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Dear Friends,

I've been tired and uninspired lately, and also have been beating myself up a bit about not getting stuff done. But I've been riding this planet long enough to know that the beating myself up doesn't actually help with the getting things done, so I'm trying something new: doing nothing. (I actually read a book about it!)

There are a couple of thoughts behind this nothing-doing. First, I'm resting. Second, I'm letting my brain mess about with thoughts and ideas, which usually results in inspiration and fresh energy. And finally, in a way, I'm psyching myself out — see, even if I do nothing, it's fine! I'm fine!

Anyway, lucky for you, writing my newletter didn't make the cut of things I'm not doing this week, so read on to learn about the surprising missing element of my emergency plan.

People Who Need People

I'm kind of into emergency preparedness; I like to be be able to look out for myself and my family. So I have a well-stocked pantry, plenty of toilet paper (and tissues and paper towel), extra medication, candles, space blankets, and even a solar radio. I've gotten through a few ice storms and blackouts with this kit, but the pandemic has been the longest and most intense emergency yet, and it made me realize that my emergency plan was missing something.

People.

Or more accurately, relationships — starting with the people I share a house with, and working outwards.

I live with my husband and two teenage girls (and three cats) in a 1450-square-foot, three-bedroom house. The past few weeks haven't been ideal, but we treat each other with respect and communicate our needs and boundaries fairly effectively. It's been mostly good, with periods of lovely connection.

I raised my children with respect, and to be respectful, not specifically so that I could survive being confined in a house with them for nine weeks. My husband and I co-created a relationship with clear communication and mutual consideration not specifically so that we could figure out how to use our living room and bedroom as workspaces for nine weeks. But that foundation of trust, respect, and open communication has sure come in handy lately.

In the book I linked above, How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell, the author writes:
Neighbourhoods can be networks of support in situations both banal and extreme. Let's not forget that, in a time of increasing climate-related events, those who help you will likely not be your Twitter followers; they will be your neighbours.
I know all my neighbours by name, and I stop and chat to most of them. While, in truth, I haven't leaned on my neighbours for much, they have offered and we have offered back. Again, I didn't cultivate these relationships in case of a global crisis, but it has been comforting to know who is around.

In terms of practical support and advice, my book club's Whatsapp chat has been a lifeline — our collective relationship is more than a decade old, and that familiarity and trust has allowed us to support each other through quarantines, ethical dilemmas, seedling quandaries, and flour shortages.

Further afield, I'm thankful for my Internet friends, new and old, who are sensible, amusing, and supportive. We've taken turns being overwhelmed, underwhelmed, annoyed, sad, and scared. There is usually someone out there who is resonating on the same frequency as I am, and hardly anyone has freaked me out or pissed me off.

So, am I going to add "maintain good relationships with people at various degrees of remove" to my emergency preparedness plan? That seems weird. Having good relationships is pretty much its own reward, even if there is never another emergency. 😬  But this experience has deepened my appreciation for relationships as more than just nice to have.

What's NewI love this picture because it's so summery

As I said above, I've been doing a lot of nothing lately, which has been fine. I haven't done any particular business development or professional development, but of course I've been working with clients and refining my coaching process. (Ooh, that sounds fancy.) I think I've gotten better at some coaching competencies along the way — I do a debrief with myself after every coaching session to figure out what went well and what I missed, and it seems like the first list is getting longer and the second list is getting shorter.

I stopped the Monday Asks thing on LinkedIn because it wasn't getting any traction. I actually don't think my target audience (which is startups and developers) is particularly on LinkedIn. What I need to do is shuffle over to Twitter and Reddit and coworking spaces, and be myself there so people can love me. And hire me. I know this — don't ask me why I haven't done it yet. I'll get around to it, later, when I'm doing things again.

Fun and Interesting

  • It’s amazing how your definition of need changes when your options are constrained. Liane Davey is a facilitator and also a very cool person who I know. She wrote a post about what to ditch and what to keep about pandemic meetings after pandemic is over. Keep or ditch? [lianedavey.com]
  • Someone will always tell you that art is a bad idea. This is an oldie, but I am always ready for Chuck Wendig's shouty, sweary motivation. Arting Hard Like An Artful Motherfucker: 25 Ways To Be A Bad-Ass Maker Who Makes Bad-Ass Stuff [terribleminds.com]
  • My daughters and I all go to the same hairdresser, and we are all getting desperate about the state of our hair. My eldest finally threw up her hands and got me to cut her hair, and this was the best and most gender-agnostic video on the hairstyle she wanted. (I think it turned out pretty well.) The Short Back & Sides | Quarantine Edition by George Northwood [youtube.com]

Thank you for reading this far!

If you like what you read, hit reply and let me know, or forward it and let someone else know. If you have questions or comments, hit reply and let me know. If you have seen something interesting out there, hit reply and let me know. Are you seeing a trend here? If so... hit reply and let me know! I look forward to hearing from you. ❤️

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Amy Rhoda Brown Coaching
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Copyright © 2020 Amy Rhoda Brown Coaching, All rights reserved.


I live and work on land which for thousands of years has been part of the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat. Today, this meeting place is still home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island, and I am glad to be able to live and work here.

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