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Two Kinds of Needs

Hello awesome person,

I hope you're having a great week. What's the best part so far?

Two Kinds of Needs #

My sister and her husband are visiting from Prince Albert this week. We’re off on a craft-fair crawl today after spending the week wandering about Victoria, showing them all my favourite places. There’s lots to see and do, and even more to eat, so it’s pretty easy to fill up our days.

I didn’t know how much of a routine Cindy and I have settled into until our house guests shook things all about. How we had turned our big table into a project table, rather than the table we use for meals. How our apartment fridge holds food for two easily but food for four is tight. How we sit in silence after supper most evenings, reading or writing or working on a project.

All that changed this week. We’re cooking up a storm and visiting up a storm. It’s active and loud and boisterous. Meals and cleanup take an extra hour for all the yakking that’s happening. I even found a way to get the NFL game on screen for my brother-in-law last night and heard more commercials than I’ve heard in three months.

I’m exhausted, but I love it. As much as we’ve come to depend on texts and emails and Zooms, there is nothing like a long, extended, intimate, wandering conversation. It was Day Three before we finally got to a real place when talking about our dad, or how our home lives growing up have affected us as adults and parents. I feel I know where my niece and nephew truly are in their lives as they figure out University and beyond. And I was thrilled to hear they both think Uncle Mark and Aunty Cindy are cool enough to warrant coming out for a visit later this year.

And yet, we both miss our routines. We stayed up extra late all week, after our guests went to bed, so we could read a little and write a little. We like our quiet life and we need our creative time too.

I’ve never felt this need to make something, even a tiny thing, as much as I have this week. And I’ve never felt as convinced that I needed to write something, no matter how small, every day, lest I break a habit and drift back into the greyness of thinking about making instead of actually making.

This dual clarity, this deep, visceral feeling that two opposing forces make me whole, is a revelation. It’s thrilling to feel both types of joy, the outward conversations and inward creativity, in equal measure on the same day, all week long.

All of which makes me curious about you. I wonder, what are the things that you need to fill your soul? Do they seem to pull you in two directions at once? How do you fill both vessels? I’d love it if you hit reply and let me know.

The Week’s Podcast: Lisa DiVirgilio Arnold #

One of the first bits of advice you get as a small business owner is to build a network of professional help. Accountants, lawyers and the like. In the case of a bakery, add in a plumber, electrician, equipment repair, and on and on.

When it comes to business help like marketing and leadership coaching, that professional help is usually out of reach for small businesses. But not in Springfield, Tennessee, where Lisa Arnold founded Small Town Startup. She developed a winning formula that brings coaching, marketing, business incubator services and more to small businesses in her hometown.

We talk about Lisa’s passion for Springfield, how she is able to be a connector in the community and how she dealt with all the self doubt and second guessing that goes into bringing something new to the town. We even got into how her model can be replicated in other towns, but how franchising isn’t the way forward for Lisa.

It's a fun conversation and I'm so glad I get to share it with you. You can listen here.

Notes from the blog #

I’ve always wanted to do NaNoWriMo. Maybe next year. But I completed my own version, NaNoBlogMo, where I wrote a blog post for every day in November. Whoo hoo!

I now have an inventory of ‘bad’ writing to counterbalance the fleeting moments of ‘good’ writing. Here are some of the halfway decent posts from this week:

- Charlie, a reflection on how deeply we can connect with someone we only know through a screen;

- We are the traffic, a riff on the absurdity and recentness of car culture;

- Strummer and Wildish, the intersection of two ideas, one which I only vaguely remember;

- Streaks and books, a post about letting go of things.

That's it for this week. I hope you're having fun in your own way. Stay healthy, stay happy. 💖