One of the many hallmarks of neurodivergence is procrastination. Before I go any further, I want to recognize that no other five-syllable word seems to carry the same burden of judgment, guilt, and negativity. With that being said, it may be the never-ending to-do list, the anxiety about the future, or the depths of hellish exhaustion (being without my thyroid meds. for two weeks did not help that situation), but whatever the case, I recently, unwittingly, began to notice, not out of shame, just observation, the role procrastination plays in my life and my emotional health. Something just clicked. I can clearly (for the most part) identify why (when) I put off particular tasks. And it seems to present itself in two very different scenarios - one helpful and the other - not so much.
And that is where this anecdote comes in. As an employer, DRC remits payroll taxes. The forms and the taxes are due each quarter - one month after the quarter ends. So, in this case, today. These always represent an enormous financial hit for DRC, especially at this time of year when other important, weighty expenses are due. I knew we would be "borrowing" thousands from the Money Market account to cover these obligations. Therefore, I buried my head in the sand and put off the task till Friday morning, when I knocked it out in less than 30 minutes. Yes, it was traumatizing to transfer those funds - but hiding from the pain didn't make it easier. And crossing it off the to-do list lifted some emotional burden off my shoulders.
On the other hand, procrastination is arguably the most powerful tool in my creative toolbox. When I have a kernel of an idea and sit down to write or design something, and then realize I am spending way too much time wrangling and wrestling with it - I know it hasn't finished percolating in the background and needs more time to incubate - before it is ready to come out. In most cases, I just let it simmer in the depths of that juicy creative space.
The only time I force something is when I have promised someone I would have a project for them in a particular time frame. I don't normally rely on external stimuli, but in this case, it is what I need to follow through on obligations - knowing that it may not be my best effort because it didn't get enough time to develop is sometimes painful, but it is never worth making someone wait on me.
Circling back, I clearly have not mastered the art of procrastination - quite yet. I don't know why that sigh of relief and the knowledge that I can usually get whatever I dread - done in very little time - is not enough to motivate me to do them moments before the deadlines. That may be the next piece of this to figure out. I'll let you know when (if) I do.
In the meantime - let's all promise to give ourselves and others the grace to figure out how to leverage the art of procrastination to our advantage.
Weekly Creative Meditation
This quote was overheard when walking past the computer lab/library/classroom. Later, I asked R what he was talking about. He explained that he had built an intricate map inside one of the Roblox games that anyone could use, and it took him four days to do it.
This is just one example of the complexity found within the gaming world. These kids are not simply playing games - they are quite literally building/creating/designing them as they go.
I can't even begin to describe the levels of understanding it takes to delve into this world and the layers of skills being developed as they play.
We had a very full week at both Centers. Thank you to the group of parents & volunteers who met at DRC-East Wednesday morning to begin brainstorming fundraising ideas.
And I want to take a few moments to recognize the enormous contribution the Foster/Peet crew make to DRC. The list of things they take on is endless - but the latest is these beautifully repaired steps and new hand rail.
Enjoy these photo galleries from the past week.
Survival of the fittest - bigger, faster, stronger - eat or be eaten. This is the tale (we) humans have been telling ourselves for eons - or at least since Darwin and Wallace proposed their theories. (Side note: What a perfect allegory - the "winner" - who told his "story" first - forever has his name identified with the elegant theory that explains life itself, and interestingly, Darwin and Wallace were both students of economic theory.)
This misguided, simplified, and mythical notion of survival of the fittest drives everything in society and upholds the concept of scarcity. The triumphant gets the prize - the loser is left with the scraps (or eaten alive).
The fundamental flaw in how we use competition sits within our societal perceptions, including our definition of what makes someone the "fittest." What is the determiner of our ability to survive individually or as a species? We forget (ignore) that together as a group of diverse individuals, we are far more creative and abundantly smarter than a lone "normal" (fit) specimen dominating (scamming) the system for wealth and power. By pursuing status and the "win" through the promotion of rivalry, the innate value of cooperation (taking care of one another) is completely lost.
Disproportionate inequity and injustice are the direct results of this defect. Gross surplus to the "fittest" (elite winners) and limited access to resources and support for the "unfit" (losers) will always be the default mode.
To this point, kids, from birth, are indoctrinated into this toxic culture that immerses and forces them into a competition of survival of the fittest for everything from affection to grades, wins on the playing field, and social status. And punishment and reward - sticks and carrots - are the external motivators - ultimately responsible for the death of authenticity, kindness, empathy, curiosity, creativity, and the ability to work together cooperatively to make decisions and solve problems to make the world a better place for us all.
