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Robin: That ONE THING Essential to Your Survival — What Is It?

“Sometimes you will find you have a piece of equipment so vital that you will be totally lost without it — in other words, it is essential to your survival.” ~Ruby Redfort in Clarice Bean, Don’t Look Now by Lauren Child

We had about a 60-day lead time for our move to Germany at the beginning of this year. I really had no idea whether I would be able to get the items I would need in future for all the creative prowess that my daughter and I had developed while my husband was away, so just to be on the safe side, I decided to ship about 3 boxes forward of various crafting supplies. One of those boxes was a large moving box of yarn. AND I AM SO GLAD I DID. The average price of yarn in Germany runs about 6 euro for one skein (approximately $8 US). I would have had to depend on international shipping, which involves extended wait times and varying shipping rates.

We live in pretty tight quarters — one-bedroom basement with a large living/dining area — so I was a bit hesitant at first to claim some creative space. But the time apart during deployments has somehow given me the courage to say that I need a space and then requisition a corner. The craft/creativity aspect of my life is so incredibly valuable and necessary to my well-being as a person and as a mother who has to endure the long periods of time alone. Even though we are all together in Germany, my hubby still works 17 hour days 5 days a week and is on call the other two. Not to mention, we are here without a family network and we live away from the base where my husband is assigned, which hinders making new friendships.

Maybe you have been waiting to lay claim to a little space, a little creative time, and you find yourself frazzled and depleted because of it. Make this the day that you recognize that one thing you need to get back into the swing of your creative life. I truly believe we benefit from having a creative life emotionally and mentally, which ultimately permeates the other areas of our lives.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. nice, blogging is my attempt at keeping myself being creative, it’s not writing scripts, doing crafts or painting but it keeps me thinking outside the housecleaning, face-wiping and “no-you-can’t-have-an-ice-cream”-repeating zone.

    April 8, 2010
  2. Sarah #

    Good luck in Germany and thank you for a lovely message. I normally just write, but wanted to create more so yesterday I opened up my new sewing machine (no idea how to use it!) in my new creative space in our attic and it felt great, even if I don’t know what I am going to create.
    The best craft inspiration I’ve had has been from our au pairs mother in Germany 🙂
    Sarah, Ireland.

    April 8, 2010
  3. Hi Sarah! Good for you! Hubby got me a sewing machine last year for my birthday and it sat unopened because I was too petrified to try. AND NOW it is in a storage facility in AZ! I find that crocheting – my fave craft- really does help me to bring more to the page when I finally sit down to write. So glad you enjoyed the post.

    April 8, 2010
  4. Hi House husband,
    blogging is actually where it all started for me. I was so stressed out from being a stay at home mom with a deployed husband and “good friends” who suddenly had no time for me. So I went to this secret place and vented ALOT. NOW that little one has gotten older and now that I have insomnia to add to my stresses -well that is how the other stuff came about.

    Good for you for finding SOMETHING

    Thanks for your words.

    April 8, 2010
  5. I know that creativity is essential, and good for you to have claimed your corner.

    Where in Germany are you? I’m in Bavaria, maybe you’re somewhere around here.

    April 8, 2010
  6. Hi Susanne,

    I am in Mackenbach about ten minutes from Ramstein AF Base-I am an Army brat born in Wuerzburg which is about an hour away. Are you military?

    April 8, 2010
  7. when i was single mom in basement apartment with 2 little boys, i had my writing center right inthe middle of the whole place, desk at the wall between the kitchen and livingroom, where i could keep an eye and ear on everyone and everthing going on. creativity is so important, esp when you’re in a cramped lack of sunlight space!

    April 8, 2010
  8. Cathy-TOTALLY TRACKING with you-gotta bring in some sunshine somehow 😉

    April 8, 2010
  9. I have always done creative things. About a year ago I began making barn quilts. They are a large board that you paint a quilt design on and then it hangs on the barn. These are very popular in NC and surrounding states. I made a few and was hoping I could do more, but so far no more request.
    My family originally came from Germany although I was born here. I found some relatives of my Dad’s in Achen, Germany and we visited 2 year ago. We loved it. I hope you enjoy your stay.
    Regards Ruth

    April 8, 2010
  10. Hi Ruth,
    Barn quilts sound amazing! I will have to check your site to see if you have them posted there. I am adjusting to being here-definitely a shock to go from the constant sun of Arizona to the dead of winter in January. BUT now that spring is here, my spirits are doing much better.

    April 8, 2010
  11. lovely post robin. good for you for making your space. we all need that! even though i have a pretty defined space, i find that it’s still heavily invaded by little ones at all times (and that includes four-legged furry little ones…). funny how everyone always gathers in mama’s space.

    April 13, 2010
  12. Hi Kelly -very true about the kiddos wanting to cloister around mama and don’t we LOVE IT! But it is funny to see how a little pony or mermaid always seems to end up in the little crochet corner – kinda like ‘don’t Forget me…’

    April 13, 2010
  13. thank you so much for the “nod” on this post!

    April 18, 2010

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  1. Surf’s Up, Condensed: Top Creativity Links for April 17, 2010 « Creative Liberty

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