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EVERDAY CREATIVES 01
a new offering (+ meet my mom!)
All humans are innately creative. It’s how we solve problems and communicate and entertain and exist in the world. I’ll hear declarations that some bodies don’t have a creative bone in them, and I just don’t believe it. In my new series, EVERYDAY CREATIVES, I’m on a mission to prove that every human being is creative. Each month, I’ll be chatting with everyday people about how creativity plays a role in their day to day. As Olive Kitteridge said, “there’s no such thing as a simple life.”
My first everyday creative is near to my heart: my mom! As a doubter of her own creativity, it was energizing to hear her go from creativity skeptic to true believer over the course of our interview. Below we chat about her tendency to streak (it’s not what you think!) and how to find inspiration in the humans you surround yourself with.
You say you aren’t artistic, but I know creativity is in everyone! How do you find creativity playing a role in your life?
I was a middle school French teacher for thirty years, which I suppose required a lot of creativity, especially the lesson plans - incorporating culture and language. I would grab ideas from other people and change them to fit my own needs and ideas. One of my colleagues described a lesson plan as a recipe, where you follow it the first time and then alter it to make your own.
I love that. I feel like that’s so true for other parts of life, too! You can see what’s working for someone else, and then shift it to fit your own unique life circumstances and needs and interests.
Okay, can you tell us a little about your longest running streak?
I first had the idea from Michael (ed note: Michael is my oldest brother). When he was in high school, he decided to skateboard every day for an entire year. We lived in Wisconsin at the time, which had long, cold winters, so he had to get creative and figure out how to find space and time. It was quite a challenge and I never forgot his determination.
I had no idea he did that! It’s amazing to hear how younger Michael created that challenge for himself and now, all these years later, skateboarding is so embedded in his life and work (ed note: he designs skateboard parks for a living). It’s incredible to see what tiny little actions can create over time. I want to hear about your streak!
Over nine years ago I decided to run at least one mile a day for the entire month of January. I was never a runner and didn’t even really like running, but once I got through the month, I thought I’d try to get to 100 days. I was so beyond thrilled when I made it to day 100. Then, I just kept going! Now I’ve been running for thousands of days in a row and this upcoming New Years Day will be 10 years.
That’s so amazing.
Most days are pretty typical, but I’ve had to get really creative to keep it going this long. The official rules from Streak Runners International are that you have to run at least 1 mile every 24 hours. I’ve gone on so many runs in the Denver airport during layovers! I’ve even run in a tiny little square on a sailboat during a 3-day long regatta. I felt like a wet noodle, but I was bound and determined to keep my streak going!
Do you have any other streaks going?
I’ll do little streaks here and there - I’ve been practicing Spanish on Duolingo every day for over a year now. I’ll do a once a month baking challenge through Sally’s Baking Addiction and little challenges like doing a plank exercise when I wake up and increasing the amount of time a little each day. And it’s not really a streak, but I love doing the NYTimes Spelling Bee every morning.
Where do you find inspiration when you’re feeling in a rut?
I don’t ever really feel like that these days! But when I was working and raising kids, I made sure to do things to care for myself - get a monthly massage, make time to read. It’s really important to get out of the physical space I’m in and into the world - take a walk or a run or play pickle ball or even just go to the grocery store!
I remember when I was going off to college, you told me that if I’m ever feeling down or stuck, to grab a friend and go get a cup of coffee at a cafe. It was so simple, but always helped so much! Where did you learn these things?
I’ve always thought about balance - I’m a Libra and it’s a sign of balance. I’ve always tried to make sure I get enough sleep, keep even-keeled, not get overly upset about anything. I learned about things from reading, finding books about different stages of life as I go through it. Now I’ll listen to podcasts and read articles - there’s so much advice out there these days, you can learn about anything.
I’ll always listen to advice, but I won’t necessarily follow it! I’ll use what works for me and let the rest go.
Thank you, mom! I love you!
This first issue of EVERYDAY CREATIVES is available to everyone, for free (my mom is too special to keep to myself!). Going forward, it will be a once a month offering to paid subscribers. You can upgrade below, thank you so much for your support <3
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