PictureJane and Karen at ASTD Dallas
There is paint on my pants.   Not boring ‘I splashed when working on a wall', paint.  Colorful, full of life, splashes and stripes.   My pants look like I have been dancing in paint.   It’s the kind of thing that makes people stop and look again.  The kind of paint that makes them wonder first if I am ‘okay’ and second if I really am as fun as I look.  I always hope the later is the truth!   Having recently attended a conference with 9000 participants, wearing painted pants to all events, I have had my share of looks, avoidances, and great big happy smiles. 

My painted pants are the result of an accident; I wore expensive shoes and pants to an event, someone spilled paint, I fussed a little bit (okay, a lot) and then the first comment came my way “great pants!”  then the next, “those look like fun!”  As the comments kept coming the pants became a part of me, something I do on purpose now, and some of the Canvas Creek Team Building coaches do as well.   Our pants are like a great tag line or a logo you can’t forget, a conversation starter and a point of reference.   At the conference we were quickly known as ‘the painted pants ladies’ and in knowing about our jeans people were able to laugh or roll their eyes, and then effectively point people towards our booth.  

All of this color on my legs, comments in my day, and craziness in my life is because we are all one big team out there in the world.   Someone has an accident.  Someone decides to ‘go with it’, someone else makes a comment and all of a sudden we have a conversation, and a feeling of camaraderie.   The feeling of a team.   

We are all in this together, bumping into the existence of strangers both in the physical and the cyber world.  When going through life we can blend in or stand out.  We can notice, comment, avoid, or wonder. I think it’s best when we join in, when we allow life, the places we go, the things we see and do, to make us a team.  To not just accept, but to embrace the ‘crazy’ the ‘stoic’ the ‘liberal’ the ‘conservative’, the ‘lost’ and the ‘found’ as part of what it takes to make us a team.  

 Life in painted pants makes me happy.  It makes me want to dance in paint…with you.  And if we danced, I want to know if you would wear the pants the experience hands you.