Saturday, December 19, 2015

Creative? OR Problem Solver?

Daughter number three (S) called to chat tonight.  I suspect one reason she called was to express her ire about something I say on this blog.  She told me to stop saying I'm not creative, because, yes - you are.  As a patient mom I explained that I'm not creative, but I do excel at problem solving.  Here's the difference.

Creative people envision something, then have the ability to bring it to fruition.  They dream up a bouquet of flowers, envision it, then go to the task of creating it.  They do this with all things.  I do not envision, nor do I create.  Believe me I tried when I was a young mother.  I finally gave up and accepted creating was not a strength.  No harm in that.  The truth is the truth.  I was at peace with it.

Problem solving is indeed a strength I possess,  Recognizing this brings on a confidence that can't be taken away in any way.  I don't brag about it, it is what it is.  Just like recognizing creativity eludes me, is what it is.

My children are creative.  It's a genetic pass down from their dad's side of the family.  They have the best of both of us - creative and pragmatic.

Let me explain what I mean when I refer to problem solving by using a couple of examples.

In the past:  When the children were small there was quite a bit of chronic illness in our home. (Two members at the same time.)  I worked three jobs, but it wasn't always enough money to go around.  I knew if the cupboards were bare, the kids would feel they were poor.  So what I did was fill the frig with good snacks such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, and apple slices.  The fridge was full and for all they knew there was nothing they 'wanted'.  I did the same thing with the cupboards.  I left quite a few cereal boxes that were close to empty to make it appear as if the cupboards were full, but the reality was quite different.  Problem solved.  The children thought there was plenty of food, only I knew the reality.

In the present:  Currently the Christmas presents are getting wrapped.  I ran out of tags.  But, I do know how kids notice if someone has a tag and they don't.  Their little spirits get dinged.  So I have two types of Santa wraps.  I cut out a Santa from one wrap and used it as a tag on the package wrapped in the other Santa paper.  Problem solved.


I used a brown Santa as a name tag on the paper with the red and white
Santa.  The grand will never know this tag is any different than
 most of the others.


 
That - to me - is the difference between creativity and problem solving.  Both have a place in our lives and both serve us well.  Besides, I have the yoo toob ladies to help me appear to be creative.  That's my secret.  I copy what I see that I like.  Sometimes with a personal spin, sometimes not.

Stay safe!

8 comments:

  1. Angie that is indeed a brilliant skill to be a problem solver. Some people are not great problem solvers. This ability has obviously been a great strength in your life. I'm

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    1. Thank you, Leisha. It has served me well. I like that I can identify with that skill. My mother in law was my mentor, watching her was the second step in developing the skill. The first is when I was a child, my older brother figured out how to replace a window we broke before our mother got home. He thought and thought, we pooled our cash and went to the hardware store for a piece of glass. She never knew! tee hee!

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  2. Ha ha that story made me giggle. Such a perfect example of problem solving. My manager uses the term of "work the problem". I think this is an amazing skill and dare I say it , creative.

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  3. Your description of these sad conditions in the past when there was chronic illness in your
    family is emotionally moving. So much strength and confidence is necessary. All mothers and fathers want their children to grow up in a happy family. But now your children have found their place in life and have children themselves. That will make you very thankful.
    Creating a missing tag is a sort of funny tiny problem you solved in minutes. Yes! And in a very creative way.

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    1. To tell the truth, none of us had time to be sad. All of us just put our hands and hearts to work. We had each other and worked as a great team. I do want to thank you for recognizing the hardships our family endured. We are now all well and productive. Merry Christmas, c.

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  4. There are many kinds of creativity... it's not all arts & crafts. In order to problem solve effectively, one has to be creative. That's why there's the old cliche of "thinking outside of the box". Organization is another creative skill. One I completely lack. Oh, I do try sometimes. But so many others are far more skilled at realizing or visualizing ways to bring order out of chaos. It's problem solving (for sure), but in a sense it's "creating" efficiency where there once was none. I see a stack of papers to sort through; eventually I pull out all that can be trashed or recycled. I'm left with a smaller stack. Some can go into file folders, yet inevitably I have things I don't know where to put. You, Angie, would have it all figured out while I sat pondering. And it would look nice when you were done!

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    1. Thank you for the compliment. You know my FB page has a few comments letting me know I'm off the mark here. I thank all of you (and Leisha) for setting me straight. I'm surrounded by wonderful people! xx oo

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    2. Oh Angie we are lucky to have you in our lives xxx

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