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Monday, May 24, 2004

Creativity intensified

I'm in one of those states when my mind will simply not shut down. I've so many ideas that I feel as if my head will explode. I've been warned of the dangers of exploding head syndrome. Namely, there's a bit of a let-down when this intense level of creativity subsides.

But, in the interest of letting go of the wheel, I'm just going to ride this wave for now and see what part of the beach I eventually land on. I've been better about writing ideas down at various points in my career. Lately, I make sure I've always got a notebook handy. This morning I'm sorting through bits of paper with my horrendous scribble. Most of these notes, frighteningly enough, have been scribbled while driving. My main question this morning—what should I tackle first?

I'm a list-maker and obsessed with prioritizing and simplifying my to-do list.So I've broken my ideas down into things to tackle today, things to tackle this week and long-term ideas that need more thought. It used to be that my creative surges came primarily in the car or the shower. Lately, they wake me up from a sound sleep. I'm in training mode for the Bay Days 5-mile run on the Fourth of July, so I'm hitting the streets for a run early every morning. I should bring my tape recorder with me because I'm running for longer stretches and drafting entire queries all the while.

And, I'm ashamed to admit, I had a tough time concentrating during Mass yesterday because my mind was abuzz with ideas. I was reminded of the movie "City of Angels" in which angels live in libraries and hear people's thoughts. I wonder what they would hear? Perhaps they would smile listening to my internal dialogue about who I can pitch this half-baked idea to. Fortunately, there were plenty of distractions (as there always are) in the name of Michael Hoke, my wild card at church.

As an aside, we must have looked particularly well-scrubbed yesterday morning because the usher asked us to bring up the gifts. I always cringe when they ask. The last time we did, Michael carried a bowl of communion host and took one out to give to the priest. He was an older visiting priest and lacked a sense of humor. I was mortified and the other two boys were in hysterics. Yesterday, we didn't let Michael carry anything (which could have presented another problem). Ryan's friend had spent the night and so we also had him with us. As I approached the young visiting priest (a theology teacher at St. Ignatius and one of my older boys' favorite speakers), smiled at me and said, "That's quite a crew you've got with you. What's your name?" How kind of him to ask.

Back to my exploding head. As you can see, it's wandering a bit, which is another pitfall. I also feel a bit restless, which is probably a result of being in a hyper-jazzed state. Was a little snippy this morning with the family because I was anxious to get at my day. I'm sure that's tough on them, but I hope they know, alas, it's not a continous state. Just wish I could take this creative energy and bottle some of it for those times when I'm feeling less inspired.

Finally, I had a great laugh with my neighbor and friend Patty Banks on Friday night over strawberry daiquiris. We were discussing the storm that blew in suddenly at 4. I told her I was on the phone when it seemed as if the lights went out in the sky. She stopped me dead, palm up in the air—"You were on the phone at 4 on a Friday? You must NOT be in sales." Patty sells pharmaceuticals and her weekend began at about 1.

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