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54 Comments

  1. My dad is very talented at construction and repair work. Growing up, I would help him out with the various home renovations and additions our family had. I got to learn how to put up walls, route electrical outlets, plumbing, lay tile and more.

    My constructions skills are rusty nowadays but I still appreciate architecture and want to build my own house in the future. Growing up doing this gave me a hunger to create and it’s a reason why I like web design a lot as well. I get to create something.

    It gives me life!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Colin. Agreed. I wish the trades weren’t totally de-emphasized in high school. One, not everyone is college material, and, two, even those who are college material should know some basic construction skills. I’m glad your father taught you the joys of creating when you were young. Sounds like an awesome dude. Thanks for stopping by, Colin. I really appreciate what you had to add.

  2. Yep, creating a blog does count 🙂 If you wouldn’t have mentioned it, I would have definitely used it as the perfect example!

    In addition to writing, cooking and baking makes me happy as well. I don’t know why, I’m not even a gourmet. But that feeling, when someone tastes my cooking and says it’s yummy – priceless!

    • Mr. Groovy

      You nailed it. Blogging and cooking are a godsend to the curious and creative. Mrs. G is the chef in our family, and she really enjoys reading about new recipes and trying them out. At least once a month she tries something new for dinner. And she’s a very good sport if it doesn’t work out. She’ll ask me if her new dish is a “keeper,” and if I say “no,” she doesn’t chuck a plate at my head. Thanks for stopping by, Adriana. It’s always great hearing from another creative soul. Cheers.

  3. First time reading one of your posts (followed you for some time on Twitter) but the title of this piece really stuck with me. For certain types of people, purely consuming will never give life it’s ultimate fulfillment.

    Like yourself, and many of the commenters, creating is a beautiful struggle that allows us to continue to discover ourselves and how we can bring value to the world.

    Loved the piece. Well done.

    • Mr. Groovy

      “…[C]reating is a beautiful struggle that allows us to continue to discover ourselves and how we can bring value to the world.”

      Wow, Josh! That quote is fantastic. You put everything I wanted to say in one eloquent sentence, my friend. Bravo.

  4. I couldn’t agree more! This great post reminds of one of my pet peeves – “building” apps and video games. There are people who actually pay to play farming games. Why don’t you instead start a garden and actually create something in real life? Don’t spend hours building a society online. Go volunteer at Habitat for Humanity and fix up a house for a REAL person!

  5. That’s one of the reasons I love blogging. Create the site, writing, trying to improve things, while it is sometimes frustrating I find it pretty damn rewarding.

    That app development is pretty amazing, go you!

    And I’m so with you on sporting events being too damn expensive! Had to laugh at your suits comment, but I get it. It’s a game for goodness sakes. Albeit a huge business/money making game, but still a game.

    Good luck with fine tunning the app!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Amy. Blogging is without a doubt a very creative endeavor. Without it, I would be very bored. And probably very frustrated. And announcers in suits is kind of like coaches in suits. Tom Landry, as far as can remember, was the only coach of his era that wore a suit. All the other coaches wore polo shirts and trousers–nothing fancy. So Tom was definitely an oddity. Bud Grant, Chuck Knoll, and Don Shula didn’t need formal attire to garner respect and exude competence. Well, if coaches can do their jobs without suits, so too can our announcers. Thanks for stopping by, Amy. It’s always a pleasure hearing from you.

  6. Steve Poling

    Those familiar with JudeoChristian teaching will recognize the thought that “man(kind) is made in the image of G-d.” The first thing taught in these traditions is that deity is a Creator, and if we are made in this image, we too will be creators.

    In the first half of a person’s life s/he/it will focus upon creating wealth-value to provide for oneself and family. Once you’ve achieved FI is it altogether proper to pivot to creating significance-value in one’s “Second Act.” Nevertheless, whether it’s greenbacks or good karma, mankind is designed and fitted for creation.

    (I am working on a project to elaborate upon this thesis, but it is premature to say more.)

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Steve. I wholeheartedly agree. What would be other than slightly more sophisticated apes if we didn’t turn nothing into something. Best of luck on the thesis, my friend. Keep me posted. It sounds very interesting.

  7. One of the things I have always loved about engineering is getting to design, build, test and hopefully sell your creations. At my current job I have my hands in every step of the process and it is a rewarding feeling. I guess I actually take it for granted that I get to use my creative muscles at work.

    And props on the app. That is really cool to be able to say. I too am a big miracle morning fan.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I have a two words for you, Grant.

      I’M JEALOUS!

      A creator who is paid to create never works a day in his or her life. Bravo, my friend.

