it's winter... we should act like it29 Oct 2019
as the leaves change/fall/die and the light lessens each day, a major pivot is slowly rolling in. the temperature is dropping and the energy of summer is fading… fast.
i wanted to take a few minutes to share something i have been thinking about a lot these past 4/5 years.
back when i worked at iisc with my friend and teacherdanielle coates-connor, we actually implemented a department-wide policy (her idea) to start the work day an hour later (to be specific, i think what we decided was that we would do ours rays of light meeting one hour later than during the summer). it felt borderline impossible to have the light each day be so different and hold the same working hours.
i drop that example to lead into the point i’m here to make: it’s fucking nuts that winter comes and we pretend like nothing about our (work) lives should shift.
as there’s literally less light and warmth each day, people’s energy drops. that’s a natural thing. but in addition to that natural thing, there are lots of people who deal with seasonal affective disorder and/or season depression.
and you know what? i think that’s totally fine! i mean, depression sucks and isn’t itself good, but what is good is being present for what is. what isn’t good is pretending that people’s depression doesn’t impact their work. like… do we think being in meetings with rooms full of people, many of whom are struggling to even show up? what do we think that does for the quality of the meeting and the work we’re doing together? do we even think about that at all?
i know i sound quite negative right now but i’m writing this because another reality is possible. here’s my vision (again, inspired by my time working with dcc!):
what if, in the winter, we (collectively) agreed to only hold meetings during daylight hours?
i think that would have the following effects:
- not holding ANY nighttime meetings (other than maybe social/non-work dinners)
- slow down the pace of work in the fall/winter to what’s actually realistic, instead of the constant pace that capitalism drives us to stay at
- give us the opportunity to sleep and stay in bed when our bodies are telling us that’s what they want/need
this is just one, very specific, idea. whether or not you like this particular idea, my thrust is this: the shift into winter is real. we should act like it. what practices do you think would help you/us shift into the reality of winter?
words / writing / post-processing
380w / 10m / 5min