic and logical and all?"

Naturally, what I ended up with  matches neither my blue grid on the wall nor my seven detailed, scaled drawings.  It's kind of a miracle that the thing fit together at all, to be truthful.

Another time-sucking activity was fabric placement - I wanted to have certain pops of color in certain places, and I kind of laid it out as I went.  In order to ensure maximum perfection I ran up and down the stairs  about a zillion times, (I cut on my kitchen island which was custom-designed for us tall people by my husband, and therefore I can stand at it for hours cutting up fabric or fixing fabulous food without getting the slightest backache but alas, my sewing studio is upstairs) cutting several of the same sized squares out of different fabrics until the last row, when  I pretty much realized it didn't really make all that much difference anyway!

By the time I was finished with the thing I was was both annoyed and amused at myself. Despite my (I thought) very careful choosing of fabrics, and my careful, mathematical approach, there are definitely some places where I think I could have moved a piece or used a different color, and -- it was way too short!  I ended up having to add two twelve-inch pieces at the bottom to make it fit the shower stall- ha ha!  (How did that happen, oh mighty math wizard Carrie?!)  

Despite the less-than-perfect outcome and the sort of time-sucking vortex it became, I did learn a few things:  One is that I like to challenge myself - that's just who I am.  I KNOW I can do it more simply, but the truth is, I like the road less traveled - why fight one's own nature?  I just need to accept that about myself and quit whining.  

Secondly, I really need to get a computer program to help me design my pieces and furthermore, I need to force myself to take the time to learn how to use said program (which is why I've been avoiding the it - I don't like to figure out computer stuff, it bores me). But I either take the time up front to learn how to do it more precisely OR I end up wasting a great deal of time (being NOT very zen) and "figuring it out" on my own, which makes more sense?

 Third, I seriously need to make sure I take time to exercise daily and get in better shape - I was totally exhausted by the time it was done! (Balance, balance, Carrie - spending too much time cooped up in the art studio has flabby consequences!)

The final thing I learned (which I thought I already knew because I'm constantly repeating it to my son but apparently I needed to be reminded that it also applies to moi) is that everything we do, or make, or endeavor to do yields knowledge, experience and skills that become a part of us and make us better versions of ourselves, and that we will use somehow in the future, perhaps without ever even realizing it, so --

I guess I just answered my own question, didn't I? 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hey - What's the Big Idea Anyway?

