Second Shift Creativity
January 31, 2014
To quote the famous Bill Cosby sketch “the same thing happens every night”…and I LOVE it!
My day starts at 5:30 am, then speeds up around 8:30 with a series of meetings, brainstorms, idea sharing, problem solving and if I’m really lucky some sketching. In my world all these things require creativity, in one form or another. But creativity is like anything else, a full day of it and your sponge is full…you just can’t handle anymore. You need a break, time to relax and decompress…but I have a 2 1/2 year old and someone forgot to explain this concept to him (I’ll spare you the “bottle his energy cliché”…). Ok, back to my day. After a full day at work and a 35-45 minute drive I am welcomed home by a little guy that wants nothing more than to hang out with his dad. And so, the same thing happens every night…my son (Jackson) dumps a huge bucket of train tracks, buildings, people and train cars on our family room floor and asks me, “Daddy play choo choos?”. What started out as just another requirement of my time, quickly turned into the best part of my day. After a quick hello hug (mandatory in my world) we quickly drop to the floor, clear some space and each grab a hand full of track as Jackson exclaims (with stretched out arms) “BUILD A BIG COOL TRACK)…and away we go!
We never have a plan, there are no rules and no time limit. With straight pieces and curved, long and short, bridges, buildings and a few trees – our goal is simple, to create something different every time…and of course have fun. The result is never perfect, usually ends up with lots of dead-end track and “fights” over who is going to be the white train vs the red…but it never ever gets old and we have a blast. We of course spend a few minutes playing choo choos, but that pails in comparison to the fun of building the track, together. And just to make the point that this is all for fun and an idea is just that, an idea (with one more always right behind it) we bulldoze the whole thing down to the carpet with a huge metal Tonka bulldozer! So my point is, take the time to teach someone the value and inherent fun of being creative, with EVERYTHING they do…and to not be afraid to bulldoze the whole thing down and start again.