Creativity Over Cleaning
Last weekend I tried something new.
I joined a book club.Finally. Late bloomer, as usual, but I'm glad I waited.
Tami Lynn Kent, one of my favourite authors, was having a book club on Zoom for her book Wild Creative. There would be one class on the first Saturday of each month, for the next four months.
I could do that. Couldn't I?
I realize it's become increasingly hard to give myself time. I run this business from our home. I love cooking and baking for our family but it's a part time job. Homemade marshmallows and soup and bagels are sooo good. And I get so much joy from doing it.
I crave more joy in my life.
And then there's the laundry, sweeping, and snack making that seem to work together to fill every other spare moment there is. Oh yeah, and I'm unschooling the hooligans.
Unschooling requires energy and attention and the willingess to go with the flow. And there's a whole lot of mental energy required to deschool myself.
Have you heard of deschooling?
To quote Robyn Robertson of Honey, I'm Homeschooling The Kids:
"Deschooling is a process of letting go of the singular beliefs we have attached with learning and kids. Beliefs that learning has to be done in a certain way, within certain times, within a certain kind of environment. Deschooling means possibilities. It’s a time to deconstruct the expectations, concerns, worries, beliefs around school, learning, and education."
We can do anything the way that we want to do. I took a Homeschooling Masterclass with Robyn and it was so great. I learned so much but one of the things that really stuck with me besides the deschooling bit was the importance of looking after myself.
So when I found the book club I figure this would be great opportunity to take some time for myself. The timing was undeniable
After doing the first meeting, there were so many things that really landed for me but the biggest was when someone asked Tami Lynn something she learned from her parenting journey and her reply was that she always chose creativity over cleaning.
This was revolutionary to me. Especially since doing Robyn's masterclass and determining that one of our homeschooling values was creativity.
Shucks! This goes against everything about my upbrining where cleaning was not negotiable. What would people think if there were smudges on the windows or dust bunnies in the corner?!
Later that same day, as all these new ideas where swirling around, we went for a family walk to the woods.
The hooligans were resisting and the smaller of the two resisted the experience with every bone in her body - dragging her feet, whining, wanting to go home, asking when we were going home, did I say whining?
It was a really challenging walk. We were supposed to be having fun, dammit. But we persisted and promised them that we just need to get to The Fishing Hole, a circle of rocks just past the entrance to the forest where we often stop for a snack.
When we got there they laid down in the snow and refused to move. I guess we wouldn't be going any further into the trees.
So I joined them. If you can't beat 'em...
Laying in the snow on the forest floor was magical. The snow was being blown off the branches by the most gentle of breezes and as the icy snowflakes danced there way down through the trees they tickled.
A crow called to another from across the forest. A squirrel chattered.
I breathed in deep wanting to grab the moment and squeeze it forever. Yup, this was so good for me, too. Thank you, sweet hooligans, for taking the reigns.
But my bum was getting cold and I knew if we stayed there much longer I might get a chill. No good. So up we got and away we went.
The walk home was much better than the walk there. It flew by, not only because it's downhill but we were finally going home!
Once home, as I undid my boots, my mind automatically began to make the list of all the things I could get doing. But it really didn't excite me.
What if I just sat down? Charlotte was already snuggled on the couch reading. I thought I'd take her lead again.
I sat down beside her and began to reach for my sewing basket to get to some mending but then remembered something else from the book club - what I would do if I wasn't trying to get something done? What would I choose to do if I wasn't so task oriented?
The table in front of me was a mess of pencil crayons, block crayons, stick crayons, a project book I'd meant to start journalling in months ago, my matcha, a unicorn...
If this wasn't an opportunity to create then I don't know what was.
I shimmied the project book in front of me, picked up a crayon and started. I envisioned a scene that I went to during a meditation in the book club. It was a sun dappled forest, all golden and sparkly. I could start there.
It was so fun to be free to just play with the colours and textures. I didn't really care if it turned out like I wanted it to. Maybe it would be a mess.
Before I knew it, the hooligans were beside me asking for paper of their own. They grabbed a painting board to act as their table and snuggled next to me, grabbing crayons, drawing, admiring each other's drawings and asking questions about mine.
I shared with them that I was trying to draw a scene of a forest and while it didn't look exactly like what I pictured in my head I still iked it. It was a bit of mess but it was more about playing with the colours for me.
They thought that was pretty cool.
It's moments like these that I feel like everything in my life has led to this perfect moment - a moment of calm, love, creativity and joy.
It's all I could ever hope for in my life.
Sweeping the floor has never given me this. I'll choose creativity over cleaning and love my mess. It's so worth it.