Week 5 Day 2: Wholeness
Question: What is your favorite project?
Write your Answer – click here
Share: #ssjetime #wholeness
Transcript of Video:
Two things I really enjoy are photography and baking, especially baking bread. And I enjoy these things for two reasons. One, they’re very generative and very creative. They’re hands on, eyes on and I’m using my heart and my eyes and my senses and for the bread making, my sense of smell.
Something I also really value is there’s closure on these things. My life, and maybe it’s true for you, has a lot of interaction with people. And all of us are works in progress, and there’s never closure; I never come to an end. But having some avocational things that are creative, generative, and which I can finish and say – not unlike what we read in the Genesis Creation account – “This is it and it’s good, it’s terrific,” makes all the difference.
-Br. Curtis Almquist
Sending special occasion cards for church each week and reading.
I enjoy painting, making things out of material and cooking. All these things give me satisfaction, and I love the colours, textures, smells, patterns etc. as I create.
Hmm, favourite project. This is tricky. I do constantly feel that I am drowning in too many things to do and so many things not completed. I like the idea of seeing a project completed and being able to say “it is good”. But I also like the idea of projects that are simply ongoing by nature and being able to sink into the continuity and continual discover that they bring. I want to be working in the garden today, but there are pressing deadlines that I have to work for.
i love singing in the St Mark’s choir and being a lector for the Epistle. I love the Friday Healing Service. I love succeeding in getting an article onto my husband’s website.
I love reading the Lenten booklets. I love pot lucks.
I love caroling before Christmas..I love surviving all the Easter services with the church choir!
Yes! Having a fun project, whatever it is, and being able to call it “done” is so fulfilling! It feels so good.
I play with my cats. It is such a sensual thing and gives and get great pleasure. I also play when I do my “work” with the kids at the Cathedral. Making gratitude beads and Anglican prayer beads is play and therapy and worship all rolled in one thing. Desigig and then putting into concrete form the projects fo the kids is play and I can get truly lost in it.
I’m a very creative person, so I enjoy lots of projects—everything from creating a yummy home-made soup recipe (my best, so far, has been a golden-broth six-mushroom with wild rice) to hand-crafting my own journals and greeting cards, sometimes using nature photographs that I’ve taken myself; from crocheting a lovely baby blanket to designing a professional PowerPoint presentation. I also love to garden and to sew. I enjoyed redecorating our home a few years ago. And, of course, being a language person, I love to write—prayers, poems, whatever. I guess I’d have to say, though, that my favorite type of project is a paper-crafting activity. I designed, printed, and hand-assembled our wedding invitations, using special papers, ribbon, and dried flowers. To this day, that remains in my mind as one of the most enjoyable and rewarding projects I’ve completed.
something that can be finished–Amen.
photography and assembling photo albums–much more immediate that drawing or painting
planning and list making
trying new recipes
rearranging the house
I enjoy gardening – working in the yard and cooking. Gardening – there is such an accomplishment with weeding a bed, standing back and seeing the difference you just made! It goes through its cycle – coming to life in the Spring, growing like mad and then settling in for the summer, dormant in the Winter. Watching every growing thing. Cooking is also satisfying when I have the time and the inclination to put together a good meal.
I enjoy working on my lawn and flower beds. I derive so much pleasure when my lawn turns green and does not have any weeds.
My current favorite is a Cross-stitch I’m working on, a 145K stitch project of Angkor Wat. It’s the biggest project I’ve undertaken and with each row, I can see the picture forming.
I enjoy cross-stitch needlework and seeing the progress as well as the finished project. Unfortunately, I tend to speed through my project to see the finished product. I also enjoy gardening in the summer with the sun shining upon my face. I enjoy leading Children’s Chapel after the planning for the lesson is completed and watching the children learn something new about the Bible.
That concept of closure being so integral and essential to enjoyment in a project really hit me. A number of of my hobbies, gardening, photography, and writing are also “business,” so to speak, it can be far too easy for me to have one or more of them veer off into the “work” category instead and wind up without having an end. I am realizing more and more how crucial it is to me to have some things have an end of some kind. We all need to be able to feel something is finally Done.
A project I love to step back from and declare done is painting, items, rooms, and such as opposed to pieces of “art.” Last fall, I took great pleasure in spray painting an old very utilitarian bench a brilliant deep purple for a wabi-sabi uplift. It realIy worked — I so enjoyed seeing that thing punch color into the snowy winter landscape even when it was -20 out. Soon it will be surrounded by Tete a Tete daffodils around its feet, those to be followed by species tulips, and then it shall be my photo op!
