44 degrees later

It’s Sunday night once again.  I thought I wouldn’t make it through this week with the cold weather, but then as surely as it was -36 on Wednesday it was 44 degrees warmer a day later.  This is Alberta and the weather is especially exciting this time of year.  Another week or two and we won’t know whether to wear shorts or big winter jackets without opening the door and standing on the step for a few seconds.

I’ve spent a good part of this week establishing a website, this one in fact.  I can feel it starting to grow and I’m sure it will get its own legs soon.  I’m interested and curious where it is going to take me.  Tonight I’ve begun to send out the link to friends.  I’m done for the most part with the intense fiddling of the past week and will turn my attention to content.

My colleague, Alan Taylor and I spent many hours in Montreal talking about community, community change, and the factors that enable change.  I feel a lot of our discussion and thoughts still rattling around in my head begging to appear on paper.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see my notebook opened on my desk tomorrow ready for me to engage with.  It’s time to begin the steady writing of this book.

So with the disasters and challenges of the past week over, which included flooding tenant spaces and hackers in my website, I’ll get down to writing this week.  Terry and I set up a home work station this weekend.  It will be so nice to have a proper place to sit and work.

As I think about it I was able to accomplish a lot in one week.  I usually do accomplish a lot, but often I forget this until I sit down to remind myself of what I have done.  Sunworks is looking great and the sales have been fairly steady.  We are just  managing to keep up with the bills from the new  incoming spring stock, which is great for this time of year. We have so much space to fill now, with the second floor. Terry and I have booked a quick trip to Spain for a week break right after he finishes at Olds College this year.  We are joining our great friends Alan and Tim in London, going to the BBC Symphony and to see Ronnie Burkett, Theatre of Marionettes.  It’s the closing performance of Billy Twinkle, Requiem for a Golden Boy.  We absolutely love his work and it will be so great to share.  Then it is off to Spain, to Sitges for four days and Barcelona for three, where we are staying in the historic part of town.  Which sounds like a joke when I say it.  All of Barcelona seems historic to an Albertan.

It was the first week back to the gym since my Montreal trip.  It was harder than I thought it would be but it feels great to be back.  I can feel gains already, or at least feel the droop stopping.  So with all of mucky stuff out of the way last week, I’m going to try hard to hold a space open for myself to write.

At the beginning of this week I wrote and posted on my mirror:

What is the most important thing I need to do for myself today?
What is the most important thing that I need to do for others today?
How curious do I feel?

I’ve read them many times this week, and they are useful in framing the day.  Last week I wrote about space.  The first of these questions reminds me that I must before all else make sure that I have space for myself to just be… evolve perhaps.  It’s helped me think of what activities are self nourishing.  This week that question gave me time to read, to sort out my desk completely, to set up a home office, to get back to the gym, to have some art framed, think about love, and simple things like laundry.

The second question was interesting and I’m curious to see where it will take me in the future.  It can be read in two ways.  What do ‘I need’ to do for others?  Also, what do I… ‘NEED to do for others’ today?  I think it is a good reminder that we have needs as they relate to others.  For example, we need to help our friends feel good about their work, but at the same time others may have needs of us, such as I need you to do X; fix the printer, respond to an email, pick up some groceries, or scoop the cat box.  There seems an interesting balance between what others need of us, and what we need to do for others.  I took much more joy this week in writing a thank you card for a friend who said kind words when I needed them, than I did doing a task that she needed to me to.  Both are important and have different effects.  I would be interested in hearing others’ thoughts on these ideas of needs.

The third question, came from a course I took nearly a year ago.  Alan and I spent five days together at Schumacher College, where Meg Wheatley was the guest instructor.  There is a complete other story about the whole Schumacher experience. For now back to the question, how curious are you today?  She posed this question at the beginning of the course and I found it most intriguing.  It invites me to look at everything from a ‘why?’ perspective.  As my life unfolds, and in some weeks unravels, right before my eyes, carrying curiosity allows me to stand beside myself – to play second witness – and watch and question what is going on behind the scenes.  It compels me to look closely at my own reactions and that of others.  It helps me to be in the moment and yet not be trapped by the moment.  It seems like a beautiful way to maintain a constant state of reflection about myself and about the world around me.

So, I invite to you try these questions out this week.  Post them on your mirror. Notice what is different, what is the same, and how you change.  I would love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to post comments.

No comments yet to 44 degrees later

  • Cindy Jefferies

    Hi Paul,
    How cool. What I really like about your blog is that it gives you an opportunity to share some of the thinking you are doing. I must tell you I feel a bit jealous of the conversations you have with friends. Yes, I could do the same – the opportunities just don’t come often enough. I should probably do something about that.
    I think it is great to know that someone in our community is thinking so much about our community. I know you are not alone in thinking about community, but I think you may have just started the opportunity for dialogue.
    I often think I should spend more time with you. I know I would learn a lot. This blog creates some great opportunities. Congratulations!

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