happy "no new things" day 2021!06 Nov 2021
happy belated third(ish) “no new things” day!
in 2018, i chose oct 1 as no new meetings day. in 2019, i expanded the boundary beyond meetings to all new commitments. i also learned in 2019 that alexis flanagan has a similar practice except on the fall equinox. inspired, i updated my practice. in 2020, i added in a reading schedule that ramped me up to a glorious 1h/day.
and here we are in 2021. i feel pretty excited about celebrating the third year of this and i’ve gotten so feedback (much positive and some negative) about this practice and that in and of itself feels useful.
today i’ll share a few thoughts that feel present in this moment but feel free to dig into the posts from past years for more.
- this boundary is growing in importance in my life. having a clear point beyond which i don’t accept new time and/or energetic commitments helps me make space for what i’ve already committed to. the increased discipline of saying no lets the overcommitment i’ve probably already done catch up with me. it gives me space to finish commitments strong(er).
- no new things day is a practice in boundary setting and holding. it is hard work to hold this boundary. some people really appreciate it. some people like it so much they adopt elements of it themselves. some people resent it and direct frustrated/angry energy at me for not being willing to shift my boundary for them. these are all fascinating opportunities to observe emotions, my own and those of others.
- this boundary practice has helped me see a larger pattern in the flow of the year: in summer, everyone is outdoors, away, vacationing, chillin’, slacking. after summer, people come back online, kids go back to school, and a full on frenzy appears (typically increasing from labor day through the equinox and beyond). at the equinox, panic ensues and people, having realized (consciously or subconsciously) the gap between where they wanted to be and where they actually are, start to move with haste on all the things they started before summer but put down or slowed down because summer. between late oct and thankstaking, LOTS of things get started or continued in earnest, with deep hope that results will be in by end of the year (this is often futile but the pace of our work lives doesn’t allow this recognition). then, after thankstaking in the first 2-3 weeks of december, reality sets in and people start getting things ready to be put down for end of the year holidays. being intentional about saying no to new things starting late sept helps me be clear about what parts of that pattern i do and don’t want to engage in.
- naming this practice (especially by linking to the blog posts where i write about it) is having ripple impacts around me. people know
- this year, having entered full-time self-employment in june, i have begun to take the start up energy of fall and attempt to convert it to start strong energy in the new year. i’ve started waitlists for some of my work (like my coaching for example http://lqb2.co/coaching) and other bits of it i’m just trying to be very clear with folks that starting up new work while in holiday season is likely to be frustrating for the new work and take fuel from work that needs to complete.
phew! thanks for listening. that was much longer than i anticipated but you know, sometimes you just get flowing.
i wish you well in the rest of your year and if you chose to adopt the practice of no new things this year or ever, let me know how it goes for you!
words / writing / post-processing
658w / 30min / 15min
funny! this post is exactly the same word count as my 2020 no new things day post.