:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Challenges and Dreams (John)

So in my last post, I had a profound sense of "let's get this show on the road" about life thanks to Dad dying and coming back.  I accepted a challenge from my friend Wendy to take a picture of myself everyday.  So here you go...

 I started on Tartan Day, and wore my clan kilt with pride!  My family are Wallace's on my maternal grandmother's side.  And yes, that's the Wallace of Braveheart fame.  And yes, I do wear my kilt in the traditional way.
 Then I tried to take a serious picture, but ended up smirking instead.
 A self portrait on the third day found me needing a haircut and beard trim.
 Which I did, and documented the next day.
Watching the Sweet Pea watch the Mickey Mouse Club when I realized I needed a shot. Later this evening, my Sweet Pea would develop the hives that broke my heart to see.  But she's a toughie and even while all itchy and miserable still snuggled up to me and giggled sometimes.

In the shop.  I'd like to have more time like this in the future.
And after a good 2 mile run.  The running is getting better, and I fully expect to be able to run the 5K's that finish the sprint triathlons I'm doing this season.  Speaking of which, I got a nice write up as a "featured triathlete" on the Triathanewbie.com website. 

So, challenge completed.  I realize it isn't a huge deal.  But even small accomplishments are something to celebrate.  Never forget that.

On to the dreams.  I filed the above pictures under the name "Seven Days".  I think this led to the dream I had the next night.  I was sitting at a small table in my front yard.  The kiddos were playing in the yard, and I was taking pictures of a sandwich on the table.  That's right.  A sandwich.  I was confused for a bit, as I often am in dreams where random and bizarre events are unfolding.  But then it hit me.  I was taking a picture to finish off a project I was working on.

Instantly I was on my computer, finishing the first of the "Seven Days" projects.  It was called "Seven Sandwiches: Sandwiches to Delight and Inspire."  In this project I had created, photographed and written about a sandwich for each day of the week.  This of course included ingredients and recipes, and how they tasted.  In my dream I recall that every sandwich was delightful and inspiring, hence the title. Very tasty.

When I woke up, I chuckled to myself about how silly such a project would be.  Who needs to know about my favorite PBJ, or how to make grilled cheese.  But the more I woke up, the more I wondered why not do a seven sandwich project?  I also remembered from the dream that this was just the first of the Seven Days Projects.  Soon the dream turned into a challenge.  Another challenge I'll extend to you, dear reader.

I'm going to start a Seven Day Project Challenge.  The first, of course, being Seven Sandwiches to Delight and Inspire.  Here are the rules... It doesn't have to be seven consecutive days. It doesn't have to be every week.  That would burn me out fast.  But for a Seven Days project, choose a project and finish it within a set time.  A month, for example.  Or maybe two or three weeks.  But it has to cover seven days, and include seven "things". You can even do one every couple of months if you want.  Or just commit to doing ONE this year!  

Some of my future projects might include: Seven Days of Birds in My Front Yard - A Photo Essay.  Or Seven Days of Triathlon Workouts for the Couch Potato.  Or maybe Seven Days of Supper - A Week of Tasty Meals for Families.

What suggestions do you have for me to do in the future?  Be creative.  I may just accept YOUR challenge!  Or better yet, come play along with me.  Do a Seven Day Project of your own, and we'll put them all together into a book, publish it, go on Oprah before she retires, and spend the royalties we get on a vacation to find the Worlds Best Sandwiches!  Whaddaya say!?!  Are you up for Seven Days?

Life is Good, folks.  Let's do something with it, shall we?

UPDATE: I started a blog for the Seven Day Project challenge... you can find it here.

Stay tuned!


Angie said...

I love this idea! I want to do one. Must think of something clever so as not to be dwarfed by the awesomeness of Seven Sandwiches to Delight and Inspire. (You have my vote on the sandwich project, by the way. I love sandwiches almost as much as I love pizza.)

John said...

Oooh! Seven Days of Pizza!

Steph said...

