Way back on August 1st, I posted a movie by Amy Krouse Rosenthal that I’d stumbled upon on YouTube. It was called The Beckoning of Lovely, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. The next day, August 2nd, I posted My Amazing, Wonderful, Big, Fat Fun Idea. I had decided to tackle Amy’s list of wonderful things by myself, in this blog. I had no idea how I was going to do it, but for the next twelve Mondays, I fearlessly beckoned the lovely like an intrepid blogging explorer. (And by “fearlessly,” I mean “nervously and with a vague sense of dread.”)
There were some things I expected to happen. For instance, I knew I’d have to step away from my keyboard. From colorful Sharpie artwork, to musical wine glasses and artfully arranged cherry tomatoes, the lovely took on many forms. Getting away from my preferred medium was good for me – like suddenly getting an office with a view. It reminds you there’s a whole big world out there.
Another great thing to come out of this? I rediscovered a more playful j. For a lot of reasons, things had become very serious for me over the last couple of years. I had lost touch with my playful side. But, more than any writing project ever had, Beckoning the Lovely taught me the value of letting go. My self-imposed, publicly declared Monday deadlines made it necessary for me to simply leap, often without a plan or any clear destination. I never knew exactly what I’d have when I was through “beckoning,” and there is something wonderfully liberating in that.
Those are the things I expected. Here’s what I didn’t expect:
- Unwavering, unquestioning support. Not one of my lovely things was created by me alone. I needed help every single time, and when I asked for it, no matter how silly, or time consuming, or messy, people said yes. The sense of community I felt throughout the 12 weeks was amazing. My “Lovely” posts are among my most commented on.
- My own sense of daring. There were times when the items on the Lovely list would freeze me in my tracks. Make music? Make out? Make up? Make a movie? Just the thought of bringing those ideas to fruition on my blog made me panicky. How goofy was I willing to be? How blatantly imperfect? As it turned out, pretty damn goofy. In the end, it felt amazing to let go of the idea that I had to be good at everything I tried. I didn’t. The important part – the most exciting and rewarding part – was the trying. I became good at that.
- Fun. I had no idea how much fun this project would be. I mean, I wore face paint, hiked the SF shore, made a collage, drank a cucumber martinni (or two)!
And maybe the coolest thing of all is that Beckoning the Lovely made me want more – more creative silliness, more out-of-my-element adventures, more collaboration, more exploration, more daring… more fun.
I think you should try it: make something unexpected, do something out of character, try something that scares you. What can you beckon this week?
Oh, and starting in December, we need something new and fun for Mondays. Suggestions are welcome. I am on the look out for my “next big thing.”