Today we’re talking about redesigning familiar things. I began thinking about this because Halloween approaches, which means different things to different people. But when you’re six, and of no particular faith persuasion, it’s kind of a no brainer. It’s all about the excitement of getting dressed up, going out in the dark with your buddies, knocking on doors you would never really knock on and filling your bucket with sweeties. It’s always a Treat and never a Trick.
Then the Rona, came along…
Hmmm new plan required.
Isn’t that true for so many areas of our lives right now? Access to our ‘normal activities’, our fun and pleasures may not look the same as it did last year (in fact even a month ago for those of us who had lockdown eased).
So how do we get the same fun factor in our lives? How do we make connections when we can’t get close to others in the way we usually would? What happens to our businesses when they are restricted or need a pivot. (All these points are in my zone of brilliance – If you feel it may be time to work with me, let’s chat)
I’m working with the Parent Teacher Association of our local primary school to redesign Halloween. With Trick or Treating off the cards, it was time to get curious. How do we create a community event that is inclusive, fun and socially distant? What can we do that involves the minimum of grubby mitts and the most interaction? What can we do that puts the school and it’s activities at the heart of the community?
We’re using what we have to hand – a densely packed neighbourhood with tree spotted pavements. Simple is best, so this half term holiday week we’ll be setting up a Pumpkin Trail of trees decorated with pumpkin signs (set a kid level). There’ll be jokes, silly tasks, and (my favourite bit an Autumn inspired code breaker). Something for all the kids, from the ages of 4 to 11 years (and hopefully their older siblings and grown ups) to be entertained by.
I can’t wait to see how the kids enjoy it. They’ll be cackling like witches, cracking codes and zombie walking all over the place.
So, my question for you is this…If life doesn’t look the same, and you feel your fizz is flat, where can you find your magic just by switching a few things up.
Let me expand with an example.
I was talking to a friend yesterday, she mentioned her frustration and simmering anger. Often she felt angry with her kids, even though she could clearly see that it wasn’t anything to do with their behaviour, it was just an easy out. Whilst we were talking one of her kids came by, it was breakfast time and they were given instruction that they were responsible for getting themselves and the puppy fed, then making sure the puppy went out for a poop. Time was of the essence, too much faffing and there would inevitably be poop to clear.
A few minutes went by.
“Mum! The dog’s pooped”.
The flash of anger was fleeting, but I could see my friend was annoyed. Once again the day had started off badly.
We talked through how maybe thinking could be different. I asked some questions (I love asking questions). Why were the kids looking after the pup? It was their task. Who was usually the first up? My friend said she was. Would it be possible that you could take 15 minutes to walk the pup? To be outside, soak up the start of the day, to strengthen your position as head of the pack (in the pups eyes) and ease your way into the day? It would be a two way win. Firstly a moment to connect with nature, and secondly a poop free floor.
I checked in with her today. She had experienced a completely different start to the morning. You could see that she was relaxed, at ease, vibrant no less. And the dog…happily toileted and hanging out with her human.
Like I said earlier. It’s often a simple change that needs to happen, a little redesign. Oftentimes it can be hard to see what the solution is, we’re too caught up in the gunk. That’s why working with a mentor works. If you’d like to see how the veil can be lifted on shitty situations (pun intended) in your life, let’s chat.