You all know by now that I’m a big fan of collaboration and Doing Stuff, but I’ve struggled a bit with sharing my work and life online. (I’ve blogged about it before: #introvert.)
Well, let’s cut to the chase.
I had an email recently that someone I know and love was in a very, very bad place.
When I heard this, I was deeply, immeasurably sad. Actually, it wasn’t just sadness. There was an emotion in there that I don’t even know how to describe: Compassion? Love? Empathy? Fear? Sorrow? Humanity?
At times like this it’s hard to find the right words.
I sat with the emotions for a bit. Just letting them be. And then I started writing.
What happened next was a Microstory for my friend.
It’s called “Shit Sandwich“.
I’ve been writing Microstories for some time now. I write them for friends in need, or just for the heck of it. (If you follow me on Tumblr, you’ll know I like little stuff.)
Why am I sharing this?
I’m sharing this because I know from experience that when someone’s in the trash compactor—the lowest they can be—it can be difficult to know how to acknowledge the Shit Sandwich … without judgement or expectations.
One puny little Microstory can’t take the place of professional counselling or crisis management, but Microstories are for friends and standard edition fellow humanoids, and our friends aren’t supposed to be our professional counsellors. Our friends are here with us to share our dreams, do and make stuff with us, walk beside us when we’re snorting with laughter in an undignified fashion … or acknowledge with love when we’re in a whopping great Shit Sandwich.
— Libby O (@libby_ol) June 13, 2014
Over the years, I’ve found ways of managing anxiety, but some people—our kids especially—are just learning how to navigate it. As our lives become more fragmented—with networked publics and online and IRL identities (and therefore the business of shifting frequently from context to context)—it can be challenging to find a way to ‘just be’ in this world.
So I’m sharing this post because if your friend is having a tough time but you can’t find the words, maybe Shit Sandwich can say it for you.
I encourage you to share Shit Sandwich. You can download the PDF HERE.
To view the Microstory Assembly Instructions, click on the PNG image to the right or at the bottom of this post. (If you want to print it out, you might prefer to download PDF instructions HERE.)
If you’re here for the first time, don’t forget to sign up to the Rowing Girl mailing list to hear about more Stuff I’m Doing.
Please also share this page, if it behooves you to do so. (Sorry, I just needed to say ‘behooves’.) :)
1. I’ve been reading Austin Kleon‘s Show Your Work, which is all about ways to share your creative projects and get your ideas heard. Kleon gives 10 hot tips that are both motivational and useful … as well as entertaining. I won’t give away the hot tips, but I can recommend getting your mitts on a copy, especially if you’re in the process of building something, be that a career, a body of work, or even a good, shared life of ideas and creativity. Thanks, Mr Kleon.
2. Thanks Charlie Gilkey (of Productive Flourishing) for helping me wade through my muddy swamp of writerly self-consciousness around self-promotion. I recommend his newsletters and Monthly Momentum webinars for anyone who might need some clarity and motivation around their work and life processes.
3. Thanks also to Emily Bennington, whose wisdom and mindfulness training helped me this year when I was in a bit of a Shit Sandwich myself. I can recommend Emily’s webinars and courses for a shot of wisdom and mindfulness training. It’s the real deal.
4. Thanks also to Kaye Llewellyn, my Accountability Partner-In-Crime while I was putting together my Microstories Assembly Instructions page. (Every Person With Projects should have at least one accountability partner. I have about seven.)
5. I’d also like to thank my friend. You know who you are. Thank you for your blessing to share Shit Sandwich.