2020-21 Winter Survival Guide – Mid-month Nudge - FEBRUARY

Previous posts can all be found here. Follow along on Instagram @fjcoaching for regular nudges.

The story so far...

The picture I share here is Anna’s front door. To me it epitomises bright and friendly – and so does Anna. She’d like to quietly change the planet, and is simultaneously the least judgemental person I know. The theme this month has been a good reminder to reconnect with her (I got a message from her on 1st Feb, like a sign!) and also to dig out this sunny pic from a rainy day in 2019.

Based on my own time-framed suggestions at the beginning of the month, here I report back on my personal hits and misses so far. How do yours shape up?

In 10 minutes…

I have sent sincere thank yous and random hellos to three friends, one teacher, two strangers and five businesses that I’ve admired/appreciated/purchased from this month. This begs an obvious question – have I prioritised business I transacted with over friends I personally care about? This is perhaps one to bear in mind as February progresses.

In 20 minutes…

Not a birthday card (full disclosure: I missed a few…) but a warm update to a former colleague half a world away, in California. I also had a lovely exchange with an old acquaintance who I have been watching flourish from afar, and it seems our paths may collide again soon.

In 30 minutes…

I organised a thank you gift for a sibling, in lieu of payment for a big favour. I guess ‘no reason’ would have been even better? More food for thought. 

In an hour…

I didn’t manage to write a proper letter yet, but I did connect to my wider family (16 of us on that side) on a long zoom call to celebrate a birthday, and another long zoom - with a glass of bubbly - with old friends, for another birthday. Each was well over an hour, and well worth it to maintain that all-important connection.

Some new observations:

This is a relatively easy theme in many ways. It stands up to my assertion that the effort is all in the commitment, not the execution. With whom might you connect today? A neighbour, a sibling, a friend who moved away?

Of course there are people from whom you may have deliberately disconnected, where relationships are damaged or damaging, or when the other person is particularly distant or vulnerable, for myriad reasons. Exercise caution, but also bravery, and recognise that the connection may not be about you, but about the positive impact you could have on someone else – even if you hear nothing back.

How is it going for you? Have you committed to the CONNECT theme? If not, what is getting in your way? Today is a good day to start.

And finally:

While I was finalising this post today, a message popped up on my mobile. It says “Hello stranger! I have no idea why, but you suddenly popped into my mind. I hope you are keeping safe and well.” How lovely it is to be on the receiving end of a random connection today.

Consider these words from Brene Brown, “Connection is why we are here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives”. I found them buried in the middle of this TED talk, some years old now and actually about vulnerability. It has had well over 52 million views, and is worth a watch when you next have 20 mins spare.

Or, read a little EM Forster and ‘Only connect!’.