caring for challenges and dreams with a buddy

When the doorbell rings, the apples for the apple crisp have been cut, the kitchen table has been cleared and cleaned, and the radiator is sending up cozy waves of warmth. My friend Annabel and I are trying something new today. We’re using each other’s company to spur ourselves through odious tasks, with the reward of apple crisp and a switch to something creative we both want to do after the challenge is over.

As it turns out, we both bring bookkeeping backlogs to the kitchen table. Ugh. We agree to challenge ourselves for one hour, no more. After putting off the tedious yet necessary work of getting information from receipts tallied and totaled, actually digging in and doing it immediately brings me a feeling of relief.

Sitting across the table from each other and studiously, quietly, intently, responsibly taking care of business feels so different from brow-beating myself in order to get it done on my own, which, let’s face it, hasn’t been very successful. But with the apple crisp bubbling away in the oven and more bookkeeping progress being made this year so far, my body begins to let go of old tensions I’d forgotten I was holding. Inspired, I also make a phone call I’ve been putting off.

By the end of the hour, we’ve realized we’re onto something. I’ve never enjoyed bookkeeping so much. Actually, it’s not the bookkeeping I enjoy. It’s being in a cozy, fragrant room with a dear pal, making progress on a procrastinated task with minimal pain, and knowing we’ll do something fun and creative together in less than an hour.

Before the challenge hour is over, I’m already mentally reviewing my schedule so we can do this again soon.

After we eat, we open Lisa Sonora Beam’s wonderful book The Creative Entrepreneur and read aloud. When we get to the exercises, we do them on our own and then read aloud to each other what we’ve written. I love learning more about Annabel. As I listen to her talk about the dreams she has for her life and her business, I’m filled with the desire to help her make her dreams come true. And I feel the same companionable support from her.

It’s such a simple formula: Witness each other’s challenges and dreams. Our challenges diminish, our dreams gain momentum, and our friendship deepens. Just imagine what this equation has the power to create over time.

  • Who is your challenge buddy or who do you want for a challenge buddy?
  • What challenge would you tackle in the presence of a supportive friend?
  • What rewards would entice you to make it through an hour of attending to a challenging task?
  • What creative project is calling out to be shared with a willing pal?
  • What life awaits you as your challenges diminish and your dreams gain momentum?


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