Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dear Lull


Dear Lull,

No so much a calm and soothing send to sleep, but a temporary period of inactivity: you are what my head is currently muddling through--a pile of deep, plowed snow, taunting me yet keeping me barricaded.

So, I'm sitting here, feeling restless and out of sorts.  We had a snowstorm today, and school was dismissed early.  When snow begins to fall, it is beautiful for only a few moments, and then then reality sets in and one inevitably starts to think about the driving hassle, the road conditions, the traffic delays, and the danger of it all.  When the color of the bleak sky stares back at you in the same dreary hue as the snow blanketing the ground, the whole world just feels dull.  And lifeless.  And bleh.

Surely I'm not the only one whose mood is affected by Mother Nature's whim?!  January and February are no doubt my least favorite months of the year as far as temperature and season are involved.  There is a certain unyielding starkness that hollows out my core.  In the dead of winter, nothing in the great outdoors is lively, animated, or hopeful.  The shock of breathing in that dry, icy air chills the whole of my body, from nostrils to center. 

As such, I have been going through a sort of creativity lull.  I haven't had words to flood the screen here.  I haven't been participating in writing-prompts or photo challenges.  I have shockingly few pictures captured on my phone <gasp>.  I have felt so void of motivation these days that I don't even know how to get rolling again.  Inspiration has gone on vacation without me--probably to warmer corners of earth.  I feel every ounce of what imagination I had before drain out before me, and I'm left with a sudden need for order and structure. 

Since I started teaching Chinese School about a year ago, I have accumulated a lot of hands-on and crafty materials.  Each week, new things get added to my pile of teaching supplies.  In the corner of our formal dining room (which gets used maybe five times a year, if that), my boxes of "stuff" began to grow.  They started to take a life form of their own, creeping from one corner to another, sprouting like vines.  I knew I had to do something about this spontaneous generation of preschool materials, because I was seeing smaller and smaller visible areas on my dining room table and floor. 

And in the midst of this dreadful, bland season, so I did.  Dear Husband cleared an old kitchen metal rack from the basement and moved it into a walk-in closet outside the kiddos' bedrooms.  It fit perfectly in its space.  I sorted and organized all my schtuff by categories and into boxes: craft materials box, learning stations materials box, general supplies box, craft samples box, a books crate, and two large bags of stuffed animals.  And they all fit beautifully on my rack in the closet. 


I can actually find things now without having to unearth three overfilled boxes full of yarn, paper plates, paint, foam stickers, shakers, bells, pom poms, pipe cleaners, and clothe pins.  I can see what materials I have, need to purchase, and can use for future lessons.  Why on earth didn't I do this earlier?  Maybe it was because I was running amuck with too much inspiration and creativity to give any sort of thought to building a more resourceful space for my things and my mind.  But now that I have order and structure in this area of my life, I know good ideas will come.  I can see again: the possible activities to create with things I didn't think I had; I can plan again: the various topics to be covered aligned with their corresponding crafts and games.  The light just turned on, and I can see so much better now.

Consequently, I think I have just discovered an interesting relationship between my states of being creative and organized: they are inversely proportional to one another.  The more inspired I am with writing or other hobbies, the less I am inclined to take care of the orderly things in life.  But in the absence of inspiration, my mind seeks to see things in a more methodical, systematic way.  Perhaps it is this particular cycle of creativity and structure that keeps me in check so I won't fall into the deep end of either pool?

Seeing that there's going to be a few more weeks of this frigid, cold weather, I should really take advantage of being resourceful in purging and organizing the closets and cabinets in my home (it's been too long).  So much can be tossed and reorganized--I just need a kick in the rear to wake up and get the work done. 

But come spring, when my tulips erupt from the earth and rose bushes turn from their sorry-looking state (see picture above) into full, luscious blooms, my mind will probably get busy again, as will my snappy-click-y finger.

I keep telling myself, it's just a matter of time.  

So, Dear Lull, I may have to treat you as a case of pseudo-hibernation.  I'll use this time to line my ducks in a row so that great things can follow when our world comes alive again.  Until then, I have a date with all the shelves behind doors inside my home--lucky me.

Sincerely,
Me



17 comments:

  1. relationship between my states of being creative and organized: they are inversely proportional to one another. - Yes, this is true. Different parts of the brain being used. You should see my husband when he's in a creative high - the mess, my gosh. Then he gets "stuck", cleans and organizes and he's off again to the creative races.

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    1. Glad to hear I'm not alone, Cindy! Maybe this cycle keeps us in check--so we can't get too out of control with the mess, or overwork any one part of the brain? :) I'd say the creative part is more fun. I'm sure your husband would agree, no? Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. That's funny, because my state of laziness is inversely proportional to how organized I am! ha.

    Sorry this weather gets to you. I have a secret love affair with the cold and snow. Though, I could do without the lack of sun and blue skies.

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    1. I like your equation, Nilsa, and I think that works for me, too! I actually don't mind the cold that much, but I think it's the perpetual overcast (that comes along with snowy weather) that gets me down. I needz me my sunshine!! Seeing and feeling sunlight makes a huge difference for me. I hope we get some soon--it IS March in a few hours! :)

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  3. I'm with Nilsa. I think I'm just lazy. However, with the stirrings of spring, I'm feeling the urge to purge and organize too. Or maybe it's just that I've run out of clear floorspace to walk on.

