Originally posted 05/08/2019
I’m not talking morally, but about doing what you can to make good things happen. In a field, in Nottinghamshire…
In the middle of nowhere
If you’ve been reading my Monday Motivator Message for a while, you may have experienced (though may not have remembered) that about this time every year, the message is apt to arrive a little late.
That’s because I spend this particular (long) weekend in a field. It’s a gathering of about 40 friends, camping, eating, chatting, playing silly games, music, sitting around a big fire and generally enjoying the countryside.
It’s quite basic in terms of facilities but we insist on the minimum of 4 portaloos hired especially. We fill them with fresh rosemary and thyme and have jam jars with tealight for the nighttime. No sense in slumming it if you don’t have to 😉
Another bout of bravery!
I had another episode of being brave enough to ask for what I wanted, this time over the fact that I’d pitched my (overly large) tent on one side of the field but then realised I wanted to be on the opposite side. Two fine friends helped me to move it, completely erect, all the way across the thistles, nettles and long grass to the place I wanted to be. I felt uncomfortable being given such huge help to do something which felt like a small whim.
The photo above is me after the tent got shifted, I moved all my gear, including the inflated mattress, across the field.
What’s the alternative?
Another friend wanted to move but didn’t bother. Instead, she’s spent her short holiday feeling irritated with where her tent is.
Since ‘moving house’ I’ve been so delighted with where I’m situated, I’m hugely grateful the help and it serves as a reminder to myself to follow that ‘because I really want to’ feeling and just ask.
Doing what you’re not so good at!
But now to my main point. A large number of this group of friends are professional musicians and DJs. They have all the equipment and the field has a stage with electricity.
I have some small scale, amateur amplification which I take along for Sunday evening entertainment when the professionals have taken down the proper kit.
But on Saturday night, the DJ was taken unwell during her set and asked me to take over. I had no idea how to use the fancy control panel so set up my ipod and speaker.
The dancing continued, the night was really enjoyable and I was praised on my DJ skills. I shrugged off the compliments (eek! I hear you cry!) even though I teach the opposite. I felt I was merely a stop-gap and did a passable job.
Noticing the outcomes
Here’s the thing…a stop-gap, a passable plan B, any kind of make-do, does what it says on the tin; things carry on and get done, AND THE OUTCOME IS STILL GOOD.
Never mind the quality
My mum has a catch phrase which I think is from a TV or radio programme from many years ago where a tailor would say “Never mind the quality, feel the width!”
I’m thinking we need to remember, “Never mind perfection, notice the progress” 😉
What you focus on
Have a look this week at what you manage to achieve. Not just the things that turn out fabulous, not just the things you have all the kit for. How about noticing the many ways in which you fill a gap, keep things going or find a way to make something happen despite it all. Whether that’s a make-shift dinner with make-do ingredients or a make-shift job to fix an urgent leak. It’s all good.
I suspect you innovate in less than ideal situations all the time but rarely allow yourself to enjoy it as a success. Too often we downgrade our achievements to ‘well, I just did what I could’ or ‘it wasn’t quite what it should have been’.
You’re doing fine!
Let’s see if we can stop thinking of it as under-achieving and realise what’s really happening is good stuff and we’re under-estimating the power of the results.
Have a great week, realising those little things that, whilst not perfect, might be progress. Surely that’s how great things are built? By progress not perfection?
Ready for a bath
I’ll be heading home sometime Monday afternoon, a little bit sunburnt, probably with filthy feet and definitely with a happy heart. I hope you find some time for accepting and enjoying those little compliments around you or create some for yourself. And I hope you remember to get outside and enjoy the trees, there’s something special happening outside. I’m so glad I made a little time to write this and share some of the magic with you. If you’re reading this then I’ve managed to get some internet this year and send it on time – yeay!