The importance of a can of pilchards
Today is the first day in a long time that I have removed myself from the busyness of my life. I have waited a long time to create the life I am living now. It is as exciting as I have always wished, and every day brings new challenges, opportunities and amazing people. I dreamed of doing what I do every day and wake up every morning with a full heart, so grateful that I took the very scary step of completely changing direction in my life. Changing the focus of my business, my relationships and centring back to the essence of who I am and what I believe I was born to do.
No decision is impulsive
Some of the best decisions I have made, have felt impulsive but when I look back, I realise that I had been pondering on them for a long time. I have learnt that there is no such thing as a split-second decision, it is years of practice and thinking that brings you to a point in life where you just have the answer, and you wake up one morning and just do it. Like you know that it is the time. The moment. It’s now or never.
It is easy to go with the flow. We want our lives to be peaceful, seamless, joyful, easy. There are moments when it is like this, but I find that in order to keep it like that, every single small decision you make every day is what continues to contribute to that state, or it begins to create something new. It all starts with a thought. A concept. Something you ponder. Something you write. Something you draw. Like a beautiful room that you put together piece by piece. Layering it and feeding it until it becomes something tangible and real.
Stay focused on what matters
This can work both ways and something I am always focused on is trying not to be negative when the day brings something you feel unprepared for. There seems to have been many of these moments over this last month as key people in my team have been ill with COVID. This disease is a long and tiring virus. It seems to slowly eat away your energy and facilitates a deep fatigue that is truly demotivating. Having had COVID I understand this, but this last wave has really hurt business both in terms of capacity and access to materials.
I have been working long hours for long periods of time just to try to stay on top of the daily demands; not just because of COVID but because we are growing as a business. The majority of people around me have just been incredible. More flexible, more tolerant, and very supportive of helping us get to the end result. I am very grateful for this kindness and astounded at how these challenges have really shown the true nature of the people that are in my life, and those that come across my path.
Friends are closer, my team’s working harder and more creatively. We have met new people, made new connections. Each person somehow feels like they were meant to cross my path. I feel something through this; that human nature is showing through stronger than ever despite the propaganda and constant barrage of negative information. We seek a future, we seek purpose, we seek hope. We make our spaces beautiful in an effort to change the world and live better lives.
Every decision makes a difference
In this business, every little decision is critical to the bigger outcome and picture. At the moment we are working at finishing two big projects. One is two years in the making, the other 3 months. There are daily decisions that need to be made and every time I am under pressure to decide or get something done too quickly – when I am not mindful – we have to circle back to fix it.
Every decision and action must be treated like it is a craft. A moment in time that will not come again. It is fundamental to pause and understand the knock-on effect that this decision could have and to really get it right. I am constantly amazed at this fact of life. No matter what part of my life that it affects, I have learnt to take the time to respond properly.
Yesterday, I met with a painter on a site; I was unhappy with a paint effect and asked him to redo it. I was going to go back this morning to check it and my contractor said not to worry he was happy with it and that I could check it on Monday. I had a niggle but left it. My client went to look that evening and of course fed back to me that it wasn’t working. It is something that can be fixed, it’s small in the bigger scheme of things but it wastes something big. Time. Energy. Your greatest assets.
What do you need?
Stopping here in my busyness, is so refreshing. It feels like water washing over my body. Seeing myself and looking in at what is happening around me feels really good. It gives back energy that I give out every day. Just these few moments by myself are so powerful. I see the list that must be tackled, the client concepts that are outstanding and reassure myself that all of this can be done faster, with more care if I am operating at the frequency and level that is required in my job. I want every outcome to be uniquely special for each client and each person our work touches. For it to reflect the big dreams and hopes we all carry inside of us. To create spaces and places that you want to return to over and over again.
There is no such thing as balance only focus
What do you need to live your best life? Do you need an hour or two to yourself? Do you need to walk, run, paint, draw, write? I find particularly as a woman with a career, a teenage son, a partner that runs a successful business, building my own business and trying to run a household, that there is no such thing as balance.
There are days when something gives, and you need to be okay with this. Focus on what you need to get out with that day; what your priorities are across your roles and be okay that other things will not get done. Last week we lived on take-away food and very creative concoctions from the pantry – one included pilchards and mayonnaise. I laughed that morning when I saw JH’s “bowl” of creativity from his midnight snack that he made – leaving me to get on with what I needed to do. This week there was a full fridge.
Don’t let it pass you by
Energy flows where focus goes. That is a fact. It is the same for every element of our lives. Every decision. Every aspect of design of every project. It takes time. It does not just happen in an instant. It is a carefully curated process where every aspect must be considered as it will be the weakest part that ruins it. The piece that you just passed over because it seemed easy or not that important. Imagine if I had not bought that can of pilchards. Listen to niggles. Don’t let it pass you by. Make the call. Do it well.