Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the oprah moment

This summer, I am really grappling with trying to find a balance between work and play. The problem I'm having is that sometimes I know I should be playing when I'm working. Case in point- today I really wanted to get my Etsy shop updated with new jewelry and work on a presentation that I am giving to a possible client tomorrow. I wanted to get my work bench organized, but I knew what I should do is take the boy to spend the afternoon in the pool with his cousins who he adores. I knew that I needed to sit in a lawn chair, drink a soda and clap whenever the kids did a trick. And this is what we did, and I totally enjoyed myself. However, I have so many projects I want to do that summertime play has become somewhat of a chore in and of itself.

But I really believe in letting children play creatively. I want Thom to look forward to his Summer break. What I really want is my child's life to be full of enriching activities that help him grow into an interesting, well-rounded individual.

And then there's the work I know I should be doing instead of the work I want to do. Namely, laundry, heinous beast that it is.

I was thinking yesterday as I cleaned out the lint trap to the dryer, that I really live a very mundane life. I make the beds, I do the dishes, I clean out the lint trap. Where's the creativity in that? It didn't help that five minutes earlier, I had rushed the dog to the toilet bowl so he could throw up the grass he ate. (Most of you are probably thinking- ew gross! But the rest of you, who have kids and pets are thinking, damn she's good!) I was really feeling the monotonous life that is the stay-at-home mom's existence.

And then I remembered something. Years ago, I'm talking like maybe fifteen years ago, I saw a story on T.V. about a woman who creates art from dryer lint. That's right, dryer lint. I looked it up on the internet, and I found her right off the bat. Her name is Saira Lloyd and she lives in England. Her whole philosophy is finding beauty in everyday life.

And so, I had a bit of a (forgive the phrase) Oprah moment. I realized that it is high time I started seeing the creativity and beauty in my everyday tasks, after all, this is the life I choose and many people would love to live the life I have.

So tonight, as I cut out biscuits for dinner, I tried to be creative about it. I thought about how I always love to see gleaming crimson jars of strawberry jam stacked on the counter when the canning is done. I thought about a girl I know that makes her living making beds for photo shoots. I can probably do a little better job making the beds look inviting. Living a creative life doesnt just happen. It is going to take work. Work that hopefully won't get put aside while I try to get my other tasks done. Now, please excuse me, I must go change out the laundry and clean up a gorgeous smear of macaroni and cheese.


Julie said...

Some stay-at-home mom days are so long and tedious! I have to say I love the days when I can find absolute joy in folding the laundry and cooking a good meal. I wish there were more days like that! I'm so glad you took time out for some summer fun with us. ox.

emily said...

wow! I needed to read this post. Thanks for the reminder that this "home-making" thing I do really is an art form all in itself. I still don't want to fold my laundry but hey who does?