AND SO WE BLOG!
I have always thought of life as a rich novel, filled with chronological chapters. A new chapter begins when you enter a new school grade, move, change jobs, find a life partner, or change lifestyles. Within each chapter, people, events, and preferences appear. All of these people, events, and preferences can appear only once, in several chapters, or in every chapter of your life. But when I think of crafting a life, I think of very intentional actions.
I am not sure that much of my life was truly crafted by me. I can look back and see that as people, opportunities, and choices entered my life, I usually made a decision and meandered on to the next chapter. So what do we mean by crafting a life? Does it seem that your life is framed by your circumstances, be it location, job, need for money, or family needs?
It seems to me that life has been filled with tasks to be completed and cell phones to be viewed and or answered. Who is in charge?
For me, when I think of crafting a life, I truly needed to add a creative component to my daily path. Your longing may be completely different. But each of us probably has some element in our life that we secretly wish had more prominence, but we seem to always say, “I don’t have time for that.” And our yearning for a different life gets placed upon some hidden shelf behind a group of file folders.
So how do we craft that life? My approach was to eliminate some physical and emotional clutter from my life. I began to reduce the number of essential tasks per day to a very reasonable amount, and then pursue the creative outlet that was calling me. When I worked full time as a professor, there were some days where the creative corner only received 15 minutes of my time. However, I got better and better at realizing what tasks are essential. Am I there yet? Of course not. I can still check Facebook and get lost for an hour or more! Or search for something on Amazon and it seems the whole day flies by!
So what do I love doing? I love taking fabric and designing an art piece, be it a quilt, wall hanging, or even a placemat! It is the entire process that makes me feel that life is flowing smoothly. I love putting a variety of colors, textures, and patterns together to see how that might look. I even love the slow hand-stitching that I use when I am finishing a project. But who has time for that, right?
The research from positive psychology tells us that it is best for our peace of mind if we limit our choices and focus on the process rather then the outcome. (I can produce a citation if you wish!) As you take a look at the photo above, you see a limited number of fabrics. Those 5 fabrics will become a quilt and the design process will be mine. I set and reset those fabrics beside each other, fold them into different shapes, move them all around, and then I begin to see the design. I DO NOT allow myself to add other fabrics to my choices… and believe me… I have many other pieces of fabric that I could add! I play until it feels right and then I just start.
What is that area of your life that you wish you could pursue? Try limiting your choices, eliminating a nonessential task, and just leap, even if it is only a few minutes.
Much more to come. Thanks for reading this blog.
Go forth and craft a fulfilling time today!