Creative Problem Solving. It's a class. A required class. (Well, I could have taken Sports in American Life, but I opted to spend my $585.20 on something a little more useful.) While I don't think there's anyone who will convince me that I'm actually a creative person (someone had the nerve to accuse me of it again today), I've been asked to present images and text that demonstrate things/people/stuff that inspire me. And in an effort to keep atop this Mountain of Laundry and stay ahead of classwork, here goes...
First...no surprise here...exercise. Without it, I would spend the bulk of my life moping around wearing a muumuu. Without it, I wouldn't have my identity. Without it, my creative juices would have settled into my arse and thighs (in which case, they would be competing for space against Nutella and frozen yogurt, who are comfortably camped out on my backside for the winter).
Running, spinning, yoga and cross-training all give me a sense of purpose, and thus allow me to do those things that some might consider to be "creative": making-lunch-out-of-nothing-at-all; juggling school and kids and work and love; managing a household on a ratty, frayed, pieced together shoestring.
Endorphins from exercise are potent. They dragged me out of my dead marriage into my new fabulous life and give me a reason to wake (at 4:56 a.m.) every day. You don't just go running 26.2 miles for the heck of it. There's a fantastic hormonal payoff.
Food. Again...no big shocker. Cooking was all I thought I had going for me when I found myself faced with starting a new life. I always loved cooking gizmos and gadgets. I even snagged a job at Williams-Sonoma for a couple of winters. But it wasn't until Mr. X went on his aggressive diet that I dug my heels deep into the nutritious side of things. During that 100 lb. plunge, we reduced sodium, increased fiber, decreased portion sizes and learned how fabulous food could taste. I'd already begun my grain-mill kick, (only to be later quelled by a #$%^!@! gluten intolerance), then I dusted off old Eating Wells and soon found pure joy in cooking. It was that joy that helped me acquire my job at Hope Care Center, which in turn inspired me to go back to school to become a dietitian. So yeah, cooking. It's a good thing.
Friends! Family! This life of mine has been so wonderfully enhanced by the presence of those who will tolerate me. From my early morning exercise mates to my truest love who sends me the last text of the night, it is people who make my world go 'round. Those Three Little Diggs, even in their most frustrating moments, are the very purpose for my journey on this earth. My family, despite differences that would stagger even the finest of mathematicians, support me without question (well...there is an occasional question). Mark...well...I promised long ago that I wouldn't gush over him too much, but the truth is, he's totally dreamy. And how 'bout those friends -- y'know, in the classical sense -- the ones with whom you share your deepest feelings, giggle 'til you nearly pee your pants...and roller skate while wearing a purple wig? Those friends. Without friends, how could I be inspired to one-up each year's Halloween costume?
Those who are willing to sacrifice their own well being for the greater good inspire me. Whether they drink from an off-limits water fountain or demand legal acknowledgment of their loving relationship, whether they attempt to hush a hateful church's voice or oust an unjust government, those who are willing to risk life and limb to have their voices heard stir my soul. I hardly agree with every opinion plastered on every protest sign and I realize that what I believe to be fair and just differs from what you believe to be fair and just. (Seems like a good time to mention that I was once in a play that was protested by Fred Phelps. It was nearly 20 years ago so there was no media circus. That's the gist of the story. Carry on.) But I am moved by those who actively seek positive change in this world. Human rights. Dignity. Peace. Chutzpah. Color me inspired.
And now, one of the more recent interests which tickles my brain into new [creative] ways of thinking: science. I had no idea before I returned to school that I had a talent in, let alone a passion for science. Had I not been so wholeheartedly driven to become a dietitian, I might have let the science-laden course load scare me away, but instead, chemistry and microbiology opened my mind to an entirely new way of thinking and my worldview has most certainly been affected. The multiverse is so much more than a bunch of headstrong humans thinking they're the bee's knees (have you ever seen bee's knees? They're awesome!) I used to be playing peek-a-boo with my surroundings -- if I couldn't see it, it must not be there. I'll go ahead and say it here: I was wrong. Science rules.
And finally...drum roll please...writing inspires me. This blog inspires me. Words inspire me.
While I've been blogging to one degree or another for nearly a decade, it's the last few that have really helped me grow. When I began sniffling about a crumbling marriage some time ago, I never imagined where I might land when the divorce was all said and done. Some days, all I could manage was to jot down a few thoughts for the sole purpose of getting them out of my head. I rarely know when I sit down at the keyboard what will come out of my fingertips, and it's often personally moving. While I'm not a fan of reading from those early days on my Mountain, I'm glad to have the words and thoughts recorded so that I may glance back just to see how far I've come. To many, I'd imagine a 40 year old who is finally getting around to finishing her bachelor's degree is less than impressive, but to me, it is more than I ever dreamed for myself. And to now be preparing for graduate school and a promising career? Words cannot express...
So there you go. Problem solved...dare I say, creatively?