Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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.