As our family gets more intentional with our time this year, my own goals have floated to the surface. My goals stem from a desire to grow in artistic skills and also to make room for things that I delight in doing, that refresh me in a brief time of respite. And underlying those goals is a hope that God will shine His light through whatever I’m creating with my hands or my words.
As I wrote “Aimee’s Writing Time” on the Saturday morning slots on the family calender, a little shiver circled around my heart. “Can I really do this, give myself this time?” I wondered, feeling both spoiled and worried at actually using the time. To put the time on the calender frees me to say no to other things that come up, decisions that sound odd when I say them out loud to friends.
Me: No, I’m not going on the retreat, I have writing goals this Spring and if I set a weekend aside, it will be to write.
Quiet. Awkward moment.
Friend: But you have to go!
Quiet. Awkward moment.
Me: I’m really not going to go.
In addition to setting aside time to write (specifically to adapt a children’s chapter book into a play), I’m taking a year long art class with my favorite art teacher, Carla Sonheim. It’s called The Year of the Fairy Tale. I’ve written before about the luxury of being a student and about recovering from a perfectionism that petrified me from making art. Now I get to continue on this journey, mixing my favorite art teacher with stories, and the kids get to come along as well!
Carla also has an exciting schedule of shorter classes lined up for the start of the year. Coming soon are Faces 101 and GelliPlate and I recommend both. Don’t let the the online aspect bother you or scare you away. Taking one of her online classes is like having her come and sit at the table beside me, show me her work, share her process (successes and mistakes) and encourage me to jump into the art supplies and make something. She’s also great at never leaving me with a blank page. There is a blob of paint, a series of words, almost always something rather than nothing, a place to begin.
If it’s art that makes you breathe easier and loosen your shoulders (or if you feel in your bones that art could be that way for you if you could fear less and art more), then put some art dates on your calender and sign up for a class. If it’s not art, then find out what it is, write it down, and say no to something else!