I dedicated this past week to be creative. I dug out pencils, watercolors, acrylics, brushes, erasers, paper, and three old chairs. For weeks, I planned in my head and on paper how I wanted to decorate the chairs. I bought the chairs months ago, and on Sunday morning, when I laid a bed sheet on the living room floor for paint splatter, I knew I was ready. It was time.
I moved my ready-to-paint chairs onto the sheet, rolled my art supply cart next to my workplace, looked at what I had gathered, and decided I had everything I needed. Finally, I sat down in front of the first chair with my sketch. I then realized I forgot the glass of water and paper towels needed to clean brushes. After retrieving those, plus a cup of coffee, I sat down, turned on a Hallmark movie, and excitedly began.
This year is the sixth year to donate to the Annual Art Chairs of Bisbee Silent Auction. The proceeds fund nonprofits in the remote southern Arizona mining community. Each chair had a theme: happy, flowers, gates, bees, hats, and this year, cats. It is in conjunction with a home tour and Thanksgiving dinner with friends.
What do YOU enjoy that is worth your money, planning, and time? Maybe it’s volunteering for a personal cause, woodworking, baking, renovating old cars, etc. Whatever you choose, mental wellness thrives on activities that spark creativity and allow past, present, and future
worry to dissipate, if only momentarily.
It is magical to create, preserve, or improve. Science Fair and 4-H projects are an example: they involve a plan, actually finishing it, and accepting rewards or disappointment. The process benefits Mental health. We tend to be expert self-critics, but even so, accomplishments, no matter how small, are the foundation for positive self-esteem.
I am retired, and it is easy to do nothing. Sitting in front of the TV or living by bings and rings on my phone might help pass each day, but neither enhances mental wellness. I make a conscious effort to activate my creativity because I know it provides a full spectrum of thought and emotion. In the chair project, several times, I wanted to scrub the cat off my chair, and start over. Instead, I kept evaluating and changing and finally stopped with a green-eyed cat pleading, “Leave me alone.”
Decide what sparks your creativity, and like the Nike commercial, “Just do it.” You and mental wellness will be the primary benefactor of your efforts.
Closing with a quote by Dale Carnegie: “Today is life—the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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