Why Do You Keep Starting Big Projects Right Before You Go Back To Work?

I’ve lost count of the number of mid-August home projects I’ve started over the past few years. I’ve repainted rooms. I’ve installed shelving. I’ve totally changed the layout of rooms and who sleeps where (see The Great Bedroom Flip)! It has become my creative cycle.

Sometimes I think of our small space as its own delicate ecosystem. It is in constant need of pruning, nourishment, and replanting. I often feel like a master gardener and simultaneously a mad scientist!

I find myself once again in mid-August and another project is underway. Emily recently stopped to ask me, “Why do you keep starting big projects right before you go back to work?” The question felt profound to me. I’ve spent lots of time reflecting on it.

Here a few things I’ve realized:

girls bedroom

Our Girls Change Every Year

Our daughters are currently age 2 and 4, and it seems like they have both changed and grown so much over each summer. Our home has needed to adapt and change since having one newborn, to having one toddler, to having a toddler and a newborn, to having a preschooler and a toddler. Their clothing sizes, toy interests, bed locations, and space needs have changed every single year, and we are constantly modifying our home to keep up with their needs.

creative cycle - Big Magic Book

I Need To Express Creativity

This summer I’ve been reading the book “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She argues that creativity is central to the human experience. She explains that we are all creative in different ways, but we could all benefit from creating some kind of space in our lives where creativity can reign. Home projects are one of the primary ways that I express my creativity. I love identifying a problem or issue and then working to creatively solve that problem.

flipping rooms

August Aha Moments

We truly LOVE living in a small apartment in New York City, but when we’re all home together in the summer it can start to feel a bit cramped. In August, we are typically returning home from a long summer vacation in Kentucky (see Returning Home). Once we are in our own space again, Emily and I begin bursting with ideas for how to update things. We realize the things about our space that could change in order to better accommodate our needs. Once the realization is made, it is hard for me to not act swiftly before I return to work. If I don’t act, I find that my energy for pursuing creative home projects will dissipate as the school year rolls on.

creative cycle - bedroom redo

Creative Control Feels Good

It is nice to exert a little bit of control over a project before returning to school. I have stepped down from my school administration job and returned to teaching (see Tidying Up My Work Life). While I do have some control in my day-to-day work of teaching at school, there’s a considerable amount of my work that is simply out of my control. Dreaming, planning, and managing the task sequence of a project feels invigorating to me, especially as I think about stepping into the unknowns of another school year. Teaching is exhausting. Once I’m in the midst of a school year, the mental and emotional load that comes with teaching leaves little room for creative dreaming.

creative cycle - time pressureTime Pressure

When I start a big project in August, I experience a time pressure to get the project completed quickly. It’s often that pressure that helps me to manage my anxiety about returning to work. I see my home projects as acts of service for my family. I enjoy seeing the fruits of my projects during the school year.

room painting

Connecting While Dreaming

Emily and I are definitely better creative thinkers when we’re together than when we’re apart. We balance one another. I’m the big picture dreamer and Emily is the practical realist. I love to throw out creative ideas for how to reimagine our space and Emily helps me to channel those ideas into projects that are manageable.

People often ask, “Don’t you two ever stop and just chill?” I’m never sure exactly how they’re defining “chill”, but to me, doing something that you enjoy together is a good use of time. We enjoy walking through our apartment and thinking about the family routines and systems that could be made better with a few tweaks. We enjoy envisioning how we could make better use of cabinets or furniture. Our small space is like a puzzle and we have to constantly think about how to make all of the pieces fit together!

We’ve honed our decision-making abilities over the past few years. We’ve also gotten better at listening to one another and knowing when to let a home project go for a while. While I’m often the one shining a spotlight on our projects, Emily is an equal-part contributor on each of the projects behind the scenes. She’s absolutely my best thinking partner.

bedroom redo

Creative Cycle

I’m realizing that my creativity manifests differently from other people and that my creative cycle timelines may seem a bit strange. I love a good home project and my reflections have given me a much better sense of why I think and act in the way that I do.

This week I will head back to work and our current mid-August project is not yet finished. We are in the process of updating Mabel and Matilda’s bedroom with new wardrobe systems and bunk beds. Our two little girls are quickly growing into “big girls” and their bedroom requires new updates to accommodate their needs.

I love a good creative cycle project and it will certainly be fun to see this one finished!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

This post contains affiliate links. We make a small commission for purchases made through these links with no additional fee to the customer. We only link to products we use and love! Thank you for supporting our blog! 

About me

Hi, my name is Tyler Moore. My wife and I live with our two young daughters in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I began my tidying journey when an early-30’s crisis invited me to reflect upon, challenge, and change my patterns of daily living. I quit my job as a school administrator, returned to teaching, and started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


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August 19, 2019

Creative Cycle

Are You Ready
To Transform Your
Cleaning Routine?