My favourite project or projects would have to be, like Brother Curtis, baking but mine is cakes. He is quite right, to take basic foods, flour, butter, eggs, sugar, etc. combine them all, take the time to sift and stir and beat and it is a complete project when all this materialises into a good looking and good tasting cake, to enjoy and share with friends or to donate for a good cause. My other project is that I really enjoy organising events for fund raising and good causes and the completeness of seeing all the planning come together, people enjoying themselves whilst taking part in an event which will help someone else. I thank God so much for the talent which he has given me to do this work, and to be able to bake cakes.
Let’s see — I love to read and yet reading is not easily accomplished these days. So, when I do complete a book it is very satisfying. My sketch pad is a good example of something that give me great pleasure and I can complete a tiny picture — my sketch pads are really tiny journals. I date and put the place on each page and love to look back through them occasionally.
Coordinating our monthly bookclub meeting. In addition to the organizational tasks, which I love, I have a new book to read each month (many of which I would not choose myself) and thw related social interaction. The group’s make up varies from month to month so each experience is unique.
I LOVE baking–my dad was the first person who tied an apron on me and let me help make cookies, so it makes me feel so close to him. It makes my house smell good and it’s wonderful to share with others. Like you, Brother Curtis, most of my work involves people, so it’s very refreshing to be able to say “It’s done!”
I enjoy listening and recording music as well doing crossword puzzles.
Exercise classes are something I enjoy–pilates, water aerobics, more general workout class–something I can do and get engaged in and feel both tired and energized after.
I enjoy researching and investigating. In the past I have really thrown myself into learning about topics that relate to where I am in life. I’ve learned about many topics, including parenting, car and house buying, dog breeds and vacation planning. Most recently, I have spent the past couple of years learning about my relationships — in particular, my relationship with God, with someone I care deeply about, and with myself/my past — and it has been very rewarding.
I love gardening. I like the outdoors and getting physically tired. In my own garden whatever I do is good enough. It does continue 9-10 months of the year in my climate, but contributing tasks have beginnings and endings so there are times to say, “It is finished and I am pleased.”
There is also a satisfaction in getting really good and properly dirty while gardening before heading for the soap to get really good and properly clean again. 🙂
I really like cleaning. That may sound funny but I consider that a project. I also love doing fundraisers. Just started to plan one for someone.
I like to set aside time every few months to handle organizational projects around the house. One project was assembling a scrapbook telling the story of my son’s first year of life. A few weeks ago I decluttered the closet in our master bedroom. Recently I tackled the task I thought I’d never get done: sorting and organizing for sale all of the track pieces and trains from my son’s Thomas the Tank Engine collection. It was tremendously satisfying and now, thanks to Br. Curtis, I realize it feels this way because of the element of closure. It feels good to finish something especially when the results are in front of you daily.
I, too, get a sense of satisfaction when I tackle a big organizational or cleaning project, as opposed to the repetitive daily chores. To look back on the space I have cleared and see it functional, clear, and much easier to use makes me feel happy…and a bit like setting a huge furry guard dog in place so it STAYS that way until I get to use and enjoy it. 😉
…my favorite project is gone
I never thought of reading a book as having closure, but now that I think about it, it makes sense. I like to study – I am taking an EfM course now. The thing that I can really relate to as giving me closure (and relatively quickly) is my newest project of making knotted twine Anglican rosaries. They only take about an hour; I can do them while listening to the news, and they are for a good cause – a fundraiser for a church project to supply necessities to victims of domestic and sexual violence when they flee to a shelter. So I have a quick sense of accomplishment that I can repeat every day.
I enjoy learning to play shamisen, and read in Japanese. I used to be discouraged by making little progress, but now I realize it is just the activity itself that is enjoyable–there doesn’t need to be a result, and there is no end in sight, happily for now.
My Favourite Project, is whatever one I’ve just successfully envisioned and finished! You’re right, Curtis, closure is like a rare spice in daily life. So today my favourite project are two newly covered cushions both requiring some creative design and sewing that came out to about 95% as envisioned.
How nice to find your comment the one before mine. Joy comes in so many forms.
Any project is my favorite if I am willing and able to do my very best as a gift of love to all involved in the precious name of Lord Jesus Christ.
