Friday, January 15, 2016

Creativity Tip: Ooops

I clicked over to People magazine yesterday to read the story about Alan Rickman, and this popped up:
Mistakes happen. The question is: How do we respond? My suggestion is simple. Take responsibility, fix what  you can, learn what you should, and move on.

P.S. I enjoyed Alan Rickman's talent in everything from Love Actually to the Potter movies. May his memory be a blessing. And, while we are talking about too-soon deaths, if you haven't watched David Bowie's Lazarus video yet, you need to do that. Right now. Missing it would be a mistake.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Creative Exercise: Create the oomph

I'm always delighted when I find creative, fun copy in unexpected places. For example, I sent a message to Creative Mornings yesterday, and instead of the usual, "Thank you. Your message has been successfully delivered." kind of response, this popped up:

How spectacular is that? The info I needed -- yes, my message went through -- and a compliment. One that I thoroughly appreciated, since I was really rocking the jammies, bed-head and first cup of coffee look.

What's more -- this isn't brain surgery. It's simply an example of smart thinking about possibilities, words, audience and messaging. It's capitalizing on a moment, rather than letting it slip by.

Today, seize your moment. Take a look at some of the copy you use all the time -- something like the signature line on your emails. How could you make it more creative, strategic, meaningful? What would give it extra oomph?

It's a new year. Update your messaging. Delight someone!


Monday, January 4, 2016

Creativity Tips: I don't have time ...

So ... we had the holiday break. I was off from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3. Throughout that time, none of my usual exercise classes were scheduled. And, oddly enough, I never exercised.

OK, it's not all that odd. You didn't exercise either, did you?

Now, I don't know what your excuse is, but I was busy with holiday stuff. I mean really busy. Really, really, really busy. Like, there's no way I had time to exercise.

Hmmmm. The busy-ness of the past few weeks is a legitimate excuse. But, we need to put the emphasis on excuse. I had the same 24 hours per day last week that I had mid-December, when client work was piling up all around me.

I didn't exercise because there wasn't a class scheduled, no one expected me to show up, and no one noticed if I did or didn't do a bicep curl. It wasn't a matter of time. It was a matter of priority. I didn't make it a priority. I didn't make myself a priority.

As we start a new year, it's the perfect time to look at what really matters. Do you want more time with your family? Would you like to paint/sew/redecorate/unclutter/rest more this year? Is there a really cool book agent waiting for a revised proposal from you?*

Once you've decided what the priorities are, consider what makes them happen. For me, outside accountability matters. Shanna expects me to show up at circuit and yoga. That, along with my own desire to stay healthy and strong, is incentive enough to spend time on exercise. The scheduled classes are also essential -- I produce on deadlines. It's my career. It's my life. No deadline? No progress.

This week, determine your priorities and your motivators. Then, go for it! We've got a new year ahead, folks. I have the feeling it's gonna be great.

Shanna.
The woman who taught me to enjoy exercise.
We all need a cheerleader.


*Woot!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Fun: A Joke from Emily

I hardly ever tell jokes, because I can't remember them. One of the few I can remember is:

"What's the difference between a Jewish mother and a vulture?"
"A vulture waits until you're dead to eat your heart out."

I always thought that was funny. Mom still doesn't agree.

But here's one even Mom would like -- although, she never cusses and this does have an obscenity in it. Can you deal with it? OK! Here's your Friday funny from my friend Emily:

A man takes his family to the zoo. When they get there, much to their surprise, they discover the zoo only has one animal -- a dog!

And the man turns to his family and says, "It's a shih tzu."

(Ha! Makes me laugh every time. Go out! Have fun this weekend!)


Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Fun: A Perfect Match

After almost eight years of dating (not that I was counting), Tom and I got married on Oct. 27, 1985. I was excited about the wedding. Not so excited about the event planning.

I remember walking into a store one day with Mom, so we could order invites and thank you notes and napkins and all that stuff. I was overwhelmed. I couldn't make a decision. And then I saw the corniest matchbook cover of all time, and immediately said, "That's it. I have to have that."


I still have a few of them and they still make me laugh. Laughter, I've found, is the key to staying together through 30 years of marriage. And eight years of dating. Not that I'm counting.

And, in keeping with that theme, here's the wedding invite I would have ordered, if only they had offered it back then. Because we only go around once. And we might as well go around happy!


Happy weekend! I hope it's full of treats. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween 2015: Change is Scary

For decades ... decades ... we've had Mom out to our house for Halloween. The tradition is simple and dear: Tom makes his world-famous taco soup, we have dinner, then I get Mom set up at the front door, where she hands out candy to all the adorable trick-or-treaters.

During the past few years, I've been impressed with how well behaved the kids are, as they patiently wait for Mom to ooh and ahh over their costumes, and then try to drop the candy into their buckets. Her macular degeneration is at the point now where she can't see the buckets. (I'm not sure she can see the costumes either, but she certainly acts like she can.)

One mother told me that her children always look forward to going to the house with the nice old lady.

This year, the nice old lady won't be there. I've decided she's just not up to it. Mom turned 94 in April and the past year has been a difficult one. She rarely stays up past 7 p.m. Unusual activities exhaust her. Her memory is no longer linear. One day she'll know me and everything about me. The next day, she'll wonder if I'm her sister.

She can't remember ever being at my house. I haven't had the heart to ask if she remembers Halloween.

So, this year, I'll be at the door and I'll do my best to live up to Mom's example. I'll ooh and ahh and hand out the treats. I know some of the kids will be disappointed that the nice old lady isn't there.

I just hope they have no idea how disappointed I am.
Letting go of what has been? That's tricky.
Holding these memories close? That's a treat. 
Sidenote: Post 60 is a digression on the Creative Instigation blog, part of my 60th year celebration. We'll count this as post 14 of the 60. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015