We study history so we don’t make the same mistakes twice. Our memories? They act like our personal history books. You could argue that one reason we remember things is so we learn from our mistakes and don’t repeat them again.
Turns out memories fade.
Exactly two years ago, I was laid up post-spinal surgery and in a state where I couldn’t really leave the house much or enjoy the sunshine that kept extending the hours in a day. It took me about three months to move from throwing tiny fits about not being able to do cool things with my friends to appreciating the newfound time I had to embark on projects I had always claimed I had no time for.
Fast forward to now. I am certainly not as laid up as I was after getting a few more inches of metal woven around my spine, but I have a broken foot that’s painful and makes it hard to do much other than go for short walks on the weekends. After two weeks of Netflix-binge-wallowing and entirely ignoring the lesson I learned two years ago, I hit a wall. My doctor took one look at my follow-up X-ray and told me that my foot was a bit more broken than she had originally thought. The punishment? I wouldn’t be able to fully dive back into my active life for another six weeks.
That was all I needed. A bit more not-so-great (but not the end of the world) news to remember what I learned after surgery: Use down time to catch up on life, not waste it.
This realization came recently and all at once. In the past week, I have started working out again (read: doing super boring, non-weight-bearing workouts), I’m reading two books at once, I am spending more time on editing the novel I wrote, I’m using my slow cooker to make actual dinners that are better (and cheaper) than Seamless — and you better believe that I am baking a hell of a lot more.
All of this is to say that slowing down is good sometimes. I wanted to put this second-time-and-late-blooming epiphany out there in the world because, I don’t know about you, but I always feel creativity bubbling up, right below the surface, clawing at my skin, eager to break through. But I push it down, tell it that I am too busy for it.
Maybe this soliloquy is just a public reminder to myself to make more time for creative projects when I am not injured, sick or recovering from some sort of mishap. But maybe it will also nudge my brilliant and creative friends to pick up a pen, a paintbrush or a cake pan and do their thing.
With that, I’ll leave you with three great recipes I’ve made over the past week that have satiated my creative (and literal) hunger.
Double Chocolate Doughnuts (I topped with espresso sugar and mini chocolate chips instead of sprinkles)
Slow Cooker Hawaiian Tacos (Pairs well with a frozen margarita or Tropical Bitch beer)