The ‘why I am like this’ category

Voting for Order

April 19th, 2019

Week 16: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

Chaos theory: within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, self-organization, and reliance on programming

This week is spring “break.” I cannot use this phrase without putting “break” in quotation marks, because for parents like me, there is nothing “break” about it.

Some moms don’t work, and some work but take these “break” weeks off. And others, like me, can’t take the week off but don’t really have adequate child-care coverage, so just go into it on a wing and a prayer, hoping it will all work out. (It never does.) I doubt there’s a parent in any of these groups who takes the word “break” seriously.

It’s a chaotic time, and I don’t like chaos.

Earlier this week I was listening to a podcast about chaos and how critical it is to creativity. I have heard this before, and my reaction, once again, was “bullshit.”

My job is creative in that I have to dream up innovative and disruptive ways to talk about innovation and disruption for clients who don’t want to use jargon but definitely want to be known as innovative and disruptive. I write about a lot of really fascinating things I know very little about, mostly in the technology realm.

This week, I’ve been writing about operational artificial intelligence, immersive learning via virtual reality, electronic ticketing platforms, the changing culture of CPG industry leadership, and additive manufacturing (that’s industrial 3D printing to you). This is all extraordinarily interesting stuff, and to write about it takes great concentration.

As I’m writing this, I am technically not on the clock. It’s 7:30 a.m. and my daughter just asked me to play “school” with her. (So ironic,  right?) BRB.

Anyway, the chaos has been great this week, and the creativity, not so much. Personally, I am more creative when I’m relaxed, and I’m relaxed when things are… orderly. While I’m sure there are indeed underlying patterns in the chaos of naked 4-year-olds doing arm-free headstands on the sofa and gleefully running into the kitchen to inform me: “Mama! I did a flip!” (uh, great?) I don’t necessarily see those patterns — or benefit from them when it’s time to turn in an ebook I’ve been drafting with only half my brain tuned in.

In fact, this week, the Week of Chaos, I committed a total rookie move: I slaved all day over an article for a new client, only to send off the triumphant email at exactly 5 p.m. Then I got in bed for 14 hours with a fevery bug. (Would it really be spring “break” without everyone getting sick at least once?) I emerged to an email from this new client that I had forgotten the attachment. Duh!!

The good news is, this is a situation that can be remedied by spending the weekend folding all the laundry, cleaning all the floors, doing all the dishes, reorganizing all the toy baskets, and maybe even cleaning the windows. Then, and only then, will I be innovative and disruptive again.

What I’m eating:

Fresh early season spinach from Tapalou Farms down the road:

What I’m watching:

Nothing. Woefully behind and haven’t even watched Game of Thrones. Starting to get stressed about it.

What I’m reading:

Fascinating article in the New Yorker about the looming automation of strawberry pickers and also, as an aside, how the entire agricultural industry relies on immigrants because we Americans are too lazy/full of ourselves to pick fruit, leading me to wonder if all the anti-immigration people are ready to stop eating strawberries until the robots can be perfected.

What I’m listening to:

The podcasts Hidden Brain, 99% Invisible, and The Moth.

What I’m working on:

This is the kinda thing I write for a favorite longtime client, Eventbrite:
10 ½ Creative Event Marketing Ideas to Drive Ticket Sales

 

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