One thing I have discovered since embracing my calling to be a homemaker is that I have become more creative. As I stood in front of the freezer pulling out a made ahead casserole to set out for supper, it occurred to me that I have never made up a casserole recipe until I made this one. It was a taco pasta casserole, and I created it using up stuff in the refrigerator that needed used up, as well as what I had on hand in the pantry. It was made on a day that I needed something to leave for my husband to reheat for an easy supper because I would be gone that evening and he had a long, hard day of construction work in the heat, and I knew he would be exhausted.
And as I set about in the kitchen that morning and took stock of what needed using up and what I had on hand, the taco pasta casserole just came into being. It fulfilled all it was intended: It used up some food that otherwise would have went to waste; it used other items that I keep stocked in my pantry, such as the pasta and beans I added to it; and it was simple for my husband to cut a piece and pop it into the microwave for a quick and easy supper. I’ll also pat myself on the back here because as I was making it, it occurred to me that I could double the recipe and put one in the freezer. Hence the casserole being pulled out for an easy supper tonight!
I don’t really consider myself a creative person. I’m not artistic. I can’t think of a single talent I have. But what I am beginning to understand is that creativity can be developed. It’s not an all-or-nothing deal, either you’re born with it or you’re not. I don’t have to be an artist, a painter or musician or crafter, in order to call on creativity to solve a problem.
What I needed was the brain space to let the creativity seeds take root and start growing. When I was working at a job being the co-breadwinner, I had my brain matter bogged down in work-related thoughts. The bulk of my energy, mental and physical, was given to my work and to my clients, doing a bang up job and providing great service. But when I left that behind and embraced being a homemaker, determined to not look for another job or go back to an official job to earn money, that’s when the creativity started taking hold.
It literally just crept up on me. One day I needed a yummy make ahead meal and my brain popped out a solution. (My husband said it was really good!) A few days later I started thinking on what I could do to make the recliner in our living room nicer. It took a few weeks of that knocking around in my brain before the solution presented itself. And now the recliner is covered with a very nice sheet set that I dug out of the bedding trunk. My criteria for that solution was it needed to be something on hand, and the sheets actually look very nice on the chair!
I am beginning to understand that giving our brains space is the key. We need to insert the problem or issue and then allow time and energy for our amazing brains to mull it over, work it around, take other criteria into consideration, and eventually solutions will start taking shape. Maybe it will be just one solution or maybe trying out the first one that pops up will inspire creativity to fine tune it into a better solution.
I encourage you to start cultivating creativity. Start building your creativity muscle. And also encourage it in your family. Allow others to have space and brain power to devote to just being at peace and rest and to start this path to becoming more creative. Inspire creativity by making your home and home environment conducive to creative thoughts and endeavors. Have fewer electronics or battery operated toys and more toys that require hands-on and thoughtful play, such as art and craft supplies, musical instruments, building blocks, dolls, or games that require strategy. Encourage family members to be active and even jump in and play with each other. Talk over projects or problems and help each other by offering solutions that can be used or that might inspire further creativity.
What I’m finding is the more space we give ourselves, margin, if you will, as it is so often called nowadays, and the more peace and rest we allow in our heads, bodies and homes, the more creativity will flow, and we will become more creative beings in whatever outlet we choose, be it homemaking like me, music like my younger daughter, or building things by hand like my husband. There is no end to creativity; it just keeps building on itself as long as we don’t stunt its growth by filling our heads with too much junk that inhibits creative juices. And there’s also no right or wrong way to be creative. Just embrace it, let it flow, and enjoy the products or results!