Scheduling Creative Time + Video

Heather Bullard | Flowering Branches You may recall from this post I’ve been yearning for some personal creative time. As an introvert, a quiet sabbatical at home seemed the perfect solution to renew my creative mojo. I have a tendency to work, work, work with a self imposed need to accomplish business tasks first and foremost in my day. I suppose if I were on a therapists couch (namely you at this moment) we would discuss why I embrace hard work over things that may or may not produce tangible assets – such as an empty calendar. And although it’s taken me years to realize the value of creative breaks (and be ok with the fact it’s basically “me” time) I firmly believe I should have been scheduling them all along and have plans to continue exploring this new routine without guilt or expectation.

Heather Bullard | Fresh Picked Orange

One thing I’ve enjoyed is picking up my camera again. The memory card is slowly filling up with random images of chickens, freshly laundered sheets, meals on the patio, and spring in all her glory as witnessed on my walks. And slowly things are feeling more balanced. As if my empty cup is being restored one quiet day after another.

I’ve also been filming small video clips of life here at Grove House and it’s been a welcome change of pace using my camera in this new-to-me format. The clips aren’t perfect (nor would I want or expect them to be) but their humble simplicity feels authentic and honest. My favorite part has been my niece coming to the studio to help me organize the clips into video as I have no desire to learn how to do it at this time. Plus she’s a whiz at it.
Here is the result of our first short video: Grove House Living | Episode 1

In recent talks with friends I’ve noticed a general trend – as women we have a hard time gifting ourselves the freedom to recharge. Obstacles hinder us nearly every day. Those of own making and those of outside forces but I hope we can encourage one another to carve out a little space in our busy lives to just be.

Ways to refresh your creativity when you aren’t able to schedule time off:

  • Take your lunch break outdoors; in a park, near the water, or your own backyard.
  • Go for a walk or hike in a new place.
  • Plan a solo visit to a museum, library, or gallery.
  • Take a nap on your day off.
  • Disconnect from your screens; phone, computer, tv, tablet.
  • Ask for help or support from friends and loved ones.
  • Try a new hobby – painting, calligraphy, photography, etc.
  • Be present and mindful during your daily activities.
  • Write down your thoughts. Not to be confused with a to-do list.
  • Drive a new route to and from work or school carpool.
  • Look for creativity in your surroundings: nature, patterns, architecture.

I would love to hear your voice in the comments on ways you replenish your creativity or lessons you’ve learned on the value of self care.

Between posts you can find me on Instagram sharing highlights of daily life.
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28 Comments

  • katey

    Social media certainly can eat away free time and I find it refreshing to set the phone aside especially at bedtime or in the tub and spread that time reading a good book. I’ve enjoyed bringing this pastime back into my life. Thank you for these thoughts and good ideas. Katey

    March 15, 2017 at 7:12 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      I agree with you Katey on social media and find myself taking long breaks from it. Your evening routine sounds like a relaxing way to end the day. Thank you for sharing.

      March 15, 2017 at 7:27 am Reply
  • Louisa

    I’ve recently sold my soft furnishing business and am ‘trying’ to enjoy a bit of me time before I start my next work venture. But I feel so guilty doing spending time doing nothing but what I want to do. My husband popped home from work last week one lunchtime, and caught me eating my lunch while watching TV! For all of 15 minutes. I felt I had to justify myself – although he had no issue with how I chose to spend my day, I obviously did!

    March 15, 2017 at 9:25 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      I hope you’re able to enjoy your remaining time off and wish you much success in your new venture! How nice that your husband is supportive…I have one like that as well. 🙂

      March 15, 2017 at 9:52 am Reply
  • emily lex

    What a lovely video! It feels like a deep breath of fresh air. Thank you so much for sharing!

    March 15, 2017 at 10:24 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thank you, Emily. That’s exactly how I’ve felt during my down time here at home. 🙂

      March 15, 2017 at 10:47 am Reply
  • Robin

    I think you have really achieved balance in your life. So inspirational to me.

    March 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Not certain I have perfected the work/life balance but I’ve definitely been making a more concerted effort of achieving it. Thank you for stopping by today Robin, and for your kind words.

      March 15, 2017 at 2:43 pm Reply
  • Shari

    Your video felt pert near to perfect, in my eyes! Lovely thing to do for your soul Heather; taking time for yourself! I choose me-time to be my daily walk/hike. It feels great to be away from the computer working at home! The fresh air and adrenaline charge give me renewed energy. No better place to walk than in “God’s gym” ( as a friend calls it)… Nature supplies such beauty. It’s good to find it in so many simple ways. Which is exactly what your video has shown. Thanks for sharing your Grove House Living.

    March 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Walking and hiking is my favorite form of exercise and agree with you that nature provides much needed renewal and inspiration to carry on with our day. Looking forward to hitting the trails tonight with my little rescue pup!

