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

Creative Inspiration: A new definition for dreams

I have never equated dreaming and storytelling. And yet ... it's perfect.
I need to read more by Jonathan Gottschall

Monday, October 26, 2015

Creative Time Management: Forget the Phone

Happy Monday! Welcome to a new week and a new, totally sporadic Creative Instigation feature: Creative Time Management.

Tip 1: Don't take your phone into the bathroom.

  1. It's not sanitary
  2. It's not necessary. You're not that essential. Isn't that nice? The world will still revolve while you take care of business.
  3. It's time consuming. If you think my reference to "taking care of business" in the previous line referred to actual business, WRONG. If you're checking email, texting or taking calls while in the bathroom, you're spending extra time in there. 
And that's why today's clean living advice qualifies as Creative Time Management! Your job now? Easy. Wipe out any doubt you have about being away from the phone for 60 seconds. 

Good news, CI team.
I'm flush with ideas for this new feature.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Creativity Tips: Enjoy Stupid

Before we begin, let me explain that I treat my Outlook email inbox like a Something, Someday to File Box. And, as we all know, someday never comes ...

I hardly ever use my Surface tablet, but this past week I turned it on and punched the little envelope button to check my email. Bad move. Bad, bad move. The Surface downloaded all the emails that I had on my server. One thousand or so. (Go ahead. Judge me. I understand. But I was going to file those emails. Seriously. Someday.)

Anyhow, after the Surface downloaded all the emails, I thought I'd be smart and erase them all, so the tablet's memory wasn't bogged down. After all, I had the emails on the server. 

You see where this is going. Yep. Outlook was carefully programmed to delete all the emails everywhere when I deleted them on the Surface. No problem, you say? Just go into the Trash folder and rescue them? 

Well, hell's bells. Great idea! Except for one teeny, tiny fact. I was being SO SMART that I promptly deleted all the emails from the Trash folder. 

By the time I realized what I'd done, well ... all those work emails and the recipes I forwarded from various sites and the photos I sent from my phone and all of it ... all of it ... was gone. Including the email that my friend Michelle sent me years ago -- years ago! -- with a subject line that said: Jan Sokoloff Harness Rocks! She is the Ultimate Writer!

I used to look at that subject line when I was having a bad day. And, speaking of bad days, I started the work week with an email to clients, confessing that I'm a moron and throwing myself on their mercy re: missing emails. 

Now, on the Surface of things, this would appear to be a technology disaster. But here's the thing: It's not. It's the most wonderful technology oops I've ever made, and I've made a lot. My Outlook inbox is clean. It's clean! I have seven emails, and I will delete them as soon as possible. All the others that came in since the Big Erase have been filed or deleted. 

That's right. I am free. I am free-ee-ee. I feel lighter just knowing all those emails are gone, gone, gone. 

So, what have we learned from this? Simple! We have a new codicil to the classic You can't fix stupid
Enjoy Stupid. 

You make a stupid mistake? Terrific! Slap your head, groan and then consider if there are any benefits. I can now look at all my emails on one screen and I know exactly what I'm doing with them.

But what if you lost something really important? you ask.  If I did, it will come back in one form or another. Like love. Or, email Zen, as my friend Cheri says. 

Now, if I could only find a way to accidentally delete all the stuff in the basement that I've been meaning to go through. That would really improve my Outlook. 

P.S. If you sent me an email and I haven't responded, I'm sorry, it's gone, please try again!  

Sidenote for those of you just joining the fun: Post 60 is a digression on the Creative Instigation blog, part of my 60th year celebration. Although I've filed this under Creativity Tips, I think it also qualifies as a Post 60, making it post 13 of the 60. Party on!