Today, in my daughters kindergarten class we were asked to bring in 100 of some thing, anything that could be divvied into 100 units: popcorn, pennies, twist ties, etc. you get the idea. We brought in 100 beads of various shapes and sizes. We were supposed to place the beads on a chart with squares labelled from 1 to 100. The problem was that our beads were round; being beads, and they rolled all over the place and would not stay put within the squares of the flat paper chart. We just could not use the chart the way it was. So, I grabbed a yellow tray and dumped the beads onto the tray and told my daughter that it was ok, we would just count the beads from the tray as we dropped them into the little jar that we’d brought them in. It worked in almost as good a way as the chart did, but without the accompanying visual indicator of 100 items [beads] neatly laid across a grid. That was just something we had to abandon.

beads on a grid

beads on a grid/beads in a jar

It occurred to me that this is often the way of creativity and getting creative work done in general. Sometimes you have to improvise, and the approach is going vary from person to person and from project to project. You can, of course build on valuable experience, but the need to be flexible and to do things differently than you thought initially is going to arise pretty regularly. In the end, the happy face was drawn on the daily sign-in board and I gave the daily kiss goodbye and raced to my car, because one thing that never varies is the parking ticket that is delivered at 9.00 am on the dot!