I’m learning to play the Dejembe
we have a little rhythm group at church. At 75 it’s always fun to learn something new. One of my most consuming projects this lent is trying to understand what I believe, and be committed and comfortable with it. Made the mistake of listening to too many variety of “teachers” on YouTube and got really confused
I enjoy walking and taking in God’s beautiful handiwork. The trees flowering, the signs of life returning, the warming of the earth as Spring comes. I like to take photographs of the beauty of God’s resurrection work.
Painting and music are my pet projects, but I seldom get the chance to paint. I listen to music everyday and love to sing.
I love knitting especially items to give as gifts, watercolour painting, sketching, gardening, cooking and get great satisfaction from observing the final product and feel creative. I have not thought of this as closure but do feel pleased on completion,
Favorite projects include baking, reading, and casual bike rides.
I love cooking and baking, especially for other people!! There is something so satisfying about this. I especially love to bake bread. Such simple ingredients are used for a loaf of bread: flour, salt, water, yeast and some sugar or honey to feed the yeast. When I’m kneading the dough, it seems so responsive!! And the scent of baking bread is wonderful!! When it comes out of the oven, those basic ingredients are a whole new creation! What a gift it Is to me to be part of that creation!! Now that I’m retired, I am free to enjoy these activities more often!!
Like the previous writer, the idea of closure on a project startled me and made me think. My main interest is textile art. I have so many ideas running through my head for new designs. I do the art work, select fabrics, make samples, and sometimes abandon the project when it does not fit the picture in my head. Sometimes I revisit previous work, and complete it in a different way. It is good to finish something and feel satisfied with it. I also like cooking, for me and others- it has double closure- when it is cooked, and smells delicious, and when it is eaten. Yum.
Brother Curtis, you have identified a missing piece to my personal puzzle, virtually everything I do is open ended. My new Lenten goal: find something to do that I love and that has a beginning and end.
Gardening in our community garden. Of all my favorite things to do – knitting, crocheting, cooking, Gardening is my favorite. While producing our summer and autumn food I develop a working relationship with the the earth, the plants, the insects, the birds who sing from the tops of bean poles, the compost heap supports, or tall weeds, the toads who get dislodged by the pulling of a tough weed. Time of day dictates the mood. Early morning, the easiest time for me to see things clearly, with the sun behind me is crisp, a little dewy still, and plants are full of vigor. Mid-day can be sweltering but something I accustom myself to as I work, drinking lots of water. I particularly enjoy the drama of a rain storm. The wind whips up, the birds, duly warned head for trees. I work on, taking in all the energies employed to produce the climate change, even if it’s just a cloudburst, darkening the area as it moves in. Sunset is the loveliest, after a long day’s work, some evening watering, potato bug picking, birds singing to each other, pure heaven, engaging with the natural world settling in to the night time air and lack of sun. Sometimes it’s very hard to separate myself and go home
I enjoy cooking, especially the bringing together of unlikely ingredients to create something special, then observing those I serve enjoying it. I also enjoy my vocation of serving others in a social capacity; assisting them in making for themselves a better life.
I like working with my hands whether it be painting or all types of fiber arts: knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning, rug hooking. It is a process of creation, steady rhythm, and completion…almost a form of meditation.
At the same time, each project is a challenge and new learning experience, which is my other favorite thing to do.
I am very blessed to have the vision and dexterity and thinking brain to be able to do what I love. Thanks be to God.
Having a project with a closure is something that is not part of my life right now. I have a favorite activity — playing church organ. We can say that once a worship service is over, there is closure to that event. But that is not what “floats my boat.” It is the pleasure of selecting music in conjunction with minister and choir, and working on that music so that it helps others worship. I hope that as with Bach, my music will be “soli Deo gloria.”
Hmm… Planting, watching seeds grow, watching perrenials grow back every year. Also, exercising gets me back in God’s time because I take time to feel the body God gave me in ways unlike anything else. Please pray for me now, though, as I fell backwards over a trash can at work and fractured the L2 lumbar vertebrea… And so can not really exercise other than walking which, as a gift for spring, I can observe plants growing!
Baking bread is delightfull and full of rewards. # 1, gathering the simple ingredients, flour, egg, butter, seasoning together, mixing # 2 the kneading, which is a cathartic for pent up feelings, # 3, covering the dough and letting it rest and rise…this teaches patience and mindfulness to when the dough is ready to pop in the oven.. # 4 The reward for all the hard work is..delicious warm home made bread that is instantly devoured by a hungry family. #5, Hugs and thanks are given to the cook.
