My daughter moved out of her dorm, and much of her stuff, on the 89th of May. At the time, we thought it was perfect, because she was supposed to move back in to dorm on the 89th of August. We would only have to pay for three months of a storage unit.

Yay.

Of course, best laid plans- she’s actually not moving in till the 91st day of August…two days over, which would require us to pay a full months rent for one or two days ( we are probably getting to DC on the 90th) Those are the rules to the contract we signed…

Do you think I want to pay for an unused month?

So I called the storage place, and talked to the Manager. After listening to my tale of woe, he told me he would prorate me the day, which is something they normally don’t do, but because I was so nice and a fellow New Yorker…and I 100% promised him that we would be out by Monday…

So I am grateful to A, my new favorite person in the world for tweaking the rules just a teeny tiny bit. The kindness of strangers…


My prompt for this week is CREATIVITY. Here’s how it’s used in the books that I’m reading:

  1. And even more crucially, it makes us feel that cooking is not just about food- it’s an art form, one worth serious attention and boundless creativity, because food is the visceral anchor for all of our memories. Alissa Wilkinson
  2. Jane’s new house was about a quarter of the size of her old one, which meant she had to get creative with the space. Jennifer Close
  3. It took me an hour to pick them out because the quartz means different things. One’s pink, one’s purple, one’s marbled. Creativity, Strength, Lack of Inhibition. Or are they Gratitude, Passion and Mindful Tidiness? Helen Ellis
  4. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech and creates a vibrant culture. While this does not appear in the actual book, it appears on the Putnam Copyright page of Delphine Jones Takes a Chance by Beth Morrey. But I thought it was a pretty nifty thing to think about.
  5. Fundamentally, poetry celebrates our individuality and the creative effort of living. Caroline Kennedy
  6. It’s a particularly French custom; restaurants often provide a complimentary, dainty amuse bouche to show creativity. Janine Marsh
  7. That, in fact, is why companies like Google and Goldman Sachs have introduced programs specifically designed to help workers counteract our culture of distraction in order to regain their focus and creativity, often under the auspices of meditation or mindfulness training. Rob Walker
  8. But I’m proud of the work I’ve done. The creative thinking that has allowed me to get to this moment. Julie Clark
  9. In the government schools, impatient young artists had to curb their creativity while following a strict program of lessons that progressed from copying plaster casts to painting flesh and blood models in life-study classes. Deborah Davis

What I’m going to think about with creativity in mind:

  1. Are we afraid to be creative?
  2. Is creativity specific to the individual?
  3. Does school hamper creativity?
  4. What are simple ways we can be more creative?
  5. Can creativity be forced?
  6. Are some just more creative than others?

46 thoughts on “Gratitude and Mindfulness: 7/26/22

      1. I was trying to show that we were originally supposed to have the unit exactly 3 months, but then we needed to go over a day…there’s a big difference in going over by a week as opposed to a day, as far as the guy doing me a favor

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes….I’m reading a book about sparking creativity, and right now I’m on the visual observation…and it’s quite interesting how you can simply change perspective

      Liked by 1 person

  1. First of all , creative post! Have you seen the Sir Ken Robinson Ted Talk, by chance, called “Do Schools Kill Creativity”? It’s probably been 15 years since I first watched it, probably time for a refresher before I head back to school.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I taught school for 34 years and sadly watched the creativity of teachers and students being gradually sucked out and later banned. At the end, schools did have some art or music classes (but not both) alternating with P.E. in my district to provide time for teachers to group during their planning period to make sure we were all on the same page and devise new tests to determine which students were not getting the current lesson. Do you suppose interacting with with the students could have rendered the same information? I honestly loved teaching so much I thought I would teach into my eighties, but there came a time when I literally said, “I can’t do this to kids anymore.” Adios to overtesting. Hola to a personal journey with lots of opportunities for creativity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In middle school, the principal was so fed up with state mandated curriculum that focused on non fiction that she said May and June, after the tests, everything taught had to be creative

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a testimony to the effects of teaching to the test—loss of creativity. I’m glad the principal did that–clearly an effort to do the right thing while keeping his or her job. It shows that these mandates are coming from above the principal level. It makes me wonder what the students must come away with in regards to the view and importance placed on creativity.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I pushed creativity when my daughter wasn’t in school. I also taught her old school math, but that’s a whole other thing. I still think her high SAT scores were due to my supplementing…😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah creativity, and I’ll throw in idealism, are beaten out of us starting on day one, when others try to force their definitions of the world upon us. School can be a bastion of indoctrination and programming. I think creativity is an individual thing, often springing from the void. For a great look at creativity check out Gordon MavKenzie’s book, “Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace.” He actually held a position at Hallmark Cards where he was supposed to boost the creativity of the other workers