About a year ago I took a Craftsy class on quilt design from Weeks Ringle, an artist whom I greatly admire.  I loved the class for many different reasons and I learned a lot and highly recommend it to anyone, not just quilt artists.   But watcher beware: this incredibly gifted, brilliant, well-thought out and just plain deep artist can be hazardous to one’s ego (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) and a wee bit intimidating (although NOT on purpose; she’s really very open, accessible and friendly; she just can’t help it if she’s amazing and the stuff she creates is fantastic).  I feel the same way about Weeks as I do about Jo Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books:  They deserve every bit of their success!   And it’s really nice of her, I think, to be willing to share with us – I know I’m a much better artist because of it.  I’ll watch the series over and over, too (It’s that good,  and so rich!)  I love it!
During one of the composition sessions, Weeks talks about starting a design from what she called a Big Idea.  That really got me thinking – I want that!  Alas, I can’t say in all honesty that any of my designs so far have consciously come from a big idea.  A few times after I finished a piece I suddenly realized the idea or inspiration behind it…but that’s about as close as I’ve come.  I don’t feel like I have a shortage of ideas, mind you, but what can I say – I was inspired by Weeks’s thoughtfulness to be more thoughtful in my own design process!
As time went by it began to bother me that I can’t really say where my designs come from, specifically – they just seem to pop into my head, often at inopportune moments.  Suddenly I began to feel my designs are inadequate and maybe not as good or meaningful as they could be if they had a Big Idea behind them. (Don’t worry, Weeks, I don’t blame you – I just want to be like you!)  Also, inspiration rarely comes to me on demand – most of the time when I’ve tried to “think” about design, I’ve pretty much come up with exactly nil
Nonetheless, this notion of a big idea still quite appealed to me, so I’ve been searching for some big ideas of my own to inspire me far it’s been an empty big idea year. But - in the past three weeks I’ve been on three different trips for various reasons ranging from spiritual to practical - the Bay Area in California, on a cruise with the high school band to Cozumel, Mexico, and to Prescott, Arizona on a trip to visit a college for my son.  Each trip has been great for different reasons, and in the back of my mind the whole time I’ve been searching for big idea inspiration.
 In California I experienced the joy of consciousness and my inner being and the peaceful, deep beauty of the spiritual journey. In Cozumel I looked at the endless ocean, the contrast of the azure water against the stark white sand.  In Arizona I saw the Grand Canyon, snow-covered pine trees, the high desert, and I experienced the sad gladness a mother feels when her child is preparing to leap into a life of his own, away from her.  Man, talk about a lot of big idea opportunity!   But so far, not an ounce of specific inspiration has come from any of it!   So naturally, being my quick-to-condemn-myself self, I begin to panic. “Oh my god,” I think, “I’m too shallow to be inspired by a big idea…all my ideas are meaningless...I’ll never be able to create anything truly worthwhile…ACK!  I suck!” 
Then what I learned in California surfaces and I have to laugh at myself.  “Oh Carrie,” I think “there you go again!”  Of course I’m inspired by my recent experiences - or I will be.  Because (as I constantly tell my son when he complains about having to learn useless stuff he’ll never USE in his life) every single thing you learn or do matters, because it becomes a part of you and you use it ways you oft-times don’t even realize(yes, even Pre-Cal, Jonas)!  So just because I haven’t made a conscious connection yet doesn’t mean the big idea’s not lurking in there somewhere
Now I get it - we all have our different pathways to inspiration, and just because I can’t call it up on demand doesn’t mean it’s any less worthy or meaningful.  That’s just the way it works for me - it will probably come to me the way it usually does – in the middle of a pap smear, or waiting in line at the DMV, or as I write this blog…and does it really matter whether I make the connection before or after the thing is done?  Of course not!  As usual, I’m being ridiculous, or as Napolean Dynamite would say, “Gosh!  WHAT an IDIOT!”
All Weeks is trying to do is share some of the ways she gets inspiration.  I don’t have to be like her (although I admit I still want to, a little).  What I do have to do is simply be grateful - for getting inspiration any way I can get it, period.  And so I am, and very.

But just in case, I’m going to make a list of big ideas that have suddenly popped up in the back of my mind as I’ve been writing.  Like I said, take it wherever you can get it…

(Added March 24th)
I just realized that my latest project actually comes from a "big idea," if you can call it that!  It's called 'Pink Doesn't Stink!'  I'm pretty sure you can figure out the's a photo of the pieced top...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy Trails to Me...

Life sometimes reminds me of a cattle path.  We (the cows) follow the same patterns so much that they become smooth and make grooves in the ground where eventually, the grass stops growing.  It’s our nature to take these established, easier to travel patterns until they turn into deep trenches. The paths are familiar, if not comfortable, and we don’t have to think too much about staying on them as we trek along towards our destination, which is the goal, the outcome, the cool drink of water.  But the paths are winding and dusty and filled with challenges and frustrations, and sometimes I'm just so sick of them I just want to be there, dammit!. Like, ten minutes ago.

Yesterday for example, I found myself extremely cranky at about four o’clock after several hours of working on a particular project.  I had just made a rather big mistake that I was going to have to once again spend a lot of time fixing; I was mad and I began to whine to myself “It’s too hard and it’s taking too long.  I just want to be done with it.  And it’s so complicated!  Why do I always have to make it so complicated?” and in the spirit of honesty, I added, possibly aloud “This sucks!”

