Finding Time to Create When Life Is Full
Question: How do you find time to create when life is full?
Answer: Time isn’t found—it’s created. By you. Just like everything else.
Yes, you’ve created it all—the job, the family, the friends, the couch time, the hustle, the drinking, the distraction … and the fears, contentments, and anxieties that go with it.
Life begins as a blank slate. Even Life with a capital L, primordial ooze style. We come from nothing. We return to nothing. Us individually and us as humanity.
“By all outward appearances our life is a spark of light between one eternal darkness and another.”
– Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
I’m not being nihilistic here, I’m just trying to be helpful with the following reminder:
The track we think we must follow—wake, work, hustle, feed, bed—is a track of our own creation.
Saying “I haven’t had time to create” implies that time is allotted by someone/something else, and that one’s own desires don’t fit the terms of the allotment.
But not only is some keymaster not parsing out our time, time itself is just a human construct.
“What is time? … Time is emotion. It’s a mental construct, but the way we know it is through emotion. Think about it: a long time can be a second if you’re really miserable, right? A minute. And how many of you have ever been in a situation where some hours went by and it was like minutes—you didn’t even notice the time. What do we call it? We call it “time flew.” Think about it: when time flew, what happened? You were enjoying yourself, you were fulfilled. Time is emotion.” – Tony Robbins
As recently as the 1880s, U.S. states set their clocks according to where the sun hit its zenith. Every place had a different noon, and that was okay for most of human existence. Things only changed when railroads needed a standardized schedule.
Yes, the sun sets, the moon rises, but we create the time between, and we create its limits.
So, if you’re not creating the time for creativity, perhaps the question is:
Do you really want to create at all?
Action tells the truth. You may say you want to be a famous singer or basketball player, but if you never sing or hit the courts, you don’t actually want it.
But wait … there’s something different about creative efforts. Creativity is like food. It’s both a means and an end—not some distant dream.
Like physical exercise, creation is something we need, an act to strengthen and rejuvenate the system. Pushing, creating tension, finding release.
The question isn’t whether or not you want to create (be honest—you do), but: why are you not creating?
“Holding back is so close to stealing.” – Neil Young
When we find excuses to avoid the things we know are best for us (exercise, creation, meditation, healthy eating, and connection are some of mine), it’s not about why we lack desire to do the thing, it’s about why we lack desire to take care of ourselves.
And that, my friends, is a more difficult question.
In my life, warning flags rise when I create excuses to avoid writing. Focusing on surface-level excuses buys me time to pretend something deeper isn’t going on.
From pen, to hand, to arm, to brain, words onto paper spill from a pile of thoughts that have been collecting and held captive in my brain. Writing clears up the trash heap in my mind. It unearths.
Cured of the crowding jumble of surplus words, my brain can breathe, think clearly.
The issue is not writing or lack thereof. Writing is a red herring. The issue is avoidance of self.
(And writing stands for whatever form of creation heals you—music? movement? cooking? family time? design? volunteering?)
You have everything you need to do what you want—or at least to begin heading in that direction.
It’s not about the time you’re given, it’s about the time you create.
Your thoughts? I’d love to hear ’em below…Oh, and get an email when I post something new.
Word on the street….