Is it just me or does time fly by?
I feel like it was just yesterday I was getting ready to graduate from college. My family was all there, I was so excited to become a teacher, yet so sad to leave a place I loved and was able to call home for 4 years of my life.
(Miss you, Ash!)
During my graduation ceremony, the masters candidates were honored first. I told myself, someday that would be me. I would be walking with that hood on my back as a masters graduate.
The next thing I knew, I was there. I was at my masters graduation ceremony. My family was there, my husband was there, and I was so excited for my future. But on that day I couldn’t help but think, what’s next?
I am so thankful for these two huge milestones in my life. But these are just two small examples (or snapshots) of a day in the life of Courtney.
I often wonder, what do I want to do with my days and my life? If you really think about it, what you do every single day makes up your life.
Am I doing all that I can to learn and grow? Am I being the best wife I can be to Bryn? Am I nurturing my pups and giving them the best life? Am I making a difference in my community or in the lives of others?
Over these past few months I’ve been extremely observant of things that make me happy, things that stress me out, things that challenge me, things that I strongly dislike, etc. What I found out is, I am truly happiest when I feel challenged and I am being creative.
I’m that girl in the gym that when the instructor give us a long workout, in my mind I am already thinking about how I can maneuver the order of exercises to make it flow better and get done faster.
I’m that girl that sees an area that can be improved, and I’m instantly thinking about all the possibilities to do so. I want to try things.
A few people have asked me how my creative brain works. This is a hard question to answer. I wish it was just a switch I could turn on and off, sometimes I think that would allow me to relax more. But, it’s not. It’s always on. However, I did manage to come up with a list of things I do that spark my creative self.
Alright friends, listen up. This is top secret stuff. Okay not really, but I promise it will make you think about your personal creative self.
What does it mean to be creative?
To some people it might mean that you can draw, or you’re crafty and can make pretty things. Maybe you can sing, or decorate a room. In all honesty, everyone is creative (whether or not you can draw, sing, paint, decorate, etc.). Think about it. You live the life you have created. Every detail of your life, you have made.
So for me, creativity might be designing something or making something with my hands. But that’s not for everyone. Find what makes you creative.
Do something about it.
I’ll admit, sometimes I have crazy ideas. I’m not a ‘think about what you have to say before you say it’ kind of person. I say what’s on my mind. Here’s why. If I have a thought and decide I want to think about it for a while before I bring it up to someone, most times I will convince myself it’s not good enough or no one else will like it before it ever escapes my mind. What a waste of an idea, am I right?
Some of you reading this right now have worked with me and are shaking your head thinking, yep that’s so Courtney. Every idea has the potential to be a good idea.
So, back to my point - if you don’t do something about your ‘crazy idea’, nothing can ever be gained.
When Bryn and I first were together, I would often compare my artwork and drawings to his. Bad idea. I have my own individual style, and so do you. If we start comparing ourselves to others, we will never get ahead. My style and gifts are different than yours and the person next to you and so on. Embrace your strengths and use them.
We all have time. Speaking of time, if you missed my post on how I balance my time by doing what I love, check it out here.
You have time. I promise you do. If you can’t seem to find time to do the things you love, go read my post from above and the book I talk about. You will find time. I know you can.
Appreciate yourself and what you’ve done.
I am my worst critic. I will do a project and could redo it another 10 times because I will always find something I can improve. While sometimes this is a good thing, I’ve also learned to appreciate what I have accomplished. By taking a step back and appreciating, it makes it easier to be creative.
You’re going to love this one - get outside!
Make this a priority. Laugh and play. It truly makes your heart grow. I’m always on the go, and my mind is always racing. Take the time to slow down. Ideas don’t come when you’re stressed.
I’ve also found that nature stimulates my creativity. Do you ever notice when you're on a walk you come up with great ideas? It happens to me all the time.
You’re going to love this one even more - sleep!
I love to sleep. I could sleep all day if you let me. I can sleep in a car, on a plane, on the floor. Just give me a blanket and I’ll be out. With that being said, I’ve done a bit of research on sleep and came across some interesting things.
Scientific studies show that sleep is essential for learning and creativity. It also helps the brain consolidate memories to retrieve more easily and helps organize thoughts so we can come up with new ideas.
Is this true? I really have no idea. But it sounds valid. And if it means sleep is a good thing for my creativity, I’ll take it.
Be curious. Ask why.
Don’t you just love it when your 4 year old is constantly asking you questions. They are curious and they are learning! Don’t ever stop asking why or questioning things. This sparks creativity.
Here’s a quote that explains this well: “Curiosity about life in all aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” - Leo Burnett
This is me. I’m the one that has 15 tabs open across the top of my internet browser. I can be researching, watching TV and jogging on the treadmill all at the same time. It’s just how I roll, and here’s why:
When I’m multitasking, all of the things I’m doing play off of each other, with ideas sparked from one helping others.
Seeing different things, hearing different things, talking to different people, reading different things, smelling something different all contribute to new thoughts and ideas. This my friends is the secret to sparking creativity.
That was a lot of information. It was a complete brain dump of ideas on creativity. Please, please, please take this information and make it your own. We are all creative. You just have to discover that one thing that makes your heart happy.
Remember, your days make up your life. What are you doing with your days? Are you exploring your creativity?
(P.S. If you're interested in seeing behind the scenes videos of our kitchen progress, follow me on Instagram (greywoodmama) and check out my stories! More kitchen updates coming soon to the blog.)
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