Your Midweek Creativity Exercise

Moms, do you take time to be creative? To make something? Other than your bed, everyone's breakfast, the kids' lunches, and an unholy fuss about everyone else's problems, that is. Sometimes I feel as if I stopped making things after I made these little humans (no easy task, but still, not an excuse). 

I know, I know. Personal projects feel frivolous. Crafts are for mothers; perfecting your craft is for everyone else. Who has the time when your time is no longer your time?

We regularly push ourselves to encourage creativity in our children while pushing our inner child out of the circle; she's not allowed to play. I've noticed, however, that the less I create, the less generous I am around my daughter. I'm more critical and controlling. My temper is shorter. I make a big deal out of the smallest messes. It's almost as if my inner child, neglected and needing attention, is resentful, so she throws a fit and hoards the paints.      

I'm trying to be better at this. I still don't really have the time, but the wonderful thing about creativity exercises like the one below is that they actually work better when you sneak them into your day. The constraints (ex. write 10 words, on your wrist, while on a bus, standing up) make you more creative. For perfectionists like me, the time constraint doesn't let you get bogged down by the process or the planning. From the onset, you accept that your output will be far from perfect. But that doesn't mean it can't be beautiful, insightful, profound, or at the very least, therapeutic. 

(Video by: Austin Kleon)

Inspired by this post by Austin Kleon, from which the video above was taken, here's what I came up with. I grabbed the first magazine (we haven't had a newspaper at home since the start of the millennium) I found and just began. It's amazing how it began to take shape the more words I crossed out. What I thought I wanted it to be about would not work, but the finished product is somehow more meaningful to me.

And I only had to ask my toddler to wait once.