It started out as a lark. A simple idea, mostly designed to keep me sane while waiting for Jack to start preschool and for me to find the right job opportunity at the right time. While living in Louisville, reader Jess, introduced me to the world of blogging. She shared her fun family blog with me and even told of the pocket money one could earn by subscribing to Adsense and then hoping people clicked on your ads. Technology is not my thing, but I could relate to the idea of journaling and, of course, effortlessly earning pocket money was a no-brainer.
CSPgrad met me at Starbucks on one fateful Sunday to set up my blog and try to walk me through the basics. Heather, whose house I stayed at that weekend, helped me chose my blog template and "temporarily" dropped in a picture - you know, just long enough to return to Dallas where I could replace it with a more current picture of the whole family. I pause to mention this factoid, because 364 days later, you are still greeted with the same old picture of me and Matthew (yes, Matthew - not Jack).
I decided on a creative-idea-a-day, because frankly, I'm not qualified to write about much else. People have frequently commented on my creativity and when Stephanie, my friend and former intern, read my palm years ago, she said two things: One, "You're very creative" and two, "You'll work hard your whole life." I'm not sure how I feel about number two, but I knew I could have fun with number one.
To be honest, I never thought a second about who I would be writing to or for how long my blogging adventure would last. I had no idea whether, when push came to shove, I could come up with an idea-a-day, but it was of no concern. Looking back, I don't know why it was of no concern. A creative idea-a-day, for an undesignated period of time and regardless of where I was or what I was doing, should at least have warranted a second thought.
But it didn't and that's what I want the focus of today's post to be. What happens when we jump into something without over analyzing it, without too much planning or consternation and we simply trust. We trust that, by putting one foot in front of another, day in an day out, our efforts will amount to something. If I would have given this venture too much thought, the inconvenience of making posts while working 16 hour days at Leadershape would have overwhelmed me. The practical realities of sick kids, conflicting schedules, technical difficulties, and sheer mental fatigue would have discouraged me from committing.
I 've learned some things this year. The first thing is that I have the discipline to commit to something and then, regardless of circumstances, to make it happen. I, like you, might have hoped this was true, but now I have 338 posts to prove it is so. And, guess what. All of you readers who have been with me from the beginning and who have continued checking in daily... you get to say the same thing. It feels good and I can't help but wonder what else I... we... are capable of if when we apply this same level of discipline to other areas of our life.
Here's the second thing I've learned and I love it, because Matthew has heard me say it enough times in the past couple of days, that now he is repeating it. I've learned that, "If we do a little bit every day, we can do anything." Last night Matthew was playing in our study. When I pointed out that it was late and that he should start putting Lincoln Logs away, he was quick to tell me why he intended to leave them exactly where they were... "No mommy, if I build a little bit every day, I can make a house."
What have we built by simply giving HLA a little bit of our attention every day? I might be biased, but I think we've built a pretty remarkable community. I say remarkable, because in one short year many of us have gone from (literally) virtual strangers to friends with whom we exchange Snail Mail, compete for prizes, and patches, share holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and National Tug of War Day. We completed four service projects and raised over $1,000. Heck, we've even been to the Olympics together. This Highlowaha experience has underscored my core belief that with a little bit of action every day, we can accomplish anything - even building pyramids that stand 5,200 years later.
So, let's review and then I have a question for each of you.
Spending this year with you has taught me two things. I hope you find them as empowering as I do.
First, no matter how many new year's resolutions we've broken, how many times we've started and restarted a diet, or how many times we've promised ourselves we'd break an old habit, all humans are capable of sustained effort when the outcome is something that genuinely matters to us.
Second, a little bit of effort each day goes a long way.
Think about it. If I promised to write a page a day, I could have the rough draft of a 365-page book by next February 17. If I vowed to jog one mile, I would have run the equivalent of 14 marathons. If I paid just one just compliment each day, I would be responsible for 365 smiles. Learning one new Italian word each day means I could order dinner next time Richard and I are in Rome. Saving one dollar a day could result in enough airfare to visit a friend. One visit to Highlowaha nourishes my soul and gives me access to an international gathering of creative minds. You see what I mean. One gesture, of even the smallest kind, will amount to something of substance, provided you sustain the effort over time.
So in celebration of our one year anniversary, let's answer this question...
If every day for the next year I..., then I....
Signing off until tomorrow's BIG DAY...