(500) Days of Summer Review

Posted by in Life

Although, if you look at temperatures around here, summer is still around, September is well advanced now and it’s a good time to look back at the past few months and put my summer review on “paper”.

I recently finished reading Jonathan Field’s How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science and Practical Wisdom, and I like the way he organizes life key elements into three buckets: Vitality, Connection & Contribution. I thought it would be a good template to do this summer review.

Vitality Bucket

This has been the biggest struggle for me this year. Despite making numerous efforts to change my lifestyle, my energy has been low and my motivation to get moving quite inexistant. With the summer heat wave, I was miserable. These temperatures don’t work with me and I found myself hiding in my apartment and not seeing the light of day for hours on.

But I’m not someone who’s giving up that easily. This summer, I decided that I would work on this vitality bucket and concentrate around three main aspects:

Meditation: I’m at 60+ straight days of daily meditation. My goal has been to average 10-minutes per day. On weekends, I allow myself for a little longer, and on busy week days, I’m okay with 5-minutes quickies. Since I escaped from the perceived stiffness of “you have to do it every day for the same amount of time” and started making it work around my schedule, things started to flow.

Running: I can’t explain it, but, for some reasons, running became easy again. When I realized I was stuck in a negative spin of insatisfaction, I was able to let go of performance and go back to the beginning of my love for running: the CouchTo5k program. The objective became to run three times a week, whatever distance, whatever speed. Just to go out and run. To wake up at the crack of dawn, put my trainers on and get out of the door before the temperature was unbearable. Result: last week I ran a 7k race in Paris with a client’s team. And I enjoyed it.

Summer review: La Parisienne

Green juicing: this is still a work in progress, but I used the summer months to experiment with breakfast and see if I would like to have my veggies first thing in the morning. Well, guess what… I’ve never ate that much spinach, with that much pleasure.

Connection bucket

Truth be told, this is the one bucket of mine that needs the most work. One of my summer ambition was to spend more quality time with some of my good friends.

I was happy to be able to hang out with people I love and don’t see enough during my time in Portland for WDS. And I decided to start hosting small dinner parties for my close friends here in Lyon. Finally, I joined a local expat group with the hope of meeting like-minded people in France. To be continued…

Contribution bucket

My favorite one, maybe. It gives a wonderful meaning to the work I do. Now I see it as “what I’m contributing to the world”.

On the business level, the quiet days of summer allowed for some deep work on RDE Marketing: what do we do? Who do we want to serve? What are our values? Plenty of questions that have emerged and that Charlotte and I are in the process of answering.

On the traveling side, after Ireland in May, I explored the North-West coast of the U.S. driving from Portland, OR to Vancouver, BC, Canada early July. Gorgeous! Check out the view in Olympic National Park on top of this article…

Finally, as I completed a self-imposed 30-days challenge of writing (fiction or memories) every day, over the summer, I realized how much I missed telling stories and using my imagination. This concluded in me joining a short-stories writing contest with TheWritePractice, on the theme “Monster”. To my own surprise, I found myself quite inspired. The story is being workshopped as we speak and the final draft will be submitted to the jury in the next few days. Wish me luck!

These last months felt like a impulse in moving forward toward a new chapter. With this summer review, I’m able to see what a difference a few weeks can make. And I’m looking forward to what’s next to come (as well as lower temperatures).