Make space to be creative

To start this blog I had to clear away a few things first: I needed space: space in my schedule especially to work with a mentor
( this is my first attempt at blogging and using the technology – and doing both at the same time makes the learning curve all the steeper); space to work, and space to relax.

Create Time: I have had a really busy few years. I returned to full time work after finishing the Soroptimist Presidency, so in effect rushed from one full-on lifestyle to another: a crazy treadmill. This year I have downsized my job.

Engage a Mentor: My sister-in-law has a blog and is now my go-to person for advice and help with all the technical questions. Linda is patient, joyful and helpful.

Clear a Work Space: I wanted space, physical and mental, to work, and relax. My house felt cluttered and my “stuff” was crowding in on me.

Christmas 2018 was wonderful – we had our children, grandchildren and friends. I cleared away my many ornaments, and replaced them with a Christmas tree and precious Christmas themed decorations – Nutcrackers from Germany, a Nativity scene from Assisi, candles…. We cleared the large coffee table of knickknacks and covered it with a bright red blanket so the grandchildren could play there freely. Sam, 6, and Katie, 3, had a busy time creating, colouring, cutting, sellotaping, and building on the low table. We had precious moments enjoying their world.

On 5 January they left and I tidied away the blocks, toys, and all the Christmas paraphernalia. The lounge room was clearer – and it has stayed that way. Most of my “dust collectors” are still in storage, giving us a more relaxing space, more gentle on the eye.

I needed a work space. This became my “start somewhere” moment to de-clutter further so that I would not be distracted by “stuff” calling me to tidy them away. I have gone through my clothes, and desk drawers. Marie Kondo has developed a technique called the KonMari method to purge excess items, and then a folding system so all items can be seen, have a place and therefore be put away in one go, rather than piling up. It’s a method that appealed to me because there’s evidence that clean organised environments improve our ability to think.
Accomplishing a task – such as de-cluttering your house – also has enormous effect on your self-efficacy. This is our sense that we are competent, autonomous people who can learn, grow and succeed.

I now have impressively tidy drawers. My pen collection is almost a work of art. I think I will give tours :<) All jokes aside, I have cleared away some of the extraneous “stuff” in my world that was irking me. Success breeds success – so success at completing these simple tasks gives me a feeling of accomplishment and I am ready to write. I recall when I was a new mother and battled with the world of being at home full time. I would write lists of all the chores I needed to do and then cross them off as I finished them. It gave me a sense of accomplishment when my reality was one day blending into another and I felt that I was in a time warp going nowhere.

My work space is a dedicated corner where I feel comfortable, warm, overlooking the street so I can gaze out at the mountains should my head need a break, and is for my use alone. I can safely leave my journal, and my computer open and not need to tidy it away each day.

I am ready…

Reflective questions:
How do you deal with the distractions that delay the pursuit of your dreams?
If clutter is getting you down, how do you deal with it? Marie Kondo says to keep only things that “spark joy”. What measures do you apply to what you keep and what you discard?

Author: Yvonne Simpson

This blog shares my leadership journey and my passion for educating to lead.

3 thoughts on “Make space to be creative”

  1. I heard of Marie Kondo about 2 weeks ago and immediately tidied my knickers and bra drawer. Such success! Everywhere I go I meet people who have taken on her advice and are very pleased with the results.
    Painted my lounge over the summer so had to clear it and now consciously deciding what goes back. A wonderful feeling of lightness and space. Next decision is the hundreds of CD I got from my Dad that I very rarely listen to. The music would bring me joy but the physicality maybe not. Time to subscribe to Spotify. Already do more listening on YOu tube or itunes than CD. Maybe I put them in the sleepout till I can bring myself to take them to the hospice shop!
    I started a Postgrad course last year on digital and collaborative learning and then rashly volunteered to take the Yr 9 BYOD Maths class! SO like you I have a steep learning curve digitally let alone getting to grips with the Yr 9 curriculum. Ah the things we do to ourselves. I’m enjoying the learning and need to remember to not let it stress me out. Part of that is training to walk the Buller half marathon in a couple of weeks. Been great to be out walking by 7am most morning to take advantage of the cooler temperature.
    I’m looking forward to continuing to read your posts. The whole idea of blogging is new to me. We need to do it for my course but it still feels a foreign concept. Will be great to see how you do it!


    1. Thanks Hilary – your comments reflect the pleasure I had in achieving a purge of my clothes and making the living area of the house less busy. I think getting in touch with the feeling of success and achievement energises us to do more. I have a lot of precious gifts I would like on display , but when they were all out it felt cluttered. Less is more gentle on the senses. I have a few out now – and will rotate them.
      You touched on another valid point – my exercise regime has also improved. I think that deserves further exploration as an insight. All the best with the marathon!


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