Episode 393 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — it is okay. You are okay. I am okay. Whatever you did today is okay. What you can manage tomorrow is okay. It will be…. okay.
In this episode of the CMP, some reassurance for those who need it…. it is okay. You are okay. Hearing that can’t always make it better. Even when they are really the words you need, it can be hard for those words to sink in in meaningful ways. But I still think it matters to hear these words…. to be told this…. to tell it to yourself. So, if what you needed to know today is that you are okay…. you are. If things are in a spin, and you can’t tell what is up, I hope you are able to stop and breathe and know that it will be okay.
50 Before 50 Approaching Conclusion – And a CMP Milestone and Birthday
Today’s show moves along in the world of pandemic time. I have a handful of things left to do before my 50th (to complete my 50 before 50 list). In all honestly, I left too many things until the end — early in the year, I was trying to space things out, slow them down. I had some inane fear that I would finish far too early. So I was being careful to pace myself. I was enjoying the get out of the house micro things so much that I especially worried I would finish all of those and just be left with things that were indoors, were project-oriented, were more like a chore. I put off some of the out of the house things I was most wanting to do. I knew they would be a treat in these final months.
But I didn’t count on the coronavirus.
Early quarantine life pulled the rug from under my year somehow. I lost a few weeks or months in the early days of high fear and anxiety. Approaching 3 months now of shelter-in-place, we’ve settled into what it’s like to be in these days. But, the net-net is that I have a handful of things to navigate in the coming weeks. I often sit down and list a few that I think I can knock out on a weekend or in an upcoming week only to find at the end of that time, nothing has been accomplished. Pandemic time…. I definitely find it hard to wrap my head around. But if the pandemic wasn’t now, maybe my list and the “still to do” column would look much the same. No real way to know.
This isn’t a repeatable year. You only turn 50 once. And it isn’t the kind of project that has a shifting date. For me, it’s a project that ends with the June birthday. So how this is unfolding is the 50 Before 50 for me. So there are still things to do, and as I’ve replaced things due to continued closures here in the Bay Area (lots of things that are already open other places are now listed as opening July 13 and other things mid-August), I toyed with the idea of setting a podcast goal as a replacement. I thought I was close enough to a pivotal number to view it as a milestone. Weeks ago that made sense. As the days have rolled on, I have admitted to myself that it won’t happen, and I am reminded again how wise I was in not adding certain kinds of things to the list at the outset. (An Instagram goal was a consideration, for example. But the more I post…. the more followers I lose. I couldn’t have “brought that goal to fruition” any more than I could guarantee losing weight. In reality, I gained 20 pounds. I am so thankful I viewed crafting this year list very differently.)
This week does mark the anniversary or birthday of the CMP. The show started back in June 2006. That’s a lot of years. I had no idea back then that I would feel the way I do now about drawing — about my own daily art. I wonder, in fact, if I would have the habit, the practice, and the love of portraits I do now if it hadn’t been for the podcast. I am grateful for what I’ve discovered, woven, written, observed, felt, mulled, and meandered, and shared in all these years. There have been a lot of breadcrumbs scattered and many lifelines cast. It feels in this moment (writing these show notes) somehow too big to dive into right now. A lot of people have come and gone in these years, too. I am still saddened to no longer have contact with some of the early listeners and supporters of the show. But I am ever grateful for a handful of people who have been here since the beginning. Thank you.
Summer Art, Index Cards, Series, and ICAD
Summer art is coming, which means ICAD for many people — a 61-day challenge in June and July run by Daisy Yellow. You can find out about signing up on the Daisy Yellow site. I’ll be talking more about series work and however my ICAD journey unfolds this year. As someone who does art daily anyway, I approach things differently. But I highly recommend the challenge for people looking to establish a creative habit or reconnect with one. Since the challenge does start tomorrow…. most important is to go ahead and sort out a stack of simple index cards and, if you want the support of the Facebook group, sign up (on the Daisy Yellow site).
For a look at my ICAD through the last several years, see ICAD 2020 – Retrospective. (There are tons of ICAD podcast episodes from prior years, too. One is linked below to help you find some of those if you want to listen.)
There is a book in today’s show, Sunday Sketching. I made notes on this book last year and never shared them, so even though I don’t have the book in hand today, I hope this bit of book talk is soothing for those who enjoy the books. (Talking about this brought the Orange Spine book and show to mind for me from last summer, too.)
It can be easy to get weighed down by everything going on, by the anxiety and the uncertainty. But there are silver linings and gifts. I encourage you to look for them.
(The looking, in and of itself, offers a different mindset. You might find that the act of seeking and discovering helps shift your perspective in meaningful ways.)
Mentioned in this Episode (or Related)
- Fifty Before Fifty
- Sunday Sketching by Christoph Niemann
Abstract City by Christoph Niemann
- ICAD 2020 Retrospective
- Episode 314: Gearing up for a Challenge like ICAD
- Thoughts on Series
- Daisy Yellow site for all things ICAD
- Episode 363- Orange Spine
- Clipboard holder (using one of these is a habit over many years for ICAD and excellent for portability and keeping a stack of blank cards, pencil, and a pen all within reach)
- Thick white index cards (these bright white, sturdy cards are what I used in 2019 and will be using in 2020) [300 | 100]
- Smead 4×6 cards (these tabbed cards are nice and thick and were my pick for many years of ICAD; I’ve also used the 3×5 ones)
- Guitar music: Nicholai Heidlas on SoundCloud
- Creativity Matters Group at Facebook
- Patreon page
- oamyoamy at Instagram
- Try Creative Bug with the Living a More Creative Life: 30 Ways in 30 Days class
- Try Trello
- Buy me a Coffee with Ko-Fi (yes, they take a percentage)
- Amazon wishlist
A note about Trello: I’m feeling really productive with my reading and my “To Read” list this year using Trello. I use Trello for other things, including tracking my 50 Before 50 list, but I am finding new book lover’s peace this year with Trello boards set up to help me keep track of books I want to read, Kindle books I snag on a deal, books I hear about in groups or on other podcasts, and then the books I actually am reading or listening to. If you haven’t tried Trello, you should! (It’s free!)