Have you ever felt surrounded by an eerie vacuum or silent void? Is it a feeling of emptiness? Is it a lack of direction or purpose? Or might this feeling be resulting from boredom?
When I was intensely busy with teaching, raising a family and supporting my aging parents, these feelings happened rarely. When they did erupt it was usually during a long weekend or holiday. Now, six years after retiring, moving four times (the first move was across Canada), plus dealing with the isolation imposed by the pandemic, I’ve experienced this quiet.
At times, I’ve welcomed the gentle meditative calm of no expectations, no stimulation and freedom. Then, the freedom of time and thought gradually expands like an inflating balloon. With each breath, one idea begets another, growing energy while anticipation of new connections and creativity seeds direction, imagination, and the desire to transform the dream into reality.
In time the creation of a new project triggers the excitement to share. Hmmm, I wonder if many of us teachers practising and retired have a burning passion to constantly share? Might we have a compulsion to influence those around us? It’s what gives us purpose?
In the spring of 2020, once Covid was confirmed as a growing pandemic and restrictions were in place, I found my purpose and excitement in engaging in the following three blogging projects. Two years later, it is with pride and fondness that I share these three accomplishments.
My suggestion? When you are feeling that eerie vacuum or void, surrender to the beauty of your imagination and engage in creativity. Ultimately the play with creative thought and action will beget joy, inspiration and peaceful purpose and satisfaction.
Here are some overall conclusions. Check out the summary blog posts which offer more specific insights, reflections and suggestions.
100 days of creativity
I plan to continue contour drawing with both my right and left hand to see how it affects my brain.
What do I hope to learn?
- Contour drawing with both my right and left hand
100 blogs in 100 days: Mid-March 2020 to June 20, 2020
I posted 100 blogs in 100 days in hopes of offering support and inspiration to teachers, parents and grandparents. Topics covered ranged from curriculum support, learning activities, readings, stories, growth mindset support and parenting.
What did I learn?
- Blogging for 100 days is not impossible.
- I learned strategies to make the process easier.
- I committed to rigorous writing practice which was immensely satisfying.
- I did help families and educators with educational support.
- I began to gain a better understanding of algorithms and social media strategies.
October 26, 2020 – Feb 5, 2021
105 vlogs over 15 weeks, with 15 corresponding weekly reflective blogs.
I posted 105 vlogs which featured my husband, Mark and me as we coped with the pandemic. The posts were 3- 6 minutes long and showcased our daily activities and some major decisions (moving during a pandemic!). We hoped to provide others with some light positive entertainment and share how we managed to keep positive during a very restrictive time.
What did I learn?
- It was fun engaging in a project with my husband, who surprisingly enjoyed the process.
- I gained a comfort level in using iMovie.
- It is lovely to have this fun video/blogging project as a keepsake from a historical time.
- The project offered structure and routine to my day and weeks.
September 8, 2021 – March 11, 2022
Initially, the intent was to post Monday to Friday every day of school from September to June. This goal was adjusted to March break as I was feeling less inspired and running out of topics that I felt would be of interest. As with the first project, my goal was to offer support and inspiration to teachers, parents and grandparents. Topics covered ranged from curriculum support, learning activities, readings, stories, growth mindset support and parenting.
What did I learn?
- I really enjoy the structure and routine of these projects.
- It’s okay to pivot and change a goal.
- I took a blogging seminar and as such learned new strategies and applied them.
- I further developed my understanding of social media.
- I found that consistent writing practice enhances my writing skills.
- Blogging Monday to Friday offers a nice pace of structure and time off.