Having Fun while Catching Up

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When Seinfeld, the television series ‘about nothing’ was really popular, I didn’t pay much attention to it.  Same scenario with the show, Sex and the City, and the sitcom, Friends.  When my friends were raving about those shows at the time they were popular, I, for some reason, wasn’t watching them.  However, these wildly popular shows would always capture my attention during their re-run phases.  Glued to the television set, I would watch the reruns, yet to my friends, they were history.  I was always behind the game.

I kind of feel that way right now about the Apple “i” world.  I got an iPad after there was much hype about them.  My husband buying me one two birthdays ago.  As soon as it was in my hands, I couldn’t stop talking about how amazing it was and became totally addicted to tapping that screen, and adored the photo capabilities.  I even wrote a blog about it at the time.  It is not only a fun device, it is very useful in my business.  I love it.

This year, my husband insisted I needed an iPhone.  (I know what you are thinking – what a nice husband).  But I kept telling him, I wanted a tool box with tools.  And I would love for the box and tools to be pink – not too demanding, I thought.

Well, what did he do, as you can guess – he got me both of course, lol.  I’m very excited about my toolbox set, yes, in pink no less, but I haven’t touched it since it was under the Christmas tree.  As for the iPhone, on the other hand, it hasn’t left my grip since the activation process at the store.  I can’t take my eyes off it.

I can see now why my husband was insisting it was time for me to have a modern phone.  My old phone, the flip open type, has cracked keys. I think it must be about, I don’t know – maybe 5-8 years years old.  My text messages were very comical as it would take forever to enter one word.

I had no idea the iPhone was so powerful.  In fact, after experiencing the iPhone’s camera capabilities, I wish I didn’t purchase a new camera about four months ago.  Who needs a camera now?!

Besides the powerful and impressive camera capabilities, it also has become a toy for me.  I’ve begun playing the “games” which I’ve always said I wasn’t very interested in playing.  Again, I’m a little late on being part of what is hot and popular.  I can only imagine the games I’ve been missing.

“Words with Friends” is the first game to capture my attention.  My friend told me about it and she started up our first game.  Well, let’s just say, she has created a monster.  Within my first day of playing, I’m hooked.  I can’t stop thinking about it and anxiously await my turn.  I’m a bit of a amateur, but who cares, I’m having fun – isn’t that the point – to have fun?  I think so.

All of this got me thinking about how anything we do now needs to have that component of “fun” in order to use it – or pay attention to it.  Perhaps that is why my Cathy T DIY Classes are something I so enjoy organizing and doing – because it is “fun” and educational, and includes an element of being creative.  I have fun and so do the attendees.

During the holidays, I rented a movie called, “Midnight in Paris”, written and directed by Woody Allen.  To me, it was a fairy tale about a writer’s imagination as escapes from reality from time to time on his vacation.  In his fantasy world, he ends up meeting and socializing with very famous artists from the past while in Paris.  There was a line it the movie as he discusses art with a collector which struck me – it went something like this…”Art is the antidote to problems in life…”  It wasn’t those exact words, but something along those lines.  Art, which is fun, can be the remedy in life or the distraction to problems or an escape.  Games are escape too in some respects.

If I owned a nursery, I would create a fun cubicle with a very cool computer screen for customers to use when they visit the store.  The walls of this imaginary cubicle would be covered with garden photos – all very colorful and inspiring.  The customer could walk up to the screen, tap on it to get a selection of options.  Shade or Sun?  Tap.  Your favorite colors – Purple, Yellow …tap.  Size you want to deal with, no more than 6 ft, 10 ft, or 15 feet?…, tap. Then a screen of shapes would appear, geometric shapes, squares, round, oval, kidney, half-mooned, whatever – heck throw in a star shape in there.  Tap on the shape which appeals to you.  Don’t bother asking if the new garden bed is north-south-east-or-west.  Most folks with a new home or little gardening experience don’t even consider that question, but they usually know if there is sun or shade in the area they want to plant.  And they often have a budget in mind, perhaps even add a tap for a price range.  Then boom, on the screen, 4 options of garden designs appear, in color, visual, full of life, real, and the customer, presses PRINT.  Out comes a design with a complete plant list, then they go out to the garden center to get the plants listed based on what they like.  The computer deal is not just a print out – it would be interactive, have the bells and dings you often here when playing online games, and have the most importnat element: fun.  (OK, who’s a programmer out there?! Or does this game already exist – and I’m behind the game again?)

If things aren’t fun today, they don’t get much attention – do they?  This concept of fun appeared to me in a store this weekend.  It is a costume jewelry store.  Every display was setup by color and theme.  There was one section with colors of vivid lime greens and ocean blues that spoke to me right away.  It made me want to go to the islands, it had a Carribbean feel, the display attached an emotion to the jewelry that inspired me – me directly.  Perhaps this display would be ugh to someone else, but it made me want to be part of it, to participate, to create an outfit to go with the jewelry selection.  The store had many other color and style combinations in displays, black and white for example – good for New Year’s eve.  A hot red table – Going out for Valentine’s day and want to get sexy?  That table’s items are for you.  My younger sister told me she likes how they setup their store by color and if you had a wedding to go to, you could come here to get your accessories based on the outfit you selected.  It was fun to look at.  It was almost like a game.

This concept of providing that feeling of color and themes can be used in any business.  Imagine that same cubicle in a grocery store.  Tapping that screen, hmmm, tonite, I want to make a chicken dish.  I like onions, peppers, and whatever.  Tap on the added ingredients you tend to enjoy.  Tap on the computer screen to indicate you like it hot spicey or you like it cool.  Tap on the screen to indicate you are a diabetic, or you love fried foods.  Tap, tap, tap – then an recipe spills out with a photo – it has to have that colorful photo too.  Off you go in the isles to pick up your ingredients with the recipe in hand.  Next time you go to the store, you visit the computer screen again to enter what you thought of the recipe, you become a fan, and you participate in the input of the meal’s creation.  I think that sounds way more fun than staring at the food isles and wondering what the heck to make tonite for dinner.

For some people, it is not about creating the most magnificent garden or perfect meal, it is about having fun and ending up with a decent result.  When you have fun, you learn, create, and build your talents and skills.  You don’t have to always win the game, and if you are a little behind – catch up!  Cathy T

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