As many of us in the working world can probably attest, sometimes it can feel a bit like you’re stuck in a routine that starts to resemble a rut. We’re all busy with work, working out, and all the daily to-do’s that just keep life moving from morning to night. It’s easy to forget that there’s more to life than just checking off boxes.
But, living for the workday only to do it all over again the next day isn’t what should keep us going. We need to find something to get us excited to get up each and every day. The days where I know I have a fun project waiting for me in the morning are the days that I jump out of bed rather than trying to squeeze in every last minute of sleep I can and that’s why it’s so important to discover the creative in every day as a way to keep our energy and inspiration levels high.
BEFORE I DIVE IN…OUTFIT NOTES
Quick note before I dive into this lengthy post: these pictures were taken this past weekend on my sister’s rooftop in Greenwich Village – I stopped by before heading home from a bachelorette party in NYC. The scarf I’m wearing is from Tuckernuck and is one of my favorite spring buys. It’s only $48, it’s huge, and it’s such a fun pop of color for any outfit. There are also several other pattern options to choose from. If you want to find a fabulous dressed up sweatshirt for $11 (!!!), then you need this tie sleeve sweatshirt from J.Crew. I visited Trunk Club a few weeks ago and picked up these Paige jeans which I’m now obsessed with. They are SO comfy and so flattering. Lastly, these leopard booties are ages old, but you can find similar options here and here.
Now, back to the post – few years ago, I included Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic in a reading list post and it’s still one of my favorite books I’ve ever read on the topic of creativity. Gilbert focuses on the idea that everyone has the ability to cultivate creativity – you just have to be open to it. And I think that’s the truth. The people among us who are the most creative are just the ones who are seeking out inspiration in the world around them and who are perceptive to the beauty in the every day.
Those same people are the ones who are breaking out of the drone of their daily routine and finding reasons to get excited when they wake up every morning. They are pursuing hobbies, creating things, following their passions, and feeling a sense of purpose in their lives. It’s not just about finding success in a traditional sense, it’s about creating a sense of discovery, creativity, and intention in our extracurricular pursuits – the pursuits that make us feel more alive.
So, what can those pursuits look like in your life? Creativity isn’t just painting and sculpting and whatnot. It can take the form of cooking, writing, photography, decorating, crafting, baking, yoga, dance, traveling, volunteering. Anything that gets you thinking and gets excited about what’s to come. Think about what you’d do if time and money weren’t an issue, how you’d spend a staycation day off. This is where you need to dedicate your free time.
MAKING TIME FOR OUR PASSIONS
These examples of creative pursuits that I just listed above – cooking, writing, photography, decorating, crafting, baking, yoga, dance, traveling, volunteering – are the passions that bring color to our lives. They’re what shake up our daily routine even if they are a part of our daily routine.
And that’s probably the seemingly contradictory thing about making time for our creative passions in order to add purpose and excitement to our lives – we have to actually make them part of the wake up, work, work out, go to sleep routine. We have to make the time to dedicate to the pursuits that make us feel alive. Block out that hour in the morning to read or write or paint. Make yourself leave work a half hour earlier so you have time to cook when you get home or go to a restorative yoga class. Order your groceries online so you can spend your Sunday afternoon volunteering or taking a pottery class. Incorporate these creative passions into your schedule so that you can’t push them off in order to cross another errand or to-do item off your list.
Then, think about how you can add a little bit of this into every single day. For me, I wake up around 7 a.m. and because I work from home, I have a solid hour to an hour and a half to myself before I start working. I could spend that time on the couch watching the morning news OR I can use that time to write, stroll around the neighborhood working on my photography, or even paint if I’m feeling particularly ambitious. Think about where you can find time and use it.
DISCOVERING MORE ENERGY AND INTENTION
As you truly dedicate yourself to working creative pursuits and passions into your every day, you’ll find that you have so much more energy. Seriously, the days where I know that I have something waiting for me to work on when I wake up are the days I can’t imagine hitting snooze. I’m ready to get up and get to it.
It’s so easy to lose track of time when you’re pursuing something that energizes you and isn’t that what we need in our every day? Instead of lamenting over how tired we are all the time, let’s fine something that gets us going. Plus, you’ll find so much more intention in your every day when you have something you’re working towards besides billable hours or pounds lost on a scale. At the end of the day, when someone asks you how your day was, you don’t have to answer, “busy,” you can get excited about the creative projects you’re pursuing, the new recipes you’re trying, the book you’re reading, the place you booked a flight to, or the amazing dance class you just took.
APPRECIATING INSPIRATION AS IT COMES
The more you dedicate yourself to allowing time for creativity and pursuing your passions, the more you’ll find that you’re discovering inspiration at every turn. When I’m tuned in to things beyond the rote daily schedule, I start noticing and appreciating the beauty and color and inspiration in everything around me. It’s amazing how much more open and perceptive to creativity and energy you are when you just start making time for it.