Let The Sunshine In

Lately, I’ve been hearing a common refrain from people throughout my life - friends, family, students, parents, and even strangers and acquaintances on social media…

I’m just so tired. Everything is exhausting.

And when exploring this a little further, I’ve begun to notice a pattern. A very common pattern, in fact, and one that I have fallen into many times.

Does this - or something like it - sound familiar?

  1. Wake up

  2. Caffeinate/Eat

  3. Work

  4. Eat

  5. Work

  6. Exercise perhaps?

  7. Obligations

  8. Eat

  9. Obligations

  10. Zombie out in front of electronics

  11. Sleep

Rinse and repeat.

This is a common pattern - and I have absolutely nothing against patterns or routines, I personally thrive off them! But the above doesn’t seem to be leaving much, if any, time for joy.

Now, I’m not talking about carving out big periods of time on a daily basis for “relaxation” or regularly skiving off obligations to instead do something fun. What I’m talking about is finding a way to include just a little bit of joy in your daily life. Just a little bit of sunshine amidst all the necessities.

But how?

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Love The Art, Hate The Artist?

Society - particularly American society - loves to demonize or to “other” art and artists.

We deride people who create:

  • Oh, you’re an artist? You’re one of those.”

  • Oh, you’re a writer? I wish I could sit at home all day.”

  • Oh, you’re an actor? You must love starving.”

These are of course specific examples using common ideas and tropes, but these kinds of reactions are common and probably sound familiar to you.

We tell people who want to go into the arts:

  • Why would you to throw your life away?”

  • But you have so much potential!”

  • But there’s no money in the arts!”

Being a creator is clearly seen as being *less than,* but why? Less than what? Why would we consider becoming an artist or writer or performer or designer a path that is throwing your life away or not using your skills and talents?

Well, Capitalism.

But this type of thinking and behavior not only can be unlearned, but it needs to be unlearned. Art and the products of creation are everywhere, but we’ve been conditioned to have a blind spot for most of it, and what we do see we are told to feel contempt for. Let’s just see how pervasive art is, shall we?

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