Saturday, August 23, 2008

Distractions and Creativity

We’re near the end of summer, and I find myself taking stock of my life and my day-to-day. Fall is undoubtedly my favorite time of year – and summer my least favorite. I’m happy to be moving on to a happier season.

Through my seasonal self-assessment, I have realized that in my “settling down,” I’ve become a little lazy. I’ve never liked to exercise. And I’ve always loved TV (I’m one of the few people I know who will admit that I really do love TV). Law and Order, anything on Food Network, Project Runway, news, House Hunters… I can usually find something on the tube that I don’t mind vegging out to.

But I’m starting to think it’s gone a little too far.

I wrote in my journal four years ago a list of life goals. The list goes on and on, with plenty of dos and don’ts to last several pages – some trivial and some profound. One of the items on the list was this:

Never lose the art of conversation. Don’t spend your married nights in front of the TV.

Sadly, I think I’m headed that direction. Brad doesn’t really enjoy sitting still, especially to watch television. But he does like spending time with me. So after a crazy day, I’ll arrive home and my head will be spinning, and all I want to do is make a quick dinner, eat it in front of the TV, watch a few shows and go to sleep. And Brad, being a sweet husband, will sit with me while I do nothing.

Anyway, I’m trying an experiment. For the past couple of weeks, after a hectic and/or frustrating day (and there have been several of those lately), I come home, eat dinner with my husband at the dinner table – TV off – and then do something productive. I may do some housework, do something artistic, read a magazine or a book, pull weeds in the backyard, ride the stationary bike (ugh!), talk to a friend on the phone…

This is a good exercise for me. Brad started his MBA program this past Thursday, so I ought to be spending a little more time alone as he goes to class and study groups.

I painted a watercolor of a eucalyptus tree line the other night. It came out all right, but it was missing something. So I stuck it in the oven and baked it:

Ha! I discovered this technique after my last move. I had painted a little watercolor of a Tuscan villa, and I really liked it. But I didn’t take great care of it. In my haste to pack everything up, somehow this little watercolor got stuck to the back of a baking sheet. I didn’t know what had happened until I was baking cookies one night and smelled something smoky… Sure enough, I had baked my little landscape!

It yields some interesting lighting effects. Stay tuned for more “baked art.” And I’ll let you know if I come up with anything interesting in my quest for productivity and creativity.


Stephanie said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I've NEVER seen baked art before! What an inspiration, my friend! I LOVE both of those paintings!

And I am so proud of you for not settling for the boring-TV-watching married life. You are so wise to take inventory and remember the creative, fulfilling things you want to do in your off time. Hopefully soon you will have something more fulfilling in your "on time" too. ;)

We are praying for you guys.


(P.S. I am BEYOND delighted that you subscribed to my two FAV mags! Seriously, there's a little part of me that want to be an editor or director of photography or something there)

Meagan said...

Katheter- I seem to mirror your old evening routine, it's what I do best! :) haha... I start training for a half-marathon this week, so that will definitely change! I also loved your addition of House Hunters in your fave shows, you know I've always had a special place for HH in my heart!

Abby said...

I like your eucalyptus tree painting! That is very cool!