Well, this is it. I am a mother, a nurse, an enthusiastic life learner and closet creative writer. I spend my days driving all day, 12 or more trips in and out of my driveway. When I’m not doing that I’m sending emails, advocating for my kids, making appointments and when I’m called in, work. The time in between is too little to get anything done. Okay, maybe some housework, but really, does anyone ever notice apart from when it’s not done? The time in between I read. I read and read; articles and books on a broad range of topics.
Then there is Facebook. I like so many pages on Facebook that the news feed provides endless links to explore and armchair travel through many disciplines. Facebook is a giant living, breathing piece of performance art that constantly changes. It is the virtual coffee shop, the people watcher’s dream. The workings of people fascinate me and are at the core of what drives me to learn.
Other times I think. Yes think. The activity that leaves no visible trace by the end of the day. The activity we have forgotten to value. Preferably with a tea and in a hot tub.
Then there is not thinking, an activity newly appreciated through mindfulness meditation. The giant space where one observes thoughts float by and detach from them completely. Through watching their patterns, you get to know a great deal about the subconscious, habits, thinking patterns and creative possibility.
Then there is connecting. I connect to people from all corners. I want to know about their world and share mine.
My life focus is on caring and advocating, not in giant ways but mostly in small unnoticeable ways. Not much flash, not much glamor. Advocating and supporting is something I have felt drawn to since I was a little girl. It’s so part of who I am I wouldn’t know who I was without it. The gifts that I receive from it, are the intangibles. Words are powerful and so is the belief that people can come out of the most horrific of circumstances and not only succeed, but thrive. Even better, is when people go on to pay kindness forward.
Long procrastinating in getting down to writing or creating art in general, I decided I would face my fears and publish online. Many of us struggle with fear of being vulnerable, being judged, shame and perfection. Sharing our creations publicly is an exercise in courage and vulnerability. It is letting go of the need to be perfect and to be seen in that imperfection.
Creating art is also an endeavour that challenges me. I feel a critic sit on my shoulders just thinking about putting a pencil to paper. However, once I let go of that, and get lost in the process, I start to feel as if I am meditating, where time passes without notice. We all have these critics that haunt us in one realm or another but if we embrace those critics, we take their power away. My family is full of artists. Each of us struggled to find our place within it. I think growing up I limited myself, not to take up too much space, not take up the limelight from the sibling who shines in their area. No one made these rules, it just happens. I have a feeling it’s a very common scenario. But as I move into the later half of life I am feeling braver. I am looking forward to the years ahead and feeling a satisfaction knowing that I tried and keep trying.
Recently, I wrote a short piece on writer’s block. A kind person posted an encouraging quote and it spurred me on to dive in. I urge all the trembling writers and artists who lurk in the shadows to come out! Write. Share. Create. You have nothing to lose.