Did you ever read a book and wish you’d written it? Have you walked through a gallery and wished you had a better eye and camera for your own photography exploits? Have you found yourself envying the singer with the beautiful voice or the musician with such mastery of his instrument that he engages thousands in a standout performance?
Did your wishful thinking discourage you and steal the happiness of enjoying the fruit of someone else’s labors?
In other words, did you find yourself lamenting instead of celebrating?
That’s happened to me. I envy hostesses with the gift of hospitality. I invite people over, but it’s a big ordeal and anxiety-inducing. I forget basic things that make people comfortable. I stress over food preparation which usually turns out anywhere from mediocre to decent.
I also envy news anchors and talk show hosts. I think the co-anchors of Good Morning America (and similar shows), despite having to get up daily at 3am, have the best jobs on the planet, with opportunities to travel, interview a variety of interesting people, experiment with show formats, work as a team. Talk show hosts meet a lot of fascinating people, and get to pick their brains, pull out their stories. They make their jobs look so easy, the way words just roll off their tongues in front of national TV.
Then there are dancers who chasse, glissade, jete, tap, tango, or boogie their way across Broadway stages in musicals like Wicked, Les Miserables, or Joseph and the Amazing Techni-color Dreamcoat. Their talent, coordination, stamina, and flexibility are breath-taking, while evoking emotions worthy of the art form it is.
For fun, I took ballet and tap dancing classes in college, tried ballroom dancing and mountain clogging in my twenties. But my dancing ability is akin to a toddler’s somersault next to an Olympian gymnast.
So over the years I’ve had to reign in envy and focus on the raw talents I do have, coupled with my passion. What do I really want to spend my time doing that lines up with my skill set? Which interests am I willing to put hours, even years, into developing?
Perhaps you’re asking yourself the same question.
I hope you’ve found this blog to be inspiring, uplifting, and celebratory—a celebration of creativity in all its various forms.
We’ve only just begun this Journey to Imagination together. There’s much more ahead. Before we proceed, I want to make sure you’re finding value on these pages. I’m here to serve you.
So I’m asking: In reading this blog, are you encouraged or disheartened?
Are you enjoying the creations of others and inspired to pursue your own interests? Are you ready to try something new? Are you seeing ways you can bring creativity into your daily life, whether at home or work?
Or are you overwhelmed by others’ successes, feeling inferior, and/or frustrated by your own lack of talent?
Three weeks after this blog launched, a subscriber-friend emailed that she wanted to meet with me. She told me how the blog had inspired her to finally start a writing project she’d had in mind for a long time, and wanted tips for proceeding.
I was thrilled! That’s exactly what I want this blog to do. Inspire people to take their next creative step.
Other people have written that various posts inspired them as well, causing them to consider their own next steps.
We all have creative potential. Unfortunately, we don’t all tap into it. In those cases, I believe it lies dormant, ready to be pushed, pulled, prodded, provoked, and propelled to the forefront.
Perhaps there are two kinds of people in the world—those who consider themselves creative and embrace it, and those who think they aren’t, but wish they were.
If you’re a fellow creative, I hope you’ve found kindred spirits here for additional inspiration, and that you can revel in their achievements.
If you still think you don’t have a creative bone in your body, I urge you to stick with me, even go back and read some of the previous posts.
Below, at the end of this list, I have a few questions for you.
If you’re still doubting your own innate creativity, go here:
Then try these activities:
- A Different Kind of People Watching
- People Watching #2
- People Watching #3
- People Watching #4
- People Watching #5
- People Watching #6
- People Watching #7
- People Watching #8
Monday Metaphor Musings:
- Metaphor Musings #1: Web
- Metaphor Musings #2: Are you a Tiger or a Turtle? A Hammer or a Nail? A Piano or a Piccolo?
- Metaphor Musings #3: Door
- Metaphor Musings #4: Life
- Metaphor Musings #5: Quiz to Test your Metaphorical Intelligence
- Metaphor Musings #6: Similes
If you want to try your hand at something artsy/crafty either with kids or on your own, go here:
- Alison Sherwood, Part 1: Memory Maker, Memory Finder, Memory Keeper
- Alison Sherwood, Part 2: Memory Maker, Memory Finder, Memory Keeper
If you want to encourage your kids’ or grandkids’ or your own natural creativity, go here for suggestions on how to inspire and establish a nurturing environment:
- Should kids get trophies for participation? What is the most meaningful feedback for you? What gives you genuine encouragement?
- In the Schoolyard–Rest in Peace; Here Lies Imagination
- The Ruby Slippers
- Get out that Club: surround yourself with like-minded people
- Why was Einstein so Brilliant?
- We Need Fairy Tale Dragons
- Say Yes to Mess and Mayhem–the Joy is in the Journey, right?
- Let it Go it Let it Grow
- Ode to Broken Crayons
- Save the Toothbrushes!