I love it. All of it. The 7 Days of Pics, of Sandwiches, of Meals for the Family, Birds in the Yard... all of it!
I think I'm in. In fact, I may start with Seven Days of Laundry! Who knows? Maybe I'll get caught back up??? :)
Seven Days of Pizza is also a winner. OR, OR!!!! Seven Days of Cocktails! Yes..... I'm liking this more and more!
Life is Good, John, and doing something (even the simple somethings) with it makes it even better. Thank you for the reminder. Awesome stuff.

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Seven Days! Yes! Maybe themes of Seven Days of Responsibility and Seven Days of Sheer Childlike Joys. :) Or..... maybe integrate both, like much of what you just wrote about Mr. Seven Days of Inspiration. Thanks John!!

blj said...

nice! i love sandwiches! and pizza and cocktails, and inspiration and childlike joys. You guys have some great ideas! And good luck with the tri training John, but it sounds like you've got it all figured out by your trinewbie profile. My first tri was the hickory grove, too. And I did the pigman the year after. If you're near Des Moines this summer, let's get a brick workout in.

Tawni said...

I LOVE the Seven Day Project idea. I love, love, love it. As I planted stuff in my yard and garden today, I decided that one of my projects is going to be the documentation of my plantings. I'm a huge horticulture nerd and I want to share the joy. Nature rocks! Also, I might do a Seven Day Project documenting different juice blends I make with my new juicer. They are so delicious and easy and I've really been having fun with it. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I feel like I can do ANYTHING for seven days, right?

Sorry to hear that Sweet Pea had itchy hives. I am prone to those and allergic/sensitive to so much. Very typical redhead. So is my ginger son. Is Sweet Pea of the same genotype by any chance? I hope she is all healed, and that your mom and dad are in good health and feeling great very soon.

Great blog, friend. Have a wonderful month. :)

Katie said...

Yes, YES!! 7 day challenges. Seven Days of Different Deodorants, Seven Days of Alternate Routes for Dog Walking! Seven Days of Beer! Seven Days of Wearing Only Comfortable Shoes to Work!

I like this a lot.

So sorry that Sweet Pea had hives. Poor baby. I hope they resolved nicely and are just a bad memory.

Have fun with this! I liked the photos!! Woo!!

amy said...

John, confession: I originally read this post 7 days ago but did not have time to leave a really thoughtful and meaningful comment. I had things I wanted to say, but knew I'd have to go fast and when I go fast I always leave out stuff, leave glaring typos, and generally appear off skew as a human.

But I love this! I love this 7 day project idea. This seems like something fun and good I could do June through July--keep me on my toes. Keeping myself on my toes becomes very, very important June through July.

And the fact that your project idea may help me meet Oprah! Well, that is just icing on the cliched cake, my friend. I'm in. (But I've just finished testing small children to death and my brain is fried, and so while I now have time to leave a thoughtful and meaningful comment, I am empty of thoughtful and meaningful 7 day project ideas for you--and me, and other interested parties--to complete).

And last: I did not know about Tartan Day. I wish I had a kilt so I could celebrate Tartan Day, too. Mostly because I think I'd like for people to come up to me and go, "Why are you wearing a kilt?" so I could go, "Because it's Tartan Day!" And how very cool that you're related to THE William Wallace. I like it when I can tell people I know people related to famous people (right now, I'm telling everyone that George W. Bush and I share a common ancestor--a certain Henry Sampson who sailed over on The Mayflower and eventually produced Barbara Bush further down the line...hopefully, my inheritance claims will come through one day.)

And it's also very cool that you're featured on the triathnewbie website, AND that you can run 2 miles (I'm still working on my first 1/2 mile).

These were inspiring and awesome challenges and dreams. Go John!

patresa said...

7 days of kilts!

love the 7 day project idea. 7 days of characters. 7 days of songs. 7 days of jokes. 7 days of sketches. 7 days of dance moves. endless possibilities! i like it.

thanks for the idea and the motivation!