2015 proved to be my “Year without Words.” Of course, true to form, I spoke entirely too many words, yet wrote, none. Blame it on a perfect storm of writer’s block, busyness with a new baby and a habit of occasionally misplacing my priorities. But hey, if Adele overcame at least two of these same obstacles as she worked on her much-anticipated album last year, perhaps there is hope for me too. Needless to say, I am no Adele, but allow me to entertain such comparisons anyway. In any case, my writing is needing about as much help as it can get these days because, may I confess that I just had to fight the shameful urge to insert an emoji at the end of the last sentence?
So last year, while not crafting my words, I was crafting some other random things. I dabbled in an assortment of edifying diversions not limited to: hair-bow making, painting wooden furniture, and repurposing discarded trash. (E.g., a discarded dresser drawer- after removing the knobs and hardware, adding a coat of paint and distressing it- finds new functionality as a chunky wall shelf.)
My constant cravings for these endeavors revealed the neglect of my deep-rooted need for creating things. These activities are abundantly satisfying, whether refining my proficiency as an aspiring wordsmith or using my hands to take something worthless and transform it into something expressive and purposeful. Too often though, my incredibly fulfilling (yet substantially demanding) workload as a mom of five young children doesn’t allow me much time to dedicate to trivial pursuits. But NOT pursuing creative outlets has proven to be a detriment to my emotional well-being. I believe that God created me with certain passions and talents and that not using them is equivalent to burying my capabilities in the ground. (Check out The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25- though the “talents” it refers to is money, I see a parallel take-away.)
So, much in the same way as I’ve been reorganizing and de-cluttering the nooks and crannies of our home this winter (yet another meaningful diversion), I am applying that same reorganization to my priorities. Squeezing in at least a little time each day for creativity is moving way up the list- and guilt over doing so is getting scratched off for good. Here’s to hoping that perhaps my writer’s block will dissipate too (along with any inclination to use emoji in ill-suited settings) as I allow myself some time for imagination and inventiveness. Cheers to 2016!