Thank God it’s Friday & the weekend too

While Loving Monday Morningsis about shifting the perspective on Mondays, that shouldn’t lessen the enjoyment of Fridays & the weekends.

TGIF & the weekend too!

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Make me a promise

How often did I break a promise to myself?

Definitely more than just-a-few-times.

If I made a list it will look like this:
• Times I told myself I’ll be on time (instead of being 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes late and so on…)
• Unfinished personal projects – whatever is it I wanted to do for myself, if left unfinished, is another promise not kept.
• Issues I don’t want to look at – a definite hiding place for many broken self-promises.

It’s no wonder I get worried when the weekend rolls around the corner. It weighs on me like another batch of broken promises to myself would. I didn’t look forward to the weekend or starting off on Monday again.

Fixing it, one promise at a time
Surprise, surprise. No magic bullet to turn all around. Just fixing one broken promise at a time. Finishing a small project. Closing off the lose ends. Freeing the energy tied up in managing everything.

There was no particular burst of energy or ah-ha moment. Though I noticed a much lighter presence and a more fulfilled day ahead. One day at a time, this translated to something worth looking forward to, instead of something I kept hiding from. Weekends held enjoyment and the impending Mondays held potential.

I never found out at which point Mondays didn’t feel so dreadful anymore. Who’d knew that keeping or finishing the promises to myself held so much….promise?

Your life will not go un-witnessed

Over the weekend, a group of friends and myself worked together to put up an event for children from a children’s shelter. The event involved a cookery class and mini-master chef competition, with photography sessions in between. They came for the event unsure, afraid and shut off from the world. These were kids that did not feel wanted or loved, not simply shy.

Halfway through the event, they slowly started opening up. The next thing I knew, they were talking to us, asking opinions about their cooking, checking to see what we were doing with a particular item, asking for tips on how to operate the stove or the cameras. Most importantly, they were laughing, joking and reaching out volunteering to connect to the adults around.

If you had seen how a spark came on on someone’s face, imagine that lighting up on 20 children’s faces. Children, who thought themselves that the spark had died out a long time ago. The miraculous change was breath-taking and I wondered what had come together, in this simple event, for this to happen. It certain wasn’t the event schedule, the capital outlay, the preparation time – 18 of us spent 4 weeks planning.

It could have been about:

  • The VIP welcome we gave forming two rows of cheering adults all the way to the venue
  • The volunteer professional chefs (including a celebrity chef) and professional photographers (including an award winning photographer) patiently showing the ropes and enpowering the kids
  • Calling them ‘trainee chefs and photographers’ instead of just ‘kids’
  • Empowering them with skills to that they can take away (cooking & photography)
  • Respecting them by giving them T-shirts & aprons as a ‘uniform’
  • Treating them as equals
  • The spontaneous outpour of generosity, like a volunteer chef touched at a particular child’s eagerness to cook, and ended up giving him his professional uniform to keep the child inspired
  • Authenticity

Or maybe it was just about …

Being a witness:

Susan Sarandon’s character spoke about her marriage with Richard Gere’s charater in the movie Shall We Dance: “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.” Of course, she was speaking specifically about a marriage and why the connection matters.

Though, it struck me as essential in all human connection. That why the magic works, between friends, families, parents and children, teachers and students, colleagues, strangers – is that people want to matter. And without the theatrics, a simple act of showing, in your own way, that you will be a witness for this other person. You will be a witness to them. Because they matter.

And that, is the difference it makes.