Balance and Creativity Musings

by Valerie on September 4, 2008 · 0 comments

In the last few years I have done a lot of reading on creativity — at first, I approached it with some trepidation. You see, I thought of creativity as something that is a vocation. Silly me was convinced that I couldn’t be corporate me and be able to enjoy those books and concepts since I wasn’t seeking an artistic career.

Now, having some reading and lots of thinking, I am realizing that creativity is a way to stay rooted in who I am. As much as I don’t want to trade in my life to do an EPL, I have to admit things are often hectic for me — both at work and in general. And that’s where staying in touch with my creative side helps. I used to be one of those people who worked, did yoga, went to the gym, and spent time with my husband and friends, but that was about it. I would usually fall into bed exhausted, maybe having done some reading.

Now, despite very limited time, I do find small ways to be more in touch with me, with my interests (even having rediscovered some from years and years back) and with doing stuff other than work/work out/spend time with loved ones.

Last night is a great example. I did not get home until past 9pm, and I could just have gone to bed at 10pm, but instead I took an hour to make some Parsley Walnut Pesto to eat this weekend (and yes, I know I am on a pesto obsession phase), and also just putter in the kitchen. I knew I needed to go through my fridge and see what needed to be rescued before spoiling — that could be a very unpleasant task, but somehow turning it into a more relaxed thing worked. I made the parsley pesto since the parsley was starting to wilt, made some homemade mint tea and lemon mint tea with mint I had from last weekend (and lemon rinds from squeezing the lemon juice for the pesto), and also made some tomato sauce with garlic and anchovies and capers (to finish up some of the later two ingredients that were sitting in the fridge).

Some would argue I just did chore-type things. Yes, there was some kichen clean-up required, but to me cooking can be a very relaxing thing. This is especially true when no one is hungry at that very minute, and it’s more about the assembling and creating. I sometimes prefer cooking over reading or journaling (or anything else not involving paper and words) because there is a non-cerebral element to it — the chopping and preparing can be quite soothing.

The downside is that it is all about balance — I could never do an hour of puttering in the kitchen every night — for one, I would have way way too much food prepared and, also, if I did it every day it could become a chore (especially because of all the required cleaning up). So really, the key is find balance.

So — what do you do to create and find balance through creating?

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