About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

Composting and computing

There's something about being away from the computer that makes ideas come to the computer.

When I'm cleaning out the barn, for example. I put on my barn boots, pull on my gloves, gather up my implements: rake, pitchfork, shovel. 

Within five minutes I've put the implements aside. I'm going back up to the house, taking off the boots, pulling off the gloves, scouring my hands, and firing up the computer to capture an idea before it's gone.

It's like a moment from the TV sitcom The Big Bang TheorySheldon, an eccentric physics professor and a character I identify with more than I care to admit, was able to figure out a complicated problem by working on the waitstaff of The Cheesecake Factory.

I've added a new function to my volunteer service at The UpTake, transcribing gubernatorial campaign debates. It's plodding, methodical, unsexy, but necessary work, much like cleaning out the barn. Sometimes slinging muck and political debates are one and the same. Both activities enhance each other. Both offer value.

Transcribing debates sharpens your listening skills and political awareness. The downside, you tend to feel like a pod person at the computer. Cleaning out the barn, well, the downside is obvious. But the value: your skin is browned and your muscles work and you get a tangible, visible sense of accomplishment. And no one ever needed their partner to rub Tiger Balm on their shoulders after a hard day at the computer.

When does your creative muse appear? Share your story in a comment.


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