My Mom worked at home. Three children, a husband on shift work, and a big house to care for. I remember her sitting at the kitchen table in the late afternoon, resting before beginning dinner preparations. Especially when my brother was a toddler roaring around the house, she looked worn through, and her day was still hours away from being finished.
She’d look at me and say, “My get-up-and-go got up and went.”
That’s exactly how I feel when I wake this morning. I had an excellent sleep, yet I feel worn out. I lie here, wondering what this is.
I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to start the day, even though my days are my own. I don’t feel like writing or drawing, unusual for me.
Wrapped and warm in my blankets, I let my mind wander, and then I understand.
I am emotionally exhausted.
I’ve been riding a roller coaster of grief and love, and it has worn me out. Worn me to the point of affecting my creativity.
My current creative projects are long ones, writing a book (years), and filling a sketchbook with drawings (months). Normally I love long projects. I enjoy the feelings of where I have been and where I am going, seeing how an idea expands, shifts, and finally fulfills itself and me.
Today, long is more than I can handle.
An idea pops in. How about shotgun creativity? Get the idea, aim, fire, done. Except, generally, firing a shotgun requires dealing with the resulting mess. Clean up is necessary. I live in a rural area. I know this.
How about creativity that is like laughter? Sudden. Surprising. A joyful explosion of fun and play. Nothing afterwards but feeling good.
Yes, this is my kind of creativity. Unexpected creativity that is joy.
I get out of bed and start my day. Eventually I am here at my studio table with my Mickey Mouse pencils and stack of loose leaf paper, writing.
Interesting that my get-up-and-go is back, and I know why.
I started exactly where I was, recognized and allowed my feelings to be what they were. I let my thoughts and imagination, and then my words, run where they would, no limits, no expectations. Whatever showed up was fine with me. With all this space to play, ideas showed up—shotgun creativity, and creativity like laughter.
I gave myself permission to be.