Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Does the "Real World" Suck Your Creativity Away?

Does the “Real World” Suck Your Creativity Away?

July 1, 2014

As I sit here reviewing this blog I see quickly that my last post was mid-April. How sad is that that I haven’t taken time to do anything in roughly 2-1/2 months?  I can assure you, it hasn’t been for lack of trying. I have found over the last 2-1/2 months that the rigors and requirements of everyday life have absolutely sucked away any and all creativity that I had before. 

For those that do not know me, my “real world” job is as a high school teacher.  I teach drafting to 9-12th grade students. And let me just tell you, being a teacher is NOT the easiest thing to do in the world, even with snow days and summers off. Now while I teach a Career and Technical class as opposed to English or Math, I may have fewer students in a day’s time, but there is still a lot of overwhelming things that have to happen as the school year winds down. When I wrote that last article in April, it was right at the beginning of what I refer to as “silly season” within the school system. This “season” consists of State wide competitions for various things; SOL (Standards of Learning) testing where students are out of class or are in class longer depending upon how the day’s schedule is altered; certification tests for Drafting credentials (basically a Drafting SOL); end of school picnics; senior activities; awards days; studying for final exams; taking the final exams; and all of the year end paperwork. Even though this was the 8th year that I’ve done this, for some reason, this year’s end of the year work seemed to be way more taxing on my brain and especially on my creativity.

Now, for the last 2-1/2 months, I have not been able to concentrate long enough to create anything. I had noticed that I’d even stopped singing in the car (my practice studio) and that is one of my most favorite things to do to get revved up for work and to wind down from the work day. It seemed like there wasn’t time to actually accomplish anything and that’s odd because there was the same amount of time in the day as there was 8 years ago when I did it the first time and survived.  I don’t think that I’m the only one that was feeling that stress and all that anxiety at the end of this year. It seemed that many of us in my building were feeling the same thing. 

As of today, I’ve been out of school for right at three weeks. I should be rested and rejuvenated by now but I still feel stressed and overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. The grass needs mowing – by the time I finish mowing, it’s just about time to start it all up again. I have 3 flower beds that need to be reclaimed – I need to seriously work on weed removal. I have 3 horses that I am trying to get under saddle before the end of July. We are still in the process of mowing and baling the first cutting of hay. The barn needs to be finished. The cage around the chicken coop needs to be finished. The trim around the ceiling in the kitchen needs to be painted and a few places on the walls touched up. There are about 1,000 things inside the house – other than general cleaning and laundry – that needs to be done. The siding on the house needs to be washed along with all the windows. The deck needs to be washed and sealed before winter. The shed needs to be cleaned out and many, many things thrown away. The roof on the storage building needs to be patched before winter. And the list goes on, and on, and on, and on, and…. Well, you get the idea.

I’m not sure what one has to do to find balance in all of the everyday activities and requirements that we all face. I’m not sure how to get everything done and still find time for self and for a moment of creativity and enjoyment. My mind is starting to feel a little free-er than it has in the past couple of months, but still not 100% as it was before. I know that I don’t like it when I’m not creative. I don’t like it when I’m not writing or singing or living in some imaginary land in my mind. I’ve become complacent and lackadaisical and neither of those is who I really am.

With this post, I’m hoping that I can slowly get things back on track in my mind. I hope that I can find that inner spark that keeps me wanting to do new and different things and that keeps me up beat and spunky. I’m hoping to dig back into the imaginary lands that my co-writer and I have created and finish some projects that we’ve been working on! And I hope to stop letting the real world junk suck away my creativity!! Stay tuned and see what happens!

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