Wow! It's amazing what a little fun and spontaneous creativity can do to revive a person's spirits!
First of all (before we get to the creative part), I had to recognize my burn out and do what needed to be done. I emailed my boss (who, by the way, is supportive and won't hold this against me) and said "I can't do this. I need a REAL break. You'll have to sign off on this video project for me." It was hard to do, since I've had a huge stake in this project and I feel a lot of ownership and responsibility for its success, but sometimes, I just have to let go.
Then (while the paint dried in the room I'm painting), I started to wreck my journal. And it was fun! I've signed up for Jamie Ridler's online book club, The Next Chapter, and we're working on Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith. Well, let me tell you, this is a hoot!
First of all, I have to admit, I'm not in this alone. When my daughters discovered the book, they quickly confiscated it and begged and begged until I said they could contribute. So it's become a joint project. Turns out they're wonderful, uninhibited journal-wreckers.
Maddie and I dug into a planter and rubbed dirt on this page:
And then Julie filled this page with a great word:
And then it was my turn. I started with this page...
And decided the good thoughts would focus on the project I'm still hoping to get to later this week.
I'm working on a little studio/office/creative space that I've decided to call my "creative sanctuary" (I think I owe that term to Olivia, but I can't seem to find the original note.) So my good thoughts were about the things I dream of creating in my small cocoon-like space in a dark corner of the basement.
Just for fun, I tore that page out of the journal and buried it in the wall, as a bit of a blessing for the space. I'm hoping that all of those good dreams will come true.
And then, because that creative act revived my spirits and I was feeling bold and spontaneous (plus the sun poked through the rainclouds momentarily), I went for a walk around the block in my paint clothes. It started to rain again on the way home and I just burst out laughing. It was a good, healing laugh, and (truth be told) it was followed by tears (that's kind of how my emotions are going these days), but it felt good and right to be laughing in the rain.
Just for fun, here's a picture of my amazing paint pants. I've worn them for about 15 years and I don't think I could ever give them up. They've got so many stories in those dry colourful bits of paint.
One more thing... when your emotions are all over the place, and you're busy painting bold orange and green walls and then taking creative breaks to wreck journals and dream of creative spaces, it turns out that Ani DeFranco is a great companion. I can't stop listening to her.