So I am essentially house-bound all summer... still able to work, read a bit, stream a show or three, and visit with kind friends who drop off a meal or send me funny texts. I initially decided this was going to be the Summer of No, but I have since regrouped and copying a friend who is getting treatment for cancer, I'm calling it now the Summer of Slow.
As I sit here in this execution watch cell on Texas death row, with a camera surveilling my every move, I’m thinking about acceptance, and I’m thinking about survival. Years ago, I came to understand and exercise this power: “Change what you can. Accept the rest.” Now that last part doesn’t mean that you give up. But by accepting things as they are, you in turn are able to gain a certain amount of control over said situation. You feel me?
I am currently in the thick of contemplating that. I have come to the realization that even at my age, I still need to learn a great deal about which are the things I can change and which are the limits I need to accept. I am someone who perseveres, who pushes, who fights back. For those who are familiar with the Enneagram, I'm an Enneagram 8.
All that to say, I am reflecting on what expectations look like from here, on what it means to be productive, on what is important. While I have posted more than once here on those topics before, they certainly have new meaning these days for me. What follows are a few resources that are somewhat in that vein. Thanks for reading.
6 Powerful Questions to Steer Life & Work. It is so easy to get swept up in the day-to-day demands of work, and it never hurts to STEP BACK and reflect on where you are headed. As Stephen Covey says, "If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” There are certainly a ton of ways to pull back to get the big picture, from SWOT analyses to retreats to strategic planning sessions... but here's a spin on all those that might prove helpful. Check it out.
5 subtle signs you’re headed for burnout. I regret to say that this is one of the top three things I have been talking about with clients for the last several months. And it does not seem to be changing as we head into some choppy waters regarding the economy. Take a few moments to read through this one - it can't hurt.
COVID memorial. A poignant reminder (covering just a sliver) of HOW MUCH we lost in these last two years. We have all been so desperate for the pandemic to end, yet I do not want to blow by the profound losses either. (And let's be honest, I was unfamiliar with the majority of these remarkable people.) So far, the main lesson I have gleaned from my accident is that I have to keep working on tangible ways to slow down. Let us not blow by the significance of what has happened in the last 2 1/2 years... This website gives you a chance to reflect.
CliftonStrengths podcasts on Wellbeing. Anyone who has worked with me in the last 10 years or so knows that I often start the conversation with StrengthsFinder. I continue to find it a useful, objective way of engaging in work around leadership development, motivation, team-building, and self-awareness. The good people at Gallup have started a new podcast series, called oddly enough, The CliftonStrengths Podcast. This season they are discussing how to understand and leverage our strengths around issues of wellbeing. I am taking notes as they work through all 34 Strengths, and you can find the transcripts in my initial link for this recommendation.
What am I watching and listening to in my Summer of Slow? I am just getting started, but here are a few of my favorites.
- Survivor 42 (yes, I'm a sucker for this show)
- Love on the Spectrum (Netflix), US edition. Just started it this week. I've absolutely loved previous seasons.
- Grace & Frankie. It has been on for seven seasons and I have not watched any, but heard a strong recommendation and I'm enjoying it so far.
- Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (CNN). Season 2 is here! If I can't travel, at least I can go to Italy vicariously.
- Building Off the Grid (Discovery, but I'm watching archived episodes on Sling). I'm not entirely sure why I like this show so much, but I do.
- BBC Sounds. This is the BBC's own podcast platform. DO NOT MISS "Soul Music" or "In Our Time."