More Musings on Routine and Creativity

Two weeks ago, I posted some initial ponderings about how routine and creativity work together. I’ve been thinking about this topic fairly steadily ever since. In fact, I was surprised that it had been two weeks since I initially posted on this subject because it is on my mind on a daily basis.

This past weekend, I had some glimmerings of inspiration about routine and creativity. On Friday, Joey and Tim and I were preparing to go to the fall NOU meeting. We were hoping to leave before quiet time would typically have been over, so I didn’t take Charlotte up to quiet time right after lunch as I normally would have. This gave me some extra time to investigate some options for a crafting trip that Joan and I have been planning to take. As I was surfing the web for different crafting workshops, I came across the Embroiderers’ Guild of America.

Be still my heart.

I was immediately pumped about becoming involved in the Guild. I was buoyed in my spirit just contemplating starting an embroidery project. My mind started racing with all kinds of thoughts about reviving an idea I had 8 years ago involving designing embroidery patterns. Then, something really interesting happened.

Due to circumstances beyond her control, Amelia was delayed in getting to our house to babysit the wee folk so Joey, Tim and I could leave. I knew that Tim wanted to get to the meeting on time and I could have just fallen right along with him into being stressed about being late. BUT, I was so excited and happy thinking about embroidery that it was easy for me to cheerfully deal with the situation.

The next day, I contemplated the whole scenario while we were driving to different birding locations. What I was seeking was a way to incorporate that positive influence of creativity into my daily routine. Yet, the mental roadblock to that goal seemed to have to do with a small voice saying, “You don’t have TIME for creativity. You have tons of small people to home school and all of their physical needs to attend to. You cannot justify spending time on creativity on a daily basis.” I had to get over or around that roadblock.

Two thoughts helped. First, I recalled the easy cheerfulness that came with even contemplating embroidering. All of the small people that I home school and feed and keep in clean clothing would definitely benefit from that kind of maternal attitude. Being able to easily attend cheerfully to my daily responsibilities is justification enough for making creativity part of my daily routine.

Second, I vaguely remembered something I had read in Sink Reflections. In chapter 7, Flylady talks about SHEs being very creative people and hating structure because it bogs us down. Then she says that routines solve this problem because “they free our creative minds to think about other things because our bodies are doing the daily rituals of our home blessing.” This was a huge “Aha!” moment for me. My routines are only a means to an end. They are not the end I am seeking!

My routines are not intended to satisfy my need for creativity. They are there to allow me to be creative by clearing my mind from guilt and anxiety over not adequately taking care of the important responsibilities that God has given me. Having a clean house and timely meals and laundered clothing and enough exercise and adequate sleep and planned home schooling activities is not a substitute for creativity.

For so long, I had been struggling with frustration that keeping up with my routines didn’t give me a feeling of cheer. Yes, it was very, very satisfying to complete the routines and MUCH better than the alternative of having a messy house and the guilt that goes with that. There was no way I was going to give up on the routines. Yet, I desired some cheerfulness in my day. I now realize that I was just looking for cheer in the wrong place. Now, I can see that the routines pave the way for my mind to be creative and that creativity brings me cheer.

Now that I can see the big picture and easily justify incorporating creativity into my daily routine, I am so excited about the possibilities!

Stay tuned….

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One Response to “More Musings on Routine and Creativity”

  1. Paige Says:

    This totally strikes a chord with me. I’m right here; no time for anything but routines and so tired of nothing “new” ever. Maybe I can at least think about creative ideas instead of flylady routines, even if there is no time to actually work on my ideas. At least I’ll have lots of projects planned when I’m old and have nothing to do. 🙂 if that ever happens.

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