Surrender to the Mess -- Especially if it's Cultivating Creativity

I told you about my "word for the year" in my previous post -- Surrender.  When I was mulling over this word, it was mostly in regards to world events. 

However, I am finding that I am actually MOSTLY needing to surrender the little things that happen in my daily life. 


See that mess of pistachio shells. I desperately, DESPERATELY want to clean it up. 

Cleanliness is something I can control.

Control eases my anxiety.

It took all of my strength to sit and eat breakfast with that pile of shells sitting there. But breakfast (mostly likely the meal we eat at the table all together for the day), is sacred. I don't need to be cleaning up. I want to enjoy conversation with my family.

After eating, my daughter picks up a shell and asks "what can we make out of these?" She is SO creative. She LOVES to take junk and make it into something. This is one of her most common questions.

You would think that as an artist myself, I would be all about the messes and the freedom to express creativity. 

You would be wrong.

I am probably the cleanest, tidiest artist you've ever met.

So, when Gwenyth gets into creative mode, I cringe. 

Must. SURRENDER.

Because:
Now, she is seeing beyond the shell and making little bugs... each with a personality and story all it's own.
She is building fine motor skills coloring on those tiny shells.

THEN:
My husband joins in and they start making a colony of bugs. A colony of bugs needs a queen. A colony of bugs needs workers. The queen bug lays eggs which hatch into larva. What can we use for larva? Macaroni, of course.

Are you kidding me? My husband just turned this into a school lesson! Whoa. He's amazing.


Now, they are making plans and rules to make a game out of the bug colony. A game which, I'm sure, will involve strategy and numbers and all kinds of good things for learning. A game which needs lots of pieces which will be more easily made in an assembly line. Whuuut?!

I wish I could tell you that I am completely at peace and my skin isn't crawling at how the little shells have now completely taken over the table AND they are "flaking" into minute little crumbs. I wish I could tell you that I am not chomping at the bit to consolidate all the markers back into their container.

I am simply making the choice to encourage the creativity rather than take control for my own sake.

SURRENDER.

Amen. 





17 comments:

  1. Wow, your husband definitely turned the activity into a fun lesson.I would have never thought of that.

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    1. Right?! I know... he's really super fantastic : )

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  2. What a sweet way to conquer the mess!

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  3. Aww I love this! And especially that your husband can look beyond the mess for what it actually is and make it a fun, educational lesson for your daughter <3

    I need to surrender to the mess more often, too!

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  4. Love this! I'm just like you in that I have to make a conscious choice to LET GO and leave the mess. What a great example of WHY it's so important to let the creativity reign...at least for awhile. Eventually we'll clean up and restore order, but in the meantime there is so much important imagining and learning going on!

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    1. Sing along, everyone, "Let it Go... Let it Go... ! " It's temporary and you are so right, eventually order gets restored.

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    2. When life gives you messes, don't clean them up until after the 3rd draft and beta test of your bug game. Words to live by. Or not.

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  5. haha this is my biggest flaw, is surrendering to the mess and not being in control. This is a great view thanks for sharing.

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  6. I absolutely love this. I think we are a lot alike. I'm always all about cleaning and keeping everything organized at home. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with it all and forget to let it go and enjoy my kids while I can

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    1. I know! I keep trying to remember someday I will MISS the mess!! Time with the young ones goes way too fast.

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  7. I love this, I am not particularly a neat freak but sometimes I get a little crazy about the constant mess. It's good to find the balance...

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    1. Balance is key for sure. I actually thought about having balance as my word of the year at one point.

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  8. Yes a million times!! My husband gets frustrated with messes...but to me they're memories!!

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    1. That's awesome, Lisa. It's not often I hear the husband is the "less mess" one, but I'm sure there are plenty of them out there!

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