I was sitting in the library at a school waiting for my next character education class to start when a young man came into the library to talk to the librarian. They were standing nearby watching as I worked on another small crochet hat. The librarian again said, "What you working on now, Mary Beth. Everytime it's different." The young man said that his wife likes to work on stuff like that too, but doesn't have the time right now with kids and all. I stopped and looked at him and said, "She should not stop doing what she loves. Tell her to keep at it." I proceeded to tell him that I kept right on crocheting even when three babies were in diapers. I couldn't work on projects for long periods of time then, but bit by bit and row by row they were accomplished.
I still can't seem to spend a huge block of time on any given project-even with an empty nest. Here are some of the things I've learned about about being creative on a busy schedule:
1. Keep most projects small. If they are too big, they may be overwhelming. My big projects tend to get shoved onto a closet shelf and not worked on for a long time.
2. Make them mobile. Put them in a tote or bag. Sometimes they are small enought to slip into a purse. Try to have them handy. Even time riding in a car or waiting in a office is a perfect time to work.
3. A little bit every day gets the project accomplished, but if nothing is done on it today, there is something to look forward to tomorrow. Don't get discouraged. I know a lady that picked up her cross stitch project after leaving it lay for 10 years! She's at it again. :)
4. Be able to put the project down immediately. (Husband is more important than the project. So are children.) This can be a hard one for me, but I realize my obsession with getting something finished can turn out to have serious consequences.
5. Don't be overloaded with projects. Do one at a time. Keep a notebook of ideas for "other" projects to get to. It's just an idea page and doesn't have to cause hang ups.
I'm hoping that the man in the library talked to his wife about her desire to create and encouraged her develop her talents. Maybe when she is older she can say, "I do know how to do that" instead of "I wish I could have," or "I wish I would have."
Giving of time and talents are part of generosity and can be used throughout a lifetime.