Since I wasn’t enjoying myself, I decided to go for a walk, (To be precise it was more like “Screw this, I need to exercise, anyway!) I stomped around, kvetching obnoxiously, looking for lost earphones and sunglasses, and then suddenly while I was putting my shoes on I had to laugh at myself.  “What does that mean – it’s taking too long?” I thought.  “I’m the one who designed it, so why am I angry that it’s challenging?  And who am I mad at anyway?”  I realized at that moment that the project is as it is.  My irritation and frustration came from not being present in the moment.  Instead of looking around and enjoying the view from the path, I was racing to the water, as it were.  And it wasn’t that pleasant or fulfilling for me (or anyone who was within earshot of me.)
How many times have I done that, I wonder? Lost sight of the moment, dropped into the old pattern and gotten stuck in the trenches.  Not just in my art, but my life.  I’ve been so busy trying to get, accomplish, have, become - I’ve fallen, literally fallen into despair because I can’t seem to get “there.”  I seem to make the same mistakes over and over. But I keep taking the same paths!  I can’t get away from them because I’m so focused on what or where I want to be, and  I miss too much along the way. Maybe I even miss some new trails or chances to take new paths that go a different way simply because I’m not paying attention! 

Suddenly I’m realizing that it’s not the entirely the pattern that’s the problem.  The path’s just where I landed – I don’t have to stay on it if it’s destructive or circular, but I will always be on some path as long as I’m alive.  Happiness doesn’t come from reaching a destination or goal. The nature of life is to get right back on the same path, or another path, or start a new project, or find a new mistake to make.  That’s not to say it’s wrong to set new goals, to strive to improve oneself or forge a new pattern - that's part of the human experience as well. 

 But now I see  that I will never, ever, “get there.”  Because there is no “there.”  There’s only here. And true joy comes from paying attention to what is, from being  present as you travel your many paths. For me, it’s (yet another) reminder to be present, to enjoy (of if I can’t enjoy it, at least accept) what is, right here and now, because I’m already “there” and always have been.   I just hadn’t noticed.   

Here's my Happy Trails Quilt:

Monday, March 3, 2014

An Element of Fun

Be careful what you wish for, the old saying goes - you might just get it!  And get it I did.  And  I don’t know what to do with it?  Or how to make it work.  Recently, with my husband’s blessing, I quit my job with no immediate plans to look for a new one.    I decided to let a job come to me instead.  I know who I am and what my skills and talents are, and I just feel like I want to take time to find the right thing  - or to create ,the right thing, whichever.   Meanwhile, I'm super busy -  for the first time in my adult  life, free to spend hours a day creating and writing, something  I’ve dreamed of for years.   
The trouble is, I’m having just a little trouble embracing this unexpected boon.  Now that I have the time and the ability to work on my art, I can’t seem to allow myself to just enjoy it.   Instead there is guilt and anxiety about it – as though I don’t deserve it or it can’t possibly last or (and this is the worst one) I’m not doing anything important.  Well, maybe I don’t and it won’t and I’m not, but here it is anyway so why can’t I just shut up and “Carpe Diem,” dammit?   Clearly I’m creating a problem where there isn’t one – what complete rot! 
What I should be feeling is gratitude and excitement, but for some reason I’m fighting it – that stubborn, inbred puritanical streak snaking up and stopping all my fun!  Again!   It goes to show that humans can create struggles even in the happiest of life circumstances -  kind of the mirror to the silver lining deal.   In every good thing, there is an aspect of negative.  Hey - I’m living the Chinese philosophy of yin/yang!   How charming.
The trick is, I suppose, to just try to ride the yin and yang waves with equal parts acceptance, gratitude and hope and to try, whenever possible, to spread the love around, so to speak.   Enjoy and be grateful for the good, endure and accept the bad, but don’t be too attached to any of it.   I’ve always known that happiness cannot depend upon life circumstances, which are always changing -  happiness is a state of mind, even a choice.   I know this is true; during dark times I’ve used it to help me get through the tunnels of despair…still,  I’m amazed at how it actually takes just as much discipline to accept good fortune - to just enjoy the ride!  It seems that gratitude actually takes practice.
 In which case I shall just have to grit my teeth, work hard and just endeavor to endure this peaceful, blissful moment...even if it kills me!

