This is the first installment in a series, Find Your Creative Voice, based on the article 10 Questions that Will Help You Find Your Voice over at Accidental Creative, because it’s so important to find your voice when building a comfortable nest, be it a one room apartment or a sprawling mansion. I will be answering the questions that author Todd Henry has posed, and I hope that you will answer them too.
Question 1 :: What angers you?
Anger is a pretty strong term. A lot of things anger me. Things like…
- Child soldiers in Uganda
- Dictators and others who torture and maim
- Starving children all around the world, including here in the the wealthiest country in the world
- Rapists and murderers
- Wall Street con artists
- Melting polar icecaps
Um…that’s a pretty expansive list. Serious stuff. Not a direction I necessarily want to explore here in my shelter blog.
But as it pertains to my home and creativity, I don’t know that anger is the question I’d choose to explore. Maybe I’ll switch it up a little to…
Question 1a :: What irritates you?
OK, that’s better.
There are a number of things that irritate me. Here’s the short list…
- Lack of time
- My own inactivity
Carving smiley faces into the piano kinda irritates me.
OK. Let’s explore.
Fact. Clutter irritates me. Yet clutter dominates several prominent areas of my home.
I could list all of the reasons (ahem…excuses) why I have clutter, and frankly, a couple of them are pretty darn good reasons. But all of that is irrelevant. Because clutter irritates me. Clutter is stultifying. Clutter makes me unproductive.
There, I said it.
Clutter. Makes. Me. Unproductive.
My messy office
Clutter prevents me from reaching my full creative potential, because it consumes my thoughts and energy. I spin my wheels thinking about all of the things that I need to declutter, rather than embarking on all of the creative projects that I have percolating in my head.
Clutter is the thief of creativity and productivity.
Time to call the clutter cops.
What’s wrong with perfection? Isn’t perfection, well, perfect?
Sure, but we’re not perfect little Stepford wives, making it difficult to attain perfection. Damn near impossible. Especially if you have other people inhabiting your world. And pets. And life in general.
Don’t be fooled by bloggers with perfect homes and perfect photos. Most will probably admit that the other half of the room is stacked high will all manner of whatnot. And shelter mags are as bad as fashion mags, because they come in and “style” a perfectly awesome house for their pics. Learned that from The Nester’s photo shoot for Better Homes & Gardens.*
*Dislcaimer: In the event that this sounds like sour grapes, it is so not! I love The Nester – she’s on the short list of blogs I read daily – and am thrilled that she has this exciting opportunity that most of us would jump at, including me. Was just surprised to learn that what you see in a shelter mag has been “styled” by a magazine stylist, very similar to the way that perfectly gorgeous models get airbrushed for fashion mags.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming…
Striving for perfection is a fruitless pursuit. So give it up and learn to live with imperfection. It’s my mantra. I say it all the time…out loud. “I’m learning to live with imperfection.” And it let’s me off the hook. It doesn’t give me permission to do a crappy job on projects, or in life in general, but it’s the forgiveness that I need to be able to deal with all of the factors that life throws at me that are completely out of my control.
Waiting for the day when you will make it perfect will kill your creativity, because that day will never come.
Say it with me…
I’m learning to live with imperfection.
So if perfection is so bad, what the hell is wrong with imperfection?
“Aren’t you learning to live with imperfection?” you may be asking.
Yes. Yes, I am. But imperfection still irritates me. Frankly, it’s what drives me. And that’s a good thing.
In my mind, I have a creative vision of how things should look, and every time I look at a part of my house that needs a creative update, I start to twitch a little bit. Creative cognitive dissonance, if you will.
So all in all, imperfection, while irritating, is a motivator that inspires me to expand my creative expression and realize it from a vision in my head to a reality in my home.
Lack of time
Pretty self explanatory. Time is short in varying degrees for all of us. We only have a short time on this earth, and often it’s filled with other things than just expressing our creative selves. So it’s important to make the best of it, finding the time and energy to express ourselves creatively, even if it’s only for a short time each day. Creativity is a part of our soul. An important part. Don’t ignore it because you don’t have the time.
My own inactivity
See also: Lack of time
My own inactivity is one of the things I find most irritating things about myself. Plenty of really good reasons for that inactivity – full-time job, kids, general family and household responsibilities, health issues, napping – making it so that sometimes – often times, in fact – it’s just so much easier to sit down and veg out after a long day at work.
But no matter what, no matter how tired or busy I am, time is passing, and if I want to do something remarkable in my life, I’m going to need to step it up a notch. Stop being irritated with my own inactivity and make my creative dreams come true!
So that’s what irritates me…what irritates you?
Feel free to start a dialogue on the subject of creativity and what irritates you in the comments and on the Homage Style Facebook page.
Up next…What Makes You Cry?