I haven’t read Sophie Kinsella’s novel of a similar name, but I do feel like I could be the central character in such a story.
I have been a member of the church my entire life, but somehow have failed to learn any of the creative arts normally associated with most LDS mothers…I neither sew, craft, quilt, paint, decorate, bake, can nor party plan. I can put together a meal fairly effortlessly, but I wouldn’t say I’m a gourmand of cook, in other words, I can follow a recipe with the best of ‘em. I was raised by parents whose talents were elsewhere – my mother was a dance teacher, my father a football coach, so our at home activities focused on numerous ballet and tap classes and sports, sports, sports. Neither was musically inclined, so music lessons weren’t high priority either, but how to dribble a basketball, recognize a cover 2 defense, or do an arabesque, were.
I also married much later than the general demographic of the church – so whether that contributed to my continued lack of creative talent or not, I’m not sure. But I do know that I’m significantly more comfortable speaking to a group of 200 people, than I am staring at my very high-tech, but rarely used sewing machine. And don’t think I haven’t tried – I’ve taken sewing, quilting, upholstery, drawing and water color classes. All have ended in utter failure. My quilting class was comical, when I realized and had to do MATH to cut squares! Or in my water color class when I realized I had to DRAW the picture before actually painting it. Same with upholstery – I thought, how difficult can it be – rip off some old material and staple on new. No one told me I had to use the evil sewing machine to create cording and chair skirts.
My children are the unintended casualties of my uncreativity. They will never have cute Halloween costumes crafted by their mother. Or sentimental scrapbooks with every “first” recorded in creative splendor. Or “themed” birthday parties with homemade masterpiece cakes and awesome party favors. They will however, be able to enjoy a book, because I am VERY good at reading…lots and lots of reading.
With this in mind, I’m undertaking a 12-step program. No, I’m not a closet addict in need of treatment. I am, however, an uncreative specimen seeking a creative boost. I’ve discovered a “how-to” manual to help in my endeavor – Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.” I think this is considered “boot camp” for the creatively-challenged. Ms. Cameron claims that after her 12 week program, my repressed, creative juggernaut will be released in all of its glory. I doubt I will have mastered all of the aforementioned Mormon talents, but I do hope I see creative aspects in my life that went previously unnoticed. She advocates writing 3 pages, in LONG HAND, every morning before the day starts – stream of consciousness style. With summer here and the children sleeping later than normal, I think that is a goal I can manage before my sleeping giants awake. There are other tasks and assignments that she suggests, that I hope I can commit myself too.
I look forward to this challenge. I’m curious to see who emerges on the other side. I will be posting updates as the week’s progress. I’ve purchased new pens and notebooks, like I’m heading off to my first day of class. Maybe I need a pencil box too?? Possibly a backpack? If anyone wants to join the training program, climb aboard!