We all need air, water, food, shelter… and possibly cheese. But there are a few things you don’t need in your life.
You don’t need to be perfect to lift someone else.
This blog is sometimes stressful for me. I started out telling stories about my kids. I know my kids. I know how to tell stories. It worked. But the kids are getting older and their stories are their own. There are fewer and fewer family stories we are all comfortable with me telling on the internet.
If I was going to keep writing, I needed a new direction. And I love writing. I love connecting with other women online. And that one guy who reads my site. I like connecting with him too. His name is Dan. And he lives in my house. Re: eternal matrimony.
The most shared post I’ve ever written is Drops of Awesome. So I decided to change domains and build a site based on the stories and ideas I shared in that post. I wanted a site that would tell people that they are enough, that all their small acts of good are overwhelmingly important, and that they can change who they are for the better with one tiny choice.
In theory, this sounds like a great idea for a website and I am completely passionate about this topic. However, I’m frequently intimidated by the prospect of sharing advice or ideas with women who I know could teach me so much.
I have to constantly remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect to lift someone else. If I didn’t struggle with feelings of inadequacy or discouragement, I probably couldn’t write so passionately about this topic.
None of us are perfect. And we all need each other. So I keep writing.
What are you passionate about? You can start now to share that passion with others, to teach them what you know.
Don’t wait until you’re perfect to reach out and lift someone else. We need your light and influence in the world.
You don’t need to know everything to do something.
I procrastinate. A lot. And although sometimes this is due to laziness, it’s more often due to perfectionism. I don’t want to start a project until I have all the materials, know everything about how to do it perfectly, and feel confident I will not fail.
I almost never meet all of those conditions.
And so the crap I bought to put in my 72-hour kits sits in a box in the garage until the diapers and pull-ups hardly even fit my 13-year-old anymore.
Well, last week I decided to believe my mantra – You don’t need to know everything to do something. I put away all the lists and plans and books about making 72-hour kits. I stopped by the grocery store for some food items and then just got out everything I had and threw it in backpacks.
It took two hours.
To complete a project I’d been procrastinating for 10 years.
Is it perfect? Nope. But it’s a lot better than what I’ve had for the past decade. Is there something you’ve been dying to do but you’re waiting to know everything and be perfect? Stuff that thinking in a dark hole somewhere and just get her done.
You don’t need a huge amount of time to make a difference.
I feel better when I serve someone, when I make a difference in someone’s life. But I don’t have time to start a charitable foundation today or even hand out food to the homeless.
Sometimes I need to remember that although I may not have time or capacity to make a difference with a thousand strangers, I can always make a difference to an individual.
Have you ever smiled at a child you don’t know in the elementary school office and seen her face light up? How about letting someone ahead of you in traffic? That might not save a life but it might restore the other driver’s faith in human kindness just a bit.
If you don’t have time to make a quilt for your niece’s birthday, send her a card. If you don’t have time to address and mail a card, text her or call her while you’re grocery shopping.
We are all busy. But some of the things that have made the biggest difference to me took almost no time at all. A text message telling me my friend was thinking about me all the way in Portland. An encouraging smile and nod from a neighbor who sat on the front row of my book talk and signing last weekend. Office staff who greet me warmly whenever I stop by the elementary school.
We can all do more of this junk. And it will feel amazing.