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Why Do You Keep Starting Big Projects Right Before You Go Back To Work?

I’ve lost count of the number of mid-August home projects I’ve started over the past few years. I’ve repainted rooms. I’ve installed shelving. I’ve totally changed the layout of rooms and who sleeps where (see The Great Bedroom Flip)! It has become my creative cycle.

Sometimes I think of our small space as its own delicate ecosystem. It is in constant need of pruning, nourishment, and replanting. I often feel like a master gardener and simultaneously a mad scientist!

I find myself once again in mid-August and another project is underway. Emily recently stopped to ask me, “Why do you keep starting big projects right before you go back to work?” The question felt profound to me. I’ve spent lots of time reflecting on it.

Here a few things I’ve realized:

girls bedroom

Our Girls Change Every Year

Our daughters are currently age 2 and 4, and it seems like they have both changed and grown so much over each summer. Our home has needed to adapt and change since having one newborn, to having one toddler, to having a toddler and a newborn, to having a preschooler and a toddler. Their clothing sizes, toy interests, bed locations, and space needs have changed every single year, and we are constantly modifying our home to keep up with their needs.

creative cycle - Big Magic Book

I Need To Express Creativity

This summer I’ve been reading the book “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She argues that creativity is central to the human experience. She explains that we are all creative in different ways, but we could all benefit from creating some kind of space in our lives where creativity can reign. Home projects are one of the primary ways that I express my creativity. I love identifying a problem or issue and then working to creatively solve that problem.

flipping rooms

August Aha Moments

We truly LOVE living in a small apartment in New York City, but when we’re all home together in the summer it can start to feel a bit cramped. In August, we are typically returning home from a long summer vacation in Kentucky (see Returning Home). Once we are in our own space again, Emily and I begin bursting with ideas for how to update things. We realize the things about our space that could change in order to better accommodate our needs. Once the realization is made, it is hard for me to not act swiftly before I return to work. If I don’t act, I find that my energy for pursuing creative home projects will dissipate as the school year rolls on.

creative cycle - bedroom redo

Creative Control Feels Good

It is nice to exert a little bit of control over a project before returning to school. I have stepped down from my school administration job and returned to teaching (see Tidying Up My Work Life). While I do have some control in my day-to-day work of teaching at school, there’s a considerable amount of my work that is simply out of my control. Dreaming, planning, and managing the task sequence of a project feels invigorating to me, especially as I think about stepping into the unknowns of another school year. Teaching is exhausting. Once I’m in the midst of a school year, the mental and emotional load that comes with teaching leaves little room for creative dreaming.

creative cycle - time pressureTime Pressure

When I start a big project in August, I experience a time pressure to get the project completed quickly. It’s often that pressure that helps me to manage my anxiety about returning to work. I see my home projects as acts of service for my family. I enjoy seeing the fruits of my projects during the school year.

room painting

Connecting While Dreaming

Emily and I are definitely better creative thinkers when we’re together than when we’re apart. We balance one another. I’m the big picture dreamer and Emily is the practical realist. I love to throw out creative ideas for how to reimagine our space and Emily helps me to channel those ideas into projects that are manageable.

People often ask, “Don’t you two ever stop and just chill?” I’m never sure exactly how they’re defining “chill”, but to me, doing something that you enjoy together is a good use of time. We enjoy walking through our apartment and thinking about the family routines and systems that could be made better with a few tweaks. We enjoy envisioning how we could make better use of cabinets or furniture. Our small space is like a puzzle and we have to constantly think about how to make all of the pieces fit together!

We’ve honed our decision-making abilities over the past few years. We’ve also gotten better at listening to one another and knowing when to let a home project go for a while. While I’m often the one shining a spotlight on our projects, Emily is an equal-part contributor on each of the projects behind the scenes. She’s absolutely my best thinking partner.

bedroom redo

Creative Cycle

I’m realizing that my creativity manifests differently from other people and that my creative cycle timelines may seem a bit strange. I love a good home project and my reflections have given me a much better sense of why I think and act in the way that I do.

This week I will head back to work and our current mid-August project is not yet finished. We are in the process of updating Mabel and Matilda’s bedroom with new wardrobe systems and bunk beds. Our two little girls are quickly growing into “big girls” and their bedroom requires new updates to accommodate their needs.

I love a good creative cycle project and it will certainly be fun to see this one finished!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

This post contains affiliate links. We make a small commission for purchases made through these links with no additional fee to the customer. We only link to products we use and love! Thank you for supporting our blog! 

August 19, 2019

Creative Cycle

tidy home

Are You Ready
To Transform Your
Cleaning Routine?

free Download

About me

Hi, my name is Tyler Moore. My wife and I live with our two young daughters in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I began my tidying journey when an early-30’s crisis invited me to reflect upon, challenge, and change my patterns of daily living. I quit my job as a school administrator, returned to teaching, and started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


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