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The Art of Kanoodling

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I borrowed a book about writing a long while ago, I don’t even remember who wrote it. I hope I returned it! It stated the importance of kanoodling around- going for a nature walk or sitting by a bubbling stream, ­when you are trying to get your creativity kick started. And by kanoodling, I believe she meant, giving your brain some down time, to be able to create fresh new ideas. ( If you look up canoodle it means something totally different, so perhaps she made up this definition for kanoodling.)

When I am trying to embark on a new project, I have to do a certain amount of housework before I can begin any new endeavours that I may have planned for the day. I am also a creature of habit. I need to have my latte, check my emails and other social media. Then I tackle the kitchen, which needs to be tackled sumo wrestler-style, (I wear my dish towel fashioned like a mawashi- look it up). Then, I usually pop in a load of laundry, take care of our old dog, carry out the garbage, and then and only then, am I ready to do my creative stuff.

Usually I am planning on writing or makin soapy stuff or both. I can’t just jump in cold turkey. I dont’ know why. It is just how I am. I think that part of my chore process is this idea of kanoodling. My brain is thinking up ideas, while I do repetitive tasks. I know of a writer who gets a lot of his great ideas by driving on long road trips. Therefore, he takes long road trips.

Lucky for me I get great ideas whilst vacuuming or doing laundry. I am also practical and believe that if I can accomplish two things at once, ie: chores and coming up with new writing ideas, or brainstorming a new hand salve recipe, then this is a way to save time. My mother was always an efficient housekeeper, she worked full-time and raised two children mostly on her own. I believe it is her vast energetic style that my sister and I have inherited. Although her house was much cleaner! She still had time to plant a garden, make meals from scratch from said garden­ in between working Monday to Friday, sometimes weekends too now that I think about it.

I imagine most women out of necessity kill two birds with one stone. They keep house, work, raise kids and birth creative thoughts whilst weeding the garden. I recall a single mom I know who often sewed all of her childrens’ underwear on her lunch breaks at work. Then she cycled home, a long way for exercise! Two birds, with a bit of time to kanoodle on her bicycle! Brilliant. I was listening to a talk show the other day on the car radio, that explained about the importance of play for inventors and scientists. How through play, we learn about things and think about things in new and innovative ways. I suppose for women, in our busy lives, it is through the repetitive chores of living where we may have the time to let our thoughts stray. This is our playtime. It is our kanoodling.

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