Getting Creative in the Shower

This morning was great! Once again I experienced creative juices flowing while I took my morning shower!  Ha! I got you with the title, didn’t I? Well, although this post is not as provocative as one might have hoped, it certainly gave me something to write about.

Many times in the past, when I was working on lesson plans for my writer’s circle, garden club, or math meets nature series, ideas came to me in the shower.  In fact, when I was in grad school for my EE/EI degree and most of my classes required essays, not multiple choice exams, I wrote many of my papers in the shower!  Introductions seem to take form and lead to the organization of a lesson or, in today’s case, presentation.

I’ve spent the last few days, leisurely looking at conservation materials for an Earth Day presentation. While I did so, I realized that this was my usual M.O. (modus operandi) for developing creative works that I would use with students or to satisfy my own course requirements.  It is akin to a literature review in a much more relaxed form – sitting on the couch with tea in hand reading or browsing articles that would serve to eventually help me form the basis for my presentation.  No note-taking. No preparation for exams. No required work. Just work I WANT to do to be prepared.

I love this! I need to say that LOUD and CLEAR!  I am good at what I do. People who know me well and have heard my passion when speaking about conservation, environmental education, or even gardening with kids, take notice of my care in the formation of engaging presentations. Yes, it is time-consuming. True, I have rarely been paid for this preparation. But, it is what I LOVE to do!

I believe that the ideas that come to me in the shower are among my best! I think they arrive when I am feeling most relaxed and not pressured to produce them according to some other standard or guidelines. I possess an innate knowledge of timing, what will engage, the topics to include, and how to present. This is what made Evergreen Garden Club and North Woods Garden Club so very successful.  It also made me a successful graduate student and subsequent professional.  I believe I owe most of this to my prior nursing education. I understand human development. All the developmental stages from birth to age 21 and the corresponding theories from Freud, Piaget, Kolberg, Erikson, and others merged with those of Dewey, Thoreau, Howard Gardner, Mezirow, and others regarding ideas about our environment, allow me to synthesize material that is relevant and age-appropriate to my audience.  At least, I hope that continues to be the case.

Conservation is a huge topic. I’ve been looking for ways to break it down for children. This morning, in the shower, an idea came to me on how to do this. By the time I got out, I had my introduction, the way I was going to approach the topics, some ideas for visualizing what I was talking about, and order of progression for a forty-five-minute presentation in April. I was thrilled! I rushed to my phone to verbally record my ideas before they escaped me.

Today, I feel empowered. I am a multi-potentiate and take pleasure in using all of my strengths to create engaging presentations for our youth to plant the seeds of conservation and stewardship.  I realized that when I cannot utilize all the strengths in my possession I feel stymied – I even said so to my husband and he agreed. (Yes, he is biased).  I am a creator, photographer, planner, and writer. All of those abilities could be singular careers. It is my choice to role them into one. It is doing this that makes me happiest.


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