Giving up Perfection when you're trying to be Creative

I love ideas. I have a lot of them. We just picked out our Christmas tree and brought it home. While some branches were being cut to make the tree fit into the base I had a great idea. I’ll use the extra branches to make a wreath we can put outside our front door. Brilliant idea!

My husband brought in some wire from the garage, and since I didn’t know how to make a wreath I Googled it. Martha Stewart makes some might fine, perfectly shaped, symmetrical wreaths!

I tried following the directions and my branches didn’t resemble anything like her wreath, or even A wreath. My husband gave me another idea. I tried that. Nope. Not so good.

Then I got frustrated. I just wanted to make a nice simple wreath using the greenery from my tree without spending a ton of time or money. I am not a moron. I should be able to figure this out. Dammit!

Then, my snarky brain kicked in. Just give up. You aren’t creative. Go to the crafts store and buy a pre-fab round foam form to attach the branches to and get it over with.

But instead of giving up and going to the store I stepped away and took my dog for a walk. Note- one of the best things you can do when you have a problem you can’t find a solution for is to step away for a while. It gives your subconscious mind some wiggle room to actually come up with a way to fix the problem.

I said to myself, I know I can do this. It’s just a silly wreath. So I proceeded to walk in the rain with no particular thoughts in my head. Then out of the blue, the ideas for how to fix my problem started coming. I had at least 2-3 ideas by the time I got home.

I put the wreath up, as is, just to see what it looked like. It wasn’t even close to what I envisioned but it was a start.

Wreath #1

Them I started to cut out the branches in the middle so my wreath would have a hole. It started to take shape until I cut one branch, which separated one whole side of the wreath. Instead of having a wreath with a round hole in the center, I now had one that looked sort of like a C. I said aloud,” that is so not what I had in mind”.

Wreath #2

Then something completely unexpected and fabulous happened.

I remembered that my last name is Carroll. Carroll starts with a C. This is the Carroll household. So why couldn’t my wreath be a big C with a red bow. I mean, why the hell not?

This all made perfect sense to me as I looked at this C wreath. It was totally organic. It didn’t sit on the wall perfectly flat. Some branches stuck out here and there, kind of like my hair often does. This wreath was completely me. It looked nice but not perfect. Care was put in to creating it but the perfection of a Martha Stewart wreath was left out. My life is messy, not perfect, filled with joy and sorrow, and great ideas that don’t always end up looking like I thought they would, or should.

I am quite pleased with my creation. I bet it won’t look like anything else in my neighborhood. And isn’t that often what we notice most? Things that look different but are still beautiful. All because I stepped away from the problem and allowed solutions to come through, then followed through on those ideas, which led to the organic creation of my unique Christmas wreath.

And I’m happier with the outcome, maybe even because, it doesn’t look like a Martha Stewart wreath.

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