“I didn’t get enough sleep.”
“I don’t have enough time to get to that.”
“I don’t have enough energy, willpower, money….”
Do you recognize yourself in any of these statements? I do. Last night I had a rough sleep. I was awake from 3 am to 5 am, tossing around, my mind playing a pessimistic soundtrack over and over.
What was I worried about?
Lack of sleep (“oh god, I’m going to be so tired tomorrow!”). Lack of money (“Why are we doing this kitchen reno again? We’re BLEEDING money!”) Lack of loved ones I’ve lost. Lack of time to read the stack of books I keep adding to. Lack of…
You get the picture.
Now, nighttime always seems to bring out our fears and exaggerate them. I woke up a couple of hours later tired, but not nearly so anxious. In the light of day, I am...
I live in Dust City. It’s not much, but it’s home. And it has air conditioning - which, on days like this with a humidex of 42 degrees, is rather helpful!
Dust City is NOT the most beautiful place in the world. Yet I choose to live here! In fact, “move to Dust City - temporarily” appears on my Annual Goals list that I wrote in January. :)
Now, if I’m being completely truthful, this goal does exist, but I actually called it something else - more on that later. The measurement of success for this particular goal was:
“Make the main floor/kitchen reno happen!”
Our kitchen is/was almost 35 years old. Yep. Yellow-y/orange-y hardwood floors with lots of damage from scraping chairs. Original arborite counters coming up at the seams. Below-code electrical. Not enough room to pass at the ends of the island. Plenty of lipstick (paint) liberally applied over the 16 years...
I remember watching the movie “Lost in Translation” with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanansen a few years ago. There’s a scene where Scarjo and Bill are lying on a bed and she says “I’m stuck.”
The way she says it is so perfect - slightly puzzled, slightly resigned.
I remember being in the same boat at the time I watched it. Feeling like I was stuck in mud. Starting to realize that I didn’t want things to stay how they were, but not completely sure about what I wanted to do about it.
It’s a lack of clarity that makes you feel stuck - that creates a sense of inertia. That’s why learning to figure out what’s really going on deep down is so essential for all of us. It helps us create forward momentum and make things happen.
The thing is, you’re not always ready for clarity. For instance, last year I was in deep grief after losing my dad. It impaired...
She doesn’t know I admire her. In fact, I’ve only interacted with her once. But I see her fairly often and am fascinated by what I observe.
She moves with purpose. Intention. She’s clearly CLEAR on what needs to get done. She thinks about what will be efficient and helpful for her customers. She directs her team in a direct and friendly way. She’s quick.
So who am I talking about? Well, isn’t it obvious? It’s a hard-working woman at my local Homesense, of course!
I love Homesense - it’s a visual feast of shiny objects! Sometimes I visit and don’t even buy - I just wander the aisles a bit and walk away with my creative juices flowing, completely energized. It’s the first place I visited when non-essential retail was allowed to open again after lock-down!
The woman I’m referring to must be the team leader for the...
I remember a time when I felt very UN-influential.
Flash back with me a couple of decades… I was a one-person training department responsible for all training and on-the-job performance tools for a large call centre. After only 9 months, it was a big job for one person and it was expanding in scope every day. I was keeping up and still (mostly) having fun but knew something had to change before I was in full burnout mode.
My boss was a really nice guy. I spoke to him about my situation and the impact on me and my ability to deliver at the pace the business demanded. We had a new VP and I trusted he would flag it up the chain of command.
A couple of months passed and the situation worsened. My boss acknowledged the stress but said his boss simply didn’t understand the need to add more resources to the department when it had only existed for 9 months.
Can you say ...
Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple Inc. was abrasive and upset a lot of people. He also influenced a lot of people!
Have you ever wondered why all Apple products have white cables? At the time, all other electronics had grey or black cables. Well, the story goes that Apple - Jobs - wanted to make their products STAND OUT from the competition. They decided to be contrary and make their product unique, easily recognized and therefore….influential in the marketplace.
Whether you like Apple products or find them overpriced, you can likely agree that Steve Jobs managed to create an ecosystem of products that marries ease of use combined with gorgeous visual style.
His influence continues. The ipad spawned a whole new product category.
And have you noticed how you can buy charging cables in all sorts of different colours nowadays?
FUN FACT - I have a PINK charging...
I said to somebody this morning during a networking coffee that I don't like to ask for help. I’ve learned how to ask over the years, but it’s not something that comes naturally. I fall back into old patterns sometimes, heroically efforting through stuff.
Help takes many forms. Sometimes it’s another perspective. A sympathetic ear. A helping hand. A hug.
When I do ask for help or support, it’s such a relief.
I’m wired to be productive and to go fast. I love getting shit done!
The problem is, when I’m going that fast, I’m actually SLOW. Slow to recognize when I could benefit from help. I try to power through and shoulder the whole load.
I remember being in Grade 11. I was 16 and struggling with Physics. It just didn’t make obvious sense to my creative, language-loving brain. I was adequate in Math and would literally will my way to understanding it....
I’ve been a bit unmoored this week. Some surprise new urgent tasks were thrown at me related to my late dad’s estate. And it left me breathless and resentful and EXHAUSTED.
Ever have a week like that?
Then today the sun came out. I felt better already just looking out the window at the cardinals. And the new buds on our cherry trees.
I sat down to write in my journal and set my intentions for the day. (Guess what practice I had neglected in the first half of the week due to my state of overwhelm?) And I decided it was time to pull out my secret weapon.
So I pulled a goddess card from my deck! Yup. I do that sometimes.
Sounds kinda new age-y and something I would have laughed at only a few years back. I would have felt embarrassed to share with you that I actually like and enjoy this activity - that I have a spiritual side. After all, we’re supposed to be all professional and such, right?
“Grrrrrr, he’s SO stubborn!”
Have you ever had a similar thought while working through a key project with an important stakeholder who refuses to budge on her position around a critical element? Or maybe when trying to make a household decision with your better half?
Have you ever dreaded trying to negotiate with this person? Given up on trying to make them see reason, and just chosen good ol’ fashioned resentment instead?
I have. There are some tough cookies out there. I remember one client when I was still in the corporate world, and there seemed to be NO way to make him happy and get his approval without major blood, sweat and tears. I used to DREAD dealing with him.
Looking back, I wasted a lot of energy on this stakeholder relationship. I got myself quite wound up in knots at times. And the process of winning his buy-in remained difficult and loooong for quite some time. ...
It’s been awhile since I’ve written an article or blog entry - almost 4 months in fact.
So, where did I go over the last 4 months? Well, I have been in survival mode. My dad died in ICU on August 28.
His death - after a summer where I became more of a full-time caregiver - brought me to my knees. He was a GGG - a Genuinely Great Guy, so losing him is devastating and leaves a huge hole in our household.
I know you are likely feeling deep sympathy for me right now. Thank you. I also know that many of you have dealt with enormous anxiety and loss this year as well. 2020 has been a challenging year, and it’s ok to admit that, to feel it. My heart goes out to you.
My mantra since the pandemic began has been “Grit and Grace.” I have a post-it on my monitor to remind me.
Grit signifies for me a curious and powerful blend of resilience and...