Today I am sixty-four and a half. It is sort of weird. I was in the kitchen , making my morning tea and a pot of tea that I will turn into iced tea, and I had a thought. I think I am around sixty-four and a half, but I wasn’t sure if I had passed that mark or it was still to come.
I put in a load of laundry, grabbed a couple of treats for Winston, and walked to my office.
My little calendar says Aug 11. My birthday is February 11, so today is my official half birthday.
I took a shower and washed my hair, so I will consider that a celebration.
What made me think of that is that I was preparing a cantaloupe.
Normally, I cut the melon in half, scoop the seeds out and then make more cuts and then try to go along the edges of the small rinds, with a knife. I end up leaving a lot of the lope.
This morning, I cut it in half and then placed the half, face down on the cutting board and ran my knife along just under the rind, making sure that I got it all off.
It produced a gorgeous hunk of lope that I could then slice into pieces.
That is when I said to myself, “Self, you are how old? Yum, sixty-four and a half or close to it, and you just figured this out?”
I can be so slow.
The key is, I keep on trying to do either new things or things I have done forever, in new ways.
Here is something you might try.
We have a really nice shower in our new house. I was always a bath person, but because this is nice and lovely, I take more showers. I got bored washing my hair the same way … and the conditioner always left my hair a bit, oh, I don’t know , schmarmy. So, I decided to try something. When I get into the shower and get my hair wet, I put on the conditioner. I leave it on while I scrub-a-dub.
I, then, rinse the conditioner out and put shampoo on my hair and wash it.
I love it! It has worked great. I used L’OREAL these past couple of months. I bet it would work with other shampoos and conditioners.
Another thing I did this morning was put a couple of drops of “healing oils” into my melted wax thingy. I don’t have a diffuser, so I thought I would try that. So far, so good.
Why do I mention these trivial things?
Because doing these things makes life a bit more interesting.
It is using creativity in a day-to-day way.
Many people think of “creativity” as being able to draw or paint or make something.
That might be part of it … but it is by no means what creativity is really about.
Creativity, at least to me, is looking at things differently. It can be coming up with something new or taking what is old and doing it differently.
We have lived in our new house four months. I have already changed the furniture around. I have sat in chairs and looked around. Studied. Pondered. Is there a better way? If I did this, how would that work?
I think I create different views so that my mind doesn’t get bored. Boredom is my achilleas heel. ( I bet you surmised that).
Thinking creatively, or as some people say, “Out of the box,” is what I like to do. It recharges me. It keeps life in motion and keeps me from getting stagnant. And pink petticoats, if I bore myself, I will bore others, and I just don’t want to do that.
That is one reason I have a red wagon as a coffee table. It isn’t that I am a good decorator. I simply thought of purpose and fun. It is why I have our TV area where the builder thought the dining room should be. Sure, it is a good dining room for most, but it suited our purposes to use it for our TV area.
Just because someone or some company, tells you something, that isn’t a law. You are the creator of your environment and life.
This is also one of the reasons I didn’t excel in high school. (There were a few reasons).
Especially at the time I was in school, memorization was the key and answering questions in a specific way was the goal.
I struggled with that. I was often looking for what was not there, thinking through things backwards and wanting to discuss something other than the obvious.
I also was concerned about a date on Saturday night, and what was going on at home.
Even in an art class, I couldn’t do it. I was locked into my own mind, trying to fit in and be like others because I was afraid to be myself.
Even in college, I went with the status quo. I thought thinking differently would get me in trouble. I couldn’t know how to defend thinking differently, as I was young and who I was, was a vague notion.
And nobody ever cared.
That isn’t a “poor me” statement. I was loved and cared for and had wonderful parents, but no one ever said, “Susan, you know what? I think you have potential.”
I recall the two times in my life when people planted a seed. Once, was during my first quarter in college I took an oral interpretation course. We had to write a poem and something else and deliver it.
After I read mine, the young professor asked me if I ever considered communications as a major. I shook my head to indicate, no.
“Your’e good,” he said.
I changed my major and graduated with a degree in communication.
The other time was when we bought our first house on Smith Road in Norwood. The Realtor, said to me, “Have you ever considered a career in real estate?”
I shook my head, and said, “No.”
“You’d be good at it,” he said.
Ten years later, I got my real estate and broker’s licenses.
In the meantime, it was after college, when I was not in the confines of a grading system, and people judging me by pre-determined standards, that I began to throw off the cloak of conformity. I had conformed for long enough.
It took years and years … decades, before put the pieces of my own life’s puzzle and my personality together. Good gardenias, I practices a lot on my kids. And much of it was through being a mother, that I learned to be who I am.
I have never thought about that … but it is true. And I should thank them.
Creativity has helped me live. It can help you live a more fun, fulfilling life. You have to dare to think differently, to speak your mind, to go against the grain and to take a stand. There have been times when I have thought, “Gee, if I could just think like everyone else, it would be a lot easier.” But that is when I am exhausted or sick or when, as it happens in life, feel beat down a bit by circumstance.
It also helps to think creatively when thinking of others. Share your creative spirit … your words of encouragement, you gift of whatever you do well. Don’t keep your creativity to yourself, at least all of it.
The world needs creative thinkers. It needs us to think creatively to make our lives and the lives of people around us, better.
It makes life a better adventure. And … the best part? You can help others see life in a better light.