As I get older, I think I’m really starting to buy into this whole creativity thing. Maybe because as I get older, I have less time for it and thus it gets more precious? Not sure.
I noticed that I felt a whole lot calmer and more productive last week after getting some time to write and (time off) as well. I recently learned that my Meyers-Briggs personality of ENFP is actually the ‘most creative’ of all the personality types. Who knew? I guess that is one thing institutional school has done to me – cut me off from my creative side (there is scads of research which shows that schools negatively reinforce the very things that are indicative of creativity in children….but you didn’t need the research to tell you that did you? haha)
Maybe because I was blessed with a higher than average IQ, I was able to still navigate the treacheries of schooling relatively successfully (from a purely face value perspective) but I know there was damage and it is deep.
Part of the damage that I am seeing is definitely the stunted creativity. During my years in school, I would never dreamed of referring to myself as creative. Now I am a bit more comfortable with that label…and even further have progressed to realize a little more the creative genius in all of us. It is there…in one shape or another in ALL of us.
To this day it astounds me what people of every type come up with when given the time and space…and maybe even more interestingly without those things…if you know what I mean.
I used to think of creating as very specifically visual art, where there was paint and an old white shirt involved….talk about boxed in….Now I see it in the turn of a phrase, even a glance my way as a thought strikes my friend.
…and certainly I realize I have grossly undervalued it in my own life. For now, I guess I will just be content with these blog posts every Wednesday. It is too overwhelming to think of more right now….:) (I know, I know…if you only had a dollar for every time I use the word overwhelming….;)
I was spending time with a mom when she pulled out her little boy’s snack….jam on white wonder bread. She laughed as she gave it to him and said that he just gobbles these sandwiches up and that she makes it for him regularly. It made me feel a bit faint of heart because I have been reading all about the horrors of sugar and processed foods. I kept my mouth shout though. I did not want to come off as a sanctimonious twit….maybe she knew all the research and still made this choice….It is her prerogative right?
Similarly when I heard that another friend feeds her child in front of the television (only educational programming)….never mind that TV for children under 2 is a decided no no (again according to the research) but I was even more concerned about the fact this child was being distracted from discerning their internal satiation cues which cannot bode well. When I probed just a little about this matter it turns out the mother is really determined to feed the child ‘x’ amount and actually depends on the screen time to do exactly what I feared; distract him so that she could get more into him. And to that again I reluctantly shook my head (internally) and said nothing. As someone who continues to struggle to hear AND listen to her body’s fullness and hunger cues, it saddened me to think of this kid’s possible future struggles with obesity. Let’s hope I’m just being a dramatic doomsayer…
This kind of stuff happens all around me now that I am fully immersed in the world of mommy. Honestly, I struggle not to feel a tad bit superior to all these moms who just obviously have not done their ‘research’….(sounds horrible right…but it is true…consider this a confession). I have to remind myself that each parent is doing the best they can considering their knowledge and available resources especially in terms of support. I don’t what I would do if I did not have a great husband and family and friends that help me to care for my little one….certainly would not have the time nor head space to do research and look down my nose at others (not that the latter is such a good thing…yikes!) I have to also remind myself that there are PLENTY of things I do as a mom that could have others get their judge on too…just to keep me honest AND humble…here’s a list for your judging pleasure:
- she sleeps really late (like sometimes at 11 pm) and wakes up late
- sometimes she goes like 3-4 days without a full bath (we do wash her up at the sink every night)
- I have no regular set meal times or nap times for her….we really just go by the seat of our pants
- I often forget to wash her hands before/after eating AND going potty
- a lot of her clothes are stained (what can I say? domestic goddess I am not…although I do try to make sure she wears clean clothes out)
…and of course this is just off the top of my head. Some of it is because of good ole’ research (e.g. I’ve read bathing too much and being too concerned about hygiene is bad for baby skin and immune system…a too sterile environment does not allow her system to develop strongly)…some of it cause I’m just plain lazy or disorganized….so there you have it. So there you have it….I’m a self-confessed mommy snob but have no right to be….:) I guess we each focus our limited resources on the things we think our important…as well we should.
Maybe the older you get the more you realize this truth about time…that it is limited and oh so precious. I know when I was young, time seemed to go on forever and I never thought of it as a treasure or the riches that I am beginning to realize it is today. In fact, time almost stands still when you are young. Having so little autonomy because parents decided most things meant you were not really so invested in your moments or days. I know many children just want time to go by quickly so that they can be grown up and then have things ‘their way’.
I think I have squandered YEARS of my life without any consideration to how incredibly valuable time is…I have wished my life to fast forward till I was married or had kids…I have wished for school to be just done…
(I feel like I am just not expressing what I want to here….and we are going to come down to some hokey cliche about how precious every moment is…argh!)
We people spend much too much time being out of the moment, hating or disliking our moments….working long hours at jobs we don’t enjoy, or can’t find a way to enjoy. How horrible! It is telling that saying to someone ‘if they only had a month left to live’ should make for such drastic changes in choices about how to spend that time.
