As the sun sets on a beautiful day, I'm a little irritable.
Because Autumn is here and there simply aren't enough hours in the day for all the ideas rolling around in my head. I want to make, make make, but I suppose there is a thing called balance. It just seems to intensify to an all new high frequency this time of year.
Being a teacher for many years is, I think, the reason my creative juices really go on hyper-drive in the fall. For me, teaching could literally take every waking minute if I allowed it to - it's that compelling, creative, demanding, etc. Summer meant nothing but a chance to work undisturbed in my classroom. But in order to enjoy a relatively reasonable level of sanity, I finally had to force myself to take June completely off. It wasn't easy, I finally accomplished it by developing my own version of primal scream therapy I called it the "summer scream." Every time my mind wandered to any kind of school related thought I would mentally yell "STOP!" and "NOOOOO!" really loudly at myself in a mean voice that I would never use on anyone else. I did it to avoid burnout, because the truth is every time I got a good idea I simply had to develop it, no matter how much work it was or how much time it took. This is not complaining though- I still love and adore teaching. It is just an incredibly all-consuming job for me. (Hmmm - sort of like quilting!) Anyway after forcedly taking all of June off, by July I was totally excited and ready to be back at school at least a couple of days a week - because I wanted to be - and I could still be relatively sane. However in August and September after I met my students and was getting to know them - that's when I seemed to be hijacked onto the idea wagon and it was just going too fast to even look out the window until Christmas break.
Even though I'm no longer teaching, I believe it is now wired in my DNA to get lots and lots of ideas this time of year. It's a hecka-good ride. But it's also kind of crazy-making. I sometimes feel like I could literally stay in my studio all day every day, talking to no one and doing absolutely NOTHING but creating for months and months. I mean, I might stop for an hour or so here and there to look at my blogs, exercise, eat a little something...sleep - but call me crazy, it actually sounds rather appealing to me at the moment.
I love my family and friends, I really do. But I am also so obsessed and idea-filled. There's a (tiny) part of me that resents having only have so much energy and time to create before I have to stop and take care of stuff (you know, like having to go to the bathroom), not to mention all the responsibilities I have (such as you know- BEING A GROWN-UP)! The other day on the Huffington Post I saw a little humorous spread about life with toddlers which showed hilarious and heart-warming photos of toddlers doing exactly as they pleased and throwing tantrums that I could laugh at fondly because it wasn't my kid - and I was a little jealous of those two-year-olds. Because I wanted to be like that - I wanted to lie down on the floor kicking my arms and legs in the air and yell - I DON'T WANNA DO - (fill in the blank) - I WANNA SEW!
Of course there's a lesson here. In fact, it's one I already know, really. (I just apparently need to remind myself of it publicly from time to time.) And so...work, laundry, dirty house, cats and dog, family, friends, responsibilities and of course all of you, dear readers - I'm sending out a big fat universal hug, full of love and gratitude. Because even though there is still a little weensy bit of that inner child in me that wants to do only what it wants, I know I can't and that it won't (as tantrums usually don't) lead to happiness.
What will? Gratitude and love, of course. I'm so grateful for all these ideas. I'm grateful that I have any time at all to pursue art - it's not as though it's actually adding wealth to the family coffers. (In fact I can say with some certainty that it is possibly doing just the opposite...but that's for another blog, thank goodness.) I'm grateful for the ability to develop ideas, explore, meet other people who share my obsession, and that I live in such a fabulous country that I am safe enough, I have more than enough, and that it's a gift even to have one moment to spend creating. Because what really matters is throwing love and gratitude out there no matter what one is doing, enjoying the moment, being present, simply BEING.
So - mental tantrum over, big girl panties squarely covering buttocks, consider me properly aligned with the bigger purpose once again. Ironically, once the panties are in place I know that all I have to do is sketch or write down my ideas - they will be there waiting for me to develop them - whenever. Or not - it's all good.
I'd love to hear from you guys? Do any of you feel that this time (or any other time of year) is particularly inspiring for you? Or are there certain circumstances that seem to just explode your head with ideas? And what do you do when this happens?