Designing My Life

I’ve been blogging for four weeks with productivity as one of my main goals. When I started on June 1st it was because I felt tired of doing nothing and achieving nothing and worried that prolonged unemployment would leave me with nothing to show for it. While I have latched on to the concept of “liminality” and believe that downtime is essential for growth both personally and professionally, doing nothing is not good for my mental health.

All the “nothing” going on leaves me with tremendous anxiety. (And in need of a thesaurus).

There is a book that is helping me tweak my mindset during this period and if you haven’t read it, Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is well worth the time and energy. The philosophy and exercises presented have been a big part of keeping me productive, in the moment, and happy. I would like to share that journey with you. If you pick up the book and are interested in sharing your story or doing a little collaborative life design, please drop me a line (mtsuki@dojini.com).

Today we will start at the beginning. Which I can’t do justice but is one of the singular truths of the universe. “You Are Here”.  Take a moment to reflect on that. Let it sink in. The authors share a picture of {insert the name of the place} with a big “You are Here” sign on the front door. It doesn’t matter how you got here, what comes next or where you end up. Right now? You Are Here.

Here for me, physically, is Charlotte, North Carolina, and is significant. For the first time in our careers, my husband and I have agreed that we are not relocating for our next gigs. When I say I’m here, in Charlotte, I mean it. That realization has been a big part of my reflections What I do next will not be only about a job, it’s about my life. And I believe that is part of the point Bill and Dave are making. Right now, here includes :

  • two teenage sons with high school, driving, adapting to the new normal, and college searches all on the horizon
  • fifteen years of experience running P & Ls in a physician services organization
  • a passion for strategy, analysis, more strategy and PLANNING
  • a love of words and writing

I’m looking forward to writing about this book and taking you through its exercises with me. I’ll share my dashboard, Work and Life Views, brainstorming scribbles, some truly awful drawings of life plans, and hopefully, will have lots of Life Design Interviews and Prototypes to tell you about.

In the meantime, as has become my custom, I will leave you with some things that brought me joy this week, right here where I am.

  • Beachy Keen nail polish by Essie – I decided I didn’t want to visit the mani-pedi place and would paint my nails myself. This is the color that fit my summery mood.
  • Kim’s Convenience on Netflix. Season 1 is brilliant. BRILLIANT. My teenage sons laugh and I laugh and have even cried with joy once or twice. I know it is fiction, but it makes me think Toronto is an enlightened place. Too bad I won’t leave Charlotte!
  • Raisin Bran Crunch. I try not to eat cereal too often. Carbs and all that. This is a guilty pleasure. A sugar cereal pretending to be healthy, but delicious nonetheless.

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