The dictionary defines productivity as:
"the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services."
For a while now I haven't felt very productive. I've been very active of course. Running around playing chaffeur to three short people, going to the gym doing real life schtuff always keeps you busy. But productive? Not with my art. Not with the things that keep me centered. I think part of the process of change that I'm going through makes me feel a little bit selfish, like I don't deserve that time to create. I spend literally HOURS at the gym every week. For some reason this is making me feel guilty. Gosh, that sounds so STUPID! But when I'm in that 'hurry up and wait' mode at soccer practice, etc. I have become a voracious book reader. I want to keep my mind and my hands busy – because I know that is one of the keys to keep from mindless snacking.
And I'm 102 lbs. lighter. Really. Really? Yep, really saying that. Wow. Surreal.
But my studio has been gathering dust.
But when I look deeper I realize that when the unimaginable happened here at home; my creativity STOPPED. Quite honestly, creating kept dredging up all the sadness of recent events. So I was shutting myself down to stop feeling it. There aren't enough hearts and wings to express it; and at times it felt so futile.
I'm working on it.
So it was very surprising to me when I arrived in California and went over to my friend's house for the night… I asked what I could do to help with the booth setup and she handed me blank materials and directed me to make schtuff. And it flowed. It poured out of me. FAST. Not only is that not typically how I create, nor would I have thought the climate of having just gotten off a 5 1/2 hour flight, and it's freezing cold outside (what's up with that, California?) And yet there I was making schtuff. In my happy place.
Bam. Peacock feathers. (this Art Anthology schtuff IS pretty fun to work with btw).
Bam. Girl canvas.
So it makes me wonder – am I over-thinking things? I think in some way I'm putting a big process around creating that includes the prep and clean-up and not focusing on the pure joy of making schtuff? Or have I been creating my own BLOCK and walling off my studio because it hurts too much to open up and let the surroundings fill up my soul to create?
Do I just need to get back to bringing my sketchbook with me and see what happens? I guess I'm answering my own question there.
But that is sometimes what blogging is about.
So I'm back home. And once again, my studio is empty. It does come back to guilt. And selfishness. I know that I'm not guilty when it comes to taking care of my health. And I know in my heart that it isn't selfish to have my focus on that aspect of my life. I've been guarding my emotions as well, because I have to face facts – I was a serious emotionally-driven binge eater and I will not go back there. But I also know that I need to do something else. So today, I called a friend about volunteering at the Sandy Hook Promise office during the day.
The announcement about this group happened a week ago, on Monday 1/14; one month anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. My brother, Tom, is one of the founders.
I walked around the trade show at CHA asking people to make the promise on Monday. Will you join me? You can read it here: http://www.sandyhookpromise.org/mission
And you can make the promise here: http://www.causes.com/causes/810193-sandy-hook-promise
So I guess it all comes down to wanting to be meaningfully PRODUCTIVE. To help, do something good; and give myself a bit of 'credit' in my bank to create schtuff too.
Thanks for continuing this journey with me.