I was asked to speak to our local Stroke & Soup support group about Creativity

Mmmm, where do I begin? I have always prided myself on being pretty creative. It’s my key personality trait. (Well, I think it is.) I was voted the female Senior Superlative in high school as Most Creative. (It was my thang.) I tried every lesson in the book. I had to try it ALL! Throughout the years, I’ve spent countless hours on piano, dancing, calligraphy in many styles, singing alto, sign design, violin, silk screening, guitar, ballet, button design and construction, drawing, tole painting, manual and computer graphic design (I had to adapt over the years- things change,) photography, scrapbooking, party planning, rubber stamping, paper arts, chalk painting, flower arranging, jewelry design and beading. (Whew!) Some of these I even did as jobs! I constantly need to throw myself into something, not just watching the grass grow. (Too passive.) My mind must possess a project to chew on.

My husband calls my crafts “craps,” and he thinks I’m a hoarder. He doesn’t comprehend that crafters must hoard to be productive, and the work space might appearto be crazy when we’re in the “zone.” (Deal with it.)

So then one day the Creative Queen relinquished her title when she lost the use of her dominant right hand. She felt as though fate slammed the door on all things creative in her life. (I just slipped into third person! And, back to first.)

This creativity topic is a sensitive subject for me. 

“Leftie” has always been a helper hand, not a doer hand. Now that “rightie” is hibernating, “leftie” has been a champ and stepped up to the challenge. But it has spent it’s whole life being the helper. What can I expect from it? Every time I struggle, I must remember it is my left hand. It has performed as my helper hand for forty-seven years. Many additional things take two hands to accomplish than I realized! My family has been incredibly supportive. They are very patient with my shortcomings, and they even eat Sunday dinner with their left hands. (See, it’s not that easy!)

“Leftie” has learned to swiftly one hand type and drive my electric wheelchair with precision. (Usually!) I’ve also dabbled with an adult coloring book.

I started writing in Facebook in response to a daily love writing challenge. I also found it was a opportune way to express appreciation to my family and friends, and it turned out to be a wonderful vent for my feeling and emotions. I wrote for a second month on a daily basis about my lucky blessings. (Well it was March after all.) After those two months, I had quite a large group of followers and avid readers. Many friends suggested I write a blog. A blog? Me? (That sounds difficult.) Don’t you have to be a professional writer? I simply put my thoughts on the screen and shared occasional milestones. I enjoyed English classes, but I never regarded myself a writer. The blog has served as an excellent creative vehicle for me. I started out stressing positivity as a self-made pep-talk to help me stay on the right track and avoid depression, but now it is the underlying theme of most of my blogs. I started out writing daily, but I found out about three months in, that my thoughts were becoming tapped out. So now I only write when the ideas hit me.

After I go home, and get all my “craps” organized, I want to utilize my creativity as much as possible. It might just be to teach my daughters and pass on my knowledge. I want to get a table vise, and try jewelry again. I also figure I can rubber stamp one handed. (I’ll make enough cards to keep me supplied for fifty years!) The paper trimmer might be challenging, but hey, I’ve got three girls at home to help me. The computer is always calling my name. I have already completed a few computer generated flyers for my church and family. I also figure I can do digital scrapbooks on the computer. My creativity can also come out in my home decorating (of my new digs) and how I deal with my family. At the moment I cannot sing or dance like I once did, but I can still enjoy and appreciate those physical arts. Photography is not out of the picture (get it?) I just need to master it single-handedly. (I’m full of puns! Stop!)

It is imperative to remind myself that even though my right hand is taking a temporary leave of absense, there are many ways I can express my creativity by hand (singular) and through my mind. We never lose that creative eye, that’s what makes us who we are. We can be creative in everything we do, if we put our whole self into each and every thing we invest our time in.

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