With Christmas behind us and a new—and so far very cold—new year ahead, what resolutions have you made that you’ll now have to follow through on? If you’re like me, New years resolutions tend be forgotten very soon.
But the truth is the New Year is a good time to sit down and seriously think about where we can make improvements in the coming year in a variety of different areas. And I’ve been doing that. To help with setting some goals, I’ve been thinking about the people who’ve been influential in my life. Role models if you like.
One of those people who I’ll always remember and miss is my old friend Pastor Dick. This guy was like no other pastor I’ve ever met—or probably ever will. He and I spent a lot of time together. My irregular shifts at work allowed me to have many days free, and the only time he couldn’t get away from work was Sunday morning!
We spent a lot of time in coffee shops brainstorming ideas about things that interested us far more than our regular jobs. At the time, Dick was also trying to produce television and movie scripts.
We were able to collaborate on a bunch of projects that fit nicely with my hobby (and moonlighting job) of photography—back when pictures were actually captured on film and I had a darkroom in my house. I was taking night school courses on video production in college then as well, and that ability suited Dick’s needs. We once even partnered, along with others, on a public access television show.
I can remember once driving along the highway heading who knows where with Dick and seeing a city transit bus coming toward us. “Can you imagine having a job like that bus driver?” Dick asked me, shaking his head. “He does the same thing, travels the same road, day in and day out.” Although like everyone else we both had some aspects of our jobs that were predictable and repetitious, Dick thrived on creativity. Spending a lifetime driving a predetermined route established by others—figuratively or literally—didn’t appeal to him in any way.
Dick passed away many years ago, but I still think of him occasionally. I think this year I’ll make adding a bit more creativity to my life a resolution. Being a writer, that should already be an established trait. But even writers can get into a rut. Create more than 150 articles in a year (along with shooting hundreds, probably a couple of thousand images and filming videos) and you begin to see patterns forming.
Hopefully, that renewed focus on creativity will be noticeable to readers of Grainews, who will see it on the pages of the Machinery and Shop section throughout the year.
But you don’t have to be a writer to consider a stronger focus on creativity. And it could easily pay off for anyone in any job. In fact, farming may be one of the best occupations to express and benefit from creativity. If you look at who the people were behind many of the short-line seeding and tillage equipment brands in Canada and elsewhere, it was creativity that drove those people from a farmer with a need and idea for something better to entrepreneurs, and finally to successful business executives marketing their own creations.
Even if you aren’t interested in designing the next new thing in seeding technology, being creative about how you manage your farm will have you trying new ideas and exploring new concepts. Some will work and some won’t. But you, and your farm, will be better off for trying.