Beep! Beep! Beep! My coffee pot gives the ominous warning that its time is up and it auto shuts off.
Just one more cup is all I’ll need to get through the rest of the day. I dump the cold remains of the last cup that had been forgotten in my attempts to be productive and rinse out the mug in the sink. The mug that says, “Life begins after coffee.”
I slide the empty mug under the fill spout and press the button. Hot coffee pours into it. I set my steaming coffee on the marble counter to wait while I retrieve the cream from the fridge. When I set it down, I notice the bag of dog treats sitting wide open on the side board. I look in and there is only a half of a dog bone left in the bag.
I pull out the dog treat and call the dog over. He comes running excitedly. He jumps for his treat and runs off to munch on it. I take the empty bag to the trash can next to the kitchen sink.
Behind the stainless faucet I notice a cleaning rag that’s been left out for two days. I’m cleaning up the house today and so I grab it before I forget about it and toss it down the basement stairs. I’ll take it the rest of the way down later for the next load of laundry.
Then I remember that there are other dirty cleaning rags in my housekeeping bucket from the last job I had. I locate the bucket and toss those cloths down the basement stairs too.
Beside the toaster, on the counter next to the basement door, there is an empty soda can left there by one of the kids. I pick it up to take to the recycling and remember that I saw a few other empties in the living room. I retrieve all of them before stepping outside to add them to the recycling bin.
Upon coming back inside, I remember that I had been in the process of sorting through some mail on the kitchen table earlier in the morning. I pick up an old newspaper that had been left out because it had a picture of my kids in it and decided to clip the picture and throw away the paper.
I throw out the leftover newspaper and see some paintbrushes beside the kitchen sink that had been left to dry after the last art project. The box of art supplies is right next to the box of photos and keepsakes, so I grab them up to put away while I store the newspaper clipping.
I’m feeling productive and creative thoughts are flowing. Now would be a good time to sit down and write a few articles about what I’m thinking.
I head to my chair and then stop because I really like to have a hot cup of coffee by my side while I write.
Oh, yeah! Coffee!
It’s still sitting on the counter waiting for cream. I head for the fridge as my mind back tracks through all the activities it took to finally arrive there.
I pour the cream into my still hot coffee. I return the cream to fridge, collect my coffee mug and sit down to write.
So, I did all that to do this.
Whoa! Can you relate? In an attempt to be productive, I’m incredibly scattered! What do you do to keep yourself organized and moving forward in an orderly fashion? I need help. Leave your best tip in the comments.
I’m sitting here in the overstuffed chair in my living room, sipping my coffee. While I lean into the green and white checkered upholstery, the child artist within says, “I wanna write.”
I ignore the voice and continue down the path of my thoughts. It’s quiet in these dark morning hours. I want to sip my coffee and think deep thoughts.
My adult mind is cluttered with worries. Relationships, politics, responsibilities, the future unknown.
“I wanna write! Can I have a pencil?”
I have to think things through. There’s no sense in writing if you haven’t thought long and hard about some deep, serious things.
“And some paper? Can I have that Sharpwriter pencil? The yellow one with the spinning end? And the sparkly notebook? Can I write now? I wanna write now.” The child voice is insistent.
It’s Creativity dancing at the door of my mind.
Creativity doesn’t care about the seriousness of my thoughts. She only wants to touch them and play with them and toss them onto a page.
I guard my thoughts like the curator of a museum. Each thought has its place of equal importance, roped off with a prominent, “DO NOT TOUCH” sign displayed.
I know Creativity. She doesn’t take anything seriously. When I let go of her hand, she charges in to the most intriguing thoughts. Under the rope, she bolts and touches every crease and line of my sacred thought collection.
Creativity runs her hands over my preconceived ideas and pokes her fingers into my emotions before I have time to pull her back.
Everything is wonderful and mesmerizing and awe inspiring to Creativity.
From thought to thought, idea to idea, worry to worry, she runs. Laughing at the seriousness, dancing past the boundaries, and giving equal irreverence to each thought on display.
Until, finally, there’s one that makes her stop. It’s small, tender and timid, hiding in the shadows.
Creativity focuses and gently coaxes out this thought that was too shy to be on display. She’s transfixed.
“Can I keep it?” She asks as she cradles the thought in her arms. The thought that I was too scared to think.
“I’ll take care of it. I’ll share my pencil with it,” she promises.
Creativity is wild. And Creativity is sensitive. She’s innocent and driven by love. Some thoughts are wild pony rides that she joyously grabs hold of. Other thoughts are fearful kittens, lost with no home.
If I give Creativity a pencil and allow her to keep my thought, it will make me uncomfortable for a time. But, if I don’t, that small kitten of a thought will grow into an untamed tiger and consume all my other thoughts and make Creativity hide in fear.
Yes. You can keep it. Use my pencil. Here’s my notebook. Be gentle. Take good care of my thoughts and my things.
Creativity transforms with a pencil in her hand. She’s sophisticated and eloquent. She’s focused and graceful. She gladly accepts the pencil and paper and begins to write love letters while soothing and cuddling my little fears.
Meanwhile, I refill my coffee cup and go back to sipping, relaxed and with peace of mind.
Creativity is a child. She has no direction of her own or plans for the future. She doesn’t want to grow up. She just wants to play and learn and discover and have adventures.
The artist becomes blocked when she tells her creativity to grow up. What is your child artist asking to do?
Inspiration is a fickle thing. It comes at strange times. Sometimes it’s only an idea or a feeling. And it doesn’t always have an obvious way out. Maybe you’re not sure if it’s a painting or a poem. But it stays with you. It whispers in the silence. It’s a constant hum when you’re busy. Like a ringing in your ear that you can’t get away from. Perhaps it’s waiting on you to listen. To acknowledge its existence and begin a dialog. Maybe it’s a sprout of some seed that was planted in your heart. It needs some sun. A warm place to grow. Make a space for every whisper of inspiration.