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April, 2016

Do Something Different

by Webmaster

I have far more creative ideas than time (or energy) to see them come to life. I also have a tendency to start something and get sidetracked. Sometimes the sidetrack is due to a good reason. Last May, my basement flooded and was torn apart. With help from a friend, we put the insulation and walls back together. But my friend doesn't like to paint and I can only paint with a mask, low VOC paint, three air filters blowing and the windows open, when the furnace won't run. I ran out of good weather last October. The rest of the work on the basement is on hold until the painting is done.

I also have a mild form of OCD. I really want to see projects completed plus I'm compelled to postpone fun things until I complete my work. It was great for my career but it's not "working" for me now that I'm "retired."

It's also at war with my abundance of creative ideas.

A year or two ago, I made a resolution that I would not start any new projects until I finished the ones in progress. My progress was slow because of my budget, but I was making progress until the basement flooded. In spite of the flood, my dogs' destruction of the carpet, my neighbor who bulldozed part of my property, the woman who backed into my parked car and told the police it was my fault, my show dog's eye surgery, and, more important than all of those things, my mother's death, with the help of a friend, I got a lot of the half-completed projects done, in addition to work on the basement and the yard.

I write. I write articles, songs, poems, and because a 6-week bout of the crud that was going around last year, novels. So that was something new, but not really "new." It was still writing.

At some point, everything creative turned to work. It wasn't fun any more. It was just work.

Oh, occasionally I'd get an idea and write and feel energetic again, but mostly all of my creative outlets, like building web sites, became work. Writing is fun. Editing, polishing, revising, making it work, is work. I felt overwhelmed by the backlog of things that still needed to be done.

I have very creative friends. They asked me what I would do if I could do anything creative. I said, "I want to play with clay." We discussed pottery classes. I love hand-made pottery. I have a collection of hand-made pots, dishes, and bowls. I don't need more and they take up a lot of space. I'm trying to clean out the house and creat more open space, not add more things.

Then a friend called. She started taking jewelry-making classes, learning all the arts of making metal jewelry. She signed up for a jewelry-making class using Precious Metal Clay. Clay! I signed up.

I had no idea what I was getting into. I signed up for the class to get away from the house for two days and spend time with my friend of 21 years who is moving away in June. And, to play with clay.

I'm hooked. I love shaping clay and creating sterling silver jewelry. I dream about jewelry designs. I look at paintings and see pendants. I hear music and think about earrings. I spent last weekend mining beads. buttons, and jewelry findings in the pile of stuff in the basement that wasn't hauled out by the water damage company after the flood. I started cleaning out the piles of tiles and stones in the workshop left over from long-done mosaic projects.

I spent two days in jewelry-making classes and two nights in a motel room writing a 20-stanza cowboy poem that I've been thinking about writing for years.

Now, I'm cleaning out the house and being creative because I decided to do try something different. I've got more projects to do but I'm getting more done. And, my attitude and energy level has improved tremendously.

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