Taking My Turn
What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn) by Seth Godin is an interesting book. It’s really a challenge. He’s asking us all to put aside our fears and the need for approval, and start something.
To begin that project, to create something, to do something. He challenges us to begin—despite the fact that there are no guarantees, despite the fact that you may or may not be in the mood.
None of this matters. To begin is what matters.
I think he’s right. This website has been around for a while now, but in January I decided that I would commit to posting something every day. Up until then my posting schedule was a mash-up of starts and stops, dependent upon a rush of enthusiasm or inspiration. Posting every day hasn’t been easy. But it hasn’t been all that difficult either. Some days I struggle with what to write about, finding new people to interview, and making the time, but I’m doing it.
I’m not sure why it’s different this time, but I think it has something to do with what Mr. Godin writes in his book: “Standing still is the riskiest plan of all.” I believe that. I've found standing still creates more anxiety and angst than writing every day ever does.
So if the question is “What to do when it’s your turn?” I say take it.
It’s more exciting, more interesting, and far more rewarding than sitting it out.
Always a Project in Progress
Innovation Day - Always a Project in Progress
For the true hobbyist, dedicated artist, innovator, and explorer, there is always a project in progress.
Today is Innovation Day and I have an idea.
A new feature for this blog: Always a Project in Progress. I found three great books at the library today and am inspired to start something new. The books include one on sewing, one about magic, and another with some sophisticated decorating, storage, and ultility projects.
I’ll select one project from each book, and talk about the next move. I want to pick just two projects, and work on them with parallel reporting. I'm optimistic that the book about taking great photos will help me document my progress.
Follow along as the projects are selected, as we gather information and materials, and talk about the challenges and discoveries we find along the way. What does it really take to get it done?
In the next post I'll list the the books pictured above.
Do come back for updates (and be sure to sign-up and join us for other announcements, too).
This is a Calendar of Days post: Library Lovers' Month
Get Organized and Find Joy?
The kitchen junk drawer, do you have one? I open mine daily, but if I'm honest, it's usually just to grab a rubber band or a clip. The other things I use once a month, maybe, and should probably be stored elsewhere. There are keys (for the padlock?), finger covers (I cut my finger a year ago), a pencil, a corkscrew (we have two others in another drawer), a tape measure (that's handy), scissors (I use those a lot), matches (almost never), and nail clippers. Hmmmm, time to rethink the junk drawer. Marie Kondo says we don't need a junk drawer. I think she's right.
Marie Kondo is the author of the wildly popular book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It's a little book with a big message: less is more. And her technique for deciding what to keep and what to toss (or donate or give away) is inspiring. Ask yourself one simple question: does it spark joy?
If less clutter and less stuff leave space for more joy, I'm in.
This is a Calendar of Days post: Get Organized Month
Of Soup and Slurping
January is Soup Month, and as I researched this post, I came across this proverb. It caught my attention because it made me think of how often we hold off pursuing something until we have everything we think we need to start (or finish).
Good manners dictate that we eat soup with a spoon, but you can also slurp it from the bowl. It may be less dignified and even messy, but it won't affect the flavor of the soup.
Today Is World Dream Day
Today is World Dream Day . . . take a look at the site that celebrates our dreams and you'll find more ways to take action.
Finding a way to make it happen.
Dreams of course come in all sizes. Most start with just a whisper or a passing thought. Some come and go. But when there's something that won't let go, don't ignore it!
It might seem impossible, but it doesn't have to be.
I like to read, and I read a lot of how-to books, and the message that runs through almost every one of them is the same: start.
Whatever it is that you're dreaming of, get started. Because taking action is where your dream will begin to take shape. Research, reading, and thinking are helpful, but taking some sort of action is the best way to get things going.
It's all in the doing.
One of my dreams has been to create a format where I can share my enthusiasm for hobbies, passions, and pastimes, because I believe they have the power to lift us from boredom, sadness, and loneliness; introduce us to new people and places; to discover new talents; and inspire a more creative and interesting life. My dream became Assembly of Grand Pursuits . . . it's a dream that continues to change, grow, and evolve.
I started to make progress with this website after reading Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. One illustration is where things changed for me. He talks about writing a blog. It was an overwhelming and daunting concept for me, and his illustration simplified the process: you get results by doing—one step at a time. And then over time, you have creating something. It's the same whether you want to make something, go somewhere, or learn something.
Plot your course, break it into smaller tasks, and tackle them one by one, day by day. It's deceptively simple, and it works.
Much like savings, or taking a course: with each class or deposit, little by little, step by step, you create and build something. It also generates new ideas and new thoughts. But it only happens when you get going, get your hands dirty, and get out. So let's get going. It may not be easy, but from my experience, I can say, it's worth it.
Last week I walked into a hobby shop to talk with the staff about kits and model making. I'd been thinking about it for a week or two, but kept finding ways to put it off. It's still hard for me to pick-up the phone, to walk into a shop, to start a conversation. But once I do it, it's exhilarating.
I learned about kits and models for airplanes, trains, sailboats, motorboats, dollhouses, helicopters, and drones! I learned dollhouse kits are popular with men who want to build them for their kids (girls and boys) and that they are available as two-story Victorians and log cabins. I learned you can get a boat building kit for the Titanic, the USS Constitution, or a Maine lobster boat. I learned you can build a radio-controlled model plane that can tow a glider plane into the air where it can be released to follow thermal wind currents for lifts and spirals.
It was all so interesting, I wished I had done it sooner.
And blog posts? Same thing. I start and stop, worrying if I can make it interesting. Is it too short? Too long? Will I find a good image to go with it? But once I begin, the ideas bubble up.
Ideas that I would never have considered if I hadn't . . . started.
We'd love to hear how you get started and what you're working on. Leave a comment!
Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies
"She broke out of a bout of self-pity and
Happy New Year and Winter Greetings!
From pagan celebrations of light to the dropping of the ball in Times Square, these year-end events are widely noted. But these changes take place with or without celebration.
Midnight tonight will slip away in star-filled skies around the world and we'll wake to a new year. We'll move forward hour by hour, day by day, finding ourselves, on occasion, surprised at "how time flies."
It begins on the shortest day of the year and then minute by minute the days grow longer. It's hard to notice the difference, but sometime mid-January someone will comment on how much more light there is, and we, too, will see it.
There is a lesson here of course: big changes are made possible by small measure.
As 2014 comes to a close I'm holding fast to big changes from small measures.
Rather than resolutions, I'm working toward goals in 2015. It's an idea that I'm adopting after reading how Chris Guillebeau puts it to work each year. It struck a chord with me and I'm giving it a go.
Working in small measure toward big changes, here's a partial list of my goals for 2015:
Pursuits magazine - January 2015
This is a big one! I've been working on a prototype and it's time to launch. Pursuits is a print magazine with a focus on hobbies, passions, and pastimes. Designed to help reduce stress, boost creativity, and increase happiness, it is a compendium of activities, how-to, insights and inspiration. I'm very excited about this new magazine and look forward to sharing it with you.
If you want to be notified when the magazine is launched, join our mailing list by filling out the form on the right.
Learn to Juggle
I spend a lot of time sitting at the computer, and I'm looking for activities to balance the time spent behind a desk . . . a pastime to clear my head. If I'm able to master juggling in the next month or so, my goal is to pick another challenge, playing an instrument . . . I'll keep you posted!
Stationery Line - I like writing letters and often make my own stationery. I've got lots of ideas and it's time to bring them to life.
What goals will you set in 2015? Write them down, and tell us about them by posting a comment below.
ABCs Of Letter Writing
Always A Project