Storytelling—Spin a Yarn inspired by American Blue Laws
- American Blue Laws #1: Donkeys are not allowed to sleep in bathtubs
- American Blue Laws #2: Don’s Shave on Main Street or Catch Lizards at Night
- American Blue Laws #3: A man may not purchase a hat unless his wife is with him
If you need reminders about how growing in your art is a process, go here:
- The starving artist is not so hungry: Finding art & beauty in the ordinary
- Creativity–Popcorn vs. Slow Cooker
- Process vs. Product–the Sizzle of the Steak?
- The Compulsion to Tell a Story
- Revision–When is it good enough? Finished or Abandoned?
- How is Your Muse Doing?
- Having Trouble Finding Your Muse?
- Creativity in hard times
If you’re worried about trying and failing, or not being good enough, check this out:
- Accidental Art & Inventions: Popsicles, Post-It Notes, & Paris filmmaking; When mistakes turn into a fine bit of Serendipity
- Risk-taking & Art, Part 1: Not everyone thinks your Baby is Beautiful
- Risk-taking & art, Part 2: Birds in the Woods
- Risk-taking & art, Part 3: The Hot Air Balloon Quilt
- Family Flops, Flubs, Feuds, & Foibles
- Family Flops, Flubs, Feuds, & Foibles—Part 2
If it’s comforting to hear about my own artistic flops, go here (more to come on this theme):
- My Gardening Tip: Live next door to Neighbors with Gorgeous Landscaping
- My Pitiful Venture into Interior Design
If you want to learn about Settings that inspire the Muses, go here:
- Story Worlds: Places I’ve Been, Part 2
- The Price of a Story — Calling for Your Most Memorable Vacation Experiences
- Looking Back on Muses & Memories–More Vacation Stories
Creative Family Life
- The Birthday Extravaganza
- Life is a Beach
- My Kids Grew Up in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
- My Kids Grew Up in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood–Part 2
- Nursery Rhymes: Sing a Song of Sixpence
- Literature: Barney Fife Says Robin Hood Should Be Banned
Road Trip: Visit to Mt. Airy, NC & The Andy Griffith Show: A Celebration of Mayberry’s Mirth & Music
- Sheriff Andy Taylor recommends the Snappy Lunch in Mayberry
- Deputy Barney Fife Says to Nip it in the Bud!
- Barney Fife says Aunt Bee’s Pickles Taste Like Kerosene
- Mayberry’s Briscoe Darling says, “Got time to breath, got time for music.”
Road Trip: Visit to the All Things Oz Museum in Chittenango, NY, home of L. Frank Baum
- We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 1: The Wizard of Chittenango
- We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 2: All Things Oz
- We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 3: The Man Behind the Curtain
- We’re off to See the Wizard, Part 4: The Man Behind the Curtain, continued
Road Trip: My Journey to Oz & Kansas
- The Real Dorothy
- Meet Jane, President of the International Wizard of Oz Club
- More about the International Wizard of Oz Club
- The Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas
- Why So Much Oz? My Year in Oz and my Story Project
- The National Toy and Miniature Museum–The World at My Feet
- A Touch of Whimsy in Wausaukee, Wisconsin: The Land of Oz Museum
The Disney Magic–Where It All Began
- There Really is Magic at Disney World
- Walt Disney’s Hometown–Where the Magic Began, Part 1
- Walt Disney’s Hometown–Where the Magic Began, Part 2
- Walt Disney’s Hometown–Where the Magic Began, Part 3
- Walt Disney’s Hometown–Where the Magic Began, Part 4
Armchair Travel — Readers’ Vacation Memories
- Megan’s First Time Camping—Candidates for Search & Rescue?
- Wayne & Julie — Vacation Memory #2: Trip to Russia—From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
- Nancy — Vacation Memory #3: Homeward Bound—A Pipe Dream?
- Carol — Vacation Memory #4: Disney World no Longer a Contender for Happiest Place on Earth
Pet & Animal Tales
If you want to be inspired by the guests we’ve had, go here (2018):
- Author Liz Tolsma: Story Worlds Steeped in WWII History
- Alison Sherwood, Part 1: Memory Maker, Memory Finder, Memory Keeper
- Alison Sherwood, Part 2: Memory Maker, Memory Finder, Memory Keeper
- Artist Laura Fesser, Part 1–Inspired by Polymer, Playable Guitars, & Portraits
- Artist-Teacher Laura Fesser, Part 2–Inspiring Students
- Kaysie Strickland, Home as a Haven of Healing, Part 1
- Kaysie Strickland, Home as a Haven of Healing, Part 2
- Barbara Britton–Perfume Pics, Coloring Pencils, & Records: An Author’s Unconventional Toolbox
- Artist Marie Scott: Painting Glimmers of Hope for this Broken World
- Artist Marie Scott: Mixing Business with Pleasure
- Lisa Doyle: Beauty in the World, Part 1–Leaving People Better than You Find Them
- Lisa Doyle: Beauty in the World, Part 2–Leaving People Better than You Find Them through Chosen, Inc.
