Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When Inspiration Strikes

I'm having one of those nights. You know the ones, where your head is swimming with so many ideas that you can't possibly sleep. I love the rush of creativity but I don't care for the hungover feeling I have the next day from lack of sleep. There's no predicting when these nocturnal mindfloods will come and there's certainly no stopping them. This is really not a good night for me to be sleepless though. Tomorrow we're leaving the house with the earlybirds to be at JMU for J'daddy's finals. I was informed by my dear husband that departure is at 6:10 a.m. sharp. Ouch! It's become a bit of a tradition for us to tag along on finals day. We drop J'daddy off on campus, within walking distance of where he'll be testing, and the kids and I tool around town until he's finished. He stresses pretty hard about tests and us tagging along makes him feel all warm and fuzzy. It makes us feel more connected to his school experience. We all sacrifice alot of together-time during the semester and it's a fun little R&R payoff. The best part is when we swing back to pick him up after the tests. We usually hit a nice lunch spot, my favorite is A Bowl of Good, before we head out for more meandering.

So here I am, typing this post at 3:07 a.m. when everyone else in my house, and in my neighborhood for that matter, is sleeping. {sigh} But oh the productivity that I've had from tonight's brain-blast so far! I am so completely excited about the ideas that I've been handed tonight. You see, lately I've been feeling rather 'clogged' creatively. With our recent move and the many changes we've made as a result, I have been overwhelmed and distracted. All the details of daily life have taken the place of extra-curricular thinking and extra-curricular doing. I've also been wrestling over a new business name/brand/identity. It is time to cast off the old and dig into something new. I carry around a little notebook with me wherever I go and it's filled with page after page of possible new biz name ideas. A sickening amount really. But none that were just right. A few days ago I got so frustrated by my creative constipation about renaming my business that I tossed my little notepad across the bedroom, let out a cranky growl and said "Enough already! Lord, please give me a name so I can get things rolling - this is driving me crazy!" Apparently He heard me and decided to get back with me quickly. I have to say I like this new approach – quick response time – thank you very much. Yesterday the new name came to me so easily, so clearly. Today I sketched out my logo and checked out the name on etsy and surprise, surprise - it's available! {more details and a launch date coming very soon, stay tuned!}

I sit here now in my living room huddled under a dim lamp with the scrawled piece of paper that I had on my nightstand. The quick scribblings that I rambled down in the dark, trying not to wake my sweet scholar. Thinking that if I just wrote down one more idea surely that would be the last and I could sleep. No such luck. When I was in art school I used to say that sleep was a luxury, not a necessity. Obviously I was 20-something and could weather a sleepless night a whole lot easier then. I pulled alot of all-nighters working on art projects. After I had my daughter I had the most amazing flow of creativity that I've ever had in my life. I was up nursing every 2-3 hours anyway so that worked out well. I just wrote and sketched and dreamed away while my little one had her midnight snack. Now, at 40-something it's a whole different ballgame. Lack of sleep is one of my migraine triggers. After a sleepless night I find myself the next day around 3 p.m. feeling like I have a buzzing humming vibration coursing through me. Like when you're cranking an old wind-up alarm clock and you turn the knob just a little too far. But I guess those are the trade-offs for such types of inspiration.

I have a close friend who's an accountant and by her own admission not a creative-type. I was sharing with her about this sleep-interrupting brainstorm session-for-one. She looked at me like I had two heads. She said she'd never had that happen to her in her life. You might think that would make me feel bad but instead I smiled, feeling very blessed. I feel like I'm in on some private secret when this happens. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this stream of thoughts and ideas. Sometimes it's creative new uses for old things or concepts for products and services; sometimes inventions, acts of kindness, things I'm to do for other people, prayer reminders, and ideas for a myriad of things. I have another friend who's immensely creative. She jokes that she's given her weekly inspirational checklist while she's at church service on Sunday morning. We laugh about it because we're both in on the joke in our own way. I personally believe that creativity is divine inspiration in most cases. It's true for me anyway. Even when I didn't know that's where it was coming from. That's part of the beauty of it. Now that I accept it and welcome it, it's taken on a whole new meaning and purpose. Tonight alone I've got a list as long as my arm. There's much work to be done. I guess I should start keeping some puffy-eye cream in the fridge, looks like I'm gonna need it.  :-)
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