    On the other hand, I get the creative/organized dichotomy too. I keep telling myself I'm creative and that's why there are overflowing bins of yarn, fabric etc. I probably have about 20 projects I want to get to in my head. But meanwhile, the floors are starting to get gritty...

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    1. Hi, Susanna! I keep telling myself to schedule those purge sessions with my cabinets, and it's a constant struggle between wanting to "be creative" and "be productive." Sometimes cleaning out also means seeing cool old things (like yarn stashes and fun keepsakes) that might open up new cans of worms that I don't have time for. I can definitely relate to the "20 projects"! I say go for the projects if the inspiration is there!

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  4. It's interesting that you see an inverse relationship (such geek talk!) between your creative and organizational sides of the brain! But I guess that's good. You wouldn't want to be burnt out in *every* part of your life! I experienced a creativity lull after the holiday rush was over. I was still able to churn out some good posts in Jan, but it still didn't feel "groovy" you know? And my picture-taking also needed a reboot and I'm so thankful for Nilsa's Feb challenge. Now I feel the days are getting longer, the temps are warming up, and there can be more ops to get outside, refresh the mind and body. Hope you'll spend the new cold weeks (?) tidying up inside the home and be free of doing that boring stuff when the weather is nice enough to be outside :). Lately, I've been filling my evenings with blogging, baking, and reading. I have a few sewing projects to get to too. Nice new header!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! Hopefully the new header(s) is my sign of some creativity coming back to me! I love me some "geek talk"! I was almost going to post an inverse proportion graph, ha! I definitely agree that Nilsa's photo challenge sparked some creativity in me. I wish I was more on top of it though, and that's where some of my roadblocks were... I didn't know you sew! Fun! Put some projects on the blog to share! I'm getting more reading done as well, so that's a good thing. All I can wish to do is keep on keeping on. Hopefully spring will be around the corner and things will lighten up.

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  5. I've noticed the same thing with organization and creativity. My problem is that when I'm creative, I don't want to take the time to be organized (I don't want to lose anything because there's no telling how long the creativity will stick around until I dries up leaving me stranded in the desert with a thirsty camel. Overdramatic, right??)

    I'm glad you're getting stuff done inside the house. It does feel nice to have everything in its place. And I don't think anyone wants to be inside organizing in the spring when nature is begging to be photographed!

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    1. Janna, no, not overdramatic at all! I can totally relate, and if ONLY we can control Creativity's coming and going, we'd have it made! There's so much more I can be doing with organization around here--that department seems to have an endless amount of work. But I appreciate your reminder about taking advantage of the cold weather now, since yes, I want to do lots of snapping with Mother Nature decides to bring spring back to us!

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  6. Love the new header. And I can relate to how you feel even though I'm not buried in snow. I've been busy cleaning and organizing throughout the house. Hope you get your mojo back soon.

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    1. Thanks, Susi! We're buried in snow with another storm on the way! At this point, I actually wouldn't mind a snow day tomorrow! Maybe I can get more things done...? I've just linked up with your Picture Perfect Weekly! I'm hoping some new pics will spark new inspiration for creativity and writing. At least I had a little in my reservoir for making the new header(s). It was fun! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  7. I know about that inversely proportional thing - when you are being creative, you do not want that flow to be disrupted by other thought like organizing your work area. :-)

    Spring is coming soon - the colors will perk you up. You have been creative with the children - that's a lot of work. Too much so that your energy for other creative stuff, like writing about your experience, had been sapped.

    Music. Music will do you good. :-)

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  8. P.S. I like your new header. How did you ever accomplish that? :-)

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    1. GREAT advice. Music is a wondrous thing. To continue telling you about The Five Piano Guys, I was finishing the last pages of my last book, 11/22/63 by Stephen King, while hubby had the TV on, so I put on earphones and listened to their album to keep out background noise, and the selection of the music matched perfectly with the sentiments of the ending. It was like an intentionally choreographed music playlist for those pages. It. Was. Awesome.

      Anyway, I can't wait for spring. Also, I made the header with PicMonkey using the Collage feature (Facebook cover option). Give it a try?! Thank you for stopping by!

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    2. What Stephen King book is that? If it is not so scary or angstsy, I might try reading that. These days, I can only read 'easy' books, you see. :-)

      I'll try to experiment with picmonkey. I'll check that feature out. Thanks for the headsup again.

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    3. Imelda, the title of the book is 11/22/63. It is about a man who goes back in time to attempt to falter the assassination of JFK. A very captivating and compelling read, but it is SO LONG (almost 900 pages!). It is not scary or angstsy, but rather heartwarming and oftentimes, lovely. I highly recommend it, if you can last 800+ pages. It took me a *long* time to read it. Cheers! (I hope you're not having trouble receiving my replies to your comments anymore? If you still cannot subscribe to them, I'll be happy to email them to you--just let me know.)

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