Thieves / by Dana Bergstrom

Pauly and I are often on the lookout for things to steal, kinda like a less extreme Bonnie-and-Clyde-type duo.

We discovered our shared interest in swiping stuff soon after we wed.

A favorite spot is bookstores, but we often do it online.

Then there's also the random driving around town during daytime hours.

When we notice something, the car comes to a full stop and we do our thing.

And our thing is snapping a photo.

We steal ideas.

Like this one!

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Pauly spotted this pic in a magazine along with a few other options for deck railings.

And I was completely smitten with the playful design.

Actually, I've never been this excited about a deck railing before.

When I realized that we could bring this super adorable design to life, I jumped all over the front yard, clapping with excitement.

Wrapping up my front lawn celebration, we immediately tracked down our hole saw bits. Then, after making a few test cuts, we found the one that was just the right shape and Pauly made a jig. I cued up "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" and danced around because, ya know, I'm helpful like that.

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After loads of planing, cutting, sawing, sanding, painting, and dancing we got this!

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And this!

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From this!

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Oh, and I'm madly in love with the railing shadows, too.

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There's a great book by Austin Kleon called STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST and that's exactly what we did.

The book claims there aren't any original ideas left, and we're all basically riffing on other people's work. Which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense as we're all totally interdependent on each other for everything anyway.

I think every person is an artist, whether they know it or not.

Every move we make and every word we speak has an effect on our world. 

I don't always consider that.

Sometimes I forget how much these tiny acts of artistry add up.

But they do!

Each person has talents, gifts, a certain something or somethings that they offer to the whole of life, whether it's trying a new recipe or parking a gigantic semi-trailer or offering a listening ear or tending a garden.

And since we're all just building on what's come before us, the PRESSURE IS OFF to make it be something new and special!

Don't you love that?

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My pal, Pug, has a talent for making hilarious breathing noises. She doesn't care that she's not the first pug to ever come up with those! She asked why I even bothered reading her this book! Pug already lives her art, man. She lives it full on.

Austin's next book was called SHOW YOUR WORK with an exclamation point at the end. (Guess he means it!)

After encouraging us all to do what we love, he says we gotta let everybody know about it and not keep our artistry to ourselves.

Thanks to other people/artists as real-life examples and Austin's encouragement, I've been doing less of what I should, more of what I love, and sharing it.

And besides enjoying my life more, it's also led to magical new relationships.

And isn't being alive like WAY MORE FUN when you're surrounded by people who appreciate the same things you do?

Wow, I'm sounding all Mr. Rogers-Let's-Share-And-Love-Each-Other, aren't I?

Sometimes I dunno why I write what I write, but it just hit me that Pauly and I are about a week away from finishing this house. And it's been rewarding in some ways (these cute railings were probably the highlight for me), but in other ways it's been a challenging and eye-opening endeavor. 

I'm ready to do something different with my time.

But I'm not sure exactly what that's gonna look like.

When it comes to facing the unknown, It's very tempting for me to go back to doing what I should instead of what I love.

Doing what you love feels scary when you're used to doing what you should.

I think this post is a way of reminding myself that it's worth the risk.