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.

Revisiting [sticking to] ‘try new’

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Last fall, I subscribed to the Washington Post’s Bold School email newsletter, aimed toward an audience ‘beyond 50’. Thank you to the Post’s Vicky Fogg for this valuable weekly delivery.

Here is an excerpt from today’s newsletter:

***
“Familiar music can comfort us, while listening or playing unfamiliar music challenges us by forcing our brains to work to make sense of the new sound.”
***

As I write this, I’m listening to a Peter, Paul, and Mary song [Ballad of Spring Hill] I’d never before heard, thanks to a Spotify playlist shared by Vicky. And now, Mama Tried by Merle Haggard and the Strangers…and now, the instrumental On Interstate 15 by Wall of Voodoo. [Had never heard of this group before. I like the sound.]

Interesting stuff.

Keep thinking ‘try new’.

No matter how seemingly insignificant, ‘new’ injects a bit of interest into your day, your way of thinking, your creative process.

A recent example:

taralli Italian biscuit or pretzelTaralli

A ‘get creative!’ pep talk

making choices about the results you want to create

In my search for inspiration, I came across this valuable quote and learned of the book. Nice payoff, I’d say.

As for ‘choosing to create’, I appreciated this Medium.com post by Thomas Oppong.

Memorable points:

— “Great discoveries often evolve as slow hunches, maturing and connecting to other ideas over time. Never miss an opportunity to show up and share.”

— “We are more like Einstein, Leonardo, and Mozart than not!”

 

 

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

Retirement eCard…work can wait. Sleep can’t.

man sleeping on his deskContinuing work on my Incomplete Book of Retirement Wisdom, which also doubles as a collection of eCards. I’ve added it to Etsy and have to rewrite it for Draft2Digital, as I misinterpreted their formatting instructions. 

Save/download the image above and send it to a retired/soon-to-retire friend or family member.
Better yet…

  • call it up in an image editing program [even a presentation program like PowerPoint will work]

  • slap an even better caption on top of mine or add a personal comment

  • export it as a JPG or PNG, and email/text message it to that person.

Retirement eCard…partner workouts?

Continuing work on my Incomplete Book of Retirement Wisdom, which also doubles as a collection of eCards. I’ve added it to Etsy and have to rewrite it for Draft2Digital, as I misinterpreted their formatting instructions. 

Save/download the image above and send it to a retired/soon-to-retire friend or family member.
Better yet…

  • call it up in an image editing program [even a presentation program like PowerPoint will work]

  • slap an even better caption on top of mine or add a personal comment

  • export it as a JPG or PNG, and email/text message it to that person.

Curation Corner: TED Talks

I can’t even remember what made me decide to include a couple of TED talks per week into my ‘procrastination schedule’, but I’m glad I did…especially when you consider what Adam Grant has to say in …

 The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

  • ‘Originals’ live in a sweet spot between the pre-crastinators [those who ‘panic and complete projects waaaay ahead of time] and procrastinators.
  • Successful originals are often late to the party. A quote from his research: The failure rate of ‘first movers’* was 47%, while the failure rate of ‘improvers’ was 8%. Examples: Facebook came after MySpace. Google came after Yahoo and Alta Vista.
  • “You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.”
  • Originals fear failure just like the rest of us. But they are even more afraid of failing to try.

*I guess you could say they too are originals. Shrug.

A quote for today…

sunsetRan across this in an email from James Clear and saw it earlier in the week, as well.

“Every time you wake up and ask yourself, ‘What good things am I going to do today?’ remember that, when the sun goes down at sunset, it will take a part of your life with it.”–Indian proverb

Here’s hoping you left something valuable with that part of your life. Keep reinventing!