This is the same internal conflict I’ve been having for years with myself – having too many interests without having a plan of action to attend to them all and having them fit nicely alongside my responsibilities of home-keeping.
I have an intellectual side to myself that needs constant brain food. I think I’ve been obsessively feeding my brain and writing for the past month, almost to the exclusion of everything else. Don’t worry, my kids are well fed and the house is not filthy (just cluttered). Since summer began, they’ve played more with their friends in the neighborhood and needed my interaction less. But at the same time, I’m really kind of sad about that, because I love teaching them things and playing games with them.
I have a creative side that I’ve been neglecting. Oh, I don’t mean the writing. June is full of my creative expressions of my thoughts on my blog. I’ve written other things in emails too, so expressing myself through writing is covered.
But there are many other creative efforts I’ve been neglecting that I am sharply aware of. Like sewing, and beading and scrapbooking and toy making, and card-making. It’s always been my desire to make home-made gifts rather than store bought ones. There is so much more meaning involved when it’s made from hand.
I wrote this on a forum this morning:
I realize that many of my passions/hobbies are taking over some valuable real estate here: sewing fabric, craft supplies, beads, books, scrapbooking etc. That’s the bulk of the problem. I’ve got things in bins behind the couch, things in bins in my room (added to the clean clothes in baskets because I have an aversion to folding clothes for the 5 of us).
I think that’s what I feel most guilty about – the fact I’m a messie by nature and that being a messie prevents me from creating. Not only is it an eyesore and tripping hazard, I get psychologically bogged down with the fact I’m not creating because I don’t have room to put those things. Just more things I’m not doing that I should (ie creating handmade gifts instead of buying store bought).
This is what keeps me feeling unbalanced and disjointed. I feel if I could have the order (man, if I could have a craft room!) I need with regards to my passions, I would be able to cycle between the HAVE-TO-DOs and the WANT-TO-DOs a whole lot better.
I’m not going to apologize for my intense needs – I need to feed my intellectual side and I need to feed my creative side. My creative side always gets jilted and it is always a bit grumbly about that. I left my job to get more balance (my needs and my families needs), but I never really achieved balance between the two sides within myself. Consequently, nothing gets solved. My “escape” is jumping on the internet and engaging my intellect so I can avoid not finishing the creative organizing that needs to be done because it feels hopeless to do so. I’ve rearranged things so many times but nothing ever really works for long. Then I look at my bins of creative stuff and feel tremendous amount of guilt because I’m not creating because it’s too difficult to do so. So, then I’ll jump on the internet to distract myself.
Here’s a few of the things I’ve created for my kids: Handmade Toys.
I want to do more of that. I think creating things like that give me fuel for the more mundane tasks I have to do. I think it’s time I need to attend to my disorganized crafts and work on them so I can start creating a little more regularly.
As far as feeding my brain…well I’ve been given some suggestions that might help – listening to NPR while I do my tasks, listening to books on tape, etc.
Do I need a class to challenge me? I don’t know. I do know it would be nice to have the company of adults for a while and a guaranteed one or two days out of the house a week. When I took my human development class a few years back, I really looked forward to it.
I know why I liked biology and biotechnology so much: It was hands-on and took as much artful skill as it did scientific knowledge to create good electrophoresis gels that would provide clear results (well, in the days before capillary electrophoresis anyway when most of the artful skill was replaced by expensive instrumentation). And even in the good old days when I was a lab rat extraordinaire in the food microbiology lab I had – my skills produced good results. I had something to show for my efforts. Cleaning the house does not have the same long term results. Things get dirty again and I have nothing to show for it. It’s maddening.
At any rate…I hope that I can work on this. It’s important to me to feel fulfilled. A career outside the home or developing my intellectual side isn’t the only thing that gives me enjoyment. Creating helps to lift me up out of the everyday and energizes me. It actually brings me a lot of JOY.
If I’m successful in this area, I’ll be posting more of my creative efforts on here. So, with that in mind, I’m going to sign off and start working on solving my organizing dilemmas.