New Year’s resolutions aren’t really my thing. They always seem like a good idea – each year I have good habits I want to cultivate and bad ones to leave in the past – but they always seem to turn into just another to-do list. The last thing this family needs is another one of those.
This year we switched it up. Kayli and I each chose one word to focus on. A word to guide us rather than guilt us. A word that embodies the essence of what we want to achieve. Kayli’s is NOW, but I’ll leave it to her to tell you about that.
My word for 2015: CREATE.
My 2014 was heavy on consumption. Whether I was reading books, watching my beloved Arsenal play football, or eating loaf after loaf of Kayli’s whole wheat sourdough, most of my time was spent soaking up others’ creations rather than producing my own. Looking back on the year, I wondered, “What meaningful impact did I make on the world?”
This revelation is far from surprising. Our culture conditions us to consume and to view creating, or producing, as work. My days are divided into work hours and leisure hours: work = producing and, typically, leisure = consuming. The market is always ready to satisfy our every whim, making sure we continue to view any form of production as “work” and quickly choose to outsource it – be it dinner or the artwork on the wall. What if we flipped this on its head and decide to use leisure time to create?
But can you simply decide to become creative? Can you just flip a switch? Are there directions? When I decided to become an engineer, I was given a roadmap: take these classes, get a degree, get some real world experience, take this exam, boom. But there is no roadmap for creativity. There is also no public board of approval that grants you legitimacy by handing out creativity licenses. Personally, I prefer roadmaps.
Two weeks into the year, I’m starting to believe you actually can just flip a switch. Whether you want to be a writer, an artist, a cook, or an entrepreneur, you can wake up one day and suddenly you’re creative. How? You just do it. You just start creating stuff. The Creativity Board of Approval resides inside of each and every one of us. You give yourself the license.
A great place to get started? The kitchen of course. In the kitchen you can grab a handful of seemingly random ingredients and create something awesome from scratch in minutes.
Thick, sweet, tangy. My winter lunch salads are currently drenched in this dressing. Try it with my Tempeh Bacon. You won’t regret it.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¾ cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth (1-2 minutes)