Recently, I've had talks centered around feedback—tips and tricks for giving and receiving it. What comes up most revolves around the timing of feedback and the importance of keeping it as close to in the moment as possible. Instead of doing an annual review or biannual report, maybe a month to month approach is most productive.
This hits home for me because I always have the hardest time trying to wrap up a full year when December rolls around. My mind is in full "holiday mode," so sitting down for a planning or reflecting session is the last thing on my list. And with the biannual approach, I suspect I'd focus on the most recent quarter, neglecting the former quarter—completing missing key chunks of time.
I'm setting out now to review each month as it comes. With that, here're some thoughts on February. I'd love to hear about your #inreview highlights too, so feel free to post in the comments below.
1) Super Bowl: I could talk about the game, the commercials, and the performances all day, but too many articles have already covered those things—I'll focus on community. My roommate and I hosted nearly 40 friends in our studio (yes, studio) apartment. While people quite possibly were stepping over each other the entire time, this gathering showed me how much I love hosting and how it doesn't have to be super elaborate. It's about the friendships made and the conversations had (whether your team wins or loses). Side note: here's a great drink recipe to try.
2) Home: New York is my current home, but I was fortunate to fly "home home" during my birthday weekend. I got to see family, visit my college (and see Step Sing), and help my friend Jordan take photos for his new website. This trip reminded me of the importance of music and art. And it showed me the importance of maintaining meaningful relationships and not letting passions die. I really loved being back in the studio again.
3) Grammy's: By the time the show was over, I was glad. I'd just returned from my trip home and was super tired from the flight. But even still, I'm so amazed and encouraged by the authenticity displayed by the performers. (Mainly Adele, Kendrick Lamar, and Tori Kelly & James Bay.) There are many ways these individuals could have handled themselves, but they stayed true to their craft and their hearts. No matter if it were their best or the worst performances. It's that type of realness that I never hope to lose. I'm thankful they show fame shouldn't be the main reason for creating beautiful stories; they draw attention to important conversations and issues.
4) Election 2016: Votes are being cast, and more candidates have dropped out of the race. From here, there's anger, anticipation, and anxiety. Regardless of such emotions, I hope you'll continue to engage with the process, for it's up to "we, the people" to do our part and choose our next President. Don't let the media or polls keep you from educating yourself on the issues and the platforms of all candidates who're left. (Mine dropped out this month, so I'm in the process of choosing a new candidate to support.)
5) Coffee Breaks: Take them, and often. If you're in New York (or visiting soon), please put these on your list: Ralph's, Saturdays, and Blue Bottle. You'll be able to get great #coffeegrams at each of these places, but more importantly, there's space in these places for offline conversation. It's easy and welcoming. We just have to be willing to go deeper than what's on our phones. I'm especially thankful for my friend Louisa, who captures stories so beautifully and who challenges herself to think about what the picture can/should say.
So that's it for February. I'm thankful for birthdays, friends, space to think, and strength in vulnerability. Who's ready for what March will bring? I pray for wisdom and vision for each of you.