Last Friday evening started out like Ladies Art Night usually does~ good food, great people, acceptable wine, entertaining chit chat and some sort of creating.
A good deal of wine later, our latest gathering turned into a slumber party of cackling and therapy that went late into the wee hours when I made up beds around the house for my friends to crash in.
As always, it was good for my soul on so many levels.
I’m in the habit of telling the teens in my life to make good choices (I generally shout it from the car as I drop them off) and I can be proud that we mamas did just that. (like not driving home, and also drinking plenty of water along with our other beverages.)
I'm also in the habit of telling people that good hydration solves a myriad of woes, and it’s true~ especially when other beverages are involved!
Anyhoo, I suppose a few questionable choices were made as well (like trying to create another round of art pieces starting at 2:30 AM after a good deal of wine) but the only consequences at stake were baggy eyes and slightly embarrassing and amusing artwork.
The great thing about Ladies Art Night is...well...there are so many great things!
My top 3 are:
There’s a certain point after you start adulting, and definitely by the time you’re parenting, where you no longer get to stay up late chatting with your friends, eating and lamenting / solving the world’s problems.
Of course, the years of forced sleeplessness that comes with parenting can eliminate the desire for the late night part, but there’s still the need to connect with peers. Unfortunately, people are usually Really Friggen Busy. Most of us have work, family and life responsibilities that take up the majority of our time and energy. Friend time takes a back seat, even though we could really benefit from it.
There are stages when you can squeeze a little connection at park day while your children play or at work on a coffee break, but, having adult contact in a non-work and non kid related setting is HUGE. It’s a chance for real smack talk (the good and healthy kind where you analyze and think, not the damaging and mean kind) and conversations have the chance to be about whatever you want, not just family and work (even though those topics come up a lot anyway)
2. Creative Fuel~
There are something like 5.3 million sad American adults who think that colored pencils and markers are just for kids. Are you one of them? If so, I have news for you.
First, I totally made up that statistic.I have no idea the number of American adults that gave up art with childhood, but it seems like a lot. I do feel like adults in general are woefully deficient in creative endeavors though, and it’s a bummer.
The reasons adults don’t make fun things are plenty~ Life is busy and parents spend a lot of mental energy on other people, so sometimes they are just too brain dead and tired to create anything.
But also, for a lot of people, back when they were little, some well meaning adult squelched them for not coloring in the lines or making a cow purple or forgetting the legs on their bear drawing, and they took it to heart that they are not creative.
In her Birthing From Within book, Pam England talks about the connection between how we approach art and how we approach life~ or at least new things that we don’t already feel competent in. A lot of people are really critical of themselves and afraid to try. That brings me to the second thing.
If you haven’t picked up a paintbrush or colored markers in some time, then you are missing out on all kinds of fun, and possibly even some therapeutic benefits of art. Even my friends who don’t consider themselves creative, always have a great time and come away with some cool piece of individuality. It’s not a competition and no one is judging the outcome. It’s just a fun way of self expression, and you might make something pretty.
Easy projects like collage or coloring mandalas are non intimidating places to start. We’ve done vision boards, dream boxes and this last gathering, we made mosaics from broken old cds, which were shiny and fun.
I also appreciate bringing some balance of creating versus consuming in my life. Most of us consume, consume, consume~ all day every day~ not just food and physical products, but information and entertainment even. Balancing what I make with what I take is one really important thing I’m working on this year.
Of course, food and beverages are an important part of art night (and life) for me. But, amidst all the consumption that happens here and all around us, we are actually creating things too. Sometimes we make awesome things, and get new art to hang up in our homes and offices.
Other times we learn that projects are harder than they look on the Internet and wind up with candidates for a “nailed it” photo shoot. But, either way, we are making stuff, not just consuming it.
3) I get to play Hostess with the Mostest
And I even have a cute apron! Just kidding (although I actually do)... Really though, I enjoy having gatherings in general, and am almost always happy to host Art Night at my house. I Love, Love, Love my new home and I also love when I don’t have to drive!
There are some occasions when I want to get all dressed up, but if I want, I can wear yoga pants too. I can wear slippers even! And, I only invite people who aren’t lame and judgey, so I don’t even really have to clean ahead of time!
I like to keep it low key so all I have to do is pick a date and a project and put out some food. And before the evening is over I know I will get filled up, and not just my belly, but also my heart and mind.
There might be a few glitter explosions to clean up later, but I don't really mind. They're just sparkling reminders of people and things I like having around in my life, and I look forward to doing it again soon.
If you haven't tried a Ladies Art Night, give it a shot. You'll be glad you did, and you might even get something shiny out of the deal.
Who is Zesty Mom?
I'm an Artist, Writer, Funschooling Facilitator, Empowered Living Advocate, Wanna-be Organic Gardening Foodie, Travel Loving Life Explorer, Former Goat Herding Chicken Lady, and Full Time Mamacita Extraordinaire to a Couple of Cage Free Kids.
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