Thursday, August 01, 2013

Foolish Projects

A foolish project

Start a huge,  foolish project
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference 
what people think of you.

-Rumi

I've been taking this really great online class, Start a Foolish Project, with Andrea Scher.  The idea was to say YES to a project that INSPIRES and DELIGHTS me, and to do it for the JOY of it!  I'm so glad I jumped in!

My warm-up activity was the Take What You Need experiment (image below).  I am  happy to report that all of the paper slips were pulled at the sign posted at my nearby market. I nearly jumped up and down clapping my hands the first time I walked by and some were gone.  ;-)


Next was the "guerrilla goodwill" activity (image at the top).  I made slips of inspiring quotes and affirmations and placed them in library books and on the back of public restroom stalls.  (Two of my favorite authors, Alexandra Stoddard and Sarah Susanka, were next to each other at the library, how serendipitous!) I love the anonymity of it.  It's also very fast. I spent 20 minutes making the slips from leftover scrapbook paper. It takes only 30 seconds to stick on a door or in a book, and my mood is lifted for a couple of hours.  It feels like I'm getting away with something, but in a good way!

My final project was to organize a neighborhood potluck picnic.  The DH (dear hubby) and I are relatively new here and I wanted to get to know more neighbors.  This was the project that really pushed me out of my comfort zone.  I'm a sociable person, but I had to be brave going door to door to introduce myself and hand out the invitations.  I dressed carefully, put on my best smile and headed out.  My opening line, "Hi! I'm Stephanie, your neighbor..." speaks to my nerves. Would they even open the door?  Think I was a solicitor? Ultimately, I found great value in this invitation process.  I met four new neighbors and learned that two of them have lived here for some time and yet didn't know many people.  That validated my cause.
Last Sunday evening was the picnic potluck.  We met in the nearby park.  I took over vases of flowers from the gardens.  I pulled out pretty tablecloths, but aside from that, this was simple because I chose to host in a public space (I highly recommend!).  Nonetheless, I had to remain calm as I made my way there and spied another neighborhood group using the picnic tables I had desired (in the shade). I had been watching the tables for a month...no one ever used them, not once!  Fortunately, there was another table available and we set up a portable table and carried on.  We had a lovely time with 12 of us in attendance.  I know these neighbors by name now. We shared food and smiles, and that is foolish magic!

12 comments:

moyra scott said...

so impressed with your potluck. brave lady!! keep foolish xx

Marilyn said...

Oh I love this. What a wonderful concept and I am so happy you followed through with each of the not so "foolish" happenings.

The Everyday Tea Drinker said...

Awesome! The label 'Inspiration' says it all.

Teafan said...

What clever ideas - and I understand the hesitancy to knock on a door. Almost no one does that anymore!

Rosemary said...

You are an inspiration with a wonderful positive approach to life. It is obvious that you have touched many hearts with this journey.

loralie said...

Way to go!

denese bottrell said...

love the way your projects progressed, stephanie... and your examples of keeping it simple are inspiring. really like the idea of having the potluck in a public place... here's to a lot more foolishness. p.s. love sarah susanka too!

Tea Time said...

This is the spirit!

Angela McRae said...

Oh, you are so brave to gather the neighbors, my friend! You are inspiring me today--and I love the guerrilla goodwill idea too!

Ana said...

Great idea. I love it!

Anonymous said...

Each of your ideas
Is so brave, so beautiful
How can I thank you?

Allison said...

How fun! I love your "projects". :-)