Creative Outlets

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Last week, I went to see my massage therapist.  I’ve been having issues with what I think is a pinched nerve in my back/shoulder/neck; I was in a lot of pain, and unable to get in to see my family doctor.   She wasn’t able to really help the pain at all, but while she tried, we began talking about how problems in your life manifest into pain in the body, or the mind-body connection.  She began by asking if I believe in that or not.  I said that I do, with some skepticism (blame that on dating a paramedic).  She then went on to “diagnose” my pain – that neck pain is associated with communication, or not having a voice or opinion.  I laughed when she said that.  That’s pretty much how I feel at work most days. While this is usually a good thing to not be on the bosses’ radar, it’s very frustrating when I need something, or mention a problem/concern and nothing is done about it.  I’ve actually turned this into a little game with my co-workers, where I see how many hours and days pass without my bosses saying a word to me.  For example, after the Christmas holidays is was Thursday at 9:55am before my one boss even said so much as “hello” or “goodbye” to me.  That’s more than three full days of nothing.  Did I mention there are less than 10 full time employees here?

But I digress.

My massage therapist and I then went on to talk about this.  Well, she did most of the talking.  I just listened and have been thinking a lot about what she said all week.

She talked a little about perhaps looking for a new job, and offered a few suggestions of places to start.  This has crossed my mind from time to time in the past, but I do really like what I do, and there aren’t many (any?) other options for me that don’t involve moving to a new city.  As she is also a musician, the conversation turned to creative outlets and how important they are to have.  She said something to the effect of if I can’t be as creative in my work as I’d like (or need) to be, then I need to find these outlets outside of work.  She then mentioned Julia Cameron, and her concept of “morning pages”.  (Basically, morning pages are three pages of stream of conscious writing that you are supposed to do each morning.)  I am all too familiar with Julia Cameron, her book The Artists Way (which still sits on my bookshelf) and morning pages after taking a class called “The Creative Process” back in university.  While I can see the benefits of morning pages, I can’t honestly see myself picking up this habit.  I have a journal that I write in each day, but it is much more factual than reflective.  So, this naturally got me thinking about this dear old blog, and how I can use this as a creative outlet.

Clearly, I don’t write here much.  And I know exactly why that is.  It’s a little because I’m paranoid about posting personal things online.  But it’s mostly because most of my thoughts, ideas, and things that I find interesting are only partial thoughts, fragments of ideas, or interesting things that I have nothing insightful to add to.  I am too hung up on having “complete” posts, and therefore I post nothing.  I noticed that I feel the same way about decorating my apartment.  I don’t want to hang up that piece of art until I know what I’m going to put on the other wall, and make sure it’s got the same “look” or “feel”.  I mean, really, it’s taken me over a week just to sit down and write this. And it’s still taken me about an hour just to write it.  I’ve re-read, and edited it about twelve times, so far.

But not anymore.  Hopefully.  I am going to try to push myself a little outside of my comfort zone and just post my incomplete thoughts, and links to interesting things, and whatever else I feel is blog-worthy.  Again, hopefully.  I have this bad habit of quitting things.  But this is your warning, readers – while there may be more posts here, I can’t promise they will be coherent.

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Amanda is the owner and creator of My Life, I Guess... a personal finance and lifestyle blog that started back in 2013. She strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes and making the most of it.


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One thought on “Creative Outlets

  1. alainacyr

    I recently came to a similar conclusion. Growing up, creative expression happened on a regular basis, often in the form of music, but also in writing or some visual arts and crafts. I’ve been missing that kind of hobby on my spare time too. Doing something creative just for the sake of doing it (and not to produce something, achieve a milestone, or further your career) can be so good for you.

    I decided to pick up a sketchbook and some sketching pencils. I haven’t put myself in a routine or set aside regular “drawing” time though.


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