  8. I have a strong need to create things. All sorts of things, from physical projects like our current, remodel, from more intellectual ones, like writing. If I don’t have some sort of project going to soak up all the creative energy, I get all out of sorts.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I love it, Ms. M. Sadly, I didn’t develop your mindset until rather late in life. My brother is a lot like you. Since we were young, he’s always kept himself busy with projects. And when he was between projects, he’d be out of sorts too. I admire people like you and my brother. It’s said they can never take an education away from you. And that’s true. But there’s something that they also can’t take away from you that’s even better: the need to create. For creators, the world is truly their oyster. Thanks for stopping by, Ms. M. Always a pleasure.

  9. Judie

    I was hoping to get to a Panthers game this year,does this mean you won’t be going with me. Your Groovy Mom

    • Mr. Groovy

      How can I say no to our family’s biggest Cam Newton fan? Of course, I’ll go to a Panther game. Even under my anti-sports creed, I’m allowed to go or watch one or two games a year. Besides, we’ll have a blast.

  10. Creativity just makes you feel better because it’s all yours and no one else’s.
    Just watched your video. I still watch sports but not as passionate as before. I realized that its not the end all be all and if I miss a sporting event its not a big deal because it does not affect me personally

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Kris. It’s always great hearing from someone with his head screwed on right. It’s all about perspective. By all means, enjoy sports. But don’t sacrifice you finances and your sanity over them. It would be one thing if you got a 10% bonus when you team won the championship. But it’s an entirely different thing when your team wins the championship and your city has to clean up the damage from the riot or kick in half a billion dollars for the new stadium the team suddenly needs. Meh.

  11. Congrats on the app! It looks great, and if I made a less polished app, I would definitely rather use the one I made 🙂 Just something about knowing you made it makes it special and solidifies your daily ritual of using it even more!

    Creating definitely makes me happier! I’ve been feeling on a high since I started my blog 3 months ago because not only do I now have a real collection of things I’ve made, I feel like my mind is always thinking thinking about what can I make next!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Jing. I really appreciate your kind words. My app’s kind of lame, but it’s functional, and–best of all–it’s something I crafted myself. How cool is that! Yes, it’s the little victories that make everyday life a little less mundane. Thanks for stopping by, Jing. And welcome to the personal finance community. I just checked out your site. Very nice. And you have a wonderful story. I can’t wait to see what unfolds for you in the future. Cheers.

  12. When I was working, even though I was in service and not manufacturing, I created processes and used my creativity in other ways. These days, it is mainly with my blog (although my wife insists I need an additional hobby!).

    As for sports, I agree with you about the announcers and the cost. But we have an open market system and as long as there are fans willing to pay the price, the costs will continue to rise. I limit my sports exposure to baseball and mainly on TV or the computer these days. It’s entertainment to me and I still enjoy it.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agree 100%, Gary. For many people, watching sports is their one true joy. And I certainly don’t begrudge them that. I just wish such people would invest more time and money in themselves. After all, watching is cool, but playing–or better yet, living-is infinitely better. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Excellent insights as always.

      P.S. Are you a Yankees/Giants/Rangers fan or a Mets/Jets/Islanders fan? Or do–gasp!–rally around the teams in Philly?

        • Mr. Groovy

          Awesome! My cousin played with Dansby Swanson at Vanderbilt. Sorry to see that Dansby was sent down. Hopefully, he’ll be back. Perhaps one day we can go to a Braves/Philly or a Braves/Mets game.

  13. Great post. I recently spoke with an old friend who said she lacks gratitude. She has a career, baby, husband, house, and some money. She said that she is always thinking about the past and feeling resentment or projecting into the future and feeling fear. She cannot stay in the present. The best suggestion I was able to come up with was to find something creative to do like a craft. Being creative takes up a great deal of mental energy and keeps you in the moment.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Wow, Dave. Very profound. I especially like your last line. “Being creative takes up a great deal of mental energy and keeps you in the moment.” Great advice, my friend. I hope she heeds it.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Amen, Tonya. I shudder to think what I would do with my time if I didn’t have blogging. Watch more TV? Drink more beer? In three simple words, you really said a lot. “It saves me” shows the awesome therapeutic value of creating. I love it.

  14. Amen to this message! Creating something is my favorite thing to do, whether it’s writing a book, making a video, or writing an article I enjoy creating.

    Keep up the good work.

  15. Ed

    I completely agree with the idea that creating or building something can help to cultivate a happier life. One important area of creation that hasn’t been mentioned is the humble hobby of gardening. The gardener cultivates many happy benefits by planning the garden (good for the mind ), preparing the soil and planting the seeds (good for the body) , nurturing the plants (good for the soul), harvesting the crop (good for the bank account), and eating the harvest and sharing with friends (good all around).

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Ed. Great point. Gardening, while humble, is a perfect outlet for one’s creativity. Mrs. G and I hope to be part of the gardening tribe when we buy a couple of acres in the Wake Forest area next year.

