A gift for a retired friend

Today is her birthday. I’m showcasing her work over the years and am looking forward to sitting down and have her provide background and art tips as we both click through the images.

Here is the page: https://retiredguys.net/superb-artwork-on-display-here/

Side benefit: Inspiration to keep plowing forward on my various projects.

Sunsets–another reason to leave the recliner

My good (and retired) friend’s wife–an expert photographer–took this photo outside of Marysville, California just yesterday.

Needless to say, they left their recliners, right?

Hoping your Thanksgiving weekend is going well. Buddy here is pleased so far. Seems he likes the idea of us leaving our recliners.

Need more deep insights into retirement?
Check out my insanely overpriced book.

Re-revisiting 201 Ways to Jump Start Your Creativity

word cloud with creativity challengesAaaand, we’re back with more boost your creativity tips from 201 Ways to Jump Start Your Creativity.

A few rules from Steve Pavlina

  1. Define a clear purpose. Vague intentions don’t trigger the flow state.
  2. Identify a compelling motive. You need a reason to be creative.
  3. Architect a worthy challenge. If a task is too easy, you don’t need to be particularly creative, so your creative self will simply say, “You can manage this one without me.”

Creative encouragement from Jacob Cass at Just Creative Design

  1. Mindmap. Whether you use key words, images, colours, a hierarchy system, numbers, outlines, circles or random words, mindmapping gets your creative juices flowing.
  2. Be in the moment. Athletes call this ‘being in the zone‘. Give full attention to whatever you are doing: eating, washing dishes, making your bed.
  3. Practice asking yourself how to do something differently.

What’s your next creative forward-step?

Willie Nelson on being creative

“I think I need to keep being creative, not to prove anything but because it makes me happy just to do it,..I think trying to be creative, keeping busy, has a lot to do with keeping you alive.”

–Willie Nelson

***

Reflect today on how it feels when you add a new ingredient to your recipe, try a snapshot from an unexpected angle, or experiment with a new form/character/plot point in your writing.

Sometimes, a shrug with an accompanying ‘Hey, why the hell not?’ can make your day.

How to Be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto

book cover of book How to Be Idle
Image from Amazon and linked to Amazon

The latest book I’m camping out with…

“Where do our ideas come from? When do we dream? When are we happy?…It is in our leisure time, our own time, when we are doing what we want to do.”

I’m already hooked!
More later…

 

Lesson learned. Produce first, then…

write first word cloud

…deal with the annoying stuff.

It’s not easy to crank up the momentum and confidence needed to fill your pages.
After breakfast, I launched into decluttering…even before shaving and cleaning up. Not only did I feel grungy [counterproductive in its own right]

  • A. I wasn’t writing.
  • B. I was wasting that precious morning buzz [i.e. creative energy] on sifting through and boxing ‘stuff’.
  • C. I didn’t crank out that initial ‘first 100 words’ on paper, a practice I started when I homed in on mindfully ‘showing up’ to my creative projects.
  • D. I was getting annoyed by A. and B and C.

Luckily, choosing to reconnect with a former student and a former teaching colleague, I did get my keyboarding fingers moving and real words [with value, even!] danced across the screen. AND I’ve even resisted the urge to turn on the AFC Championship game.

So, I guess the lesson for today is: Don’t give up hope. You can rise above all kinds of obstacles, even the self-imposed ones, and move forward with your projects.

NOTE: If your word processor offers the ‘Focus’ feature that displays just your text–no distracting menus, programs running in the background–give it a try.

Revisiting spontaneous creativity…

cookies with a smiley face
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Fellow reinventors, a long while back I wrote about baking as a form of spontaneous creativity.

Well, sweet Georgia Brown if I didn’t find more justification for the art of mixing flour, sugar, eggs, [yeast, if you’re leaning toward bread], and heat.

The Rise of Anxiety Baking

Thank you, The Atlantic and writer Amanda Mull.

A few favorite quotes:

  • “It’s nice to be able to bake and know that I’m creating something that has a beginning and an end and people can enjoy it,” she [Folu Akinkuotu] says. “A lot of people have jobs that traffic in ideas or theoretical things, so it’s nice to make physical things.”
  • “…baking does indeed force you to put down your phone, get your hands dirty, and pay close attention to what you’re doing.”
  • “Most baked goods still taste good even if they’re not perfectly executed…”

Need a little nudge into the kitchen and engage in a little culinary reinvention?

Easy cookie recipes from Bon Appetit

MarthaStewart.com’s Easiest Cookie Recipes


Here is the repeat of my post entitled, Celebrate spontaneous creativity.

thumbs up surrounded by words courage motivation success creativity intelligence confidenceThose can be magical moments.

For me, it happens most often in the kitchen.

