Writing to learn, learning to write. With practice comes clarity of purpose. #100days
64437 words

Day 162 - Elevator moment

Depending on my mood, I've been trying to connect with people using small talk. I live on a high floor, at a height that is just over the comfort barrier for silence.

You know the one, where you have to acknowledge the person in there with you, treat them like a human being. I think I'll keep better notes about these experiences.

After all, what better way of testing that old adage "people remember how you make them feel", than in an elevator where they have no control.

Day 161 - Learn the business

I sat in on a meeting, where the purpose was one, and the outcome was another.

I didn't feel so underprepared for sometime.

Yes, I was expected to have all the answers.

No, I shouldn't have been expected to, nor was did purpose align with what I was there for.

This is the first time I've felt the acute need for 'designers' to understand the business. Even if the business is that of stakeholders, and even if it is at a level of depth that others don't expect me to know.

I must learn the business, and as a service designer, this must be all business. Not unlike my former role in operational HR.

Day 160 - Run 5 mins

Oh this one I did! I guess it was an intention that I set.

Day 159 - Time to take stock

I think this one was about the recurrent theme of taking a look at past posts and trying to figure out what could be repurposed. I haven't listened to my audio books in sometime as well so the nature of my posts and their quality has been reduced.

Day 158 - Approval is a movement

Yea...these titles are a little too cryptic for me. What could I have been thinking? It's as if I scribbled down some notes that felt golden when waking from a fuzzy dream.

Day 157 - Do it anyway

I've been missing a few days, and recently added a few post titles as a placeholder for posts. I assumed then that I'd remember what I wanted to write about. Clearly I was mistaken, I can't remember what I was supposed to do anyway?

Day 156 - I need shoes

There was a pair of shoes my brother once gifted me. They were Nike Roches. They were slip on shoes, and I ended up using 3 pairs over 5 years. They were discontinued.

I've not been able to find a shoe that hugs my feet the same way that pair did. Every once in a while, I walk into a flagship store and ask, 'Is there anything like the Roche', I get a pitying look every single time from the assistants, 'No, they've been discontinued, there's nothing here we can recommend'.

That's how good those shoes were, they don't want to up sell anything, they understand my pain, and I respect them, and I leave.

Day 155 - Grow up

There's an assumption that most everyone has that's correlated with age. The older we get, the more likely we end up assuming people have their shit together.

And surprise! They don't! Not by a long shot. Not by a 'the earth is really flat', 'climate change is a ruse', 'fossil fuels are fine' kind of long shot.

What aging allows people to do, is play a game of chicken with a train called accountability. When it hits, It's going to hit hard. Whether the hit is to their ego, their reputation, or the illusion of self importance that they created. It all comes apart.

I'm done assuming people have their shit together.

Day 154 - People wrangling

We did it! We got some strangers to sit through our prototype. It didn't happen in a lab, we kept it contextual to what the prototype was trying to address. So we met people as they completed their transactions, and asked them how their experience was, and if they'd be interested in exploring a different way of completing this task. Also, we have a gift for your troubles.

We'd conducted some telephonic surveys as well, but found the information they were willing to share, weeks after they completed their transaction, lacking.

We'll be continuing the prototype exploration with customers this week. Fun fun fun!

Day 153 - Pocket in time

I had the chance to be with lil dude for 24 hours by my lonesome. Our plan to have some help while my wife travels didn't pan out.

When I had a chance to get past the reality that I was alone with him, time was no longer present. Sure, there was sunlight and the cadence of his rhythm, but messages were left unanswered, pending work became immaterial, and by the end of his day, I felt a sense of accomplishment.

I'm now sat on the laptop, with a sense of dawning realization, that I'm no longer in that serene pocket in time. That so long as he sleeps, a cacophony of things that need get done will continue to assault and overload my capacity to give a shit.

Also, I had cereal for lunch.

Day 152 - I do declare

I told my friend that once I complete 365 days of writing. I'm going to write a book.

That's definitely not how goals work. Nor how books are written. There is a story that I think wants to be written. I'll let the story percolate a little.

Now you know.

Day 151 - Poetry Exercise

I received an email from an old friend. It was titled poetry exercise. The concept is simple. Here's the email in it's entirety

Dear friends,
We're starting a collective, constructive, and hopefully uplifting exchange.
It's a one-time thing and we hope you will participate.

