I had an interesting holiday season. My family celebrates Christmas, though we aren't particularly religious. We put a lot of stock in the idea Christmas is a time to be with the people you love the most in your life. Gifts are exchanged to demonstrate that love. Nice, right?
Not when you are broke. I actually asked if we could skip Christmas this year because of my transitional state related to work. I was told no, that wasn't an option, and reminded that my "presence is the present". Have you ever showed up to an even as the only one with out something to give? Awkward!
Necessity is the mother of invention, so I got creative. I made gifts for everyone, and stayed below budget. I was pretty pleased. I learned how to crochet years ago, so I dusted off those skills, and even improved them. I made stationary with card-stock I have owned for years. I found cheap frames and printed pictures at a local store.
My family went nuts; they loved the gifts I made in the past, but something about this year really clicked on a creative level, and I found myself with new ideas and a lot of energy for making them happen. My sister's mother-in-law asked if I should be using my creativity to make a living. Not a bad idea...
I've never thought of myself as particularly creative. My sister is the artist; she is the one who can create a career out or some random degrees, and convince someone to pay her good money for it. She can paint and sing. She can put together the most amazing outfits you'll ever see from the Salvation Army Store. I've always been the more conventional, get a framework, get a career, and get an outfit from Kohl's type. The idea of building a career out of creativity is foreign to me.
So here is my thought: what if I started with simply letting myself be creative, so my whole livelihood isn't dependent on being creative? Like growing a plant, I'm going to start slowly, with a few small changes here and there that allow for creativity in my daily activities.
The first step toward Resolutions 1-2012: make time for creativity. I'm going to practice giving myself 15 minutes a day for creative pursuit, which can be writing, playing the guitar, making something crafty, simply sitting quietly, or anything I perceive as creative in the moment. Why limit myself?
My inspiration this week: Elizabeth Gilbert's TED TV talk about Nurturing Creativity: