Tag Archives: creativity

Twymans in DC circa 1974

New Year Lots of Ideas

I'm turning 50 in 2018. It feels like I should make this year special. 

I hope to celebrate my birthday by recreating this photo taken in 1974 with my mom and brothers.

I love the stair-steppiness of the five of us. Also, how we all have that squinty look on our face (except Hugh who made himself a pair of sunglasses with his fingers). 

The photo above was taken by my Aunt Linda whose life and death punctuated 2017 for me and my family.

I'm taking on some new projects in 2018. One, in particular, scares me but I realize that sometimes those are the most rewarding opportunities. 

I listen to a lot of podcasts. A recurring theme in the ones I listen to is pushing the boundaries of comfort in order to grow. Our brains are wired to keep us safe which usually = comfortable.

All I can do is try. I'll probably look like an ass sometimes but what the heck, I'm almost 50! 

Other projects are ones that I started but haven't quite finished. It will feel good to check those off the list.

I plan to choose a word for the year but I usually don't do that on January 1. I'll write about that when I figure it out.

One habit I've been working on is to write every day. Whether on this site, the homeschool law site I maintain, personal projects or just journaling. I try to write 500 words a day but every time I read this post by Srini Rao, I'm inspired to challenge myself to write 1,000 words a day. 

Happy New Year! I hope you're looking forward to doing some interesting + scary things.

Creativity in an Uncreative Career


Photo Credit: Volkan Olmez | Unsplash.com

I recently had a chat with a young neighbor (22) who just finished up a year-long internship toward her certification as a Registered Dietician. She still has to take an exam to be official.

When I heard that she moved to Memphis for an internship in a VA hospital (apparently, they’re hard to find), I remember being impressed that she was willing to get out of her comfort zone by moving away from the safety net of her family and a city that she loves. Now that it’s over, she told me the best part about the internship was realizing that she doesn’t want to be in a hospital setting. I see that as a win and extremely valuable.

What surprised me is that her supervisors and co-workers continued to steer her into a hospital setting even though she was sure she didn’t like it. “Gotta pay your dues.” “Maybe you can eventually get into an admin position.” “Anything else takes years of experience to qualify.”

In other words, the conventional, “safe” path is so narrow….even for an RD. From what my friend was saying, it looks something like this:

  1. Hospital planning gross institutional meals for sick people. (Did you want Sprite with that meatloaf?)
  2. Some other institutional situation when you get burned out from the first job.

Look around, people, we’re living in a society suffering from an epidemic of obesity, unhealth, and non-nutrition. It doesn’t take much creativity to apply an interest in health and nutrition, a passion for food and cooking (this young woman started her own cooking blog in high school) and a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics to a non-hospital setting.

Luckily my friend is creative and looked beyond the barriers that her colleagues were putting in front of her. During her last week in Memphis, she reached out to an entrepreneur in Birmingham who prepares and delivers ready-made meals (including Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free) for clients ranging from families to young professionals to seniors. The subscription options include hot dinners, microwave-ready lunches, weekly breakfasts, snacks and drinks.

Business is booming in Birmingham and the owner wants my friend’s help to expand into Nashville. She’s moving to Birmingham next week to start. Although the job doesn’t require a degree, it won’t hurt when creating new menus for health-conscious customers with specific nutritional needs. Whether the business is something she’ll be passionate about a year from now, she’ll get a first-hand look at running a high-energy business in an unfamiliar city (cities). It’s what I call 3-D learning in real time. Plus she’ll have an outlet for her creative side.

I so admire this young person’s courage in creating a unique opportunity for herself that rejects narrow-minded conventions. Good Luck to her and I’ll keep you posted on other cool things that young people are doing to take life and work into their own hands.