Doing Special Stuff

By on Nov 5, 2013 in Risks and Passions | 3 comments

Every single day I travel along the well-worn habit-path of busy.  I had a great role model— my mom.

Mom was a master of not wasting one step at home, grabbing the mail at the same time she was bringing in the trash AND walking the dog, or loading shoes on top of the laundry basket to head to the back of the house.  And when we lived in the old 3-level Victorian, there was always a collection of stuff at the bottom of the stairs that my 4 siblings and I were expected to take up with us.  Mom combined running errands around town with taking us kids to appointments.

There must have been some serious consequence if I didn’t operate in this manner, because it became something like a religion for me.

In my daily life I move through every waking minute of every day doing.  I expend great effort working to be the most efficient human.  When the time management books were popular, one of the creeds that stuck with me was, “If you look at a piece of paper, do something with it.”  Now I am double-dangerous on the doing, having combined mom’s penchant for staying busy with Steven Covey’s tried and true philosophy of efficiency.

But there’s a problem.

I love arts and crafts – making greeting cards, fashioning something out of clay, selecting flowers from the yard and arranging mini-bouquets in little vases, painting rocks, creating collages, making jewelry.  I call this doing special stuff.  I call it special stuff because mom never modeled that it was okay to do something just because it made you happy. With the never-ending list of chores that needed to be accomplished, there was never time for anything as frivolous as creating art.  And so now, to me, chores and housework seem like all I should be doingDoing special stuff feels unnecessary and selfish.

I actually love fussing with cleaning and chores, so silently and very happily I continue about the house doing constantly.  My ego fills up thinking what a good person and partner I am.  I throw a big shovel of “ignore” on top of the tug of my heart, which yearns to sit down and enjoy a few minutes creating something pretty.

The only time I meddle with the special stuff is to crank out a gift at the last minute, because that doesn’t feel selfish, like it would if I were to create something in a more leisurely manner.

I don’t risk my passion, my special stuff, I sacrifice it.  All in an attempt to be the kind of good person my mom showed me I should be.

But so much gets sacrificed.  Like being happy and allowing my heart to fill with joy, like expressing myself creatively, like finding peace and balance in my life, growing and learning, being fully alive, and living into my fullest potential.

And it is clear to me as I write this, that I must start taking the risk.  Stop burying what I love under my denial and ignorance, and start obeying the pull of my own heart.  Stop trying to live my mom’s life, start living mine. I must push my own fear and judgment aside, at least away from front and center, and embrace the importance of doing my very own special stuff.

Lisa DeWeeseLisa DeWeese is a yoga teacher, horse lover, craftswoman, and dog whisperer.  Visit her yoga website at She will be attending the November 7, 2013, Spirit & Place event, The Risk of Pursuing Your Passion. The event is free and open to the public.  It will be held at the First Mennonite Church, 4601 Knollton Rd, Indianapolis, IN, 46228.  Doors open at 6:30 pm, event begins at 7:00 pm.



  1. Casey

    November 5, 2013

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    This is a fantastic blog post, Lisa! Thank you so much for shedding light on this common practice of “doing” and sharing your personal experiences.

    It reminds me of something shared online: “Stop the glorification of busy.” Thank you for sharing!

  2. Alena

    November 5, 2013

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    Thank you for your introspection, Lisa. Over the course of four months, I spent seventy hours on a craft project this summer. I was really, really excited about it and it was so much fun, but I was hesitant about posting the photos to Facebook *because I didn’t want other people to think less of me for spending so much time on something so frivolous.* I didn’t want to publicly admit that I hadn’t been working for those seventy hours. What I’m in the process of learning is that taking time for relaxation and art is too vital to mental and physical health not to do, and there’s no shame in admitting that. Your blog post is a strong reminder to me.

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