March always seems to find me in a mood for green. I think it’s the anticipation of spring, the thought of small green leaves uncurling from tree branches, the soon-to-come greening of gardens, yards, and roadsides. So there’s a lot of green in this month’s bullet journal spreads.
I was also inspired by a tissue box.
I had been typing away, when I glanced up, as I often do while writing. My eye caught on a tissue box, and the box seemed way more interesting than whatever I was writing. Its simple pattern delighted me.
Yes, a tissue box is a mundane object, something utilitarian you keep around the house. Nothing to pay attention to.
On the other hand, someone designed that box to efficiently hold tissues. They figured out how to make it dispense the tissues smoothly. Someone, probably a graphic artist, designed the pattern it’s decorated with. Also, a tissue box is a wonderfully useful thing when you have a runny nose.
When seemingly insignificant things catch my eye, and I pay closer attention to them, I often discover there is more there than I expected to find. This sometimes leads to inspiration. Even after being isolated in my house for almost a year because of the pandemic, I can still be surprised by my surroundings, still discover a spark of delight and inspiration in the most mundane and overlooked of objects.
The trick is to notice.
I don’t mean to say that I go around noticing every little detail around me all the time. I’ve tried that. When I was in college, I wanted to take in every moment, every detail. I wanted to appreciate everything. It’s exhausting and overwhelming and impossible. What I’ve learned to do instead, is to pay attention to my reactions to things. If I feel some spark of interest or connection, I give that more attention. Sometimes this leads to a moment of delight, like spotting an oriole on a tree branch. Sometimes it leads to inspiration, like noticing the pattern on a tissue box did. Sometimes it passes into memory, seemingly insignificant, only to surface later to help solve a creative problem.
Paying attention to things is a practice of sorts, a practice that helps me see more interesting things, and sprinkles delight into daily life. This month it made glancing at a tissue box the basis for a bullet journal spread.
Where do you get your inspiration?