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Open House

A selection of interesting tidbits from the personal blogs of Creative Construction community members:

  1. Kerry Bennett contemplated homeschooling a 15-year-old and moving to Maine.
  2. Jen Johnson closed up shop.
  3. Kathryn Virello expanded on dreams, wishes, hopes, and aspirations.
  4. Brittany Vandeputte dug deep on food, passion, and happiness.
  5. Liz Hum made some goals for 2009, and put them right in her calendar.
  6. Susanne Fritzsche took a personality quiz that proved her uniqueness.
  7. Elizabeth Beck took stock of 2008 and adopted a fun way to track her creativity in 2009.

Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend. Take a little time for yourself creatively, even if you can only steal ten minutes. You’ll be happier for it.

And while you’re being creative, can someone please help me test my latest theory? To those who recently (or not so recently) resolved to lose weight and/or get in shape: I suspect that the best diet includes personal creative time. I seem to have observed that having time to express myself creatively is the best appetite suppressant out there. Avoiding sugar and simple carbs is key for me, but lately I wonder if creativity is actually a better diet “pill” or strategy than anything else I’ve tried. Your thoughts?

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. when i am in full force creative zone, i at least don’t gain weight … i stay in my studio and work …. lots of time when i ‘m not focused, i dawdle and procrastinate and snack and snack and snack ….

    but …. when i am in my most creative stretches, i exercise less …. i don’t want to take the time to walk for an hour … i’ll walk for 20 minutes and then dash off to the studio …. so it kind of works both ways for me ….

    January 9, 2009
  2. cathy #

    responding to eliz: when i exercise, i find it ups my creativity. athletes and artists alike talk about ‘being in the zone’ maybe it’s because my first art as a little kid was dance, and i felt the art/athlete/performance connection and rush. if i pay attention to my physicality in a positive way it brings me there.

    i’m going to go all woo-woo now, but i find both to be ultimately spiritual endeavors. if you are taking care of your spirit, whatever and however that means for each of us, then you won’t try to fill it with food.

    i think visual art can be more physical than writing. (i’ve done a variety of those, too) dancing around and reaching all corners of a canvas for instance, beats hunching over a keyboard for a workout. and i hate to add i usually have lunch, snack etc in front of me, too. but that beats smoking by a long shot. i used to not be able to write without a cigarette. 14 and a half years gone now!

    re: miranda: a good relationship and sex life with dh helps, too. i know with kids, especially very young ones, it is the most difficult part of life to keep in the priorty list. when we’re pooped at the end of the night and falling asleep in fron t of the tv, or in bed with a baby planted between us, it can be very difficult to cuddle or talk besides bills talk. it’s too easy to hit a rut and then forget when the last time you had sex even was! even when you’re both saying, hey, hon, we need some us time.

    January 9, 2009
  3. I think creativity definetely assists weight loss. I’m convinced that Americans shop and eat as a culture because we are all trying to fill a certain level of emptiness in our lives. Ie. families spread out across the country, neighborhoods sandwiched between shopping centers and not village squares, climate controlled houses, lives spent working long hours alone with little downtime. Shopping and eating seem to be the only ways left to connect with others–unless you’re creative, find other ways of filling the emptiness with writing, art, music, sports, etc. and are very self-aware and in tune with your spiritual needs.

    January 9, 2009
  4. cathy, “i’m going to go all woo-woo now” LOL. i agree with what you said…the woo-woo just cracked me up.

    my issue is definitely the time factor. a perfect day for me to have a day off while the girls are at school and dh is working (and i’m not sick). i take the girls to school, dressed in my walking/running attire, and then head down the road for a 3-miler before going back home, showering, breakfast, and then downstairs to my workshop. i’ll play down there all day. i find that on those days, i also don’t snack and i eat healthy. now if only i could days like that more than once every three months or so….

    and yes, cathy, you make a very good point about the good relationship and sex life helping, and how difficult that is to do with little ones in the house (and with me, also working a full time job outside the house). it is hard to find the time, but even just a little bit of cuddle time while watching antiques roadshow (we are junkies “do ya sell it?”) helps.