  16. Great point, Mrs. Picky Pincher! I have been scouring ebay and craigslist for campers recently. The ones I like are vintage but I fear they will have a musty weird smell and be rotting from the inside out. Then I realized so what?! I can fix a lot of things, I just haven’t had opportunity to try in the past few years. THEN I thought, what if I take on one of these campers and get it lookin real nice then flip it. Or start a new business doing something like that. My mind has been ablaze all morning with the ideas of creativity which reminds me of my old house and how much I LOVED all the construction work that went into it. I have the next month to fix up my current condo before it gets rented and then I might just take on one of these campers. Thanks for the added inspiration, Groovy’s! 🙂

    • Mr. Groovy

      “My mind has been ablaze all morning with the ideas of creativity which reminds me of my old house and how much I LOVED all the construction work that went into it.”

      This is what I love about our community. We’re always thinking and trying new things. It never dawned on me to flip campers. But why not? People fix up furniture, cars, and homes. Surely there’s a market for refurbished campers. Thanks for stopping by, Miss M. I love your idea. Perhaps one day Mrs. G and I will hit the road with a Miss M camper.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Oh, Lily. You never fail to bring a smile to my face. Your comment about creating a comment made my weekend. And my weekend just started!

  17. I’m totally with you on this – I can’t imagine a life where I couldn’t have the ability to create things. These days, it’s my finance tracking app, an ebook, and my blog, but I imagine someday that might include woodworking or tinkering with electronics. There’s incredible power in creation to help us learn, make an impact, and find a purpose!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Great minds think alike! App, ebook, and blog–I look at you and see a younger version of myself. And, yes, I too am intrigued by woodworking. Made my day, Chris. As you so eloquently put it, if you want to learn, make an impact, and find a purpose–CREATE!

  18. I love Mrs. Picky Pincher’s quote about becoming a creator instead of a consumer! I think I typically think of creating in terms of the high scale creating (Create the next start up! Create the next hot product! Create the next hit single!) But I have come to realize recently that I create every day in my own small way. I create strategies and routines for our life, I create adventures and memories with my family, Mr. Adventure Rich and I have created a blog, the list goes on. And by focusing on the things we create (or can create), coupled with frugality, our life tends to become much less consumeristic.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. Mrs. Picky really nailed it. Nothing wrong with being a consumer. But if all you do is consume, it’s the equivalent of only being a taker. There’s got to be balance in life. So in addition to being a taker, you got to be a giver. This is where creating comes in. And you just articulated a perfect example of this. Creating strategies and routines is giving. Creating adventures and memories is also giving. I love the way your mind works, Mrs. AR. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Creating can definitely be stressful, especially if there’s a deadline. The nice thing about being creative in retirement is that there are no deadlines. Something tells me that you’ll finding creating less stressful going forward. You’re just too smart and energetic, Vicki. And creating is a perfect outlet for those qualities.

  19. Cowboy, Islanders, and Nets? Oh Mr. G. At least we can agree on baseball. I watch less and less sport these days. The time suck is the biggest factor for me.

    That’s a good looking clown and app! Would you consider blogging a creative outlet? There is a certain level of satisfaction creating something brings.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Yes, blogging is a great creative outlet. And, yes, it’s hard to admit that I’m a Cowboy, Islander, Met, and Net fan. I did have a nice run from 1980 to 1992. Islanders were great during the early 80’s. Mets were great during the late 80s. And the Cowboys were great in the early 90s. Since then, however, it’s been very rough. Maybe that’s why I no longer obsess over sports.

  20. Yep, in addition to getting my creative juices going with both blogging and photography, I get a huge kick out of the things I make knitting. My socks/hats/mittens may not be the coolest things ever, but I get enormous pleasure out of wearing things I’ve made.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! I love it, Emily. I dated a girl in college who made some of her own clothes. I thought that was one of the coolest things. Hail to the stitchers and knitters of the world.

  21. Awww, you just made my day, Mr. Groovy! Thank you so much for the shout-out. 🙂

    But it’s so true! It’s insane how much happier I’ve become since I started making things. For me it’s usually cooking, but that also includes crafting and writing. I do think it’s easier to be happy when you make a physical object with your hands.

    P.S. It’s Zap’s first birthday today! I’m gonna try to get a picture of him in a hat but thus far he’s been … difficult lol.

    • Mr. Groovy

      No, thank you, Mrs. Picky! Your comment really hit home with me. Sorry it took me so long to make it a feature of a post. And, yes, keep the pictures of Zap coming. Mrs. G and I really enjoy them.

  22. I love to make…there is actually a convention annually (both in Cali and New york) called the Makers Faire (google it if interested) where people get together to show the super cool stuff they have made. Gadgets, etc. It blows my mind.

    We are creating if we are writing. It is easy to forget that it is part of the creative experience, but a key part of it.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks for the Makers Faire tip. I’ll definitely check it out. And, yes, writing is a form a creating. There’s something magical about a blank editor being filled with words a couple of hours later.