My wife and I are both people who like being productive and staying busy with meaningful pursuits. Most of the time this is a good thing as it keeps us from being lazy and wasteful with our time. But if we don’t keep a balanced approach to productivity, we can end up missing out on little things in life that we have to slow down to fully appreciate and take to heart. Not to mention the burnout and exhaustion that often comes as a result of working too much.
Over and over again we come back to the idea that balance is so important in all areas of life.
A good example of this is when we had one of our nieces over last Saturday morning for a few hours. We spent time playing with various toys together, and eventually, my wife brought out painting supplies for her. She was quite excited about it and was quickly in her highchair painting away.
I sat for a few minutes in the other room simply watching my wife and her paint together. My niece wasn’t trying to accomplish some lofty goal, paint the next Mona Lisa, or hurry up and finish by a certain time to move on to something else. Instead, she simply enjoyed the act of painting.
After a little while, my niece asked me to paint with her. So I did. I grabbed a piece of paper and a paintbrush and pulled up a chair next to her and began to paint. Sitting there I couldn’t remember when the last time I painted was—many years ago for sure.
I Don’t Like Painting, But I Love Being Creative
As a graphic designer, I express creativity in many ways. I like drawing letters, designing logos, and building websites. While I thoroughly enjoy designing, most of my time is spent on designing for my work rather than designing “just for fun.” In addition to that, I usually don’t care for painting too much because of how messy it tends to be; however, in that moment painting with my niece it was freeing and fun to paint without a goal or specific purpose. Watching her put paint on the page seemingly at random was inspiring. She let the brush fall wherever her mind decided the paint should go at that moment.
I want to balance my busy loving, productivity chasing mind with the paint enjoying, goal-free, imagining mind of a child.
I challenge you to go and paint like a child today.