Monday, December 15, 2014

Setting myself up for a mini creative challenge

Missing the ho-hum of family time...

I’ve been looking forward to Mondays ever since my husband’s been off on another tour of duty. Emotionally and psychologically, it sets the week rolling on a merry pace bringing his homecoming date a bit closer, with just the long weekends to break the pace. It’s the weekends that feel like blocks of concrete. Chunky. Static. Boring. It’s the day when your friends are with their families, when people around are out on weekend trips, when everyone has something else to do. It’s the day that reminds me of what we’re missing out on. Cozy family time and movies in our leisure room, long chats and lots of home cooking, unwinding and slowing down.

So the weekend that just hobbled by was slow and gray and dull. The skies were overcast with a steady drizzle notching up the chill factor of the winters here. We sat cooped up inside, huddled in front of the heater, entertaining Neel and getting him to expend some of that coiled up energy that he so thrives on.
Thoroughly numbed by the deadpan of the days, I decided that I needed to do something to ramp up the creativity, to shake up things in a good way, to add fireflies to the grayness of the days. 

What could I do bring a sway and a stir to my long single parenting days? So, I came up with my own creativity challenge. A set of new creative mini adventures to add sparkle to my otherwise long mommy days. The activities should be such that I’m able to fit them in during Neel’s naptimes or do them in small snippets of time when he is up and about (this means he should be happy to play alongside while I do that particular activity and if you’re a mom, you know how implausible that can be with toddlers). The activities should be fun for me, should teach me something, should get me to flex different creative muscles.

So, here goes:

The colors, the textures, the can be such a creative medium if treated as one...

I'll cook up the globe, or rather flavors from different parts of the world, different recipe resources, different people.
I love cooking up nourishing meals for my family, but lately, I’ve just been revisiting old favorites rather than stepping outside my comfort zone. Inspired by Sasha Martin of Global Table Adventure, I’m going to try out several of her recipes from across the world + recipes that I gather from cookbooks and blogs. If you know me even a little bit, you’ll know that I hardly ever follow a recipe. I improvise on the ingredients (depending on what we have at home + what we can get in the boondocks where we live) and work with my intuition when it comes to measuring out quantities. But the end result is always satisfying and nourishing (even if it’s me who’s saying this!). So, I’ll cook the way I cook but I’ll experiment more, trying out new dishes, new tastes.

I’ll take more photos, trying out some of the tips recommended in A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book.
I totally love this book with its simple but interesting tips and instead of just reading them and forgetting about them, I’m going to try to play with some of the tips. This challenge will also get me clicking more daily pictures, rather than waiting for the right day, right time to snap a set of photos.

I’ll learn eye make-up. As trivial as it may sound, style, rather than fashion, is a great way to get creative. I’m hardly a make-up person, staying content with my kohl + lipstick mantra. But I’ve always wanted to do up my eyes, play with mascara and eye shadow, highlighting the feature that’s often known as the window to the soul.

I’ll create a Christmas Tree for Neel with scraps and used material. I had almost given up on the idea of celebrating Christmas since my husband was going to be away and I hadn’t even figured out where I could get a real Christmas tree. But thanks to this post, I realized that a tree can be anything you imagine it to be. And I’m excited about what I can make for my little boy, what I can do to celebrate a festival that reminds me of my own childhood days when we celebrated Christmas at a Christian friend’s place.

So these are the 4 mini projects I have set for myself. Like cubes of sugar, I’m hoping the shot of creativity will sweeten my days.

Have you set up challenges for yourself this December?

Happy Monday + Hello New Week!

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1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOVE this post. It gets so dark and dreary in Chicago and the days seem to be the same when I'm stuck inside with the little ones, especially when they are sick. Looking forward to catching up on your work!



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