Oops I did it again:

Okay, I know I promised to keep you updated on my vow to not start any new projects before finishing all my old projects.  I can report that I have completed three entire UFO’s.  Hooray, considering for some reason I found it very boring - I am so “over” those pieces.   I still have two old projects that need to be quilted, including the “Neverending Quilt,” which by definition will never be completed, I suppose, so whatever on that one.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve also started and finished two wall hangings and a large throw quilt, spent four days on a shower curtain for my bathroom and am currently working on a project I’m calling “Pink Doesn’t Stink,” which I am enjoying immensely, by the way.

Hey - I’ve not added anything to the UFO pile, so there it is - progress!   At least it's progress by my definition, and well -  I'm the boss of me, aren't I?!   

Monday, February 10, 2014

There's Enough Blame to Go Around...

Some people have a hard time admitting they are wrong, or have made mistakes.  I don’t have that affliction.  In fact, my tendency is in the opposite direction – I tend to blame myself for every problem that occurs in my life – boots don’t fit me?  There’s something wrong with my foot.  Something isn’t working – I’m probably using it wrong.  After an argument, I’m pretty much always the first to apologize, and usually I assume the brunt of the blame for starting it too.
 Now-some things really are my fault, so it’s a good thing, I think, that I can own up to it.  On the other hand, sometimes I end up blaming myself and feeling like a loser or (this is the worst) feeling guilty when it’s really not me causing the problem, and there is the rub, as they say.  I will blindly continue trying to use something or do something a certain way (as the instructions or whoever tells me to do it) and it turns out I’m not doing it wrong at all – I’m just suffering from faulty instructions! 
Take for example a recent revelation I had with the machine I use for quilting.  I inherited this machine from my excellent mother, who taught me how to use it and happily shared it with me when she was still on the planet.  Now I’m in my tenth year of quilting, and I’ve probably made at least fifty or more pieces, ranging from queen-sized bed covers to twenty-four by twenty four wall hangings.  I’ve done the majority of my quilting work on the old Brother, and I’ve always felt like I must be really uncoordinated, because I’ve never felt like I mastered the rhythm of the machine.  I secretly (or maybe not so secretly) have dreaded the quilting stage of a project because I feel like I’m really weak at it.  I’ve struggled to improve for ten years, and really have felt badly and even been sometimes even unsatisfied with some of my pieces because I thought I just couldn’t master the skill and the piece didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted it to.  Not to mention my ripper and I are on frightening intimate terms, if you know what I mean. It may soon become a sixth finger for me.        
Turns out it’s not really me that is the problem at all – it’s the machine!  I discovered this when I decided to use my Bernina to quilt a small piece I was working on.  I figured it was small enough not to want to have to change machines, so I put on the free motion foot and practiced for a few minutes.  I couldn’t believe the control I had with it!  That piece was literally FUN to quilt!  That’s the first time I have enjoyed that step of the creation process so far, really.  I just felt so in control – amazing!  The reason it is so much more fun, I believe, is because I didn’t have to worry so much about the length of the stitches or how fast I was going – turns out this machine has a stitch regulator, and that, my friends, makes all the difference in the world!
Anyway, I learned something about myself, too - I’m afraid it’s an ego thing – whereas some people absolutely have to be right, I always believe I’m defective.  I hold myself to this high standard that I would never impose on anyone else – never!  But I don’t need to delve into the psychology of it, it doesn’t really matter – just making the connection – well, it may sound nuts, but ever since I made this realization, I’ve been able to stop myself from listening to that inner mean voice that always tells me I’m wrong and analyze the situation BEFORE I blame myself - that’s a good thing! 
Another good thing has come out of this situation, too.  When I told my husband the story of me and my machine and my great realization, he rubbed my back and said, “See you’re too hard on yourself – it’s not that you can’t do it, it’s just the machine.”   I cuddled up next to him and said, “You know, honey, you’re right – I need to not always assume that I’m the problem.  That machine I’ve been using just isn’t that great.  In fact, it stinks….that’s why I might need to get a new machine.  What do you think?” 

