When something becomes mandatory, somehow, it loses something.
We have, in our upstairs bathroom, two little glass shelves that hold toilet paper rolls. Usually I buy 12-packs of toilet paper, to save having to remember to buy more toilet paper, and I used to just line up the rolls on the shelves in stacks of 2. One day I came in and the rolls were all arranged in a lovely triangle, with artistic spacing. I laughed … that’s my son. I laughed more when every day or so, the arrangement became different. I’d rearrange the rolls as well, at times, to surprise someone else. It was fun and oddly delightful. But then it kind of … petered out. So when I recently bought toilet paper, I said “hey, let’s make this fun. Let’s say, every time you need to get a new roll, you have to create a completely new composition of the remaining rolls. Cool, huh?” … My family was like “Sure, mom” or “Ok honey” … willing to play along with my silly little concepts of ‘fun’. But, somehow, it’s no longer as … fun. You know?
Like that November writing challenge, which kind of turned my daughter (temporarily) off writing, or the accursed, hell-world of a “self-portrait a day” which I will be enduring for the next 11 months … once something wonderful becomes mandatory, it becomes, somehow, less wonderful. I’m not talking work, though I suppose that happens to some people at their jobs … I’m talking the delightful little creative nuances we scatter throughout our days, the things that make each day something new and wonderful and different. It’s why I never want to make any significant income from my art, or my photography. Trading joy for money is never a good idea.
I wish a voluntarily creative, joyous, and curious day to you all. May something unexpected fill you with wonder at least once today, and every day, though if it doesn’t, that’s ok too.