Our 21 year-old daughter loves to express herself creatively, particularly in her care for her friends. This shows up with thinking of and purchasing, or making, birthday presents – and at the moment it is the season of 21st birthday presents. Interestingly, another new type of event to celebrate has started to appear in our daughter’s life – and that is the event of housewarmings (and housewarming gifts!). Various friends have moved into share houses and this has added another fun and exciting dimension for our daughter to surprise her friends with her creative acts of kindness.
The current project is a set of two bedside tables, purchased for $10 from Facebook Marketplace, that are in for a full makeover. After a clean, sand and paint one bedside table is getting some feature panels consisting of adhesive vinyl stickers, and the other is getting a mosaic design painted on, which consists of dots, curves, and circles. It’s coming along beautifully and looks amazing, but there have been setbacks and challenges, and to be honest – it has become a chore!
I am sure we can all relate to the initial excitement and enthusiasm for completing a creative craft project or a DIY project to give to a friend or family member, but what happens when things go pear shaped? I don’t want our daughter to temper her enthusiasm for being creative, and I don’t want her to lessen her commitment to caring for and surprising her friends.
Possibly the key is helping her see the gift, or the act of kindness, as the time, effort and thought that has gone into the project, and if the final product arrives a couple of months after the housewarming party, or if the final product is not quite up to the vision of the creator, that this is part of the journey of being creative.
The danger when our acts of kindness become a chore is that we can end up resenting the acts, or feel frustrated rather than joyful as we carry out our actions. I hope to help our daughter treasure the entire process of producing creative gifts for her friends, the mis-takes and the successes. And I will let her know that her acts of kindness inspire me on a regular basis, and have inspired me to write this blog.
I am about to go and hang out a load of washing; is this a chore, or is this an act of kindness to my family, or both? I do plan to hang it out with gratitude in my heart and I invite us all to consider what act of kindness, you ‘get’ to do today (rather than you ‘have’ to do today).
Best wishes with your creative acts of kindness.