Years ago when life was more complicated (i.e. still raising children) Julie Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, showed me how to find a personal space and how to eventually zero in on what I love most - writing and photography. Like everything else in my life, these interests emerged and grew in fits and starts. I'm like many creative women, fascinated by and trying out everything but not focusing on any one thing. I'm sure this is the primary reason why I am now surrounded by clutter and unfinished projects and an endless list of "try that's". But with time, what really spoke to me started to take shape. I started visualizing what I wanted my at home personal space to look like.
Amazingly, I have had an entire space for years that I can call my own. Granted the shared computer is in that room but really, other than that - AN ENTIRE ROOM. Haw many women who do so much with only a corner would LOVE to have this space. But did I immediately make it my own? Well, of course not. Remember fits and starts? It became a dumping zone for possibilities and the detritus of ideas explored and tossed aside turned that room into a sort of ephemeric graveyard. Sometime along the line the vision started shaping up. What did I want in the room?
It turned out to be very simple:
- my camera
- my journals and writing materials
- my books
- magazines for inspiration
- sewing machine and all my accumulated tools
- and, not least of all, my photo archives
The continual vision of my simple, no frills, sewing machine refused to be dismissed. I collect fabric and buttons. Nothing fancy but there is a voice that says "do this". In the evenings I crochet, keeping my hands busy. This craft has found a permanent and meaningful place in my life.
So, now along with thoughts of retirement and the plan to prepare, I find myself focused enough to create my true personal space for - writing, photography, archiving family history, sewing small art pieces, crocheting and most important - a place to store my library of magazines. I may not do the projects within but they are the visual inspiration that keeps me moving in the right direction.
You get to a point in the reflection process where enough thinking has happened. Thinking too long (for me at any rate) becomes daydreaming. Nothing wrong with daydreaming especially at the start of a reflection. But in the past, reflection often turned back to daydreaming and the dream would go nowhere.
I've learned (and am still learning) to push through to the active stage, the doing stage of my daydreaming. My room is finally turning into an actual space. There is much to do but the easy part has turned out to be the tossing of "stuff". So the plan is:
- Continue tossing
- Set up workstations
- Continue to store and organize what remains
- AND most important - PLAY
Once I start playing, I will know that I have truly made a space of my own.