Sunday, March 13, 2011


Firstly, a plea to readers - this is an interactive blog, so please, please leave feedback.  The point of writing this is to have readers respond and share their thoughts, experiences and ideas. I am not expecting readers to agree with me (though that's great if you do) - by all means, if you have a different opinion, then please feel free to express it.  I am not going to criticize or abuse you.

Now to this week's topic.....Because I'm doing an Arts course, I'm naturally thinking a lot about creativity.  I've had many people say to me "Oh, you're so lucky to be able to make things, I'm not creative at all".  I don't agree.  I think we are all creative, especially as children, but this talent is either stifled or simply not used.

Perhaps someone told us we were c*** at drawing (or singing, or dancing or making things or whatever). Perhaps our own "self talk" told us we weren't as good as our classmates, so we stopped doing that activity.  I find it interesting that I have absolutely no recollection of school art classes.  In fact, I asked my friend, Hope, whom I've known for over 40 years, whether we even had art lessons at high school (apparently, we did). I can remember all my other subjects and teachers, but not Art.   

While I have dabbled a bit in handcrafts and sewing since my teenage years, I doubt that anyone would have dubbed me "a  creative child".  I did some knitting for my children when they were small, and sewed clothes for them when I was on my own from financial necessity.  I also made some of my own clothes for the same reason.  However, working fulltime, raising 2 children and a number of years spent studying meant that I had little time for creative leisure pursuits.  This is the norm for women with families to care for.

What about you?  Do you find yourself being more creative in your spare time now that you have more time to yourself, or have you always done so?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Normal Service is being resumed

I had hoped to write this blog weekly, but have been thrown out of kilter by the devastating Christchurch earthquake on 22nd February.  Of course, I am no longer living in the region, but my daughter is, and I have already written about that day on my Dyeing2Design blog.  Fortunately, both she and her boyfriend are back at work, and have power and water at their home, so are regaining some normality in their lives.

So today, I though I'd talk about what is normal, and how the sense of normal changes during our lives.  When I was my daughter's age (26), I was married with 2 children, a home and a business.  That was normal.  My mother married at 21 and had her first child, my brother, at 22.  That was normal.  She stopped work at that point and would not have resumed working outside the home except for the fact that the marriage ended and she was forced to return to work when I was 8 in order to support us.  There was no welfare available then.

However, none of Sophie's school friends are actually married (one is engaged) and none have children.  Cass, who is almost 30, has a couple of married friends and one with children.  Most of this group are university educated, and most have gone travelling.  Some are currently overseas and have been for some time.  This is normal for this generation - they are so much more mobile.  My mother is of the generation that dresses up to travel, because in her day, it was something special and unusual.  I dress for comfort.  The kids travel in whatever they're wearing, which may be shorts and jandals. This is also normal.

I could go on at length about how things have changed from when we were young.  It's important to accept that things should change, and that your concept of "normal" should also change; otherwise, you can create a lot of unnecessary grief and stress for yourself.  I try to remain flexible in my thinking for this reason.  While I would love to have grandchildren, I have to respect my children's decisions to live their lives their own way and to have different priorities.

What about you?  What is the most significant change in your concept of "normal"?