Is Work Bliss or a Chore?

This week, I was so excited to be doing one of my many projects for work. I actually was getting to draw and watercolor and thoroughly think a project through instead of flying by the seat of my pants as is what inevitably happens much of the time. Literally, I had been giddy last week leading into this one, so excited to sit down and do the creative work.

Then it came time to move from the rough sketch to prepping the watercolor paper with a background wash, to penciling the final images, and I immediately started getting frustrated at myself with the way I was drawing hands and feet. I wanted to throw the project down and go sulk, and I almost started berating myself over the imperfections. I took a brief break, and I realized that I was in the process of ruining something that I had so been looking forward to due to being overly hard on myself. It doesn’t matter if the feet and hands aren’t up to my high standards. It has literally been six years since I’ve done this detailed of work for this type of project, and I’m rusty, but I’m never going to get un-rusty if I don’t take on projects like this. I was able to take what would in the past been a downward “beat myself up” spiral and find joy again in the creation process.

This is really important to remember as creatives and as human beings trying to go about our daily lives. Anything can be a chore, even the work that you love to do the most. And anything can be bliss, even the dishes (I like to put music on and sing while I do the dishes, when I do them. Though usually my husband does them while I’m putting our son to bed.) You can get satisfaction or annoyance from almost any task that you set yourself to do. I actively choose bliss and satisfaction whenever I can. And I’m getting better at catching myself when I do tends toward the self-degradation and negativity that would make everything seem like a major drag on my life.

Which do you choose? Can you find small ways to bring yourself more joy into your daily and creative life?

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