I think we all struggle with growing creativity in our lives. Or maybe it’s the creativity in our struggles…

Maybe it’s struggle with weight versus your undying loyalty to cupcakes. Check. Maybe it’s your struggle with your extended family. Check. Maybe it’s the ongoing struggle with too much judgyness on other people that you have no idea what they actually go through in a day. Check. Maybe it’s that book you started two (and a half, sigh) years ago.  Check. Maybe you’re sick of putting your jeans on and wondering if they just came out of the dryer  – but they didn’t. Check. Whatever you’re fed up with wherever you are in life, the toughest thing to do – to break the cycle is to just do it.

I’ve been out of the loop with writing. And I swear to you, for the last two weeks, I’m back to healthy and rested and ready to rock. I’ve been staring at a blank screen. What could I possibly have to say that is worthy of others find worth to read?

Where the heck did that come from?  I’ve been writing (and working out – it’s all the same slump it turns out) for twenty years. I’ve been consistently blogging for almost 10 years now. I take one little surgery vacation, and lo – I’ve got nothing else? Really, Les?

Did you know that while staring at a blank screen, I’ve managed to download 4 workout videos last week. Do you think I’ve actually even started to put one? Nope.

Ian Lynch wrote a beautiful post about stopping and not quitting.  It spoke to me on several levels (Thanks Ian!) But as always, the music I ended up downloading two versions of the U2 song after I read his post.

“How long to sing this song?”

“Um, yeah…how long do I have to nag you to get your nasty socks dotting my entire house?” Fun mom stuff like that. Like every parent in the whole world, in any language, we just know we can record said complaint/request/nagging and just replay it. We get tired of hearing ourselves.

That same verse rings in my head to myself on a more critical note, though. On a more personal note, that verse rings a chord with my quest for writing my darned book. (Or losing weight. Or firming up.) How long do I sing/pray (in my case, whine) this whiney request? I’m sick of hearing myself nag…at myself even.

And then something happens – how are we going to get out of this rut…we’re going to stop questioning/praying and do something new.

“I will sing. Sing a new song.”

We’ve got to put our dreams and prayers into action. Because praying for weight loss, as it turns out – doesn’t burn that many calories.  Our prayers, our songs, our struggles – they are the first part of the equation. It’s the centering and the focus we work on in prayer. God can’t probably won’t do for us what we can do for ourselves. Just like the older my kids get, the less I do for them. When the kids learned to tie their shoes, they would still check to see if I’d do it for them. It’s just such a lame and tedious job. And I can do it faster than they can. If I do it, that’s all the more seconds they can be outside playing.

I’ll do what I can for myself. And let God do the other stuff. I’m pretty capable. So, whatever God’s got to do, I’m sure will be, forgive the pun, Awesome. Fine, it’s not actually a pun. It’s the initial intent of the word that’s been overused. But you get it.

So 40 by U2 is my new official mantra of regression and then, the hope for a step forward.  It’s on the beginning and end of my workout playlist. It’s with me in the car now. I’m singing it as I write. Finally, no blank screen.

On a side note:

A friend of mine posted the video below on Facebook, citing: “You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this – but it helps.”  Good point. There’s a whimsy that makes creativity flourish. But what makes creativity happen is the undertold sharing the idea, planning and preparation. And so, this one says to me, “We dreamed, hovered, risked, listen, re-integrated, and later we’ll rest – for you.”

Leslie is a blogger for Darkwood Brew. She’s had her own blog for 8 years – momontherocks.com, chronicling the crazy moments of mommyhood. She also has a column in HerLiving, a local Omaha Magazine. When she’s not writing, she’s laughing and/or eating with her very tall family: husband, Chris, and twins, Max and Lucy.

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