One of the most noticeable differences between this current chapter of my life and the ones preceding is the way in which creativity fits. Throughout my student life and months of unemployment, I enjoyed the flexibility to push aside whatever I was doing when the urge to create struck. Moreover, I had the luxury of using my hands in different ways every day. I sewed, I cooked, I crafted, I sported. And it felt fantastic.
Now, I have an adult job that involves spending 8+ hours per weekday typing away on a computer keyboard. I'm still creating, but not as frequently as in the past. What was previously spontaneous now must be scheduled. So if I want it to happen, I have to make a conscious effort to fit it in around the income-generating activities that fill my days. And that has taken some getting used to.
When I was home over the New Year's long weekend, I spent a lot of time using my hands outdoors as well as indoors. I swung an ax and hauled firewood alongside my family, helped my mother gather seaweed from the beach for her garden, and cooked some meals for 4. It felt good- really good. A sense of mental acuity and vitality pervaded those few days. The whole weekend served as an excellent reminder to not let that kind of activity slip out of my day-t0-day life. I might not have as much time and space to do such things in New York, but the fact of the matter is- I feel better when my hands get as good of a workout as my brain. And so I will make room, one way or another.