A few weeks ago a video popped up on Facebook, which featured a friend of mine from grade/junior/high school. In the video, she discusses creativity. She says that creativity is seeing past what is give to you and points out that all professions require creativity, that it's not unique to the arts and crafts world. Profound. Creating is really magical. I mean, you take materials given you, organize them in new ways, and thereby bring into existence something new -- from crafts to an idea to a solution to an invention. Isn't that what magic is -- creating something from the proverbial nothing?
We can be creators in any realm, as my friend discusses. Surgeons, business people, moms, therapists, chefs, you. You take what is given you and stretch beyond it. We take creativity for granted, as if the solutions we now have are obvious. How confined we'd feel if our phones were connected to a cord, or if we have to move to change the channel, or if we didn't have spices to flavor food. But sometime in the past, these weren't there. Someone thought beyond what was given.
Elder Uchtdorf says that everyone wants to be creative. I think it's because I feel empowered when I create. It's like, viola! I've just solve a problem, increased beauty, made life better. And it's all yours. You did it. Perhaps, for this reason, it is so vital with children to let them work out their own solutions. Problem-solving is creativity. How cruel for parents to take away their children's creative powers under the guise of wanting them to be happy. Happiness comes out of creating creative solutions to problems. But enough on parenting...
I'm trying to be more creative at work. I wrote out my friend's definition of creativity on my handy-dandy white board - not for others to see, but to remind myself to see past what is given. I think I'm being more creative with my clients. I try this or that. I try to think what more can be done, what hasn't been tried yet.
Tonight I'll have a chance to be creative. My ward is hosting speed-dating. Brilliant plan or pathetic means to an end? Remains to be seen. I'm reminded of what a bishop on my mission said: we don't knock doors to find people, we knock doors to show the Lord we're willing to do anything.... At worst, it'll be a good story. Wish me luck!


Schaetzen Lernen: Learning to Treasure

I searched this morning on hulu for some smut to entertain me as I got ready for the day. The Bachelor won (and I'm hooked). It's alluring that for no money and full participatory consent, I get to judge (poorly) perfect strangers. I shall not further degrade myself by posting said judgments. However, the experience brought to mind something I've been mulling over.
You love the folks you really know.
It's kind of odd. Reason might argue that the more one understands about imperfections, the less disillusioned one is, the less one would enjoy a thing. For example, the PC. But not with people. With people it goes quite the other way if you let it.
If you let it. That's a key. If you write people off too soon, you don't really get to know them, and you don't really ever get to see them clearly. Oscar Wilde said, "To look at a thing is very different from seeing a thing. And one does not see anything until one sees its beauty." When you truly understand something, you'll see the good in it.
Seeing the good, I think that's love. Seeing the good and the bad and focusing on the good, that's Christlike love.
Christ knows us better than anyone. He knows our past, our present, our future. He knows our potential. He also knows our faults. He could write books about our faults. But, for the most part, I think He finds that unproductive because it doesn't coincide with His goals. His focus is on extending the good, using the good, enjoying the good.
I wonder what we'd find if we could just get our little hearts to focus on the good. To wait long enough, ask enough questions, spend enough time to really know the good. And, because it's a mixed bag, you'll find the bad. That's what makes a whole person. But seeing the whole, the bad might not seem quite so relevant.
When you really know someone, you understand and make allowances for their faults. You love them despite their faults. When you really know someone, you remember the times when they've acted nobly. When you really know someone, you've been through something together -- something you don't want to give up on a whim (read: small fault). When you really know someone and someone says something untrue about them, you defend them because you understand their intent. Because when you really know someone, you're in their corner.
So when Mother Theresa said, "If you judge someone [poorly] you have no time to love them," I must agree. If you can just wait a little longer before disapproving, you might be surprised.
I've learned this first hand at my job. I have to work with whatever client I'm assigned; I can't write people off. I can't go to my supervisor and say, "I need someone who's got it together just a bit more." The chaos is apparent. Stacks-of-documents apparent, hours-of-phones-calls-explaining-the-issues apparent. But no one is all bad. And I've never had a client who wasn't a little good. I've found that the longer I've worked with a client -- regardless of issues -- the more I care about him. The thing that makes the difference in how I feel about them is time. Because it takes time to know someone.
In German when we care about someone, we say we've (literally translated) "learned to treasure." Learned. Learning takes time and an open mind.
I hope to fall in love oftener now. Like the Bachelor seems to.

Foot note: The therapist in me requires me to say that although we might think to love everyone, we probably shouldn't trust everyone.


Rainy Days on Saturday

And there was rain. Lovely rain. Read-a-book-curl-up-on-the-couch rain. And, you see, I've just gotten red rain boots-galoshes-muck boots-wellies. The rain was Providence giving me a gift- "Wear the boots." The boots are the direct inspiration/imitation from Ramona Quimby (age 8, among others). What are fantastic character (double meaning in that word)! Ramona is adventurous and brave and carefree. I love the books, adore the movie, and worship the movie's stylist. Haven't you seen it? Apart from being too entertaining to not watch weekly, I want to rip every outfit right off of Ginnifer Goodwin (followed by replacing her in all her scenes with Josh Duhamel). In short, I recommend it. As for Ramona, her red boots are nearly a character in themselves. She prizes them above all. And I prize my reds too. The boots cannot help but make any rain a lovely rain.


Valentine's Day

Now it is that time of year when the world falls in love, and my favorite holiday. I held a Valentine-making party a few weeks ago. Also included are pics from another love-themed event -- watching Shadowlands and eating crepes!

The Haul.

A-zizzle presents Miss J with her Valentine swan.

Maizy, Em, and Ang show off their creations.

Cream puff swan with strawberry ice cream (oh, and Kate and Wills in the back ground).

Wizards of Waverly Place valentines - best year ever!

Psuedo-specs crew - HRH, Camilla, and R-win!

Miss J, Vil, Britt, Maizy, R-win, and Camilla.

Vil, Ang, and the lone man, J


Brit, Miss J, and Camilla

Kate and Maizy