Hey, maybe I do blame myself too often, but I ain’t STUPID!  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

T-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-Too Much Time On My Hands! (from a 1970's Styx song, for those of you who might know it and want to hum the tune)

The other day I made a realization.  When one has a lot of ideas and suddenly has the actual time to pursue said ideas, it’s hard to figure out what to focus upon.  It’s not a new realization, really – I always seemed to struggle when I was taking only twelve hours in college, and my best semesters of all happened when I was working twenty or more hours and taking eighteen hours.  I was busy as hell, but I got everything done and made good grades to boot.

At the moment I have the opposite – I am completely in charge of my day, which is a heavenly luxury.  But - I’m having a hard time getting things done.   I don’t know which “project” to focus upon, and I end up either completely neglecting one thing for others, or just feel overwhelmed and end up spending way, way too much time lost in the cyberworld.  (It really is addicting- there’s so much to see, to research, to be inspired by…sometimes I feel like I’m Harry Potter and the internet is the Penseive thingy – I get too close and suddenly I’m sucked in, trapped until it decides to spit me out!)

One might say that I have too many projects.  Well, too bad for that – I am determined to work at all these things to their ends, or until and unless they no longer make sense to pursue.  I can let go of things if they aren’t right, but sometimes one has to keep pushing to make things happen.   I don’t feel like I’ve ever really given some of these things that kind of effort, time and attention  yet.   So they are all still on the docket.  Period.

It’s ironic, though, that we often wish we had more time to do this or that, but when we have the time, it still goes just as swiftly as it did when we didn’t have it!  I now see why my older sister is so hyper-organized - she seems to have schedules for her schedules!  I understand - she has so much on her plate that she simply won’t get things done if she doesn’t have time budgeted for it.   To me, that has always seemed too rigid - I’ve always been more of a “take things as they come,” sort of girl.   After all, I don’t want to miss out on any serendipitous events!   (I’m sure my sister will tell you that it leads to my being somewhat flighty, and I won’t deny it.  But I do have the good grace to feel guilty about it, at least…) And I’ve managed to get things done and be successful without it – mostly.

 Too, when I was the mother of a young child, I ran across mothers who would never alter their child’s routines – everything revolved around the child’s schedule.  That was NOT me.  If there was something to do and it was naptime or lunch time, we skipped naptime, ate on the run and went and had fun!   Yet I will admit that most of the time, we did have naptime, and a bedtime routine, and yes - a set schedule. 

So I guess I need to do both – set a schedule and maybe some deadlines and follow them the majority of the time, but still be flexible enough to stay with something if it’s inspired, or needs attention right now.    After all, creativity and inspiration are not subject to schedules – they appear when they appear, and I’m still me enough to have to go with them when they do their dance on my head.  

Such a lovely dilemma to have, anyway.   I’m not complaining – just, as usual, working things out as I write.  I wonder if most people feel torn, as I do, between being a disciplined grown up and a free-spirited will o’the wisp.  For me, it’s been sort of a lifelong battle between my two, seemingly equal, natures.  It’s difficult to embrace both sides and make it work.  The practical side has won out mostly and I frankly resent it sometimes!  But now that the other me is free, I fear it needs to be reined in a little because it’s a little scary!  And maybe not so productive, and life is short! So once again, I'm trying to balance the two with an uneven scale.   I’ll try to be honest about how things are going.  For example, I did plan on blogging on Mondays, and here it is Wednesday…oops - already off schedule!  J