Here is a list my seven year old daughter and I made up for “How to have a great day”.
Get a good sleep
Get up early
Go to school
Go to circle (morning community circle at school)
Do good work (try your best, try to enjoy it)
Go outside and get fresh air
Play a fun game with your friends
Eat well (try to finish lunch)
Be kind and generous
Ask for help when you need it
Work together and help each other
Make somebody laugh
Give hugs and kisses to people if it’s ok with them
Be excited to see your parents (when school is over)
Go to bed early, read a nice story, and sleep well
Make sure to go to the washroom several times a day
Life’s instructions. I’m always working behind the scenes on a nourishing list for myself, and this one is pretty good.
My daughter loves making lists and instructions for things. She has written out instructions for many activities from making maple syrup to creative headstands. It’s her way of making an activity her own, adding her own creative spice to something that may already exist.
My daughter and her cousin spent a good hour making up about a dozen different kinds of headstands and documented them.
Artists often struggle with the need to feel original. You can either view nothing as original or everything as original. I agree with Elizabeth Gilbert in viewing everything as original simply because it is being done by you.
“Most things have been done, but they have not be done by you.”
~ Elizabeth Gilbert, From Big Magic
Children don’t seem to have this hang up. They make and create and flow with ease and don’t worry that something’s been done before. Creativity is play and play is creativity for children. Slowing the thinking down and enjoying the process is where the joy is.
Lists that matter. My daughter made this one for picking vegetables in the garden. She took the time to draw pictures and make it beautiful. How many lists do we make as adults that we take the time to make beautiful. Art and creativity can exist even in such a mundane thing as making a list.
One last list. I have this on my desk so I can see it while I work. It’s a list my daughter made of all the things she is grateful for. Family. Friends. Animals. Love. Laughter. Art. Math. Books.
If we can slow down to listen to our inner and outer children, we can infuse creativity, art, and beauty into the everyday and embrace what it really means to have a great day and to live a great life.