When I first heard friends speak of artist dates, I was intrigued. I loved the idea of spending an afternoon at a museum or stealing away to watch a film in the middle of the day. But every time I set out to build this treat into my weekly schedule, I would hesitate. There was always too much to do - whether an impending deadline, competing priority, or the mundane household chores that somehow inevitably expand to consume any time that may have seemed free when the week began...
But as I seek to infuse this month with more creativity, I am giving it a try - and molding the practice to fit my present reality. On her website, Julia Cameron, who popularized the practice, describes an artist date as:
"A once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore
something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly
“artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the
imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the
play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well
of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask
yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it."
Instead of carving out an entire afternoon every week to indulge in an expedition, I am giving myself permission to designate part of the babe's naptime as an opportunity to play in the kitchen or curl up with a book. I have conceded the fact that this likely means the laundry will sit for an extra day, and a few emails will linger longer than I would like. But the catharsis of plunging my hands into a bowl of dough or the escape of venturing into a fictional world will bring me joy and refresh my perspective.
What self care have you been putting off because it seems too indulgent? Can you re-imagine it in a way that allows you to make it part of your routine?