I remember it well, learning that I would soon be having a daughter. I was making a tuna sandwich at a restaurant I had been working for. It was a slow day at the office and I was afforded the luxury of playing on my phone while watching the buttered bread slowly turn brown on the grill. The text message read: “Guess what, daddy?”

Not much guessing was required.

It was a shock… well, not too much of a shock. I know how these things work. But it was enough that I went outside and sat on a box around the back of the restaurant for a while until my coworker—a heavyset fellow covered in tattoos—came out and asked me in his thick New Jersey accent, “Well, what are you going to do?”

I replied, “I don’t know.”

Funny how society changes, isn’t it? 100 years ago, that probably wouldn’t have even been a question. But, for better or worse, parents have “choices” these days. Ah… perhaps that’s a discussion for another time.

I knew nothing of THEE at the time, but looking back, the next several months fit quite nicely into the Creativity in Endeavors framework.

But back to the story…

So, having babies is about as unremarkable a human activity as anything, but it’s major, right!? It was a big deal for me. I had my moments of crippling dread and anxiety, which I dealt with by watching a lot of TV for some reason.

For the most part, though, I was positive about it. I remember my girlfriend (now wife) and I getting each other excited about names. We’d get all down on how much it would cost, lamenting the demise of our social lives or dreading the idea of a crying little creature occupying our early mornings. Then we’d snap out of it, playfully arguing about what we would name the baby or getting excited because we found a tiny little shirt with The Beatles logo on it or something.

It was, and continues to be, a major challenge, and I made myself rise to it. Looking back, I realize how I just fully committed to the whole endeavor at some point, just barreled into it like a freight train. Now, I’ve got a little four year-old and being somehow not completely entangled in this whole parenting thing is unimaginable.

Now, this wasn’t the first time I had successfully risen to a challenge. Beforehand, I had built myself a semi-solid little music career out of sheer willpower and, well, I guess the ability to play music. But that was somehow different and probably just the byproduct of the drive to be creative. On the other hand, being half-hearted about other things, namely college, caused me to waste a lot of time and money and resulted in 5 years of education resulting in a two-year associates degree.

The best part of all of this: Our little family got on a roll. Something clicked. We realized, without the formal names that THEE attributes to these phenomena, that we had a way of approaching our endeavors that works for us. (It may not work for you except in a broad sense. Creativity is personal. Such is the nature of human endeavor.) These days, rather than having some giant challenge dropped in our laps, we come up with them on our own—and apply what we know about ourselves to make them happen. We bought a house, got better jobs, traveled extensively, continued our education and now, we’re planning to move back to my wife’s homeland. Why? We like a challenge. And really, nothing seems too daunting when you’ve got a good attitude and your sphere of what is and what is not realistic expands.

This part of the Taxonomy is difficult to write about at times. On one hand, telling people they need to be positive about the challenges in their lives is either a no-brainer or might come off as patronizing. On the other hand, it’s the most basic, useful, instantly applicable framework for you, right now, whatever you’re doing.

Furthermore, the language in the Creativity frameworks allows me to explain psychosocial reality and “human elements” to people who want to know. Would you agree that being positive is helpful when faced with a challenge? If so, then you must acknowledge that “positivity” exists and humans use it. But you can’t touch it… but it’s real… so it must exist somewhere outside of the physical world?

Why yes, it exists in psychosocial reality, it’s a human element, and THEE has a place for it with all of the other human elements.

Tune in next week and I’ll apply this framework to something much larger than me and my family life. I think you’ll like it.

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