Thank you to all of you who read and follow my blog. You may have noticed that it has been a while since my last post. On January 1st, 2016, I started a new blog on http://www.blogger.com, Ramblings of a 45 year old Woman. I used Blogger because I couldn’t figure out how to add a second blog on WordPress. I started a new blog because I realized that my soul was thirsty for writing and I thought I should challenge myself to write every day.
The premise behind my new blog, http://ramblingsofa45yearoldwoman.blogspot.com, was that I would write about a topic that interests me every day. I am curious and I love to learn so I figured I could write a blog every day. I wrote about art, agriculture, books and other women. It was all very exciting. I have always journaled so this was sort of an extension of journaling. I wrote pretty consistently until I realized that my blog was creating tension in my life over the weekends. My mother visits me and the girls every weekend and she wants to talk to me and hang out. My daughters who have been in school all week also want to spend time with me, playing with dolls, creating art and enjoying the outdoors. I decided to adjust my goal to writing every day of the week. This made it easier to balance my personal life from my creative endeavours.
I also decided to abstain from writing during holidays. Otherwise, instead of enjoying our time together, I would be wondering when I’ll have a chance to write my blog. Initially, I tried to rotate the topics in a structured way but I eventually just learned to write about whatever topic presented itself. Committing to the new blog was a first step toward creating space for my inner artist.
I work as an art therapist, encouraging adult clients to experiment and play with art materials and, surrender emotions that have been buried for far too long. I challenge school children to acknowledge their inner artists and express their individuality through art materials. Then I examine my own life and realize that I am not making time for my own personal expression.
The term, “Starving Artist” is connected to the perceived lack of financial remuneration associated with a career in the arts. However, what I see in my clients and, to a certain extent, in my own life, is the resistance to create. We are all creative yet we don’t see it. It may be the way you dress, your make-up, the meals you lovingly prepare for your family, the solutions you find to everyday problems, or an actual artistic pursuit such as writing, painting, sculpting, drawing, photography, dancing, acting etc.
I love hearing groups of children hum. They always hum when they are creating. Adults also relax and enjoy the process once they finally take that first step-a dab of paint on paper, words hastily penciled onto a folded napkin. Creative expression is so undervalued. We don’t set aside the time to create. We are busy at our jobs then with responsibilities at home and other activities. However, I don’t know of any other endeavour that rewards us in such a big way, consistently.
Earlier this year, I noticed that my inner artist was starving. I was busily looking after the business side of my work- advertising my workshops for adults, filling paperwork to get funding for my workshops in schools, documenting my work and organizing my receipts for tax purposes. Where was the “art” in “art therapist”? I needed to take my own advice and devote some time and energy to feeding my hunger for self-expression.
Yesterday, I applied for funding to pursue a writing project that I have wanted to take on for some time. I am registered for a writer’s conference in Ottawa in just over a week. I have some courses lined up which include paper-mache sculpting, palette knife painting, mosaic tile work and ink calligraphy. Balance is crucial in my life between my roles as a wife and mother, as well as my career and personal growth goals. There is also a balancing act between my workshops where I encourage people to be creative and my personal life where I challenge myself to keep learning and creating.
I look forward to another year of Have You Hugged Your Alien? workshops in elementary schools as well as Stress Management workshops in high schools and the completion of my art therapy workbook for teens. If my funding is approved, I will also be starting a new project, collecting stories about motherhood from marginalized and mainstream moms for a book, The Mommy Monologues.
I hope you’ll have a chance to visit my other blog (see link above). Feel free to suggest any topics of interest to you. I am open to all comments and suggestions.