Why? Consider all the available tools and ingredients.

And then there’s the love of food.

And spontaneity can also be fed by the time of day or the day of the week.

Sunday afternoons are a time for baking. Sure it’s fun to thumb through a cookbook or launch a Google search for quick and easy coffee cake [a more-than-occasional venture at our house], but it’s just as fun to use the recipe as a foundation for experimentation.

Case in point: Last Saturday morning.

I was all set for our traditional jaunt to the local farmer’s market. But I didn’t feel like waiting for breakfast.

Someone once proposed that hunger was the mother of invention. I think it was me.

The next thing I knew, amidst a cloud of two kinds of flour, a little corn meal mush, separated eggs, and the other expected ingredients, I had set up a waffle station. Soon after came the colby cheese for one batch, the almonds and dried cranberries for another. [The true miracle, however, was forgetting to add chocolate chips for ‘she who must have chocolate’.]

Soapbox time: We retirees should revel in times like this. Remember…’try new’.

I looked up ‘spontaneous creativity’ and there is a book with that title, but I was drawn instead to this 2013 post from Scott Myers:

That is where relying on our creativity is most important. This implies a kind of trust in our creative instincts and that implies having worked with our creativity enough to learn to trust it.

But in truth if we trust in our creativity, we can surprise ourselves with moments of deep insight to help us perform to our best ability.

Okay, waffles aren’t exactly a deep insight, nor was my dinner tonight, which was supposed to be bangers and mash, but ended up as mustard greens/caramelized onion/sausage/sun dried tomatoes swimming in a chicken broth base, topped with a splash of balsamic vinegar, served over a bed of cavatelli.

But while not profound or life-changing, the spontaneous creativity can’t be denied.

Re-retired, come mid-June and…

…looking forward to more work on this blog.

retirement road sign

***

Just a few days ago, I was told that I no longer met the unlisted qualifications for the 32 hour-a-week job which was now being reduced to 20 hours a week. Let’s see…12 fewer hours…to somehow do the same work my colleagues and I needed 32 hours to complete…which would require additional unlisted skills.

I’ll probably need my first couple of months just to figure that one out.

But it means that I’ll soon return to full retirement…

Buddy on his back

rather than the ‘retirement weekends’ I was taking.

And so I plan to redouble my efforts to reach folks who are/will be retired and who want to explore their own inclinations to write, paint, build, photograph, sculpt, design, wander, and find novelty in their daily lives.

This will include repeated reminders to ‘try new’. It is so easy to fall into routines that rob us of seeing opportunities to shake things up. Let’s face it–we’re at the stage where we should take nothing for granted, so if you have a chance to even try a spicy ketchup, a new walking route, or a different entree at Applebee’s [I’m making our lives sound pretty darned exciting, aren’t I?], then you should.

Let’s close with a round of Jeopardy:

Answer: Ourselves

Question:

What are we waiting for

Celebrate spontaneous creativity.

thumbs up surrounded by words courage motivation success creativity intelligence confidence

Those can be magical moments.

For me, it happens most often in the kitchen.

Why? Consider all the available tools and ingredients.

And then there’s the love of food.

And spontaneity can also be fed by the time of day or the day of the week.

Sunday afternoons are a time for baking. Sure it’s fun to thumb through a cookbook or launch a Google search for quick and easy coffee cake [a more-than-occasional venture at our house], but it’s just as fun to use the recipe as a foundation for experimentation.

Case in point: Last Saturday morning.

I was all set for our traditional jaunt to the local farmer’s market. But there was L on the  and I didn’t feel like waiting for breakfast.

Someone once proposed that hunger was the mother of invention. I think it was me.

The next thing I knew, amidst a cloud of two kinds of flour, a little corn meal mush, separated eggs, and the other expected ingredients, I had set up a waffle station. Soon after came the colby cheese for one batch, the almonds and dried cranberries for another. [The true miracle, however, was forgetting to add chocolate chips for ‘she who must have chocolate’.]

Soapbox time: We retirees should revel in times like this. Remember…’try new’.

I looked up ‘spontaneous creativity’ and there is a book with that title, but I was drawn instead to this 2013 post from Scott Myers:

That is where relying on our creativity is most important. This implies a kind of trust in our creative instincts and that implies having worked with our creativity enough to learn to trust it.

But in truth if we trust in our creativity, we can surprise ourselves with moments of deep insight to help us perform to our best ability.

Okay, waffles aren’t exactly a deep insight, nor was my dinner tonight, which was supposed to be bangers and mash, but ended up as mustard greens/caramelized onion/sausage/sun dried tomatoes swimming in a chicken broth base, topped with a splash of balsamic vinegar, served over a bed of cavatelli.

But while not profound or life-changing, the spontaneous creativity can’t be denied.