Sunday, June 20, 2010


The thing about taking on an ambitious project and doing it in front of the world is that when you fail, you fail spectacularly.  It sometimes makes picking up the pieces more difficult.

Just over 9 months ago, I began what I thought would be a fairly simple adventure... take one year of my life to explore how to add more creativity to each day...a 365 day adventure.

The funny thing about thinking of each day as including an INHALE and EXHALE activity was that somewhere along the line as our lives got more and more stressful, I wasn’t just gasping for air, I literally forgot how to breathe.

Stress makes you do funny things. 

I would wake gasping from a dream of being smothered with my heart racing and then be unable to get back to sleep.

I found myself getting lost in simple, mindless things like watching odd TV shows or playing Farmville on Facebook after a long day of substitute teaching instead of picking up a pencil to sketch or a needle to stitch.

So to those who were waiting for me to offer some guidance along the way in this adventure, I apologize for the huge gap in this blog.

I didn’t even journal through this stretch of darkness, which is really odd for me.  It was as if I wanted to have no proof of this dark time and my black thoughts anywhere.

While I went out and smiled when I was teaching, meeting with clients or doing Zoomba classes, at home I curled up, hid and just tried to keep my lungs working, even as my mother-in-law had to have a whole section of hers removed. Nick and I were each trying to comfort the other when we didn’t feel strong ourselves, hoping to keep things as normal as possible for the kids.  I am sure they saw through some of our cracks.

After a very long stretch, almost 15 weeks, my mother-in-law is home from the hospital, weak but on the mend.  Nick is wrapping up a school year that is ending with chaos and uncertainty as his school gets downsized to move students to a new school as boundaries get redrawn.  The girls are ending up their year on a high note with Erin earning a spot on Team NB for volleyball, the elite provincial team along with an academic award for Grade 9.  Bethany’s awards ceremony is this week and she is hopeful about her marks earning her some recognition as well.

As for me, I have spent enough time in the quiet to realize that INHALING CREATIVITY could never be a single year’s adventure.  It is going to take me quite a few years to put together a daily creativity adventure to follow or share.  I am starting to feel as if this is not just something to try for a year, but rather a way to live and keep breathing on a daily basis for the rest of my life.

Through all this chaos, I still found myself doodling, rummaging for wool, staring at floor tile patterns or looking for shapes in clouds.  I even found heart shapes in watermelons and bits of discarded plastic.

Maybe this isn’t anything I can turn off.  

Maybe choosing Inhalations and Exhalations was the right image after all.

It’s time to take a deep breath and begin again.

Join me tomorrow for the first new breath of this adventure.


  1. So sorry you've had a year like that. And to top it off, the first response is a spammer. Well, I hope that it makes you feel a little bit better that the second response isn't. I've really enjoyed your creativity blog and look forward to whatever you post here.

    (from your Creative Festival courses last Oct)

  2. Hi don't know me, but we share Anna. I just happened upon your website and realized, "This is Anna's Jenny". Strange, because it feels like I know you...all the years of stories from Anna about you, Nick and the girls.

    It must have been a very trying, worrisome, year for you.