GISHWHES: Don’t panic.


So, I’m seeing a lot of concern about GISHWHES on Twitter today. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go here or read my post about last year’s hunt.)

Here’s my advice:

1) Don’t panic. What’s the worst that can happen? Perhaps you go into fight-or-flight mode, or freeze, overwhelmed by the tasks. You don’t talk to your team. You don’t leave the house. You don’t create anything. It’s sad, but not the end of the world. Your team will continue to do their thing, and you will go on with your life. No one loses anything.

On the other hand, if you make even one beautiful item or complete one act of kindness, you will have been a successful Gisher. Be brave.

2) Gishwhes isn’t about winning. I know, I know. I want to go on vacation with Misha, too. (Who doesn’t?!) And honestly, I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I really thought our team had a chance last year. We did so many cool things. We got so many things on the list, and they were mostly beautiful things and actions. Did we win? No. We were not even runners up.

And you know what? It was fine. Seriously. I had such a great week, with so many fun and revitalizing experiences, on top of the joy of collaboration with people around the world. Totally worth 18 bucks.

3) Be true to yourself. There is a lot of talk about not sleeping during Gishwhes. That isn’t me. I am almost 40 and have a chronic illness. And a Monday- Thursday job. (And a dog and two cats, if anyone’s counting.) I need my sleep, and I am going to sleep. For me, Gishwhes is about enjoying life, not making it harder. I will go to work. I will sleep. I will walk my dog. AND I’ll do the hunt.

Finally, here’s a little self-help tip (or lifehack, for you hipsters): set your intention. And no, it can’t be “to win GISHWHES” – that is an external reward. Your intention must be something for your inner well-being. Are you trying to be more creative in your life? To have more fun? To overcome social anxiety? Set your intention: that is your reward.

Now, write it out in bright marker. Or type it in large font. Paste it up all over your home/bedroom/car so you remember why you are really doing this.

And enjoy the hunt. 🙂



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