I’ve been a bit quiet over here as I took my first vacation of 2020 for the last couple of weeks of August. If you’ve been following along for awhile, you know I take breaks seriously: usually a week quarterly to step away, get off email, and rest. We’ve built Wanderwell’s work culture to prioritize engaged productivity and healthy boundaries, rather than a constant grind.
Among many other things, 2020 is the year all my best-laid rest plans went to shit. My one attempt at a break in the spring was overtaken by PPP applications, and perhaps like you, dear reader, I’ve been in the trenches.
In the relentlessness of this year, I know so many of us are exhausted. Remember when we just had to get through till June? Truth be told, even after a good chunk of time truly away, I’m still not entirely ready to be back.
One of my open lines of inquiry for the past couple of years is around creating a strategy for space. In this energy of September — which for me usually comes with that back to school flavor or new! more! full plate! I’m attempting to approach the renewal and last few months of a year with focus, alignment, and, most of all, less.
I’m asking what opportunities does the upheaval of this year give me to align:
Our values with our actions and policies?
My time and worklife with my own desires and interests?
The needs of the business, my team, this community with collective needs for space, rest, for care?
This strategy for space encompasses both concrete space needs: does Wanderwell have enough profit margin to give us space for choice, for support, and for weathering uncertainty with less anxiety?
And then there’s the more abstract queries, one of which came up frequently in the Equitable Business Incubator, around what to prioritize; what changes to make and where to align values with equitable practices… when resources, time and energy might be limited? ( One of my own answers around “what does an anti-capitalist, anti-white supremacist business look like: a business that doesn’t always say yes to more. )
It seems clear that we’ll be living with a large amount of uncertainty and upheaval for awhile now; I’m reminding myself and continuing to take action in the ways that create positive upheaval: of white supremacy, of causing harm through urgency and overwork. To resist by resting.
This also looks like helping folks to redesign their businesses around virtual schooling schedules, or solidify the experiments that emerged in the early months of shutdown into sustainable strategies, both of which look like creating more space.