The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

It just keeps getting better...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cracking Open Creativity

Two dozen herb-dyed eggs--dipped and dyed naturally with herbs like hibiscus, curry powder, cinnamon, calendula, spinich powder, turmeric, black & green tea, and chaga mushroom--all for an Easter-inspired article.
Up until recently, I was the executive director of a small, dynamic, financially-strapped, forty-six-year-old nonprofit organization.  My days were full and long--meetings, grant proposals, donor visits, personnel management, committees, task forces, work plans, budgets, etc.  It was great, hard and inspiring work and I feel privileged to have been allowed to do it; I got to work with some of the most amazing people in the world--but the universe has moved me in another direction and it is taking some adjusting of the creative variety...

I am now doing marketing and public relations full time as part of a young, creative marketing department at a very upbeat, very environmentally aware and mission-driven company.  I don't have to supervise anyone and there are no 7 am or 8 pm meetings--but what is required is an almost constant focus on communication and creativity--ideas, answers, angles, images, and words.  My creative capabilities have gotten a bit constrained in the past few years so I feel myself having to stretch, crack open, and get back in touch with fun, playful, exciting, expansive, and collaborative processes. There is a whole lot of saying "Yes" and "Let's" and that just hasn't been my world for a while!

I have had a few different models for getting older and I feel myself making some intentional choices as I'm solidly hitting middle age. There are those who want to move into authority, comfort, and being a solid and safe expert; there are those who want to settle in quietly among their peers, looking back at the collective "good old days" and reminding people that in their day, things were done a certain, perfect way; and then there are those who let themselves be challenged, learn from younger folks and newer ideas, reinvent, let go and start over--I'm pretty sure that is the tract I'm on!

I don't have a need to feel settled and while I've learned a great deal, I imagine there are always people with newer and better ways and ideas.  I don't mind admitting when I've failed or its time to step aside and let someone else make the calls and there are always so many different ways to tackle a problem or a challenge. But, while problem-solving is a form of creativity, it isn't the all of it!

So, while I'm getting used to working with new people in a new space, I'm also trying to get back in touch with the less serious and weighted part of me--I'm trying to dig around in the back of my mental and spiritual closet and find the sassy jeans and the big jewelry; the slightly irreverant and punkish gal who can turn products into stories and find themes and captivating images in the every day--she's there--she just has to climb out from under the stacks of budgets and bitterness!

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