Step Boldly Each Day (a post from Kylie)

This week Kylie, who featured in last week’s post about the IWD Dinner, has written a post that is connected to that night, and to much more besides. Thanks a lot Kylie for your insights and lovely art work.

I was very pleased to receive an International Woman’s Day Community Award recently along with fellow CHO members Anne and Elizabeth. As Elizabeth said in a previous post it was a wonderful evening with great entertainment and it was wonderful to hear about the many and varied activities that women are involved in to help make our community so great!

When Elizabeth was speaking about me she mentioned a small piece of art I gave her quite a few years ago which is in large part the inspiration for writing this blog post. As is usually the case, the story she told is part of a much bigger story and there are multiple stories running alongside of it, stories touching upon other stories, changing each other.

A few years ago I gave Elizabeth a photograph of some wet footprints on the ramp to Christies Beach along with the words “Step Boldly Each Day”


I’d like to tell a bit more about how that piece came to be. How lovely to be reminded of it! The inspiration for making the piece came from my participation in an art-making project to illustrate a book that was being written by a very community-minded woman in America. (Patti Digh – I answered an online call for art where volunteers would be sent four words to respond to with a piece of art. I waited patiently for my brief and was a little disappointed when mine finally arrived.

The following is from a blog post I wrote at the time (2010).-

‘I love to create (to play with patterns, shapes, colours, words and ideas) and learn so much about myself during the process). I was excited to receive the eagerly awaited ‘call for art’ email. My first reaction though, I must admit, was that of disappointment. I was randomly assigned ‘tip the hotel maid’ to illustrate. I was not impressed and started formulating a reply email in my head – “Sorry, can’t do it. I don’t travel! I haven’t been in a hotel room for a very long time! It’s not relevant to my life! I can’t draw a maid!.” Then I started to think about showing gratitude to those who help and how that also helps us. I started to play with colours and shapes. I found myself liking the creation that unfolded. The stars represent the wonderful job a maid does in making a hotel room beautiful and the large gold star represents the tip – the gratitude expressed. I really enjoyed creating it despite my first reaction of rejection. I’m glad I persisted. I particularly love that this piece of artwork exists only because I participated in the ‘call for art.’ ‘

Kylie's picture 1

Working on this piece really got me thinking about all the people who help us and especially those we may not think of so much. There was a whole room full of such people last Thursday evening – those whose turn it was to be recognised as well as everyone else. All the wonderful work that women do (paid and otherwise) and will keep on doing regardless of whether it is acknowledged or not.

It was a bold move for me to submit my art (and quite out of character at the time) and I’m really glad I did. I’m so appreciative of the opportunity that Patti Digh made available for others (including me!)

All this has me thinking about the ways we each step boldly each day. Perhaps it is in ways not noticed much by others. The struggles we have that are not always seen or known about by others. The multitude of people who have been in the background of my own life. How we help each other in so many ways, formal and informal.

And I am reminded of this poem that I love

so let’s in whatever way we need to, big or small –

Step Boldly Each Day


Tip the Hotel Maid

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13 Responses to Step Boldly Each Day (a post from Kylie)

  1. Kylie, I also wanted to say that your picture ‘Step Boldly Each Day’ lives on my desk, so I see it most days and love the sentiment. I also really like the poem you’ve included above – many thanks for the whole post, it’s great!

  2. Mandy says:

    Oh my I cannot believe how many times your stories send messages straight to my heart. It seems when I am struggling with something along comes – once again to quote Pam “your fingerprint on my heart”
    Thank You Kylie for your beautiful story, you are such a beautiful quiet achiever, never wanting the spotlight or elaborate thank yous, but I would like to thank you from my heart, for your story but especially the link to the poem.
    I am struggling with caring for my mother in the sense that she does not “get” gratitude, her attitude is “you are my daughter- therefore do not expects any thanks”. I struggle with this daily since I moved into her home to care for her 6 months ago as her other siblings have abandoned her.( I wonder why).!
    I just had a discussion with a close friend about how Mum will not change at this satge in her life and of course it is up to me to change my attitude, so this beautrif\ul poem really hit home to me. I ask permission to print it out and have a visual to remind me to be more patient, compassionate and understanding. Because of course what I want most is Mum’s last years to be full of love and happiness.
    Thank You Kylie and Elizabeth. XX

    • I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time Mandy dear – it is hard to be in that caring role in such a full time way – I do admire and thank you for what you are doing – it is so kind, and such a wonderful gift to your mum even if she can’t acknowledge it. I agree with you about the poem and the post – Kylie has got right to the heart of things – “All the wonderful work that women do (paid and otherwise) and will keep on doing regardless of whether it is acknowledged or not.” Anyway, bravo to you, thank you for living your life as you do and sending you lots of love and cheers – and again thanks also to Kylie for your wise words.

    • Kylie says:

      Mandy, thank you for your beautiful words. Your mum is very lucky to have you caring for her. Doesn’t that poem express so well the feelings about all the work done by and for mothers and others?! Thanks again, Kylie

  3. pam says:

    oh my goodness so much I would like to say on all of this but my spelling inhibits me a bit but firs mand I have known u for about 15 years now the first time I met u u had this little toy what u kept feeding and keeping alive for your son what a mum most mum would say Iam busy not now but not u sam was at school and u looked after his little friend for him AMAZING u ozzzzzzz compaction love u are a strong women who I have looked up to for many years next being a mum of 7 kids (YES NO TV)u wait for the day what they appreciate u love the work u have put into them but it dose not all was happen and as for my mum she to is sick an have all ways rated very Lowe on her radar as a daughter but now she need me as the anther kids are to busy with there lives I am ok and this was the same as my dad but I no if my siblings had been there I would of being kicked to the kerb but iam ok with that because in my heart I have being true to the person I am with is loving caring and above all loyal witch u are as well so mandy on this mothers day u have turned in to the mother for your mum so happy mothers day to a daughter who so deserves a medal love u lots pam

  4. pam says:

    and just to add love the art and the story love art what has meaning

  5. Mandy says:

    OMG Thank you so much Pam and Elizabeth, such kind words. I write with tears streaming down my cheeks and blurry eyes brimming with tears of gratitude….it makes me happy to be acknowledge and thanked, it makes such a difference to me. x x
    Happy Day every day to all the beautiful women.xx

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