Where I am the autumnal equinox will be at 3:54 this afternoon. It seems a good day to plan for the upcoming season. As I think about this, the word ‘balance’ comes to mind. My world has been out of balance for a while, perhaps like one of those old washing machines that when the load becomes lop-sided and the whole thing rattles and bangs across the floor until someone rushes to hit the stop button and move the garments around inside before it can be started once again.
As I’ve been away this week from the pressures of work, I’ve actually been able to step back and see a bigger picture. Tomorrow I return from vacation. I leave the island of Maui where I sit now on our lanai and write in the early dawn, to return to Red Deer where they are under nearly six inches of snow which is wreaking havoc with the urban forest. I wasn’t there to shake the heavy snowfall from our trees at home. I’m sure there will be damage.
I want and need to think about balance. At the same time, the new season is the busiest season for all of our businesses: retail picks up and hopefully this year will be one of recovery. The past two years’ sales were the lowest in the decade. The restaurant business picks up with parties and holiday fun. What I need to do is to hold the line on expenses and make a concentrated effort to promote and communicate what we offer. Our teams of people at both places are strong and wonderful. This week in our restaurant Tribe we had very few customers, some days only two. Even with a minimal number of staff it’s not possible to make the numbers work with so few customers. Snow keeps people away, as do the worsening problems of the downtown.
I need to focus on the things that will generate business and help us catch up financially. Everything else can wait until the winter solstice and a time of hibernation when the pace slows. Now there is one final push this year – three solid months of activity with a focus on communication with our customers, and with people around whom I’m a more positive person. The negativity that has been trying to root must wither. Perhaps I can maintain a communication habit that comes naturally: I recall I was communicating well in the past, somehow it slipped.
This week in Red Deer, citizens started a campaign to clean up the drug use and debris problem: standup-now.ca I was asked to share the invitation, so I wrote a newsletter to Sunworks clients and used our social media channels. The local paper called and I did an interview. I was stunned at how fast it was picked up: my marketing and communication networks are well established. I realised that I hadn’t sent anything to customers in over three months, which was disappointing and eye-opening at the same time. I can hardly lament poor business traffic when I’ve clearly failed at communicating. It felt really good to be working with trusted colleagues on marketing this message, and it was so good to reconnect with my own skills in community organising and communication. It helped me emerge from the blues, no matter how temporary that may be. I’ll take it even if it doesn’t stick, but perhaps this moment of clarity will help me chart a path for the next few months that can help me solve some of my issues.
If ever I needed a theme for a season I think it would be ‘inspired communication.’ I started off thinking about balance this morning but I think I can handle that with a good long list and not overdoing the days. I’m planning to practice yoga once a week, and want to return to painting and creative writing. I’ll get to the doctors and get my annual check-up, make sure that I’m good to go for another year. Perhaps I can reconnect with my thesis: I’d really like that, but I’m stuck. I want to have a great gym season and drop the few extra percentages of fat that I don’t need. I feel like I’m so close to my goal, but the blues get in the way and I don’t work as hard at it, and frankly too much booze at the end of the day isn’t helping. And I’m going to get this damn horn removed from the top of my head before I sprout a second one and the crazies really start to believe I’m satan.
Balance will dial some things back and some things forward.
It’s my marketing and communication that needs strengthening. I’ve been silent for a long time. Before council, I used to write almost daily; another sacrifice I unintentionally made. Until recently I haven’t felt like it, even when I wished I could. I suppose, partly, my thoughts were so muddled that I didn’t know where to begin… or end. Perhaps even like this post.
It’s been a while since I wrote any new greeting cards. Perhaps one will pop out today. I’ll keep you posted. It’s bound to be funny given my current wobbly state.