Creative Juice: The Wisest Men Are Not the Most Serious

October 27, 2014

I take a lot of things seriously.

When I was a kid, I took school seriously. From the time I was in kindergarten, I was serious about succeeding, being a good student, getting good marks. I don’t really know why. Maybe I was just a very compliant child. I believed my parents when they told me that being serious in school was important.

Later, I was serious about a lot of other things. I got serious about my relationship with my wife. I seriously pursued a career. And today, I’m serious about how I teach my students. Sure, I think creating things should be fun. But I’m serious about it too. I seriously want students to do their best work for me. And I try to do as much as possible to help them succeed.

That’s not to say I don’t have a sense of humor. I like to laugh a lot. But my sense of serious has often done me as much harm as it has good. My sense of serious has often translated into a sense of stressfulness. Everything seems serious when you make it serious.

These days, Cheri and I are serious about preparing for the little one. We talk seriously about the things we want to teach him, the kind of home we want to create, the kind of relationships we want to have with him. We have had a long time to think about these things, and we consider that an advantage of infertility. Sure, we know the kid is going to come and make fools of us. But we want to try to accomplish a few things, you know?

But I think what I am looking forward to most is a healthy injection of unseriousness in my life. The last few years have been exceedingly serious, stressful, even unhealthy. I am looking forward to having a person around who wasn’t there for any of that, whose main concerns are not serious.

Here, I’ve got a photo of our toy and bookshelf that we’ve put together. Most of that stuff is new gifts given to us. But the “Hobbes” tiger on the left (of course there is no real Hobbes) we picked up years ago. We imagined that he would be just perfect for a child to own on some faraway day.


And now that the day is inching closer, I am looking forward to having a little nonsense being brought back into my life.