Time to rest, time to play, time to create, time to connect/give in relationships and our community as a whole. These are the true luxuries in life. How foolish we are to trade these things for ‘tin luxuries’ like a cool watch or fancy car….(we trade like this when we work ourselves to death to earn money to ‘afford’ these material luxuries)
A sweet friend offered to take my little girl to the park so that I could have a few hours to myself this morning. I thought a lot about what I would do with these moments. It seemed like *such* a luxury to have some daytime hours all to myself. Thus the ruminations on time being the ultimate luxury…I know as a single person I SO took it for granted the hours I had to myself….never planning or scheming like I have for these 2 hours.
But you know what? In a few years, I will look back at these (what seems like) endless days of distractions and ‘drudgery’ of having a small child and realize how precious these moments with her were…..because they really were/are the sweetest days of my life (having an adorable, cuddly person love and need you all the time, who gives the best hugs in the world…who smiles at you whenever she sees you)
THus, maybe that is the secret to a life well-lived – to take no moment for granted.
…so I am writing.
A friend of mine who is a singer said she once heard Dolly Parton in concert and thought, “Dolly, has just done everything I ever wanted to do as an artist and musician up on that stage tonight”…I gathered from our conversation that my friend left the experience with much less drive to continue her art. Very strange to me at the time as she was an alternative rock singer/guitarist…how could good ole’ DP, queen of country, have stolen her thunder? I didn’t get it then but now as a somewhat struggling artist myself (btw my art is the writing on this blog…haha), I kinda do.
Granted no one is ever going to write exactly as I do or from my precise perspective, but sometimes I read other people’s work (especially blogs) and it just makes me feel deflated and uninspired – they are doing better what exactly I want to do. I am so behind them in fact that I can’t even tell you what it is exactly they are doing with their writing that hits me between the eyes like that – all I know is that it is there. Actually, maybe more than anything else – honesty. They are so aware of themselves and so honest. Without the canned phrases and tired cliches. Without vagueness or meandering. Without fear most of all. I want to write like that….
a new paradigm has entered my mind regarding my faith journey.
the struggle is not about being good the struggle is to remain in Him to walk with Him to be with Him Jesus did not come to start up a new religion with do’s and donts instead He came to open a way for imperfect people to engage wholly with a perfect God
this is revolutionary my mind is freed and blown
I think I know what I want to be when I grow up: (or at least another idea for the on-going list)
I wanna be a baby advocate/infant development specialist/crunchy mamma extradonnaire.
I have been learning soooo much about human nature and children and myself through trying to figure my baby out. I was a psychology major in undergrad so undoubtedly this stuff was going to fascinate me BUT as per usual I feel a burning desire to educate the world on this stuff. Babies are not getting what they need! If we could raise little people that were filled with love and honour and respect, we could change this world in a generation! You know dramatic stuff like that.
I was actually going to start a new blog on this topic but considering time limitations maybe I will just stick with this one. (an addition to the to do list will only weaken my tenous grip on sanity)
According to the online course, I’m supposed to get a accountability partner while tackling this food idolization issue in my life. Sound familiar? Yeah, every self respecting life change program from the 12 steps to Dr. Bernstein (hmm…even not so self-respecting ones…;) to Tony Robinson will tell you need some form of objective go-to person to help you in the journey. Why? Quite simply, ’cause it works.
Well, accountability is explicitly and implicitly a biblical concept. Explicit in that there are specific ‘one another’ passages which speak about confessing sins to each other, praying for one another, helping someone stay out of sin, receiving and accepting advice from others…etc. BUT taken as a whole these and other scriptures implicitly encourage us to that which is accountability in its purest and most unadulterated form: community. We humans were meant and need to be in strong community where love has built bonds that are strong enough to endure the inevitable reverberations of people working out their issues in the light, grace and oversight of others. (honestly if I was ever asked what could solve every problem of the human race, my answer would simply be love (for God is love (1st John) <—- how is that for canned, cliche and hokey? doesn’t mean it isn’t true)
Okay, narrowing back to the Sanji’s problems…(first the Sanj, then the world! haha…after all Ghandi gee did say to be the change you want to see in the world)…Unfortunately, I don’t live in the proverbial straw hut village of my dreams so connecting and being open and vulnerable is somewhat harder in our isolated society…especially that of the Stay at home mom world…I guess people could suggest that the www is the new ‘village’ but honestly? I talk a good game, what is known about me out there is only what I conciously chose to be known through my words… there is no better way to truly get to know someone then to actually live with them on a day to day basis.
So considering the busyness (and isolation) of our modern world, I am left with the hubster and my little one as possible accountability partners. (Baby is young but once she reaches 5 yrs old…all best are off…haha!) So yeah…not surprisingly the hubster who experiences the Sanj on a day to day basis (courageous fellow, no?) gets to be my accountability partner.
It is a struggle because of a variety of reasons (my history with being overweight, my pride, food deprivation bcklash) I don’t want someone noticing and commenting or advising around what I eat. But I am learning that I do need help and it is up to me to seek it and be vulnerable enough to share exactly how he can help. I have told him that saying anything WHILE I eat is totally off limits for me because it just spurs this rebellious attitude in my heart. For now, I have asked for him to pray for me and also to pray with me regularly. Thankfully he is supportive and trying his best to be my partner in this challenge .