Christmas Crisis Present

Day 359 Week 53 Q4  Sunday, December 25, 2022

Woke Christmas morning to a furnace that was not operating and a fifty-degree house. Which was not bad considering it is a balmy 10 degrees out, and yesterday it was closer to zero. Thank goodness for good insulation. And yes we do have a propane stove and electricity to drive a couple of heaters so we can generate some heat in the house. First, a bit of early morning 6 AM debugging – is it the furnace, the blower fan, the thermostat or what? 

As it would be silly to assume any kind of rapid service response at 6 AM Christmas morning, and my wife and I are both creative outliers, I figured I might as well get my morning creative calibrating process done and let my wife sleep for another hour or two, before ringing the crisis alarm by making service calls and swinging into heart generation action with space heaters, and setting up fans to blow steam from boiling pots of water on the stove into the kitchen.

And hey, she slept, service has been requested, heat is being generated in the fro mentioned process, and while waiting for a response guess I may as well do this blog posting. So here I am.

Crises are part of any creative outlier’s life. Do they have more or less of them than everyone else? Well, it does not matter. What matters is how we respond to crises, and yes, we probably have more than usual because we likely generate some of them ourselves.

I have to say, after weathering a lifetime of crises, to which I am sure I contributed a healthy number of them by my actions, I have come to welcome them, especially if I did not cause them, which, as I get older, is increasingly the case. The excellent news is crises are also great opportunities to be creative—time to find those space heaters, long johns, hoodies and hats. And sure could have wrung my hands when it was zero out yesterday and gotten all of these ready just in case the furnace failed, but hey, it never failed before or, to be honest, rarely failed; it is only twenty years old or so and has been serviced and maintained. We have a full tank of oil, so I guess we are ready if we had to go check into a motel or a hotel for a day or two while the situation gets resolved, that could be a mini adventure as well. 

And let’s see, it is Christmas Day, so the gym is closed, and there are no hot showers, but wait, the hot water heater works so that we could have hot showers, and hey, if the kitchen is too cold to cook and eat in, we can find some non-Christmas closed restaurants like Indian, Chinese, Thai or Japanese.  Notice I left out Jewish delis because Jews celebrate Christmas in my neck of the woods near New York City.

So let’s see, we have to wait for service anyway and for the house to rest up a bit from space heaters and pots of boiling water, so I may as well write a blog posting for crises that do not kill creativity. In fact, they inspire it.

When you spend your life as an involuntary innovator, you do get your share of crises to contend with, and it is all part of answering the question, what next? I am sure creative outliers have a large number of answers to this question when there are crises and even when there are no crises. So, what is the difference?

Now, if we could not afford oil and did not have a propane stove and did not have power, we would be in worse shape, but having gone through all of these things in the past but not recently, I can say these too were an adventure.

Now, if you are a creative outlier who is married or living with others who are not creative outliers, then that is a more challenging crisis to face. In my case, my wife is as nuts as I am, so neither one of us wrings our hands, but it is easy to imagine other situations.

The moral of the story is crises are fun as long as you think they are.

And by the way, if you do not think they are, perhaps you do not want to try being an innovator because they have even more crises than creative outliers. Manifesting is always more challenging than talking about it.

But if you have had your share of crises and survived, and have not yet done so, perhaps it is time to become an innovator when the solutions to your concerns, also called some problems or crises, may benefit more than yourself and therefore be a means to deliver value to the world and perhaps even monetize some solutions thereby increasing your money to address more crisis.     

Ah, just in time, the Herrington service truck just pulled up; Mike cleaned the dirty nozzle, fired up the furnace, hung around, and we talked bout cars and life and furnaces for another few minutes to make sure it did not crap out on us, and he, and we, were good to go. Amazingly problem was discovered, reported, responded to, and solved in three hours. And now that we are all fired up in problem-solving mode, we are ready to go for a ride and eat breakfast out, except literally zero Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Thai restaurants are open for breakfast.

So now we have a much smaller crisis to solve, but first, I had better spell and grammar check this posting and get it up and then I can solve the much smaller breakfast crisis. Let’s see time to invent or instead improvise some sort of omelet. Invention and improvisation are related but not the same; guess which is the real-time phenomenon. As an involuntary improvising innovator, I seem to recall we have hot Italian sausage, heavy cream, onions, potato, maybe some spinach, and of course, more than one kind of cheese. The crisis is about to be averted as soon as I post this morning’s blog.

If you find yourself in New York Berkshires, ring me up, and I will improvise something to eat. What you thought the Berkshires were in Massachusetts? Well, most of them are, but being on the border between New York and Massachusetts and knowing how entrepreneurial New Yorkers are, after all, it is still called the Empire State, you have to imagine how it came to be that there are now Mass Berkshires and NY Berkshires.

Living at the boundaries between not only two different states but also New York City and Upstate NY is the perfect place for an Involuntary Improvising Innovator, equidistant from Juilliard and MIT, two significant innovation cultures I frequent.

Awakening to a crisis and improvising solutions is an excellent way to begin the day.