A few months ago my husband asked me how my first watercolor class went.

“It was amazing!” I said. “I just want to watercolor all the time!”

He sighed and said, “Great. Another distraction.”

This comment led to a discussion about the housework, laundry, and cooking situation at my house. He thought that every time I did some new creative endeavor, it impacted his life negatively.

At first I got defensive, but then I went inward and asked myself what was true.

And the truth was I hadn’t been cooking as much as I usually do. I had been leaving breakfast dishes on the counter until dinnertime and I’d been doing laundry weekly rather than almost daily.

But it wasn’t because I tried a new creative thing.

It was because I wasn’t being creative enough.

Days later I told Tom that he was right, that I hadn’t been keeping up my end of the bargain.[1] I also reminded him that even though I was working 120+ hours a week when we started dating, I was also working on a cable-kit shawl and beading amulet bags at the same time. I’ve always done creative things. I always will.

That’s not what led to the laundry pile-up and the multiple take-out suppers.

On reflection, I notice I procrastinate and buffer when I’m not doing things for myself, creative or otherwise. Once I start taking care of myself again—and by that I mean do the things my soul wants to do, whether it’s cleaning out my office, walking in the woods, or taking a watercolor class—keeping up with the laundry isn’t a big deal. It’s just what I do to keep our home lives organized.

On Sunday morning, two friends texted to say they were getting together to paint for a couple of hours and did I want to join them?

Why, yes, I did.

That decision made, I was energized! I had meatballs made and a sauce started before I headed out to paint. My husband browned the sausages and added them to the sauce while I was gone. After I got home, I finished the sauce and supper simmered on the stove until it was time to eat.

When I do the things that feed my soul, it’s much easier for me to—ha ha—feed my family.

What would feed your soul?


[1] Bargain = Tom works full time while I work part-time and do the bulk of the cooking and laundry while we both care for our son. Weekends we do it all together and/or for each other.