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RAF Inspired: Inspiration Island

October 10, 2016


Inspiration Island
By Lissa Mathis

What inspires me?

Besides having my health, a roof over my head, a Wegmans rotisserie chicken in the fridge, and a husband and two children that mean the (dysfunctional) world to me?

Well, here’s how I like to think of this:

If I end up alone on a deserted island, what would give me the will to stay alive? At first, I think it would be the feeling of accomplishment – the ability to actually stay alive (figuring out how to hunt, fish, build, and to draw a face on the volley ball that washes ashore). BUT, once that feeling wears off, there would be a need to FIND MY PURPOSE. That would be the challenge. What would my purpose be? Without any other people to judge my work, my clothes, my hair, or people that depend on me for food, clothing and video games, what would be the point of it all? And then I am reminded of a quote from Pablo Picasso, “Everything you can imagine is real.” …I would hope to never ever stop imagining. I think that is what would keep me alive. It would have to. And when I think of that, it really is what keeps me going every day.

In the face of good and bad, my imagination is endless. And I am grateful for that.

I am sooooo far from living on a deserted island. But I swear, some days I wouldn’t mind being there. It isn’t always easy to tap into that imagination, mainly because just two days a week are filled with rainbows, cupcakes, and unicorns. That leaves the other five, and they can be really though.

In fact, most of my days are filled with mounds of hard work, feeding and driving my two boys to all of their “things” while making sure they don’t poke an eye out, and picking up dog poop. Not glamorous at all, I know. But gosh darn-it, each day I am inspired by the fact that I took a shower, no one starved, no poop got on my hands, my kids made it on-time to their practices, and I created a really cool poster design just hours before all of this (oh, and by the grace of God I have a glass of wine in my hands).

So I guess what I’m saying is, whether on a deserted island or surrounded by screaming children, a dog, and a house that looks like a hurricane came through, I find the moments. I sneak in that time, where my imagination takes over and says, you can do anything. You can do whatever you want. In between it all, you just go make it happen. It might not happen right away, but eventually it will.

And, not for nothing, those days filled with madness actually fuel my imagination even more. They give me moments, memories, emotions, and challenges that inspire me to live, to embrace all of the craziness and use it to not only my advantage, but to help others. After all – since I am not, in fact, stranded on a deserted island, we are all in this together.

Imagination is inspiring; it’s inventive, constantly changing and evolving with the life around me. And that folks (or the one person that is reading this) is my inspiration.
Excuse me now, while I go get another glass of wine.





Lissa Mathis is the RAF Freelance Chair and a freelance art director with over 15 years of creative experience.