      March 15, 2017 at 2:47 pm Reply
  • Debbie

    Beautiful, peaceful video, Heather. What a lovely project for both you and your niece. Kind of mesmerizing watching the Kitchen-Aid spin round and round (yet at the same time wondering if it was mixing something or if the bowl was empty – I confess I need help with mindfulness). Wanting to fit in meditation, I downloaded the Headspace app. Very cool! Thank you, Heather, for sharing.

    March 15, 2017 at 3:38 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thank you. The mixer had eggs in it…just didn’t want them splashing around on a higher speed.
      I’ve heard of the Headspace app but haven’t tried it. Hope it helps with your meditation practice. 🙂

      March 15, 2017 at 3:49 pm Reply
  • Pamm

    I really enjoyed your video! So calming! My favorite way to gather my thoughts for the day ahead is to put out seed for the backyard birds in the morning, grab a cup of coffee and watch as they all flutter down to have their breakfast. It’s peaceful and enjoyable “me” time and I don’t feel guilty as I feel it’s productive as well.

    March 15, 2017 at 3:44 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      This sounds like a wonderful idea! I’ll have to try this when I feed our hens. Thank you for sharing!

      March 15, 2017 at 3:51 pm Reply
  • Sue W.

    Lovely video! I miss the smell of orange blossoms from my beloved Grandpa’s groves. I also miss having my chickens and fresh eggs.

    March 16, 2017 at 2:07 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Oh, yes! It smell like heaven right now. I leave the doors and windows open all day!

      March 16, 2017 at 7:53 am Reply
  • Garden, Home and Party

    Heather,
    I thoroughly enjoyed your video. Your orange tree is wonderful and I can only imagine how delicious the oranges are after our beneficial rains this past winter.
    I love walking and observing nature and the free beauty and joy it gives us.
    xo,
    Karen

    March 16, 2017 at 5:46 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Free beauty…what a lovely way to think of it. The hills and trails around our home are finally green after years of drought. We’ve been waiting for the sheep farmer to return with his grazing flock this year. Seeing them dotted on the hillside is like a picturesque scene from an English novel.

      March 16, 2017 at 7:56 am Reply
  • Kim

    Oh Heather! Your video actually brought tears to my eyes. Is that crazy?! I long for that peaceful, simple time – quiet for my brain and soul. As a full time working mom of three teenagers, a quiet moment is rare. But with the upcoming spring I’m determined to make some time for it. Can I ask what music is playing on your video? It’s perfect! Thank you!

    March 16, 2017 at 9:22 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Wish I could remember the name of the song! It’s from the royalty free website Soudstripe.
      I can imagine how busy your life is with three teenagers…here’s hoping for a day or two set aside for you this spring! Or maybe even an afternoon! 😉

      March 16, 2017 at 11:49 am Reply
  • Miranda

    What a sweet short video! Love it. I am glad you mentioned the part about women having trouble giving ourselves time off, as I am having a terrible week at work right now. I’ve been so blogged down since Christmas being on call 24/7 since then! As an engineer, there are very few other women in my role and I feel like if I ask for time off, or say I can’t handle the work load anymore, I can appear weak. The good news is that my husband and I have been very disciplined and intentional about our money (thanks to Dave Ramsey), so change is coming soon. 🙂

    March 16, 2017 at 11:14 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      My husband does large scale public works projects (freeways, bridges, over passes, etc.) and I know for a fact how few women engineers there are in his field. I’m sure it adds pressure being surrounded by male colleagues. But YAY! for your good news! Wishing you all the best as you reach your goals of financial freedom! We live debt free and I can tell you it feels pretty amazing!

      March 16, 2017 at 11:58 am Reply
  • Karon Nichols

    Good insight Heather. I have discovered that the pressing things are seldom the important things and the important things are seldom the pressing things. Those pressing things demand our attention but the important is not so demanding and we say I can get to that later. But God. We have a God who understands our needs and knows our frame. He loves us so much! Glad you are taking a reprieve from a hectic work schedule. Enjoy;~)

    March 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm Reply
    • Karen B

      Karon, I love the way you said that and it’s so true!

      March 17, 2017 at 5:37 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Beautifully spoken. Thank you, Karon.

      March 17, 2017 at 6:51 am Reply
  • Karen B

    Heather your video was lovely. I can just imagine the scent that permeates your property. And lately, I’ve seen everyone from home posting pictures of the amazing wildflowers along our I-15 corridor. I certainly wish I was home this year to enjoy them. I am in an apartment in a big city in a foreign country as I type. I do get away for me time to photograph the beauty that I’m discovering here. It’s invigorating. I’ve played a little with video and it’s so much fun!!! Yours was a great start. Looking forward to many more.

    March 17, 2017 at 5:40 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      The wildflowers are starting to bloom. I notice fields popping up every day!
      Have you recently moved to a new country? I can imagine the internet helps and hinders being homesick.

      March 17, 2017 at 6:55 am Reply
  • Debe L

    I have followed you for years and just watching all you do could be exhausting. However when someone is as good at what they do as you are, the demands can be huge. You have a beautiful home and you do need to take time to just enjoy being there. Thanks for the video…..wish I had chickens! Not allowed in my subdivision.

    March 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm Reply
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