Many creative people have a passion for just one expressive form. This may be watercolor, knitting, woodworking, photography, etc. I’m cursed with the inability to be satisfied with just one thing and find balancing all the things I’m interested in nearly impossible. How to find time to complete all the projects I dream of eludes me.

A jumble of clock with different time on them
How to find a creative balance, that is the question.

I have projects in the yard, home remodel and redecorating, sewing, knitting, crochet, crafting, cross stitch, photography, plus the business I dream of creating. I have five projects that I started months ago that are at a standstill, because gardening is reigning supreme right now. At this time of year getting the weeds under control, the seeds started, the seedlings and the 32 plants I just bought in the ground takes every bit of time and energy that I have beyond work. I’m not even able to keep the birds fed or the house marginally clean.

I live in an area of the country where the summers are hot and humid. Shortly I will not longer be able to spend 4-8 hours a day outside working in the yard. I’ll be limited to just 2-3 hours in the early morning, so the desperate, frantic pace of gardening occupies most of my waking hours. How can I get it all done before I’m limited in outdoor time?

Worse yet, I find I have almost no time to think creatively. I am doing mundane chores for hour upon hour. Weeding is not my favorite thing. Living in the country on fairly exposed land, that get constant wind means that we are constantly battling weeds. It doesn’t matter if we put down mulch, they grow in the mulch. We’ve put down grass clipping, they grow there as well. The only really great deterrent is cover crops. The vegetable gardens have almost no weeds in them this year, because they are chalk full of rye and cow peas. Unfortunately we can’t do that in the gardens that have perennials or low growing crops in them, because the cover crop would smother them.

So, how can I find a balance between those things that are imperative to get done and things I want to do? I’m sitting here in my falling apart winter robe (because it is unseasonably cold today) wondering what happened to the robe project I started this winter? How did it get so sidetracked that I’m going to have to finish it in the heat of the summer, so it will be ready for next winter?

I’ve got boxes for the greenhouse that need the ends painted with chalk paint, so that I can organize all the stuff that’s in a heap at one end, yet the weeds loom larger than the organization of gardening, which will reduce much of the stress, because I’ll be able to find everything more easily. How did it not get done this winter when I couldn’t work in the garden?

We have large projects; a tool shed, a lean-to on the storage building, a deck in the forest with a screened outdoor room on it. All of these things just stay as dreams, because time seems to elude us. I have wanted a picket fence around the front of the house since we moved in. I have money saved for it, but I haven’t bought even one piece of lumber, because I don’t have time to put it in. The gardens are being formed around its location, but there is still no fence to be their background. 

I’ve tried making lists and prioritizing them, but it just gets overwhelming. Then something happens to get you off track, something breaks or you have to do something not on the list, and the whole organization tumbles to the ground in disarray. Trying to pick up the pieces and get it restarted seems undoable and I just start looking at what is in front of me that is in a state of “emergency.”

I can’t imagine how creative people who have full time jobs and/or children find any time to satisfy their creative itch. This site is all about supporting each other and helping us find a way to express our creativity. I would welcome any and all suggestions on ways to keep a better flow of creative energy, while also attending to everyday needs. If you have found a way to balance your life, please share it with all of us. I know I’m not the only one struggling to find a way to be expressive every day or at least every week, and still maintain a comfortable home life for everyone. Being creative is supposed to be fun and energizing, but right now it just feels stressful.

Featured image Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Clock photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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