Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Art of Making Time

Painting #2: Central California Sunset (4x4 inches, watercolor)

Original Instagram photo:

This photo was taken during a trip to Central California to see my horse, Uno. My mom and I had stopped for dinner at Chipotle (our regular vegan-friendly spot when we're on the road), and the sunset was just too beautiful to pass up. This was taken from the parking lot, so you can see some of the lights in the picture. I took creative license, though, and left them out of the painting.

What I love so much about Instagram, and taking photos with an iPhone, is that you just never know where you're going to be when beauty strikes you. Having the ability to capture the moment (and then paint it a year later), is indeed, priceless. 

But I can't just post a photo of my next watercolor painting and then call it a day. I need some meaty content to serve up with it. So today, I want to talk about creating time. 

Wait, creating time? Doesn't everyone have the same 24 hours in a day? Yep. Which is why we have to be intentional with setting it aside for the things that truly matter to us.

I could use time to clean up my apartment (and most definitely should), but it ain't happening unless it's important to me in some way. If having a clean living space, that's organized and ready for me to be creative and spontaneous and relaxed in, well that's a different story. I can take time to go to the gym, but that treadmill won't see the likes of me unless it's going to serve a greater purpose. By realizing that exercising actually makes me a happier, more productive person, I no longer need to rely on the number of calories I'll burn as motivation.

So, if I've determined that cleaning my aparment and working out are important to me, then I must MAKE the time to do them. 

I spend most of my day managing calendars for other people. It's my job to make sure the colleagues I support are having the right conversations, at the right time, with the right people. Their time is valueable, and hard to comeby, so unless we MAKE time for them to meet about an important issue, it simply won't happen. 

This concept of setting aside time seems super rudamentary. Like, Duh! Then why don't we do this with the things that really REALLY matter to us? Like living our dream, taking risks, creating art, taking that trip, etc?

It's easy to get caught up in the things that we think are important to us, or what we think we're supposed to do. If you're simply doing it because you think you should, you aren't making time for yourself. You're letting your life situation take control. 

If we stopped and asked ourselves what we would REALLY prefer to be doing right now, chances are, it's not this. I'm flattered by the fact that you are actually taking the time to read it, but let's face it, there's definitely something deep within you that would rather be brought to fruition than this. It's okay that you're choosing to not do it right now, but it's important - critical, rather - that you recognize what it is, and why you're avoiding it. 

When it came to starting this art project, of painting/drawing two of my instagram photos per week, and publishing them online, I had to start by setting aside time. Well, first, I needed to determine my WHY. I came to terms with the fact that I just needed some sort of creative routine. I needed to remind myself that I am, in fact, very capable of being an artist. Of drawing, painting, and writing about it. But the only way I was going to prove that to myself and the world was to actually MAKE the time to show up and do the work. 

I had to treat MY schedule with the same level of importance as everyone else's. 

We make time by making a choice. When we choose to do the things that matter the most to us, we find a way to make them happen.

All images Copyright ® 2015 by Samantha Samuels