I have a secret that I am almost too nervous to say out loud…….we don’t have any scheduled plans this weekend! No games, no practice, no birthday parties, no commitments – nothing! It’s like finding a rare, nearly extinct animal - you’re excited to discover such it but at the same time, you’re not quite sure what to do with it. Of course there is always a long list of things that need to be done around the house, trips to the grocery store and laundry, but aside from the must do’s there are blocks of hours that can be filled with almost anything. The possibilities are endless.
Where do we start? What should we choose? I’ve still been thinking a lot about Work Life Balance. Often the discussion revolves around work versus what I’ll call non-work balance. The first step is to find a way to balance the work side of the equation. The next step is to look at the non-work side of balance. At this point balance becomes unique and specific to each person. What is the ideal way to spend your time? Only you can really answer that. Of course there are chores that must be done, but after that, what is the next most important thing?
Authors Elizabeth Gilbert, Shefali Tsabary, Brene’ Brown and Christine Carter all stress the importance of finding time for play and creativity. There are scores of scientific studies that have been done relating happiness and fulfillment to the amount of time spent creating things. I think the word “creative” stirs up anxious feelings in many people. Often we are held back by fear that what we create won’t be good enough, so we avoid creating it all together. Or maybe it’s that we don’t think we have the time to dedicate to it, so we resist starting something. Creativity can take the form of art, but it can also be expressed in photography, music, dance, gardening and cooking. There are so many options. A few weeks ago we started a family art project, each person with their own canvas. We each chose a word that described family (trust, love and faith). Each person chose their own colors, layout and font style. Though the end results may not look exactly like they originally did in my head, it turned out better because it more accurately represents each person. It’s their own work and their own vision for how they wanted it to look. In The Gifts of Imperfection Brene’ Brown writes “Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared.”
I realize you all may not have the unscheduled weekend that I have, but I hope that you can find a little sliver of time to do something creative. It doesn’t have to be gallery worthy, it can be as simple as snapping a picture on your phone (like the one I took above of the trees yesterday while out of a walk) or making your favorite meal. Brene’ Brown goes on to say “Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed.”
Journal on this: How are you going to express your originality this weekend? What can you do to encourage your children to make something that only they can create?
P.S. Are you struggling to find work life balance? I can relate! Let's meet up for a 30-minute session (free of course)! We'll talk through what's throwing you off balance and figure out the best steps for you to regain your footing. Comment below or send me a message and we'll get started!
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.