Friday, April 15, 2022

The Needs Of The One

Hiya! Happy Friday.

I bring you a photo of Vincent Price in his most iconic role:

Grumpy Cat Carrier.


I also have a little encouragement for you.

Last week I was deep in my feels about the state of the world: that sad, helpless feeling you get when you watch the news and itch to DO SOMETHING, but what can one person do when so much is wrong?

Then I saw these Stories from one of my favorite internet peeps, Sharon McMahon.

I immediately screen-shotted those so I could read and re-read them. The main cause grieving my heart was the war, so I'd been donating, but now I asked myself, "If a Ukrainian refugee was here with me right now, what tangible thing would I do for them?"

"I'd paint their house," I thought. It's what I love to do, and it's what I'm skilled at.

"So who IS here right now, in need?"
And that's how John and I ended up painting the offices of a homeless resource center last Saturday.

The Sharing Center also has a community food pantry, free medical clinic, supplies for single moms, and lots more. They've been a community helper for over 35 years now, and are in the midst of a whole-campus renovation. Needless to say, there is PLENTY for John and I to do.

We've volunteered here before, but Saturday felt especially significant. With every brush stroke and roller dip, I dedicated my efforts to hurting people halfway around the world. I started the day tired and soul-weary, but as the hours went on, the pure joy of painting lifted me up. I found myself bopping along to the radio as I rolled, singing and smiling as I crawled through the dust to paint behind the giant printers. It felt good, y'all, even as my back ached and my hands went numb. I needed this.

So my encouragement to you, my floof-loving friends, is to ask yourself what you enjoy doing for others, and then find one person right here, right now, that you can serve with those skills. Maybe you like knitting blankets, or fixing things, or cooking, or doing laundry, or chatting with strangers. Maybe you like finding SUPER specific internet memes and bombarding your friends with them, or sending encouraging DMs. My point is, we love what we love for a reason, and I'm willing to bet we can all  channel those passions into helping someone else.

Do for one person what you wish you could do for them all. You'll not only be sending ripples of goodness out into the world, you'll also break the paralysis of despair that threatens every time we read the news or face a new crisis. Hope keeps moving. Hope keeps loving.

Since Saturday my week has felt more grounded, more directional. We're going back to the Sharing Center this Sunday to finish the main office area, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate life and love.

Now let me end with something shiny:

After much fiddling with our Cricut, John figured out how to make our own Epbot stickers! Woot woot!

But wait.


They do this.


We used this holographic sticker paper from Amazon. It's not waterproof, but otherwise, 5 stars.

We made a variety of sizes and colors for the Epbot outline, though of course I always prefer rainbow. These will be little extras for our future Squeegineer winners, and also give-aways for this convention season. So hey, that's one more reason to enter my free Squeegineer give-away each month! (Did you enter for April yet?)

Much love and all the virtual hugs and high-fives to you, my friend. I hope you have a restful, soul-filling weekend full of weirdly specific memes, laughter, and loved ones.

Oh, and happy Passover, Ramadan Mubarak, and Good Friday, to those who celebrate! John and I are joining friends tonight for our first ever Passover, I'm excited.

K, now I'm going. Love you byeeee.



  1. I needed this post more than I realized. It was EXACTLY what I needed. Your ripples are becoming mighty waves, Jen. Much love to you & John & da kittehs & all the FOEs. ❤❤❤

  2. Reading that really helped me feel not so buried under all the crap going on. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Beautiful post, well said and what a great example of doing what you love and giving from that place. It is even more powerful. Thank you! It was a joy to read and be apart of with you.

  4. I saw those same posts and was also lifted by them, she really is a great source for common sense and practical knowledge. I am so glad that it helped you also! I love that you did something you love, *with* love and conscious purpose in a way that will ripple outward for good for a very long time. You guys are so incredibly genuine and good.

    As for me, I have been working with two different refugee families since September and it has given me a feel good purpose as we work together to help insure they become safe, self sufficient, and feel like home can mean living in a world that feels so far from their parents and siblings (which has been incredibly difficult for each of them). Learning about each other has been such a good thing, finding out we have SO MUCH MORE in common than one might even consider. It has made *my* world a lot more interesting, cozy, and hopeful. While I am learning about Ramadan, they are learning about Easter, and finding the connection we all share and love about certain books of scripture. In that vein, Ramadan Mubarak! (Blessed Ramadan!), Chag Sameach! (Happy Passover!), Happy Easter!, and let's all celebrate the renewal that spring brings.

  5. This is a really beautiful sentiment and I think it totally makes sense! I also want to give a shout out to the power of joining in collective organizing and activism. If, like me, one of your main sources of feeling helpless about the current climate projections agreed upon by the UN panel of climate scientists, it's really helpful to remember that there are people with decades and generations of wisdom in organizing to do meaningful work at systemic levels. Movement Generation, UpRose, Anthropocene Alliance, Corporate Accountability, All We Can Save - I've found it really wonderful to follow the advice of finding your voice, discern your talents, and then find a group to work with, grieve with, prepare with. <3

  6. I love this suggestion! It's comforting and actually DOABLE. I really appreciate how often you remind us that our good energy and efforts are magnified beyond ourselves. It also reminds me of something I read earlier this week that amounted to "Forget 'go big or go home,' because it creates paralyzing levels of anxiety and expectation. Instead: Go Small and Show Up!"

  7. In addition to this wonderful suggestion, could I also suggest taking a moment to contact your legislators by phone or email to express your concerns regarding the issues you feel strongly about? Every message has a much larger impact than just one person, and it allows us to direct the power of our messy, unwieldy and imperfect nation towards justice and peace.

  8. I don't know if you follow the Vlogbrothers (although you seem like you'd be an excellent member of Nerdfighteria), but Hank's most recent video is about the Sad Gap. It seems like what you were experiencing and were able to overcome!

  9. Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

  10. You folks are just wonderful. Wonderful!

    I really need that sticker to be waterproof so I can put it on my new car.

  11. You know, I was literally sitting here feeling restless at 1 AM, but feeling completely unmotivated to do anything because- with the state of the world and all, what would be the point? What difference could anything I do possibly make?

    But now I'm thinking, you know what? I can cook and bake and paint and clean. Maybe cooking a meal or painting a kitchen won't save the world, but it could make someone's day.

    Thank you for this post. It helped me remember that little efforts matter too

  12. Thank you for this. I really needed to hear this right now.

  13. This reminds me of a quote from a famous Jewish sage named Rabbi Tarfon, which can be translated as “you are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it”.


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