    January 9, 2009
  5. Liz #

    I might be a bit of an echo here, but I agree with everyone. Keeping fit, which, by the way, does not necessarily mean fitting into size 2 jeans, unless you’re a natural size 2, is a LIFESTYLE. It is a sea-change, not a “diet” or an “exercise” you cram into your already jam-crammed schedule.

    This is a hard lifestyle for the typical American (see Brittany’s reasons above) and even harder for a mom. Because, as noted above, you have to find your time… and then pray you don’t get sick! Because that is always what happens when you start a new routine. Don’t believe me? Then why do I suddenly have strep throat?

    I think, though, that when you are creative, you become naturally happy and, in turn, naturally inspired. That inspiration makes you want to get outside, take a train into the city, take a hike in the woods, go to a yoga class or simply run around in the yard with the kids instead of watching the sun rise and set again outside the window as you fidget around the house and wonder when you’ll ever get your sh*t together. (been there)

    January 9, 2009
  6. Well I don’t know what happens in YOUR bedroom, Cathy, but over here we are pretty much swinging from the chandeliers every night! (OK, just kidding. I have an 8-month-old in my bedroom and no chandeliers.)

    When you’re in a cycle of experiencing a lot of stress, how do you break from needing/wanting to eat sugar all the time? It’s hard for me to get into the mode of feeling healthy and well when I’m eating stuff I need to avoid, and it’s hard for me to avoid eating that stuff when I’m not in the mode of exercising and feeling healthy. I guess it’s a chicken and egg thing, but I feel stuck right now. I’ll be dealing with extra-strength stress for the next four/five weeks while I complete these real estate transactions, pack up, and move. I really don’t want to eat my way through. I’m also not sure how to stop. I need keep being creative in some small way…and avoid eating the rest of the holiday candy….ARGH!!!!

    January 9, 2009
  7. I’ll let you in on a secret, Miranda. When I was trying to lose weight after Sam, I resorted to turning a picture of me in my underwear, with unattractive post partum flab ablazin’ on my computer as my screen saver. Very motivating! And when FIL accidentally saw it when Tom let him borrow my computer to check his flight info, REALLY embarrassing!

    January 9, 2009
  8. Kristine #

    Brittany…the screen saver picture story…OMG! 🙂

    Miranda, I’m coming late here today, but I agree with what everyone has said. For me, there is a definitely relationship between creativity and weight loss. When I’m writing and “in the zone,” as Cathy put it, I don’t even think about food. When I’m procrastinating or when the writing isn’t flowing well, I head right for the kitchen. As said above, binge eating is almost always the result of trying to fill a void (at least for me).

    As for swinging from chandeliers…not at my house. 🙂

    Liz…I hope you feel better soon.

    January 9, 2009
  9. cathy #

    a little chandelier swinging sounds like fun!

    brittany, you have the BEST comedic home tales!

    good for you, liz on sea-change…sorry about the crack in your pavement, tho. at least you can fix that with antibiotics pretty quickly. although, i’ll warn that’s what started our holidays of sickness back in mid-november. lots of vitamin c, lots of vitamin a, lots of rest for all in your home is my recommendation.

    January 10, 2009
  10. Jen #

    Very interesting question, Miranda… I’ve never been one for diets, but I know that when I’m doing well with my creative life everything in general is healthier, both body and soul.

    Brittany, I think I will ALWAYS keep your screen saver story in mind as a cautionary tale about sharing computers!!!

    Cathy, I think you’re spot on about the spirituality. (and probably the sex life, too! Though I sadly confess we haven’t a chandelier in the house. Sigh.) Absolutely agree about “fit” being a lifestyle, Liz. And really, isn’t creativity also a “lifestyle” when it is being fully realized? Not something to be crammed in the corners but something that infuses existence on every level.

    January 10, 2009
  11. cathy #

    ok, i’m confessing to making cupcakes and scarfing 2 of them last night. one before dinner and one after. thank goodness k decided he wanted miso soup for dinner and made it for his bro and me, too.

    January 11, 2009

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