We have picked those we think would be willing and make it fun.
Please send a poem to the person whose name is in position 1 below
(even if you don't know them).
It should be a favourite text/verse/meditation that has affected you in difficult times. Don't agonize over it.

1. Person name
Persona email

2. Person name
Persona email

After you've sent the short poem/verse/quote/etc. to the person in position 1, and only that person, copy this letter into a new email.

Move my name to position 1, and put your name in position 2.
Only my name and your name should show in the new email.
Send it to 20 friends BCC (blind copy).

If you cannot do this in five days, let us know so it will be fair to
those participating. It’s fun to see where they come from.

Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new pleasures. The
turnaround is fast, as there are only two names on the list, and you
only have to do it once.

Thanks for considering this!

"Seldom does anyone drop out" I think this phrase made it all the easier for me to complete the task.  It sat in my inbox for 3 days, but this statement intrigued me. So I sent it to a few more than 20, and 2 days later, I received 3 emails from people I've never spoken with. Here are their chosen poems/verses

    1. Verse: You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only option you have.

    2. By Emily Dickinson

    Pain has an element of blank;

      It cannot recollect
      When it began, or if there was
      A time when it was not.

      It has no future but itself,
      Its infinite realms contain
      Its past, enlightened to perceive
      New periods of pain.

      3. Worst Day Ever? By  Chanie Gorkin

      Today was the absolute worst day ever
      And don't try to convince me that
      There's something good in every day
      Because, when you take a closer look,
      This world is a pretty evil place.
      Even if
      Some goodness does shine through once in a while
      Satisfaction and happiness don't last.
      And it's not true that
      It's all in the mind and heart
      True happiness can be attained
      Only if one's surroundings are good.
      It's not true that good exists
      I'm sure you can agree that
      The reality
      My attitude
      It's all beyond my control
      And you'll never in a million years hear me say that
      Today was a very good day.

      Now read it from bottom to top, the other way,
      And see what I really feel about my day.

      Day 150 - Big number

      Another number reached.

      This time, I'm wondering, what would allow me to create similar success, but for a physically oriented habit.

      My fingers aligning with my thoughts was not easy, but achievable. I'd like to now engage my whole body, physically, in a way that I could mentally enjoy it.

      I think my major obstacle, is just that, I think. I think away the exercise. Finding many an obstacle, whether it be sugar, work, or laziness.

      I know for instance, when it comes to writing, I decided to stick to #100 days. It was finite, in essence I in a way tricked myself in to continuing. I also didn't shame myself for the nights that I couldn't. I just made up for it a day or two later.

      So then what I'm going to commit to. Is 30 minutes a day, for #100 days.

      It needs to be a block of time, where I'm intentionally active. I need to set a timer. Complete it. And then I'll note it in standard notes. So as to leverage the writing habit.

      Day 149 - My bias

      There was an event this past week, touting the benefits of designing for the employee experience. It had been luckily postponed a few times, and this time, I could actually attend.

      I walked a kilometre or two, exposed to sun, hot air, and the unfamiliar sensation of sweat. Arriving at what was an office park built with shipping containers, I saw what was the only indicator of something happening, a person scurrying in between heavy glass doors into what I imagined was an air conditioned interior.

      When I arrived, the room was filled with chairs, the type you'd find in university lecture halls, with that rotating desk attachment, that can barely fit an A4 sheet of paper.

      You see, the talk was being hosted by a design outfit. I saw the slide, and noted the name, I'd assumed the speaker was yet to join us. That the person sat up front, facing us, was our host. It turned out the person was the speaker, a director, and my mind did a shameful double take.

      I shared this with a friend, and we lamented at the stereotypes we may be perpetuating in silence, we resolved to check ourselves.

      How might that take shape? I think, for one, I'd share this example with a friend who I know has been impacted by not seeing people with a design background in directorial positions.

      One other thing I could try, is to listen for bias, and ask questions in a curious manner. So that I allow others the opportunity of doing a mental double take.

      Day 147 - Boy anointed


      created_at: 2019-10-24 19:08:05


      Setting: Indoor play area and jungle gym for babies and toddlers. Call it Eager Elephants

      Dad! That girl is bothering me! I'm going to fight her!

      Dad looks up from phone, "it's ok, just go play somewhere else"

      Dad! She's mean! She fight me in the other place, 

      scroll, scroll, scroll "Ok, ok, it's fine, go play" scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll...

      A fork in the road, a fate sealed, a bully born. 

      Will it be the boy, or the girl?