Weekly Creative Meditation
DRC-East had a good week after their Spring Break. Thank you to Virginia G. and Sharon M. for coming in to spend time and share your talents with the East Peeps. Also, thanks again to former board member, Steve Hamilton - he donated a comfy couch to the East Center a few weeks ago.
We are assessing interest for bring back an Afternoon Program to the Canton Center. This is a free range opportunity for young people who attend other local schools. There is a drop-in option - you only pay for the days your child attends. Please visit this page to learn more and complete the Google Form if you are interested.
Kids (teens) are the agents of chaos. Anyone who spends time with children of all ages will understand this statement - profoundly.
Fun fact: all that chaotic energy is where curiosity and the natural desire to learn reside - where the rubber meets the road - and where a genuine understanding of universal concepts is nailed.
Because: kids (all of us) should have the opportunity to explore the world through full-on, no-holds-barred experimentation. Life and the learning process are literally never-ending science projects. (See how Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains this concept here.)
However, when you intentionally remove all the wonder, awe, and sources of curiosity and exploration to replace them with a sterile, uninteresting, and dull facility filled with predictable, pre-planned rote activities - where a well-intentioned adult directs and controls everything (even the play and creativity) to actively avoid chaos, it becomes the antithesis of a learning environment. (This is why classroom management is an "essential" skill every young student teacher is taught.)
But what do exploration and discovery look like in real-time - in authentic self-directed learning environments?
As facilitators, we take a step back and observe. (Or, more precisely, as I have said before, we get "to hell" out of the way of all the real learning). We also provide all those resources and materials and all the unconditional support - a requested hug, insight on a challenge, deep conversation about endless topics, or we are that safe person to sit in silence with. Our primary agenda is to be flexible and adapt to the needs of every kiddo, and our only concern is their overall well-being. Because, honestly, the learning will always happen - naturally.
At the end of every day, each young person understands they can rely on us to be their champion in any situation. When you actively work to build that level of mutual trust and respect - everyone feels safe in their authentic state (and varying levels) of chaos.
(This article from Dr. Peter Gray helps define the difference between Progressive And Self-Directed Education.)
Weekly Creative Meditation
This week's DRC True Story comes from an unusual viewpoint - mine, an adult facilitator. This quote came after not one but a few unnamed incidents that still have me wondering. I mean, seriously - it is a freaking miracle that I somehow squished the desire to yell, "what the hell," a few times in one day. Thank goodness DRC Canton is on Spring break this coming week. I need some downtime to rest up so I can keep up with my DRC Canton Peeps' latest free range explorations and nonstop energy!
Two special notes of thanks this week -
Thank you to the Colton family for donating the duck eggs and the incubator! Hopefully, we will be successful in hatching out 10 baby ducks.
And a shout out to former DRC Board member - Steve Hamilton for donating a couch to DRC-East and for bringing DRC-Canton lots of split rail fencing. Stay tuned for the fence building project!
We hope all of our DRC-East Peeps had an awesome Spring Break, and wish all of the DRC-Canton Peeps a fun filled week of adventure during their Spring Break.
As we welcome "true" Spring (and bright sunshine) to the NoCo, I want to acknowledge the love, encouragement, and support surrounding me. I could not do "this" (all of it) without all the folks who have my back every single day. Thank you!
Happy - Ramadan, Passover, and Easter to those who observe these high Holy days. May your Spring be blessed with an abundance of moments to explore all the possibilities that openly present themselves. And don't be afraid to probe the sparkling gems of opportunity that may be hidden beneath layers of discomfort and unease.
Weekly Creative Meditation
DRC-East is closed this coming week for Spring Break. DRC-Canton will be in session T,Th & F this coming week and then we will be on Spring Break the week of April 17th.
A timely reminder - you are free to ignore things you don't like, make you uncomfortable, or go against your belief system.
Yes, indeed, absolutely make choices that make sense for you.
You are not allowed, however, to legislate, dictate, ordain, or judge (comment on) another person's appearance, lifestyle, decisions, or preferences.
If you find it impossible to be kind - then choose to be quiet.
Free will is for everyone, not just a select "virtuous" - few.
Weekly Creative Meditation
This quote came from when these two decided to grate cheddar cheese to put on the spaghetti they helped make for Thursday's lunch in the DRC Canton kitchen. K was trying to use the side of the grater with the smallest holes. B was trying to convince him that it works much better if you use the side with the larger holes.
This exchange perfectly highlights the comfortable family like atmosphere at DRC. They feel safe enough to jokingly "argue" all while supporting each other to be their authentic selves in their friendship.
DRC Etsy Shop
It was a busy week at both Centers this past week...
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