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.

Retirees’ Creative Reinvention Day 4: Looking for creativity opps? Cook!

Bread TH

It’s not a masterpiece [and I haven’t even tasted it yet], but every cooking project you take on affords you multiple openings for a creative act.

Just think of all the choices I had to enhance this bread’s flavor and appearance.

Knead in some za’atar.
Dot the dough with chunks of fontina.
Try a new slash/score design.

Not convinced life in the kitchen isn’t for creatives?

Check out this post by Aly Juma: Why the Kitchen is the Most Creative Space in Every Home

My favorite excerpts

— “Due to the lack of consequences in the kitchen, you’re able to defeat fear: fear of criticism, fear of inadequacy, and fear of failure.”
— “It’s a space waiting for you to experiment, explore, and discover new flavors, methods, and recipes.”
— “The kitchen provides you with a set of tools, but leaves it up to you on how to use them to get your desired result.”

Inspired? What is your next [of many, I hope] creative project?

Let me know in the comments below.

Photo-a-day 20: Tell your story.

writing ink clock notebook
Even if it’s to yourself. You will be surprised how many insights and realizations will pop up, not to mention special [and possibly long concealed] memories.
There have been countless times when I wished I had sat down with my mom and dad to get more of a sense of their early lives.
Do yourself and your kids a favor–revisit your life on paper.
And here’s a little nudge to get you started…
Some highlights:
  1. The memoir’s tone should be largely celebratory.
  2. You don’t have to be a great writer.
  3. You can write your memoir any way you want.

***


I’m working on a short book about lessons and realizations during my first year of retirement.


If you’re interested in this and/or
and a fun [in development] community site for retirees, just add the information below.

 

A promise: Your email address will not be shared and will be used to inform you of the book’s status

Photo-a-day 19: Treat yourself today.

cinnamon roll apple pie swirls in crust
Apologies for lousy photo composition by amateurish [or hungry] photographer


Yes, ‘treat yourself’ is all part of my ‘try new’ crusade.

In this case, on a sunny January Saturday, we headed to Benton County Pie Company.
I heard about it on Wednesday and knew immediately a day trip was inevitable.
Fortunate that the weather gods shined upon us, we hopped in the car and drove west.
After a recheck on directions [Thank you, Alsea library ladies!], it was hard–even for me–to miss the turnoff. [Better yet, there is a sign along the way telling drivers that pie was just 3.14 miles ahead. But let’s not get that confused with January 23, National Pie Day, though I would say it’s imperative that pie be celebrated on both days.

Benton County Pie Company road sign

Once there, we checked into the not-so-imposing headquarters and picked up our cinnamon roll apple and key lime pies and made a beeline for home.

The leftovers in the fridge would have to wait a few extra hours…

key lime pie with zest and whipping cream
Breaking news: Dinner was served much later than usual last night.

Fellow retirees: If you’re looking for a more extended road trip, check out these suggestions.

And if you’re really into pie, this show remains firmly planted on my DVR for repeat viewings. I just love the heart and soul of the people [and the pies] highlighted here.

***


I’m working on a short book about lessons and realizations during my first year of retirement.


If you’re interested in this and/or
and a fun [in development] community site for retirees, just add the information below.

 

A promise: Your email address will not be shared and will be used to inform you of the book’s status

Photo-a-day 14: Vary your quiet times.

 

buddy and tim reduced

Sometimes, you read. Sometimes, you watch a thoughtful TV show [that DVR lets you race past the annoying ads]. Sometimes it’s music and closed eyes.

And sometimes, a loved one tracks you down.

It all works.

Here is a little more insight on quiet time for retirees.


I’m working on a short book about lessons and realizations during my first year of retirement.


If you’re interested in this and/or
and a fun [in development] community site for retirees, just add the information below.

 

A promise: Your email address will not be shared and will be used to inform you of the book’s status

Photo-a-day 13: Chocolate is your friend.

Hot chocolate and toffee scone
Hot chocolate from Full City Cafe in Eugene, OR

Okay, I can’t speak for everybody.

But in this house, chocolate tells me:

  • “Tomorrow is Monday and that you need to savor your time before you unretire for the week.”
  • “Appreciate what’s immediately in front of you.”
  • “Brew some Italian roast, roust your wife from being productive, and find a good book.”

For those who really take chocolate seriously, Five Steps You Need to Take to Really Savor Chocolate.


I’m working on a short book about lessons and realizations during my first year of retirement.


If you’re interested in this and/or
and a fun [in development] community site for retirees, just add the information below.

A promise: Your email address will not be shared and will be used to inform you of the book’s status

Photo-a-day 12: Heed that inner voice…

Community chalkboard with the prompt 'Before I die, I want to...'
…that bucket list item that keeps calling your name.

This is a favorite stopping point in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Something new to ponder every time I visit.

[Reminder: These posts are just as much directed at myself as they are toward potential readers.]