by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Chatting with a friend recently whose decided to concentrate on her quilting during the holidays. Such a great idea. Focus is a challenge for us creatives on any given day, but the holidays add a special spice of chaos to the normal distractions. Squirrel! Santa! Cookies! Icky weather! Gifts! You get my drift – pun intended.
At lunch with the family in August I asked us to map out the holidays – folks were a little taken aback, but I said it will be here before we know it and voila! When the Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day decorations are all crashing together in the stores right now, overwhelmed is a normal reaction for us.
I cope by surrendering in early August. Like a runaway stagecoach, holidays happen. I make my plans, try to keep things simple and pick ways to celebrate to make it fun and focus on using my off time from the day job for creative activities. Everything from baking cookies to sorting beads and egad, reading, make the list. Keeps my muse well fed and out of the Grinch cranky zone.
Add in the recent time change this past weekend and all I want to do is curl up with a book, blankie, bottle of chocolate milk and hibernate. So planning fun things to do to feed my muse and taking some time for myself is job one during the holiday season.
“Try to do one thing a day for yourself,” my sister told me recently. Actually she said two, but it’s the holidays. Simplify! These are not big things, but small tokens of time which reinvigorate our creative soul and keep us from losing balance. Lunch out with a friend, taking leaf pictures, buying a new writer magazine, actually sitting down on a weekend afternoon and reading, plus watching football or Hallmark movies all work for me.
Keep your muse in mind this holiday season and take it out for a few field trips. See how doing less means more for your creative health. Slow down and smell the leaves, cider or holiday cookies. Be a kid again. Unleash the crayons!