This mornings post needs to happen QUICKLY - Monday morning finds two dentist appt.'s and a trip to the library on the books. After nightmares about sending my daughter (ahem, aged 3) to school without lunch, I feel like I better pull out all the stops on focus. And that thought got me going.
This weekend was about making memories. My mother had a pretty cool way of throwing herself into the holidays - making a big deal out of sometimes small moments. This got tougher as time went on, circumstances being Quite Straitened - and strained, at times - but she did love Christmas, so we baked and decorated and sometimes hosted the big family dinners, occasionally did the midnight mass (to her occasional regret - my siblings and I would get the Worst giggles!!) I've treasured those memories, and so the bar has been raised for me on how my kids experience the holiday.
So, Saturday we cut the tree, had the sleigh ride with the Big Guy, the kids got to hold the reins (woooo! live horses, not Just a Tractor!!), baked cookies, had a light emergency (resolved by Jon with help from Target), and decorated. Yesterday was church, playing outside, finishing most of the decorating, and having the kids help me decorate gingerbread cookies. Today will be about FINISHING the decorating , putting away tubs, smacking down the laundry and keeping things going, so the kids aren't bored and grumpy. Why the list? you say - We don't care about your housekeeping and it has nothing to do with creativity!!
Aha, says I.
Focus has EVERYTHING to do with creativity. You do not succeed with a new recipe, or know exactly where to place those pine boughs, empty tubs, or new displays, without fully concentrating, on one thing, one step, at a time. If it's a story, a mixed media piece, a digitally altered painting, a play, you must take some time to think about what has to happen, to which element, to carry the whole project to an eventual end. Even actors who are told to 'improvise' still have to prepare by understanding the scene and the outcome. I am all for rampaging imagination, but without preparation, the best ideas are still....ideas. Ask me, sometime, how many unprepared yet 'fabulous' ideas are in the orchid house - unplanned, unstarted, unfinished. As such, they are perfect ideas. As art.....they are merely ideas, unrealized.
So, make your list! Make your plan! Come up with a project that deserves your focus. Then, whether it is scrapbooking, a dinner party, an illustrated series, a book......give it some time - even a little, but fill it with unwavering focus, even a little. It will work out so much better for you. One caution, though. If you are already OCD......use a timer before you begin obsessing, and be good enough to yourself to respect it.
Have a good day!