Wake up, make toast, make coffee, jump in the car. My most creative time is when I’m commuting; a known side effect of Los Angeles living. Always traveling somewhere. Driving to work I come up with elaborate plans, great concepts, new ideas. Save all this enthusiasm for later.
Arrive at work. Become engrossed in projects. Manage a million emails and reports. Forget everything else.
Drive home. Hope there’s no traffic. Pick the best lane. More ideas. Never as bright and shiny new as in the morning.
Get home. Think about what you want to do. Think about what you have to do. Do the dishes or take out the trash. Make dinner. Watch a movie. Try to span time.
All of a sudden you’re living in an Onion article.
Sometimes I accomplish things. Having deadlines helps, but more often than not there are no deadlines for personal projects. Some nights I come home and crash. I ask myself what is the life I want to live. If only there were more time.
It’s not about time. I’ve had more time. Without distraction, creativity and motivation seem to hover in the lower end of what I’m accustomed too. Everything takes longer. Plus, there’s no commute.
I’m at the age where some friends are getting to the places I want to be and other are giving up. I haven’t given up yet. I’m just getting started. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to focus on the day to day instead of having a plan. It’s easy to think you aren’t good enough or that you haven’t tried hard enough.
Then you go to sleep and wake up and it’s a new day and you do it all over again.
Ever since we moved into our current place I’ve been extremely happy with apartment living. I love the space we have and it comes without many of the worries and stresses of owning a house. Not that we could afford to own a house, let’s be serious here. That doesn’t stop me from dreaming though.
Recently the desire has been a bit compounded. After our shower was out of commission for three long weeks and replaced in a manner that I’m not entirely happy with I really started wishing I had a little bit more control over our living space. Then some less than pleasant interactions with some nearby neighbors left me wishing we had more private space. Or even just a little outdoor area at all.
I imagine we’ll be staying here for quite some time, and for the most part I’m content with that. I do often imagine living someplace entirely different. I always tease Shawn about the farm we’ll have one day (and by farm I mean a couple bunnies, some cats and a few goats just hanging out). I have yet to reconcile this fantasy living space with the fact that we’re city dwellers. Where can we go that has some nature and space but also retains some of the perks of urban life? Does such a place even exist?
I spent a few hours one night fake house hunting across the country. The truth is I really like a lot of the houses in Los Angeles, they’re just insanely expensive. There were a few other cities with options, but no real reason to go to any of them. So here we are.
A few weeks ago, or perhaps it was months now, a friend asked “How do you stay motivated to keep blogging?” and I thought to myself, It’s just something I love. Since then, it’s been getting harder for me to come here and write. I don’t have any photos to post or recipes to share.
There is a delicate balance between what I’m going to now deem the LIFE TRIANGLE, and yes, I just made this up. Here’s a diagram. In one corner you have RESPONSIBILITY. That’s things like: going to work, getting an oil change, doing the dishes. Stuff you have to do. In another corner you have SOCIAL / LEISURE. This could also be titled “mental health” but that’s not quite right. So here we have: going to a friend’s birthday party, going on a hike or maybe watching a movie. Then in the final corner you have CREATIVITY, which is pretty straight forward.
All of these things are related. For instance, if you were a graphic designer your creativity and responsibility would have a lot of overlap. Similarly, if you loved running, running a marathon might be somewhere between social/leisure and responsibility. It’s all fluid, it all interacts. There’s a whole other layer when you bring in the economics of these categories, but I’ll leave it at that for the sake of brevity.
My nature is to be generally closer than many to responsibility but lately it’s been a bit extreme. My leisure time has turned into a sort of nothing zone where I just switch my brain off and occasionally interact with friends. My creativity has suffered the most. I feel like a blank, not wanting to take photos or write something or make anything. I’m just overwhelmed.
At the same time, the ideas are still bouncing around in my head, just waiting for a moment to escape. As summer rolls around I think things will balance out. There are fun events in the future, projects are ending and I can feel the scales tipping. I can’t wait.
It has been a wildly productive weekend for me. Perhaps wildly is an overstatement but I’ve tackled and completed a handful of projects and it feels great. I have finally accepted that I’m a morning person much more than anything else and if I want to accomplish things I need to use that morning energy in the morning instead of dilly dallying. It also means acting on project ideas when I get the first urge, rather than letting them sit on the back burner until I’m not interested anymore.
I’d been considering replacing our throw pillows for a long time, so when one fell victim to recent cat destruction, the faint desire became more pressing. Then I saw the new constellation fabrics from Lizzy House and I knew I had to make something from them. The pillows seemed like the perfect project for just a bit of fabric (although I think I’d still like to make a dress as well). I made the pillow covers using the envelope method, which was ridiculously simple, and now we have two new adorable, cozy pillows.
The pillow project made me even more anxious to get painting in the living room. I picked up some sample colors and painted swatches. It’s still difficult to imagine the whole room as one of these colors. Here are my options:
1. Mountain Mist / 2. Silver Cloud / 3. Silvery Blue / 4. Woodland White
I think I’ve narrowed it down to at least two of the options and of course Shawn will have to weigh in. The next big question is whether to paint both the living room and the dining room, as they’re connected. It is most likely that I’ll have to for uniformity’s sake, even though I’d rather not.
Other accomplishments include mending everything in my sewing pile (that’s been sitting there for months now). Starting a new knitting project. Other various mundane things like going to the market, vacuuming and taking out the trash. It’s really nice to feel motivated. I suppose I’ll have to do something still with the rest of my day.
The first thing we did when we moved into our apartment was paint the living room and dining room. It took forever, even with no furniture and lots of help. I have never been 100% happy with the color we chose though, which is generally what happens when you choose from swatches and never see what the paint looks like on the wall. It’s a little too dark and a little too green. While it works better in our dining room with all the dark mahogany furniture, I wish it was just a little lighter and more subdued.
I’ve been talking about repainting for awhile now, (probably since soon after I finished painting the kitchen) but whenever I bring it up Shawn points out I haven’t bothered to repaint our mantel this whole time and that both rooms is quite a bit larger project. Well guess what, I finally painted the mantel this weekend which I think means I get to paint the rest, right?
I really want a pale blue / green / grey. The trick is to pick a color that is neither too dull nor too poppy which can be tricky with blues. I like the blue above from Martha Stewart and also the first blue room in Tamera’s Greek Revival post. Maybe a more subdued grey would be nice. My biggest worry is that I’ll never be totally satisfied because our walls are textured and weird. I think it’s worth a try though. Right now nearly everything in the living room is the same tone and it needs some contrast. We probably also need a wooden coffee table rather than the white one we have and some new accent pillows for the couch, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Photos from Martha Stewart