Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Some days the choice is obvious, others, not so much

There are days when I look around my house and think hmmmm- domestic duties or creative exploration. I do a damage assessment from the previous evening and it is obvious that working in the studio is far more imperative than doing the dishes. This is growth for me. Before I had kids, I had a really difficult time going to bed without having everything in its place, let alone leaving dishes for the next morning. After Aidan was born, I struggled with the unending mess a child brings to the home. I equated mess with being a slacker so instead of catching up on sleep or taking a shower, I cleaned when the baby napped. It was at this same time that my passion for scrapbooking started to take off and I found myself compromising my absurd beliefs for creativity and guess what? I was happier. At 33 years of age I had finally stumbled on balance. It made no sense to me and even though I felt guilt and shame many nights as I lay in bed, my desire to create was greater than my need to feel like I had my act together.
After the birth of my daughter, any illusion of order in my home went out the back door when I wasn't looking and I was FORCED to accept chaos in my home. I remember in a desperate attempt to make my house (and life) clean and organized, I purchased an all purpose steam cleaner from HSN while I was up late nursing. "This will fix everything" I thought. When it arrived, I was filled with hope and started steaming immediately only to discover that I couldn't really use it when my 2 year old was around because of the hot steam . The steam cleaner sat in the middle of our kitchen island for 3 months. Every time my husband went to put it away I shrilled "Noooooo!". It was a symbol of what I hoped I would regain. Yet when I finally got into the groove of being a mother of two and found myself with free time, I did not clean. I retreated into my scrapbooking room and shut the door on my messy house and my never ending responsibilities. A clean house would only last a few hours but the joy I got from scrapbooking my family memories filled me up for days.
Fast forward to today. The internal battle continues When the "take care of business" side shoots the canon, I know I have "work" to do. Art will have to wait. But when the struggle is limited to debate, I leave the mess and go "play". Balance requires thoughtful attention and daily practice. If it was easy, tight rope walkers would be a dime a dozen.

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