Episode 396 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — the weekly check-in of the #currentlyList
In this episode of the CMP, some philosophical talk about the popular #currentlyList. This format was developed by rukristin, and I talked about it first back in Episodes 329 (Exhale) and 330 (Mad-Libs). We use an extrapolation of this framework as the basis for a weekly check-in in the CMP group. We use some other categories, and everyone is encouraged to add their own categories (whatever fits week to week) and to view this as an individual method of tracking and personal documentation, even as it offers some easy touchstones for connection. (You can find great book, movie, podcast, and series suggestions by looking at what others share on their weekly lists.)
Our group #currentlyList day has its own flare and feeling, but the spirit of the idea remains true to the original. It has become an established “day” in our group (right along with our coffee day and our quiet photos day), and I really enjoy it. I look forward to it. But my relationship with it, with this list, is also not easy.
In this show, some talk about the categories on the list, and why some are easy because they are so concrete and some are much harder or more revealing. Also, a reminder that it is always okay to cover up, hide, conceal, or blur things on pages that you don’t really want to share with the world or open up to comments. Even well-meaning comments can often hit in exactly the wrong way, and the process of list-sharing can be vulnerable. There is often this sense, fueled by Instagram (I think), that you should show every single thought, moment of truth, moment of fear, moment of x, y, or z. If you want to, great. But you don’t have to. You don’t owe it to a viewing community to open yourself up in that way. It might not even work out quite the way you expect because if you open yourself up that fully and then don’t get back what you need to make it feel okay, it can really backfire emotionally. So be careful. Make sure you think through what you share!
Planning is sometimes personal
In talking about the “planning” element of the list, follow along with a funny example as I get sidetracked by the idea of crumpets and lemon curd and then follow a momentary rabbit hole about birthday tea. But really, I might rather have a scone or an apple fritter. That I had a doctor’s appointment this week and have a number of tests to help sort out issues really makes me aware that I don’t need any of these things at all. It’s a conflicted mindset, for sure. But this kind of planning-but-not-planning is a reality. Sometimes we spend time planning even though we might say “nope, no way, not planning.” Even if we know it’s a bit of side-eye planning, we might not want to bring it to the page.
In my lemon curd example, I don’t want anyone to pop this bubble, this soft and meandering thinking I am allowing myself to do about what I do or don’t want. It may just be idle thinking, a process of trying on a few things to see how I feel, what feels right, what strikes the right chord. Probably, this bit of pondering and browsing has set me on a path that will, in part, shape what I do. Either way, it is a form of planning and a commitment to proactive living, but too many well-intended suggestions could easily topple the very subtle balance. Not wanting to expose this kind of planning to the light on a list…. easily a reality week-to-week. (Yes! I acknowledge the irony in the fact that I talked about it here on the show and in these notes. So it goes! Days have a way of muffling things and adding a bit of cushion, too.)
Headphones on for the final stretch!
There are several shows coming this week…. a few of them will be field-note style….. draw-along-with-me in concept. Two of those have already been recorded, and I am excited about them, although I can’t say for sure that they will be as easy to listen to. But they should hit this week.
Thank you to those of you who dropped me a message saying things sounded “okay” (or even better, which is a bit confounding), with the setup using the portable recorder and the tissue box. I appreciate knowing you’re listening, and thank you, too, to the people who listened and heard the “secret word” for the show.
Note: My “50 Before 50 year” is winding down, and while I have shared this year all along, the beauty and whimsy of having this list, the birthday itself is not really a big deal. It’s a day, and it’s a marker. I know that everyone views birthdays differently. I really have to do this myself. No one can orchestrate whatever this day is…. it is usually a reflective and philosophical day for me. I really do ask that everyone let me just quietly have this day….. and then I’ll be back, full of chatter about what did and didn’t happen with the list and thoughts on a new list for the year. Some of you have already chimed in saying that the day wasn’t a big deal for you and maybe doesn’t need to be. I look at this list much as I would a 20 for 2020. It is less about the age than about a guiding list that offers scaffolding and maybe some challenge, some introspection, some philosophy, and definitely some comfort and company (in its own way) for a span of a year. 51 will be a thing.
We are still in a pandemic
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)
- 50 Before 50
- Episode 329
- Episode 330
- A Birthday List (364)
- rukristin @ Instagram
- Currently List products (e.g., pre-printed cards)
- #CurrentlyList on Instagram
- Currently List Extended
- 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!)