CRAFT VS CREATIONI'm a really ambivalent person when it comes to craft and DIY. I have even written a post about being the Anti-Craft because I have never been a clever cutter, gluer, folder, painter, or baker. Sometimes I surprise myself and do something a little bit clever (like my stained glass project) but in general I leave all that stuff to the innately creative people.
What I have learned over the years is that there are actually things I am more than capable of making - to open up my world, grow my character, and feed my soul. So to get started, here are five things even the least crafty people can make (and I'm sure there's quite a few more!)
1. MAKE FRIENDSThere is an old saying "no man (woman) is an island" and it is so true. We need people in our lives to challenge us, engage with us, connect with us, love us, care for us, and enrich our lives. Without friends our lives can be barren and lonely.
It's not hard to make friends if you put your mind to it. All you have to do is open your world to others, smile, take time to chat, invite someone for coffee, look for the person standing by themselves. Put yourself out a little and be brave. The reward far outweighs the effort it takes to develop friendships - have a go.
2. MAKE TIMEWe all talk about how busy we are. We all have "so much to do" and not enough time to do it". But is that really the case? It all boils down to priorities doesn't it? A few bloggers have chosen "Simplify" as their Word For 2017 because they know it really comes down to prioritizing what is important and making time for those things.
We do a lot that wastes our time and doesn't add value to our lives. Perhaps it's time to cut a few time wasting tasks out to free up some time for the things we love to do. To make time for people and for those things that speak to our hearts - that should be our goal, not filling our days with trivial time sucking pursuits.
3. MAKE A DIFFERENCEWhat one thing can you do that will make a difference? What little kindness can you pass on to someone? What small window of time could you offer as a volunteer to help out somewhere? What little task could you do to lighten someone else's load? It's not hard to make a difference, it's just a matter of setting your mind to it and deciding what you can do that won't cost you the world, but will make the world a better place.
Perhaps it's time to stop for a second and see if you are doing anything to invest in others, if you can't come up with something you're doing to make a difference, take a moment and think about what you could do - can you bake, do you have a skill you can share, can you donate some money, can you be a friend, can you make time for helping someone out? There's so much we can do - think about all those random acts of kindness just waiting for you to put into action, and then give it a try.
4. MAKE MISTAKESBrene Brown has been inspirational to me - she turns the whole idea of perfectionism on its head and says that it's okay to be real and to make mistakes. We shouldn't be afraid of imperfection. We learn from our mistakes and if we're not prepared to risk making one then we're never going to step outside our comfort zone.
I hate making mistakes, but I'm learning not to beat myself up over it. I'm learning to be kinder to myself and to let go of the unattainable goal of perfection. If we can forgive our blunders and allow ourselves the freedom to make an occasional mistake, then who knows where we could end up?
5. MAKE YOURSELF HAPPYThe biggest lesson midlife has taught me is that it's not the responsibility of other people to make me happy. You can't expect your partner, your children, or your friends to be the happy makers in your life. You can't depend on others to be your constant cheer squad. It's a fatal mistake to always be looking to other people to give you a reason to be happy.
Those around us have an affect on us - they can lift us up or drag us down, but ultimately happiness springs from inside us. If we decide to be grateful and appreciative then that happiness grows. If we choose happiness as our first response, it becomes a habit. If we smile and look for the positives then we make ourselves happy and that flows on to those around us. Making yourself happy is one of the best creations you'll come up with.