For the first time in this series, I relate to the answers! I too love to entertain, cook , bake and garden! Now, however, I shall look at these activities with “new eyes”! Now, with coffee in hand, I shall go into the courtyard and survey today”s project!
My projects are knitting and crocheting, I love designing hats for chemo patients or preemie babies.
My prayers are in each stitch.
I love doing anything creative that involves color, patterns and structure such as quilting, beading, knitting, needlepoint, sewing. I’ve been making Episcopal rosaries with friends at church which might just be the perfect play project: creative, social, spiritual and with a most satisfactory sense of closure. Gardening and decorating are energizing but frustrating. I gather that is because they are so open ended. They don’t satisfy my need for playfulness but instead fall into the “work” category.
I am curious about the Episcopalian rosaries you make with a group since I, too, am Episcopalian. Are there instructions available? Thank you.
They are Anglican Prayer Beads. There are directions on line. there are also a lot of specific prayers for occasions and things.
My favorite project is buying a new car. The planning, research, interaction with trained sales professionals, the back and forth of price and feature negotiation and the close… All this draws on my skill and I approach the project as a game… There is closure, and there is play in this.
I’ve never heard anyone say this! It made me laugh out loud. Thanks !
I so love being in the water with nature – scuba diving or snorkeling! I remember when we were in the Galapagos Islands and each time I got back in the boat after a snorkel with the sea lions, sea turtles and penguins I told my fellow travelers how much I was in my ‘happy place’!! I love explores – anywhere, just so long as it is new. I used to derive great joy from sewing, but had to set it aside due to work. Sewing was (and will be again when I retire!) creative work with my hands that has that closure Br. Curtis talked about – the chance to see, and wear, my finished product! I also love decorating our home (and myself!) for any and all holidays. I love the way it puts me/us into the ‘now’ – to celebrate what is special about the current season or event. In my career I’ve often been assigned to places where it was hard to tell the different seasons (all hot all the time), or where we were not allowed to celebrate Christian seasons and holidays (living in Muslim countries), so I would wear things that showed the new season (but wouldn’t get me arrested in a Muslim country!) and that always brought a smile to the faces of those around me! A reminder to celebrate the now!
My favorite projects are the ones that involve some thought, preparation and planning. Examples are planning a trip to a place I’ve never been before; planning a discussion group that leads towards something meaningful; making music, either by myself or with a group of singers.
Reading poetry is a favourite project. Yesterday, I spent a very satisfying couple of hours exploring the poetry of Christina Rossetti. Reading, when I do it properly, is a fully engaging activity.
I enjoy choir practice and scrapbooking. Choir rejuvenates me and give me energy for the week. Scrapbooking is creative and allows me to make something from wonderful memories.
My favorite project is working on landscaping around our home. I am building stairs out of railroad ties and bricks. We have lots of rocks, small, medium and large, on our property. Anytime I start digging, I find rocks. The small ones, I toss onto a rock pile around a pine tree. I call it my Zen Rock Pile because I let the rocks fall where they may. I use large rocks to build retaining walls to repalce the redwood boards that are dryrotted. I love fitting the various rocks together to make a unified whole.
I like doing household tasks. One thing I did recently was to remove and replace a curtain rod and some curtains in my personal office area in our home. I like the feeling of the moving the tools in my hands. I like being able to figure out and plan where to drill holes and which wood screws to put into the molding as an example. When I had the new curtain rod mounts on their places around the window, and I was ready to put up the new curtains that was a moment wherein I experienced a feeling of being able to complete a good job. After the curtains were hung, my office looked better. My wife, Tina, and I had chosen together the curtains together and bought them from an online catalog. We had also gone to a nearby store to purchase the new rods and mounts. Then I was left to finish the job.
My favorite creative projects are sewing, reading, and working with clay…. and all of them have that desired closure. I hadn’t realized how much I need that sense of “it’s finished – and it’s good”. So much of my work (teaching) is an in-progress process, with any satisfaction delayed until the end of the school year. l need to claim more time for my own creation and closure.
One of my most favorite projects is to make a quilt. Each step of the process gives me great satisfaction. First, selecting the fabrics to use – I love this process. I don’t normally have a project in mind when I’m selecting fabrics, I just look for fabrics I love and let them tell me what they’d like to become. Next, finding a pattern, deciding what I’m going to make. This step can sometimes take the longest because the pattern has to feel “right” to best display the fabrics. Once the pattern is chosen, the fabric must be ironed and the pieces carefully cut out. I love this part too because it’s a very careful and thoughtful process, almost meditative. Sewing the pieces together and watching the quilt take shape is so satisfying! When the entire piece is finished, I step back and appreciate the beauty and say a little prayer of thanks.
