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Jessie: Surrounded by twinkling lights and sparkling snow of mid December New Hampshire

Every year about this time I begin to feel the weight of consumption. Consumption of goods, food, music, all available free time. I look at the to-do lists and calendars and feel the burden of the disconnect I see between them. Invariably I start to think about what all of this consuming means and why it feels so draining. Why does filling yourself with so much from without make you feel so empty within? What is really going on and more importantly, what is the antidote?

Not long ago one of my beloved sisters and I were talking about consuming and the ravages it places upon the soul. I mentioned that what I’ve noticed was that it wasn’t really that consuming of television programming or books or baked goods that was the heart of the problem. It was the fact that all the consuming of things created by others squeezed out time spent creating things oneself. That the way through to morass was not really to worry about lowering consumption but to raise creative production.

I find that I am utterly replenished by creating things. Whether I knit a pair of socks or plan a party or write a few scenes on my latest novel, I am filled with a sense of absorption and delight while engaged in the act of creation. The pleasure lingers long after the time spent in the activity is over. It permeates my attitude, maybe even my aura. Invariably, days where I act as a creator as well as a consumer are happier days then ones during which I simply consume.

Which makes me ask why sometimes it is so hard to create? What holds us back? Why are excuses not to try so easy to concoct? Is it perfectionism? Fear? Sloth?

Readers, do you find creating things refreshing? What types of things do you produce? If you don’t, what do you think keeps you from doing so?


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