We have had to establish a new normal in our house recently. I’ve had to take it really easy due to me having non stop contractions all day long, and Zak has stepped up his game in a major way taking care of things around the house. He’s always been the cleaner one of the two of us (I can be a bit of a mess), but he has truly taken it to a new level. He’s doing laundry, dishes, bed making, even some cooking, all while running his own business.
Zak doing all of these things has allowed me to:
While Zak’s unloading the dishwasher, you can find me creating something (sometimes with Netflix on in the background, but I’m trying not to drown my brain with too much TV lol). One of the things I’ve been doing is knitting! This is not something I ever saw myself doing, but a bunch of people recommended I try it while on bed rest. I was a little skeptical, but it’s actually so soothing. I’m making a super soft little baby blanket. It feels good to be creating something that I’ll be able to give to the baby and say, “I made this for you when you were in my tummy.” It is FAR from perfect (I’ve definitely already made a mess of a few spots), but it’s cathartic to be doing something with my hands.
When I really think about it, though, I’ve been in creation mode for the last 30 weeks straight. Sure, I’ve been knitting, but I’ve been doing so much more than that. Every waking and sleeping moment of my life, I am creating a life inside of me. Sure, I gotta give Zak some credit, too. I obviously couldn’t be in this position if he hadn’t provided the spark necessary for this creative state I’m in, #grateful. As a mother, though, there is something very different about having life growing inside of you. Pregnancy has put my creative energy into overdrive. It truly feels like a superpower.
I should add that it’s a superpower I feel incredibly blessed to have. During the year we spent trying to get pregnant, I feared I wouldn’t be able to create on this level, and that fear spilled into so many areas of my life. I was doing my best to be a good wife, a good teacher, a good sister, daughter, friend etc…but I was just barely keeping my head above water.
Fear was stifling my ability to generate forward progress in my life. Fear is what has us sitting around feeling helpless. It keeps us small. Don’t get me wrong, fear can be useful. When our ancestors were surviving out in wilderness, fear kept them safe. And when we find ourselves in a dangerous situation, like when we know a bad storm is approaching, fear helps us protect ourselves. It’s a powerful instinct.
Too often, though, it seems we allow fear to predominate when it isn’t actually necessary…or useful. In fact, it is often counterproductive to whatever we want for ourselves.
So if fear hinders our ability to create, what helps?
Trust. Trusting that the moment we are living in is the moment we are meant to be in, no matter how difficult or joyous it may feel. Despite the challenges or the triumphs in our life, we all have the power to create. If we can be open to trusting the moment we’re in, there is space, there is room to create.
Finding this trust has inspired me to create. I’ve always loved writing; I teach creative writing to high school students, but it had been a while since I sat down to actually write myself. Once I found out I was pregnant, I found it really comforting to write. I started writing the story of my journey to pregnancy, and it just felt right. That’s what sparked the creation of this blog. I write to understand how I’m feeling and hope my writing can provide some peace to others, as well.
I also love that it gives me the chance to share my personal style. Putting together outfits and designing spaces in my house is another way I have found myself creating.
And the more I have found myself engaging in the act of creation, the more I wanted to create. Creativity generates creativity.
I even started playing my guitar and singing again for the first time in over a year and a half! Singing has been a love of mine since I was a little girl, but I stifled my voice a lot after high school when I experienced rejections after many auditions (I wrote more about this here). I let my fear of not being good enough become more important than doing something that I truly enjoyed, which is no way to live. So even though my fingers are swollen and tired from having to build up new calluses, I’ve started making music again. This has also felt like a really sweet way to bond with the baby. Hopefully he or she recognizes my voice and it soothed by the lullabies when on the outside.
I share all this to say that engaging in creation, even if it’s something that feels as small as knitting a blanket, begets more creation. If you feel like you’re in a rut, start with something small and let your creativity grow! Doing something with your hands can allow your mind to wander to other places. And in those other places, you might find even more possibilities.