Thursday, February 9, 2012

Get up

"Fall down seven times, get up eight."
                                   --Chinese proverb

There has been a lot of turmoil in my life lately.  For a while now, if I think about it.  I keep optimistically telling myself things will calm down and get better, but the last couple of weeks have been a doozy  .

We had some work done on our kitchen--getting new granite countertops and new flooring installed--which turned out lovely but meant I was without a sink or a stovetop or most of the contents of my cabinets for nearly a week.  When you are responsible for packing lunches and providing meals to demanding little ones, this is rather inconvenient, as is juggling schedules to be available for the workers' "we'll be there between...(insert 8 hour time frame, which they will show up 15 minutes past)" windows.

Also I have a horrendous head cold that refuses to go away and which renders me a phlegmy, cranky, exhausted mess.  And Youngest has had a stomach flu that has meant many middle of the night pajama changes, bed strippings, wall wipedowns, and a decided setback in the potty training effort.

Then my regular babysitter who has been with my family for the last two years got a full-time job and left.  I was happy for her, but still need help, and so scrambled to find a pre-school situation that would accept both girls in mid-winter.  My first 4 choices had no availability, but I finally found one that could take them both.   After numerous deposits, tuition payments, doctor's records, birth certificates, notarized forms, and two bags full of clothing, diapers, snacks, lunch, sleeping bags, and blankies, I dropped them both off.  Three hours later I got the call to come pick them up, because Youngest was crying inconsolably.  Happened again the next drop off.  I know this is to be expected from my not-so-independent little one and that she will do better as she gets used to it and accepts the routine, but meanwhile, I am falling farther and farther behind in my schedule and to-do lists, and more pertinently, am crippled with mommy guilt.

Then our hot water heater exploded, flooding our basement.  We've gotten a new one installed, and thankfully it will be covered by insurance, but again with the coordinating with the hot water heater installers, the insurance adjuster, the flood remediation company, the workers tearing out the drywall, and don't forget the anti-mold chemicals, the industrial fans, and the giant pile of everything that was on that side of the room piled in the one section that didn't flood.  So this space, which is the girls' playroom, where we watch movies, my husband's office, where we do laundry, where we store supplies, where we live, is unusable.

So what does this all have to do with a blog devoted to transitions and creativity?  Well, I don't really expect you to care that much about my trivial inconveniences, but I do expect that you can relate.  That you have had a week (month, year) where you just feel like it just keeps coming, like you've fallen down seven times, and don't really know how to get up that one more time.  Where you are tired, discouraged, sad, exasperated, mad, defeated, resentful, and bewildered.

I barely have the energy to get through my day much less to create a card or painting or journal entry.  But sometimes creativity is just this.  Writing your blog when you are too tapped out to know what to say, much less inspire, and so you spew the minutiae of your week instead.  It's figuring out how to make a meal without using a sink or stove.  It's entertaining your child while you wait in line to get your form notarized.  It's choosing to keep going when you really just feel like giving up.

I have been falling a lot lately.  (Or being violently shoved.)  So being creative for me right now means finding a way to get up one more time.  That requires a lot of will, a lot of originality, a lot of focus.  There is no better training for your creativity.

Keep getting up.  I'll be right there beside you, creatively cursing the whole way.

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