Creativity and Absent-Mindedness Go Hand in Hand


Chaotic people like myself love to bring up how messy Einstein was as if sharing disorganization with Einstein means also sharing genius with him.


I certainly don't feel like a genius forgetting to pick up my daughter from dance or upending the couch to frantically search for my cellphone, but, I have found it true that disorganized people seem to also have a knack for creativity. Is it a left brain, right brain thing? Some kind of personality trend?


I would argue that a disorganized person's talent for creativity comes from practice. Truly, who gets more practice at creativity than people whose disorganization perpetually puts them in tight spots they must deftly and quickly maneuver out of?


This is almost a daily occurrence for me. For example, I will lose the car keys and have to figure out a way to get from point A to point B in 5 minutes with a toddler and no car (tie the stroller to my bike?) or have to make dinner with three missing ingredients (how about cereal?). My mind is like a stream of "Jeopardy thinking music" on repeat.



One such situation of which I am equally proud and embarrassed of, is when I forgot to bring a diaper to the doctor. No, not for me, for my then one-year-old.


Wouldn't you know, halfway through the appointment he needed a change so I took him to the restroom, cleaned him up, and then stared blankly at his naked little bottom wondering what in the world I was going to do short of potty training him in the next 3 minutes. Cue Jeopardy music.


Paper towels were absorbent, but how would I keep them in place? I searched the bathroom wracking my brain for a solution and spotted spare trash bags, no bigger than a grocery bag. Flashbacks of my mom describing cloth diapers to a "grateful to be a mom in the 2000's" me popped into my mind and bam. I had a solution.


Carefully, I poked holes no bigger than his chubby thighs on either side of the plastic bag. I filled the bag with paper towels and gently tied it around his waist. Voila! A perfect makeshift diaper ready to withstand the half an hour we had left at the doctor.


I pulled up his pants and we walked out of there as if nothing had happened. Then, no doubt feeling a little more free in his new "underpants", he took off running. Each step was a swish swoosh swish swoosh so loud that people turned to see where it had come from. Thankfully, he slowed for a minute to fix his paper towel wedgie and I swooped him up, pretending, like George Costanza in his swooshing suit, that the sound had come from elsewhere.


I half hoped he'd soil it so I could test out my invention, but he was still dry by the time I found him an actual diaper.


Please tell me I'm not the only one! Have you been in a similar situation? Tell me about it in the comments.


In the end, I do believe creativity and disorganization go hand in hand-- not because all disorganized people are geniuses, but because all disorganized people constantly find themselves in situations demanding creativity to avoid the consequences of their disorganization.


Who knows? Maybe Einstein's "Theory of Relativity" was merely his elaborate excuse for being late.

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