Organizing is Good for the Soul?

 My question:  Is organizing good for the soul?

In my full-time day job as an arts coordinator I am always organizing art materials, artists, and details ad nauseum to help provide arts programs, mostly for kids.  While I love this work my patience does wear thin at certain times of the year that are overwhelmingly busy and I realize it is because I have little energy left over to take care of my artist self and my creative space.  I am always striving for balance, good Libra that I am, but I believe it is very possible to obsessively over-organize and thereby squelch creativity by constricting the free spirit with an imbalanced need to control.   I am happy to say that I am making progress in my studio after having combined two rooms of my art and writing stuff into one!  This side of the room is the art corner.   The other side is for writing but it isn’t done yet.

Yesterday, tired as I was, cleaning up after week one of visual arts camp for kids, I thought how much I am in my element being around kids and art supplies.  I loved doing art with my own kids on the kitchen table and working as an art therapist.   However, the struggle to balance giving to others with taking care of the Self is something I have to work at every day.  I have lost sight of that balance so many times in my life.  Nevertheless, organizing the art supplies at work inspired me to go home to my room of my own and finish making it an irresistible place for me to be and to create!  If I can organize at work, surely I can organize at home!  You’d think so, but for a few months I’ve just been overwhelmed by the piles I didn’t know what to do with and just didn’t have the energy to face.  It has done my soul good to tackle one pile at a time, a little bit at a time, and though I am not finished yet, I am getting there.  I hope the unclogging of my creative space will open up the unclogging of my artistic soul!  I hope it is the beginning of a rebirth of a long suppressed desire to honor the artist and writer within; to give her space and time to work!

Finally, I just might be ready to read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.  When I picked it up years ago it was smothered under the demands of working and  mothering and ended up on the bookshelf.  Virginia Woolf’s book title is a metaphor on what it would take for women writers of that era to achieve their potential in the male-dominated literary world of 1929.  Even now in 2012, it is still a struggle to find the time and space in the midst of working and mothering to devote full-time hours to writing or art.  She said, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”  And that is really just the tip of the iceberg for her thesis written at a time when women had just been granted the right to vote nine years earlier.  We’ve come so far in some ways and yet I have so much to learn!

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