Posted by: Shanna Germain | 12/21/2009

Pg. 189: Seven Year Stretch

This is a fantastic video — and an even more fantastic idea from the creative mind of Stefan Sagmeister. I love his idea of taking five the retirement years and moving them forward. I also loved his sense of humor, and the kinds of things he came up with while on sabbatical. One of the things I find most interesting — and disheartening — are some of the comments from viewers (not on the You Tube section, but in the actual Ted website, which I couldn’t embed). They talk about how ridiculous this is because they don’t have money, because it’s only for the rich, because no one but the famous can make it work — and I think it’s that kind of thinking that holds us down, that keeps us doing the drudgery of life without joy.

I think a lot about what it means to be creative, about what I’m doing for money versus what I’m doing for love. I know how I start to feel when I’m writing too much or too much of the same thing or when I’m not writing things that challenge me. I get dulled. I still write, but it’s this kind of drag. It’s becomes, “When will this be done?” instead of “Wow, where did the time go?” I think that we have to make a choice to remain creative, to move on and see things that re-open our brains and our sense of wonder.

This year, for me, has been half creative — my time in Scotland was a sabbatical, although I didn’t call it that, because I was writing every day, and I didn’t see it for what it was. It was a sabbatical from “real work” (meaning: paying work) and a change to live the kind of life he’s talking about: writing, walking, exploring, being creative in whatever way that came to me.

Now, I’m back in the other side — the writing for money, the head-down, fingers at the keyboard side. I miss the sabbatical already. But I also don’t know if I could do that year-round…

Oh, hell…who am I kidding? I totally could! If only I didn’t need to actually make some money once in a while.

Far and fast, s.



  1. […] Cross-posting this because it’s on my travel site, but it’s also about creativity and time off and refilling the wonder-tank. […]

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