Happy Monday! I feel really good about the week ahead. Lots on the to-do list, but I’ve got good energy and I’m ready to tackle it all and get to Friday feeling like I accomplished some of my own work, instead of only the work for my clients.
I spent the weekend celebrating my nephew’s 11th birthday. Family dinner, movies, soccer game, some XBox time, and a party at an indoor trampoline park. He had a blast, and it was really fun to be there to celebrate the big day with him and his core group of friends.
It’s interesting watching a group of 5th and 6th graders together in a social situation. It was fascinating to watch leader/follower roles evolve in different settings, and interesting to see how some of their natural-born talents drive certain skills already at this age. And, it was really heartening to see their collaboration and decision-making skills at work in a play setting that contributed toward everyone feeling welcome, included, and part of the team. Gives me hope for the future of our workforce.
These past few weeks for me have been a blur — end-of-the-semester grading, client events, and program launches … I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and months where things are a little more manageable and allow for some down time on the weekends. When you’re self-employed, there’s a balance of needing to work (because your income is dependent on having clients and projects to do) and needing downtime to recharge. But, knowing that the hours you’re not working are hours you’re not billing is always stressful no matter how long you’ve been in this game. My father is a doctor (he retired last year at age 80) and I remember him only coming to the beach for the weekend portions of our family vacations in the summer because if he wasn’t seeing patients, there wasn’t income coming into the practice, and his employees needed to get paid. It always made me sad he wasn’t with us the whole time, but I get it now.
All that said, I’ve gotten much better about managing that stress and maintaining what I think is a really healthy balance of work and down time. I need that balance even more in the summertime, when I relish my evenings on the front porch reading a book, watching the hummingbirds at the feeder, and looking at all the pretty flowering plants in my garden.
I hope you’re enjoying this first week of summer, and that you get to spend some time today enjoying the sunshine. June is a great month for walks at lunchtime, evening gab sessions on the front porch or stoop, eating lots of vegetables and fruit, and taking time during the workweek to go outside and turn your face to the sun, even if only for a few minutes, to get that vitamin D recharge we all need.
Here’s a little look at some things I’m reading, listening to, or otherwise consuming this week:
What I’m listening to: 80s music!!! You GUYS! Every summer, I gravitate toward the music of my high school summers. I don’t know why I do this, but I always do. I used to scratch that itch listening to the 80s channel on XM in my car, or the 80s Pandora channel at home. This summer, I did some curated playlists on iTunes of some of the verrrrry specific 80s music that has verrrrrry specific memories and I am loving it! Tears for Fears, Til Tuesday, Alpahville, Phil Collins, Simple Minds, OMD, Roxy Music … just to name a few. It’s bringing me such joy!
What I’m reading: Drinking, A Love Story by Caroline Knapp. A colleague and friend of mine recently told me she has quit drinking and is sober now. She shared with me some of the challenges she’s experienced in doing this and told me that this book really helped her understand herself a little better. So, I’m reading it so I can be supportive and encouraging. I’m only about 30 pages in, and it’s fascinating and hurts my liver to read.
What I’m watching: Always Be My Maybe on Netflix. I only got to watch 15 minutes of it last night before I got really sleepy and decided to wait until later in the week to watch it, but I’m not gonna lie: here for the Keanu scene(s), y’all.
What’s canceled: IHOP. What in the hell is this fuckery?
What I’m learning: That people have different perspectives than I do about to-do lists. This article makes my shoulder blades twitch because I can’t imagine operating this way. However, reading it gives me insights on the people who do manage their work this way, so it helps me understand how and why people work in different ways.
What’s making me think: The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley publishes a monthly calendar that can help foster happiness in a person’s life. Typically, I turn up my nose at this kind of thing: do these things every day and blah blah blah … but I’ve been studying with Dr. Dacher Keltner and Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas as part of a post-graduate program I’m enrolled in, and their work is really strong and I’ve learned a lot from them that’s helped influence the leadership work I do with clients. Here’s a link to June’s Happiness Calendar. I think I’m gonna give it a go!
Go make this week an awesome one. Do something that helps set you apart from others and makes you memorable. Be remarkable.