    Liked by 3 people

    1. But are people open to it? My sister in law asked how I made tacos. I told her what I do, and she was like, no one adds cumin to the ground beef. And all I could think was…not everything has to be a rule or followed exactly

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Is creativity specific to the individual? You bet it is. However, creativity can also be encouraged, AND taught. Much like improvisation can be taught. ( Actors study how to express themselves. How to walk, talk, breath, fall, cry on demand etc. Regular People can learn creative techniques too).
    Yes, some people are definitely more creative than others, but ALL People can learn skills to help them learn to think out of the box. That’s what brain storming is about. If we go all the way back to Socrates, by just asking the right questions he inspired creativity of thought. The Socratic method was the most innovative teaching method I learned in college. Actually, in high school I took a humanities class where I read The Republic. (By Plato using Socratic dialogue). To this day it is my most dog eared book on my shelf. I learned more from that book about knowledge and creativity than any other source. THAT book and Stanislavsky’s “An actor prepares” were my tools for being creative in the classroom and in life. It’s all how you look at things. AnD HOW YOU CREATE and recreate your way of thinking to making things happen. It’s bull that it has died in schools. Creative teachers will always find ways to sneak it in lessons.

    As an educator for decades, teachers have had to creatively switch gears to keep innovativeness alive in the classroom.. The more restrictions that were put upon teachers, The more teachers had to continuously relearn how to become more creative as educators.

    For me, I learned that by writing grants. I could attain money, get signed approval from administration and county level supervisors, so I could win state recognition, get my ideas published, bring money into my school and classroom, and order pretty much anything I wanted or needed to create innovative lessons. It’s not that difficult. I broke traditional requirements by being an out of the box thinker. I wanted to teach more exciting novels that were not in the curriculum guide and in order for my teaching to be more interesting, I needed approval for out of the box subjects. (When you apply for a grant you have to present a detailed account of what you need, who your target ages are, related subjects to tie into, state skills you are covering , costs of supplies, books etc. even the technology you need. If you are awarded your grant you receive from hundreds to thousands of dollars. So, I learned how to write great grants.
    Fortunately, I was successful, but I studied HOW to do it. The administrators and I would be invited to award ceremonies each time I won money for my school. That’s where i received recognition for my ideas, and my principals were then recognized too.Then they were applauded for encouraging creativity among their staff. They liked that so they approved all my ideas.

    You see, THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY AROUND BORING RULES! I needed to keep creativity flowing. So I figured out how to do that. I was lucky. But, I set a goal and did it. The county even paid me on teacher work days to go to other schools to give workshops on how to write grants. The local universities found out and hired me to present my grants to other teachers who could then adapt them and receive a stipend . This all began because I wanted to teach Women’s history and order sets of class biographies,order laptops and a smart board for my classroom. But mostly because I wanted to keep creativity alive and well in my classroom. So I had to think of how I could work within the system to do that. My advice…
    WE CAN DO ANYTHING . WE JUST HAVE TO IMAGINE IT. THEN MAKE IT HAPPEN.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes I think sometimes we are afraid to be creative. Of course the successful ones probably aren’t anymore. I wonder if it’s the fear of success?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Complacency is the death of creativity” is my favorite quote on the topic. It shapes many of my beliefs about your questions. As somebody who is paid to be creative, I have quite a few opinions.

    1. Are we afraid to be creative?

    Some people are, for sure. Me? I thrive on creativity and am always looking for outside-the-box ways to share stories and messages.

    2. Is creativity specific to the individual?

    Do you mean clearly defined? Or obvious to the individual but not others? Either way, I think I’d answer no.

    3. Does school hamper creativity?

    Not necessarily. Critical thinking skills help you look at things from different angles, and that can lead to creative solutions.

    4. What are simple ways we can be more creative?

    Throw away the rulebook.

    5. Can creativity be forced?

    No. Trying to do so usually has the opposite effect, at least in my experience.

    6. Are some just more creative than others?

    100% yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m confused by these days: 89th, 90th, 91st?

    Does school hamper creativity? MOST DEFINITELY! I think that’s why Americans are not as far ahead as we think we are.
    What are simple ways we can be more creative? By doing what we want to do without fear of failure or monetary gain, we can learn to be more creative.

    Liked by 1 person

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