redefining creativity

I have mentioned here before that I sometimes get pain associated with crafting, knitting especially, and I am currently in a higher-than-normal period of pain. It had gotten so bad that I decided it was time to pay a visit to my orthopedist, who I have been seeing since I was 14 after a knee injury. A few years ago I had a shoulder injury and when I went to the ortho, she told me that I have lax ligaments and that I'll have issues with my joints for pretty much forever so strength training is especially important. 

I was really worried that she was going to tell me my forearm and hand pain was something really bad like arthritis or carpal tunnel and that I would have to stop knitting. Luckily it is a case of muscle strain, so I can craft again one day, but she advised me to take a break, do some physical therapy, and then resume the crafting, and then to craft only if I am pain free. All of that sounded like common sense to me, and I knew she was going to say all of those things, but I think I needed a doctor's authority to actually follow through! 

All of that is to say that I haven't crafted in a week and that is the longest amount of time I have gone without crafting since the beginning of the year! You see, in January, I made it goal to be creative every day. I downloaded an app, Momentum, to help keep me on track. It was so exciting to see the calendar slowly turn green every time I completed my goal for the day. And I was seeing progress on my projects.

Look at all that green! 

Look at all that green! 

I quickly realized when I started having some more intense pain that I was going to have to redefine creativity if I wanted to keep meeting my creativity goal. My definition of creativity has mostly been related to specific crafts- knitting, embroidery, sewing, messing around with polymer clay, etc. The usual stuff you see on this blog. It is very production-focused, though, and when you're injured, that can be a problem. 

I have started to expand my personal definition of creativity and I'm having to er...get creative...in the process of expanding that definition. As I mentioned last week, I've been having a lot of fun learning French and lately that is fulfilling my creative urge and habit. Using my imagination is also becoming a regular part of my days and is counting toward my goal. Some days the most creative thing I do is read someone else's blog or listen to a crafting podcast. I'm trying to keep my mental crafting muscles engaged while the actual muscles are resting. It's been pretty hard to fight the urge to just pick up a project and go at it, but I want to be able to craft for a very long time and if that means a short term break now, I think it's worth it. Plus, crafting just isn't as enjoyable when it causes pain. 

So here I go, off to check off another day of "be creative!" because I think writing a blog post counts as creativity, don't you?!