- Master Gardeners: Beautifying the World One Yard at a Time, Part 1
- Master Gardeners: Beautifying the World One Yard at a Time, Part 2
- Elmer Sparks, Part 1: Spreading Happiness through Photography
- Elmer Sparks, Part 2: Spreading Happiness through Bluegrass Music
- Artist Rita Trickel: Beyond Here There Be Dragons
- FIRST Lego League: Tomorrow’s engineers creating innovative solutions for global problems
- Engineer Dan Dotson: Creating Innovative Solutions
- Engineer Mark Keup: More Innovative Solutions
- Mark Keup & Dan Dotson: Creators of Opportunity–the Making of a Champion Robotics Team
Guests in 2019
- Educator Mollie Gruennert: Creating School Environment with Joy, Beauty, and Shalom
- Educator Mollie Gruennert: Creating School Environment with Joy, Beauty, and Shalom–Part 2
- Meet my Neighbor Judith: Imagining a Better World
- Judith: Imagining a Better World, Part 2
- Judith: Imagining a Better World, Part 3
- Judith: Imagining a Better World, Part 4
- Author Gary D. Schmidt: Remember Who You Are, Part 1
- Author Gary D. Schmidt: Remember Who You Are, Part 2
- Author Gary D. Schmidt: Remember Who You Are, Part 3
- Artist and Educator Angelique Byrnes: On Fire to Foster Community through Art–Part 1
- Artist and Educator Angelique Byrnes: On Fire to Foster Community through Art–Part 2
- Mark Cage & the Adaptive Community Approach Program–Fulfilling a Quest of a Different Kind
Guests in 2020
- Anita Klumpers: An Author for All Seasons
- Actor/Director/Playwright Doug Jarecki & the Waukesha Civic Theater
- Actor/Director/Playwright Doug Jarecki & the Waukesha Civic Theater—Part 2
- Writer, Blogger, & Educator Elizabeth Daghfal — Nothing Beats a Good Story
- Writer, Blogger, & Educator Elizabeth Daghfal — Nothing Beats a Good Story—Part 2
- Journalists Mark Doremus & Karen Slattery–Using Stories as Gateways
- Journalists Mark Doremus & Karen Slattery–Using Stories as Gateways—Part 2
- Angelica Shirley Carpenter–Part 1–A Garden Party of Children’s Literature
- Angelica Shirley Carpenter–Part 2–Standing on the Shoulders of Matilda
Who or what would you like to see featured on this blog? Is there any particular discussion you’d like to engage in? Or tell me how you’ve been encouraged.
I’d love to hear from you!
21 thoughts on “Are you Celebrating or Lamenting?”
Another great post. Thanks for the links. This gets my mind whirling and thinking in new ways. Thanks so much for doing this…its a great service and a call to cultivate the creative in each of us.
Chris, thanks for your kind words. I’m so glad you’ve been inspired!
My biggest area that I wish I was better is home decorating. I am good at seeing things that are welcoming, warm, and beautiful when others put them together, but not so good at doing it myself. I can easily fall into envy when I go to a home of someone with that innate sense. I just have to remember that there are probably things that come easily for me and not them, just hard to see those things sometimes.
Erin, I can relate. And you’re right, we don’t always notice the things that come easily to us. We take them for granted. But I can think of several things right off the bat that you do very well!
Your description of attempts at hospitality could have been written about me! You nailed everything I go through!
As I’m getting older I’m finding that while I still wish I had the gift of music or art, I can appreciate it in others instead of being envious. Some things about aging are not so bad!
Keep doing what you are doing in this blog! I’ve found myself inspired and entertained. Both are necessary in my life! Your variety is pleasing but not jarring. I look forward to the upcoming posts.
Keep up the good work!
Yes, Anita, appreciating others’ gifts can definitely be an advantage of age. Thanks for your encouraging words.
I’ve really enjoyed your posts, this one included! Like you, my dancing has something to be desired. When I tell my work colleagues that I can’t dance, they look at me in disbelief!! As far as singing goes, I always wished I could play the role of Jean Valjean! Well, needless to say, there is a reason I stay on the piano bench!!! 🙂
Your posts and the experiences shared by your guests are really refreshing to read. They all have a feel-good quality to them in that all of the creativity expressed in the Journey to Imagination seems to be aimed at making the world a little better of a place. We could not ask for anything better!
Now that would be something, being Jean Valjean! Get the Les Miserables CD and sing along whenever you’re driving!
I’m so glad you’ve benefitted from following the blog, Brad. Thanks for such positive comments.