The idea of having a project with closure has startled me because one of the things I like to do, one of my projects shall I say, is to visit the elderly and the dying. I was the spiritual care counselor for a hospice for a while and now I visit people in my church. I find deep satisfaction when I sit with someone during their last days of life.
I like learning and then sharing what I have learned, for me this makes aclosure for me.
Working in the yard and knitting. Both have a continuance about them and show progress, only one shows completion but there is always more to do. I get a sense of peace when in the yard.
The idea of having closure is an insight for me. Everything I do is a work in progress. some closure would be nice. I may even be a bit reluctant to reach closure on things, reluctant to let go and say “That’s good enough.”
Quilting has become my passion; I use fabric in various sizes, colors, and occasional useless to-be-discarded pieces, I bring them together in a beautiful and useful covering of warmth and peace … Christ-love handmade.
I haven’t baked bread for years, though I used to on my “sabbath day.” A reminder that I should probably get back to that! I do enjoy cooking though and making a delicious meal about which we can say, “Yes, this is good, this is terrific!”
I can’t seem to stop taking academic courses and am “called” to study religious studies at UVA – this semester – religions in America since 1865- since it is “my” history “age-wise). I am especially entranced by the contrast of the “gospel” singing versus “spiritual” singing.
I also get great satisfaction (‘most days) from feeding my three horses and cleaning the barn. The horses are not large (now aging) but great “friends”, warm, responsive, kind, and non-judgmental. The rhythm of the barn and the paddocks, mucking up, the smells of the grain and the hay, the knickers and gentle whinnies, the geese overhead, the bright stars at midnight, the sounds in The woods, all are nurturing from God.
I too love baking and having others share the creations. Yard work and especially writing( or at least attempting to write) are things I take pleasure and pride in. Like everything in life these come with frustration at times, but that is about expecting perfection, rather than simply enjoying the experience.
I hadn’t realized before but it is important to have things that we do with “closure”. Relationships with people are always a work in progress; ever-changing. I like to bake also, and write and shoot photography. I also give tours at an art museum. But when done, they are done. I guess there is some immediate sense of accomplishment that is fulfilling, and it gives space for our relationship with God and with others that is constantly evolving.
My favorite project is a dinner party. Bringing friends (or people who don’t know each other) together in lovely comfortable surroundings, and feeding together on well-cooked heathy food, is such a treat. This past weekend it was my turn to host a monthly potluck for 10 church members. It was my first large solo hosting event since my husband went into the nursing home, and it was a beautiful and fun evening. Yesterday I was bone tired but deep down satisfied.
I would agree that creating an occasion that brings people together and feeds body, mind and, hopefully, soul as well is the “project” that gives me the most pleasure – even if it does leave me “bone tired”! I also love gardening.
I love needlework. I enjoy seeing a project come together.
I am fortunate to have many favorite projects: woodworking, gardening, playing my horn. Unfortunately, I do not spend as much time with them as I should.
Photography-capturing sacred moments and prayers especially in nature…
I have small projects that allow me to use tools with my hands. I like that. My major project is to see all of my husband’s manuscripts published. The first two will be out this year….string orchestra pieces…..two years after his death.
Cooking and Gardening. Food is love, and their is pleasure in making a good meal for someone. Watching my plants grow and flourish brings me happiness and contentment as the yard and deck transform into a beautiful and serene place to be when we are home. I also love decorating and redecorating for the comfort of our home is the best place to be at the end of a long hard day and work week.
It’s a toss up between speaking at lecture / seminar events, and editing journal issues. The former has lots of interaction and immediate feedback, the latter can be finessed and redrawn until it looks just so, wth no interference. The best one depends more on my mood than anything intrinsic to the activity.
I like cooking & photography (usually for Facebook) too. I like lots of artistic expressions. I love painting body art occasionally on children and young people (usually at work or church) I like socialising/entertaining – talking. I love college courses because I can mix these both together – learning & socialising. I love fine art, but ashamed to say I don’t spend anywhere the time I could on it. I enjoy being the centre of attention, but only if prepared (speaking, meeting & greeting) & it’s appropriate (embarrassing if not!)
…but what’s my favourite? Think it could be talking, which includes encouraging others. I empathise with enjoying a finished product so that’s where art, piccies & cooking come in.