For the past week I have been helping my brother in law renovate their family's kitchen.
For 15 years they have lived with the one that came with the 40 year old house - chipboard flaking, stiff drawers, single sink, rusty oven with only one functional hot plate. Somehow, with 3 children, life just got too busy to even contemplate doing something as major as the kitchen and they assumed it would be far too expensive and just too difficult.
I encouraged them and convinced them that we could do it - we could put together the benches ourselves, call in an electrician and plumber for their parts and it could all be done in a matter of days. Now we are halfway there and the kids have been witnessing how to take on a project, as well as helping out - and experiencing that empowerment of 'doing it yourself'.
I was reminded about all the building projects in my life - in Ecuador, in Woombah and even in Mum's house, finding recycled materials and finding a way to make them all fit. There's something about resourcefulness, curiosity, practicality and determination - qualities so important and useful to our kids. And the capacity to embrace change.
But what I love the most right now is being useful to others. Perhaps it seems a little trivial compared to running campaigns to 'save the earth' - but there is a deep sense of fulfilment in being available to help the people around me - my kids, my Mum, my sister and her family...those simple things...