Often times I’ll hear friends say, “Did I just say that out loud?”
Maybe we’ve reached the age where holding our tongues has become as challenging as holding our bladders. Or perhaps after years of sugar coating conversations, not saying what we need to say is just as terrifying as actually saying it.
We assume people are going to be offended if we say what we really think, especially if we seldom do. We’re convinced they may leave us, fire us, forget us, or otherwise exit our life once they hear what we truly think about what goes on in the boardroom, the bedroom, the ballpark, or the book of the month club.
Then again, they may admire our honesty.
At the very least they might wonder what’s gotten into us. They may the pass it off as gas or something we ate.
Most likely what’s gotten into us is something we’ve read, watched, experienced, or have always known at a deep level. Maybe we’ve been quietly contemplating its meaning until the moment came when we had no choice but to speak up. And maybe no one was more shocked than we were to hear ourselves voice our convictions. Hence, the opening question.
Then there’s this other thing that’s been happening to me lately. I actually think I’ve said something, or in this case written something, because I’ve thought about it so much. Imagine my disbelief, okay denial, when I realized I haven’t actually posted anything in over a month.
Despite excellent excuses – buying a house, moving in, and not being able to find any of the assorted wires associated with my desktop computer – not writing has weighed as heavily on my conscience as a rogue piece of toilet paper clings to my favorite clogs. I tell myself no one notices but that is only because it takes a really good friend or arch enemy to point out that I have something stuck to my shoe or I haven’t written lately.
When I was training to be a creativity coach, one of the fundamentals my mentor Eric Maisel taught was that we must be able to create in the middle of things. *
Let’s face it. We are always in the middle of something. Right now you are in the middle of reading this blog. You might also be in the middle of eating a snack, having a meltdown, carpooling, or finishing the seventh frame of Wii bowling. But does it stop you from doing what you must do?
Although I temporarily stopped blogging, my creative output tripled in the interior design area of my life. And by “interior design” I mean the curious way I’ve been arranging both my inner and my outer environments in response to new options.
The frenzy of activity surrounding this move will provide writing material for weeks to come. This is one of the reasons moving is ranked right up there on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Everything is in upheaval, even if it’s just a move across town. Everything is also open for negotiation. Will this item stay or go? Is it part of my past, present, or future? Will it work in the new space? Will it fit in the moving truck?
While the answers may seem obvious, the questions are packed with emotions.
Granted, most people may be more organized when it comes to moving. I had a very short time to find, finance, and finagle a move that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to make. But now that I’m moved in, I’m thrilled. I couldn’t have imagined the difference it would make in large and small areas of my life.
If my life up to this point has been all about traveling and taking care of other people’s homes, pets, and predicaments, it’s now all about staying home and at least writing about mine.
So even though I can describe for you in detail the peaceful view from my deck, I can’t be trusted to write from there today for fear of abandoning the blog to hang pictures, move furniture, or make 101 decorating decisions. Therefore, I’ve sequestered myself at my writing desk at a friend’s house so I might finally surface in the blogosphere, without toilet paper on my shoe, thank you very much.
Next time I’ll post pictures of the new casa to illustrate how choosing bold colors after years of white walls can kick start the creative process and start the journey of a thousand steps. (Currently they all lead to Sherwin Williams, Home Depot, Target, and Pier I. Maybe you’ve been down this road yourself?)
I’d love to hear your new home/moving stories, even if your “new” home or last move was 20 years ago.
*To read Dr. Maisel’s article on creating in the middle of things, click here.