Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 21: Shifting My Focus

First, a little shout out to my dear Daddy-O; it's his birthday today. Love you, Dad!

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

I teach a public speaking class on Tuesday afternoons for homeschool high school students and one of my students gave a speech this week that has really stuck with me. She was talking about the inherently selfish nature of social media and how it is used primarily to stroke our own egos and bring attention to ourselves, to boost our popularity as individuals and to promote our own causes and points of view.

Umm...guilty.

I thought she was going to scold us for being too addicted to social media and encourage us to break free of our habits, but then she pulled something unexpected out of her hat. She encouraged us to keep going, but to shift our focus from ourselves to others. She encouraged us to use the various brilliant tools of social media to their fullest extent in order to bless and encourage others, and she gave us examples of how to do so.

Yes.

That is what I want to do. I got 'told' by a nervous high school public speaking student.

I know that this 31 Days project has started as something about me and my chaos, but more and more, I've noticed that so many of you have been reading--not out of morbid curiosity, but out of a desire for encouragement for yourselves, to help you out of your own pits of chaos.

I've been working very hard this month, and I have made incredible progress. Just today I washed, dried and folded seven loads of laundry. Can I get an amen? I also got those other two document request applications notarized and mailed off. The five of us (including my father-in-law) made a two story bucket brigade and brought in a month's worth of firewood from the side of the house, up over the railing of the deck and down into the basement, stacking it neatly against the stove room wall as dinner finished up in the oven. Over dinner and dessert (and more dessert), the family lingered for several hours (there was a lot of dessert involved) at the dining room table, brainstorming for our business's future (is that how to do a possessive ending in 's' these days?). It was a very productive day. Almost all of my days this month have been very productive, but I've partnered with you all, too, and enjoyed hearing parts of your stories and cheering you on in your endeavors.

I really think that emerging from the chaos also involves taking the focus off of yourself and your own messy life, and focusing on others instead. What's been interesting is that, as I've exchanged comments, messages, tweets and emails with so many of you regarding your own struggles, I've been even more encouraged to get my own life straightened out.

Back at the beginning of this series, I stated that chaos breeds chaos. True. But on the flip side, it seems that encouragement breeds encouragement. And that is good for all of us.

So, as a further step in emerging from my chaos, I am shifting the focus in my social media involvement--from myself to others. I think it's going to be really fun, actually, and encouraging all around.

I will continue this series, though; never fear. Tomorrow night, you can expect some progress photos from my scary basement. I have allotted two weeks for the basement, so I don't expect to have it done completely tomorrow, but it should look better than it did last week, at least. Also, tomorrow night I will evaluate the goals I've set and add some new ones for Week 4, our last full week together (my, how time has flown!).

Much love to you all. I truly hope this project has been and continues to be an encouragement to you, dear readers.

Journey on.

3 comments:

Just Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Taskers said...

I love it "encouragement breeds encouragement" - you're totally right! I can't wait to see your basement pictures, and updated goals, and then continue along your journey. I hope after the 31 days you continue to fill us in on your "out of chaos" progress!

You're blogging as well as befriending a new American who just moved to Australia has inspired me for some of my own continued purging. We've decided to hold a joint garage sale together next Friday. Its mainly hers since her 1 1/2 40ft containers arrived last week and she has to get rid of stuff, but I've been running around the house trying to fill boxes with more and more stuff to get rid of. I just love the sense of purging.

Oh yeah, and "AMEN" sista to the laundry! (Does that mean I need to be inspired to fold and put away the 4 loads I took off the line as the clouds came over the house this morning? Dang).

Dawn @ The Momma Knows said...

Yes! This is what it's all about. And now I have to go back and read the rest of your 31 days posts! :) I'm working on taming some chaos here in my house too. Eek!