Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I'm a grownup.  I have the tax returns to prove it. But I wanted a set of blocks sooooooo bad.  Not kiddie blocks, with glaring primary colors and goofy numbers and letters.  No, I wanted a sophisticated set of blocks, preferably white, with...ok, with numbers and letters.  I saw a set of adorable wooden alphabet blocks in a catalog, and immediately I had to have them.  I had so many creative, artistic, useful tasks in mind for them, not the least of which was spelling out inspirational words while looking cute on my mantle.  But the ones I wanted were pricey.  Far too pricey for far too frivolous an item.  I might neeeeeeed them, but I didn't really need them.  So I ripped the page out of the catalog and put it in my wish list file.  I showed it to Emily first (my best friend and business partner, and co-founder of this blog and Doodlebugheart)--she agreed they were fabulous and that we neeeeeeded them at some point, but our business budget didn't allow for unnecessary splurges at this point.


Jump cut: 6 months later.  Emily comes over for a work session, bearing a large, beautifully wrapped box.  She hands it to me with a big smile, wishing me a belated birthday.

I open it up, and there they lay, nestled beautifully in an assortment of rich gold tissue papers:  Blocks.  Not just any blocks.  The perfect blocks.  White, clean, with letters and numbers of the perfect font, and best of all--handcrafted by Emily.  They are gorgeous and artistic and exactly what I had envisioned.  Better than the ones in the catalog, because they were made just for me by someone who cares for me and who knows what I like.

Now, my birthday was two months ago.  So Emily explained she started well before my birthday, but went through a bit of an ordeal to get the blocks made.  First challenge:  finding blocks the right size in the right quantity.  Found them--ugly, but nothing a little paint wouldn't fix.  But apparently these were made from some crazy, sponge-aspiring absorbent wood that ate up multiple coats of paint, requiring many trips to the store and a few searches to match the shade, not to mention dry time.  Then the letters she tried to adhere initially wouldn't stick, so she had to repaint and start over, ordering new letters.  Another two weeks pass before they are delivered.  Then the painstaking transfer process, making sure there is enough variety and repetition of letters for spelling out the most important words (she made a list beforehand to make sure she knew which letters would repeat the most).  And then the final finishing stage, not to mention the box decorating.  A fairly involved project.  But oh.  The final product so very worth it.  So beautiful and so meaningful and touching. 

This little saga, told by Emily with a great deal of laughing exasperation, made me start thinking about blocks.  About these particular blocks, in their concrete form.  About the potential in them.  Just a jumble of nonsense letters until I have an idea, a purpose, and then they become a lovely expression of that intention.  We have so many of these building blocks in our lives, resources that are just jumbled up, not useful or meaningful to us, until we can clarify our thoughts and organize those resources into something that speaks to us.  Maybe it's people in our lives that we haven't brought together, or whose experiences we don't draw upon to help us in our endeavors.  Maybe it's clutter on our desk that prevents us from accomplishing tasks efficiently.  Maybe it's a closet of clothes that need to laundered, repaired, donated, sorted.  Or maybe the building blocks are more esoteric, education we've accumulated that we don't utilize; money we let slip through our fingers; time we spend with tv or internet instead of projects or people that might satisfy us more. There are so many areas of our lives where we have building blocks just waiting for us to arrange them in a meaningful way.  It's the difference between a mantle of blocks that says "aemrd", and one that says "dream".

And then there's another kind of block.  A block that means you are stuck.  Writer's block.  Creative blocks.  Financial blocks.  And one of the things Doodlebugheart talks about, especially in our workshops, is how these blocks and the transitions between them are the opportunity, the moment to create, both literally and figuratively.  Blocks can be so useful.  (Doesn't mean you have to like them.  Just that they can be a good thing ultimately.) The financial block meant I didn't have immediate gratification, didn't buy the product right then, which gave Emily the opportunity to make them for me instead, and I ended up with something so much more tailored to what I wanted, and so much more meaningful to me.  The creative blocks Emily ran into meant that she had to be more inventive, give up the "perfection need" and problem-solve, and she had to practice persistence.

(As for writer's block:  clearly I didn't have any this time!  Not every post will be this long, but I had a lot of ideas I wanted to share, and which I hope to explore more along the way.  But rest assured, some light-hearted brevity is in store, too!)

That's why I chose this for our very first post, because it's everything we talk about:  overcoming blocks and hurdles; process; creativity and self-expression; and generosity and fulfillment from giving time and energy and connection.  That's what this blog, what our company Doodlebugheart, is all about. Creating.  Blocks.  Process.  Fulfillment. 

Share with us blocks that have ended up being a blessing in your life.  And join us in this journey of self-discovery and self-espression that we call Doodlebugheart.

1 comment:

  1. Perfectionism is a huge block for me. If I'm not absolutely certain it's not going to come out perfectly, I'm hesitant to even begin or try. I have this gorgeous box of potential from Doodlebugheart filled with all that is creative - and I don't want to "mess it up" with creative attempts that fall short.

    I just need to get it all out and mess it up, and get over the need to get it exactly right.