tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Beware the ides of March!

Since finishing the Illuminati cloaks for Kiwiburn, I've been without a project. I mean yeah, I have had stuff to do - study, dj practice, The Kid, day-to-day living, Psylent Night, etc etc etc - but I haven't had an actual project. You know, one of those things that your head chews on for a while and then you sit down and create something out of nothing? And I've been feeling this absence as a sense of stagnation, as if I'm not doing anything or going anywhere.

Yes yes, I know this is silly - I'm always busy. But it seems the process of creation is quite important to my sense of motion.

So on Friday afternoon I was bemoaning this situation, saying I was in need of a project, and ferrouswheel said "Make me a hat!" And immediately my mind started churning, I had something in the offing, and I felt happier.

Saturday morning I woke up with nothing really planned for the day, and decided some fresh air and exercise would be nice, so I went off up to the House That Actually Looks Like A House Now and helped Happy with some banging in of nails (shin rail around the bit of the roof that will have grass on) and routing of balustrades (mmm power tools!). On the way I stopped in to Mitre 10 and bought a glue gun. Glue guns are way cheaper than they used to be. Also, have I mentioned how nice it is to live in a suburb that has a hardware shop just there?

Anyway, after a somewhat leisurely and enjoyable day of working on the house and hanging out with Happy, I then took Dr Wheel out for dinner at Crazy Horse for his birthday. I may be a steak pusher. Afterwards, there was lounging around in piles and watching of Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs. Aside: I like that the smartest people I know enjoy the silliest movies.

And the whole time this was going on, the part of my mind that's been at a loose end lately was happily playing with how to make a hat, gathering materials, techniques for doing things, and assembling it in theory. Once it'd figured it out and was ready to move on to actual creation, it started on the next project, and pinged off a few ideas for future ones. I now have a bunch of things for that part of my brain to chew on.

Weirdly, most of my ideas involve dressing up my friends.. Mwuahahaha.

The actual making of the hat took about three hours, and this is partly because of the amount of time spent thinking about how to do it. The next project will be the same, I think, although the execution may be a little more complicated. But for those three hours I was totally in my happy place, making something out of nothing. And one of the best things about this is that over time I've collected enough tools and materials that I pretty much have whatever I need on hand to feed the creative process. pombagira is the same, and between us we have Makin Stuff Anonymous going on in our house.

And after the hat was finished we went and split some firewood for Mum, filled her woodbox and hung out for a while, and I have ended up feeling like I've had a very good weekend. The thing that all of these activities have in common is that in each case, the thing I was doing was for the benefit of other people, yet the personal satisfaction I got from doing them makes it feel as if I'm the one getting the benefit.

So. Realisations from this weekend: I get a huge kick out of the creative process, it's like the catalyst that wakes my brain up. And, I get more personal benefit from spending my free time doing things for other people than I do from the relaxing and self-pampering that the books say you should do in your 'me-time'. This is not to say that I'll never make stuff for myself (every now and then I get whacked with the 'need fluoro tutu STAT!' wand), but it does seem that realising my visions for other people brings tremendous satisfaction.


Also - I think we've established that parenting is hard. But last week, I managed to figure out a way in which The Kid can have his monthly money and get his lernins about budgeting, and this weekend he got his payment. It warmed my heart that the first things he spent money on were birthday presents for Joel and his Grandma, and food so that he could make us breakfast in bed. I might have had a Mum moment.

Anyway, I want to know what other people have as projects. I know pretty much everybody has one. What are you making/doing in your free time right now, and how much satisfaction do you get from it?
Tags: creativity - ur doin it, playing dressups with my friends
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