Wednesday, November 3, 2010

7 Ideas to Stay Balanced

"Late Night Sketch" ©Toni Ruppert
 My creative life is so (I’m going to use the B word) -  busy, but I’ve gathered 7 ideas that might help keep me balanced.  The trick is to use them.  I know you’re active too, so maybe we can talk about this.  I just finished my first podcast for my blog, so feel free to listen to the 4-minute audio version here.

I really appreciate all the great feedback I’ve already gotten from folks about the topic of balancing.  Hence, I’m doubly determined to balance my art career and motherhood.

Prime example. This week, I took a trip to the art supply store with my little one, Imani--who is also creative.  Wanting to help me, she decided to place every colorful thing in our cart.  EVERY colorful thing.

I spent the next 30 minutes grabbing paint, paint mediums, oil paint sticks and other stuff she wanted to put in the cart.  The only thing that stopped it all was my consent to purchase a wooden ready-to-paint car. 

I eventually ended our shopping trip with new canvas, brushes, that wooden car and my child in hand.  I was able to do a quick figure study in watercolor(pictured) after she fell asleep.  I spent time with my husband talking about the election while painting him(I've included that sketch in this post).

Since this scene may be typical for some other readers, here are my 7 ideas:

  1. Pray.  I believe that one needs divine inspiration to manage it all.
  2. Allow children to join you on the journey--show them what you’re doing. They’ll love it.
  3. Grab a buddy--a good girlfriend, spouse, etc, will help keep you sane and accountable.  My art buddy Pamela Casey helps keep me sane during our weekly talks.
  4. Get use to some loss of sleep--my day begins before they awake and I also stay up after they are sleep.
  5. Commit to your creativity--it helps to say, “I am (an artist, writer, sculptor, etc. )” to all you meet.”  In his book The Power of Positive Thinking, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said, “Throw your heart over the wall, and your body will follow.”  Once you say it, that’s throwing your head over that wall.
  6. Get use to the edge--your creative breakthrough lies on the other side of your comfort zone.
  7. Say No--get use to saying it A LOT.
I’m creatively busy doing a balancing act.  How do you find ways to make it all work?  Do you have any ideas to share?  Please share in the comments below.


Melanie Jongsma said...

Excellent tips, Toni. Thanks for sharing them! I especially like the quote from Dr. Peale. I think it captures the feeling of free-fall we often experience when throwing our hearts over the wall. That can be frightening but also exhilarating!

Toni Ruppert said...

Melanie, Thank you for your comment. You said it perfectly, free-fall can be frightening and so so exciting.

Nerissa Alford said...

Toni, I Love your blog! Thanks for coming to visit mine from the class. You have a new reader :)
I have struggled with that "b" word as well. I thought I'd have so much time as a SAHM - hahaha!
The things that have helped me are lists (I love them) & finding pockets of quiet time (after I finish laundry I reward myself by working on a piece)

jennifer hawkes said...

Hi Toni
This is Jennifer from your blog class - Love your work. I am looking forward to following you. I am always looking for balance so it great to be reminded even if I don't have kids yet.
best, JH

Vanessa said...

Wonderful tips Toni. I too have a small family and a full time job. I do my art on the side at the moment but am really trying to push it more and more as it's so important to me.

Your tips are right on the money, especially "learn to say no". I'm still working on that one but realising more and more everyday how important it is. In all everything is a work in progress...

I only recently came across your blog but I'm hooked! Will surely be back :)

Toni Ruppert said...

Thanks you all for visiting!

@Nerissa--you are so right--the Stay At Home Mom time myth IS a myth. So good to hear you say you reward yourself with your art.

@Jennifer--Thanks for commenting! The trick is to find the balance B4 kids, right?

@Vanessa--Thank you for "getting me." I'm thrilled to have you here. Many blessings to you as you work to balance your creative life.