When most people hear they purchased a house and are doing some renovations, their minds go to paint and perhaps some new flooring. This would not be the case for this house. Most of the main floor has been taken right down to the studs, one upper room has been removed to allow the full height of the twenty-foot ceiling to be showcased and the kitchen and dining rooms have switched positions. This is not a renovation for the feint of heart!
To add to the challenge, a massive beam needed to be inserted to support the ceiling, once one of the demolished walls was removed. Clearly, this is not a renovation that is dreamt up on a Monday, and finished by Saturday. They have a fantastic project manager working with them, and of course, they have a blueprint.
A blueprint is a very specific, technical architectural or construction drawing. In the case of houses and other buildings, once a blueprint design is approved, it must be followed. Each of the tradespeople involved in the project must use the blueprint as their instructions. If someone wants to make a change, the blueprint must be changed and approved. There isn’t room given for personal preference. The blueprint is the rule book. It is assumed that following the blueprint will lead to the safe, successful completion of the project.
I just LOVE a blueprint. Now, truth be told, I’ve never really built a house. And in full disclosure, I’ve don’t really know how to read a blue print. But there is something about the certainty of it, the idea that there is a defined right way, that sets my mind at ease. Yet, although this feels so right to me, I recognize that this is also a weak spot for me. Clearly I have a high value around security, or control, or responsibility, or correctness or whatever it is called, and obviously it serves me well in many places, but I also understand this comforting feeling I have when things are in order is not a good blueprint for every part of my life.
Clearly there are places where blueprints are not the answer. For all those other places, this week I have discovered Moo Prints.
Instead she came with some steps to follow that seemed rather loose to me. For instance, step three talks about cutting the black fabric into strips. Then cutting the strips into a variety of lengths and widths. Pardon me?! In every quilt I’m made in the past, the cutting forms the most precise and perhaps the most important part of the project. It is what sets up the design to fit together. I read the instructions myself twice. Then I looked at the picture. Then at the instructions. Then I asked Jim see if he could see what I had clearly missed. Then I took the pattern to Brenda’s to have the ‘girls’ help me out. Sure enough, I was to cut it into a variety of lengths and widths, of no specified dimensions!
As the morning wore on, I gained my confidence and having cut the fabric, I started to lay it out onto the traced pattern. The more I placed the black fabric, the outline, on the pattern, the more I realized that the less precise I was, the better it looked. This cow is not meant to look like a perfect ‘log cabin’. She is meant to look like a cow.
It dawns on me that while I love blueprints for many parts of my life, some of my most treasured memories and some of my most proud accomplishments have come from times when I’ve only had a mooprint, not a blueprint.
I had no blueprint when raising my family.
I had no blueprint for dealing with each individual student in my care when I was teaching.
I had no blueprint for establishing my coaching practice.
This weekend there will be no blueprint for how to be when we attend the funeral of the husband of our dear friend.
There is no blueprint for how I love little Benjamin.
In each of these, the only blueprint I’ve had was in knowing how I want to show up; who I want to be.
For all the rest, for the details of how things will turn out, I’ll trust myself to cut and arrange irregular shapes with perfect and not so perfect placement, and stand back to enjoy the beauty.
My inquiry for you this week is. ‘Do I need a blueprint or a mooprint?’
Elizabeth is a certified professional Leadership Coach, and the owner of Critchley Coaching. She is the founder and president of the Canadian charity, RDL Building Hope Society. She works with corporations, non-profits and the public sector, providing leadership coaching. She creates and facilitates custom workshops for all sizes of groups. She has particular expertise in facilitating Strategic Plans for organizations. Contact Elizabeth to learn how to create mooprints.