Make Things. Write Things.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes me happy. There are tons of things–my husband, my family, books, coffee, travel…I could go on and on, and I’m so grateful for that. But I’ve been thinking more specifically about what makes me happy when I’m feeling down. We all get those moments of malaise from time to time, when we’re wrestling with motivations or obligations, when we’re disappointed in how something turned out, when we can’t seem to find the thing to snap us out of our funk. For ages I’ve kept a little list of things to do when those moments strike: things like a bubble bath or a hot chocolate, a long walk or a dance party in the living room. But I am finding more and more these days that the very best answer to this problem for me is this: Make things. Write things.

I actually took my own advice this weekend and made these little signs for my desk. I had been envisioning something like this for a while, with multiple colors of paint and my own script, so I just did it. I used craft paint and a few of the index cards that perpetually live on my desk. I hung them up today, and they make me happy. I am sure I can use the reminder that it’s always a good idea to get up and create something.

For years and years, with a few breaks here and there, I have written in my journal every day. Sometimes I don’t get around to it on the weekends, and boy howdy can you tell. I don’t know how else to describe it except to say that writing is a centering experience for me. I get everything out there on the page, and then I can get on with my day. And, as an added bonus, writing really frequently brings forth new and exciting ideas that seem to come out of thin air. There’s some magic, it seems, in the smell of the ink and the pages curling under my hand.

It makes me so gleeful to think of the limitless creative potential that’s just waiting to be tapped in each one of us. In the interest of giving mine its due, I’m adopting this as my personal manifesto. It’s short and sweet, and I hope it drives me to pick up a pen or a paintbrush, a knitting needle or a beading loom.

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