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A Present for You – More You!

Hitting this mid December period the collective feet come off the gas.
People are more available, easier with each other.
The tone is giving, there’s less of the drive to optimize every encounter = to make the most of every minute.
And – how about that! – we make the most of every minute…
The fullness of the people we have spent our year with can come into appreciation, given a bit less pressure and a little more gratitude.
The countdown…
December 15, 16, 17 – still driven, but cleaning up the year. December 20, 21, 22 – the edge comes off, ease and room can creep in: grace invades working life. December 23, 24 – release and a turning toward family and friends – the underpinning structures that enable our working/ contributing existence. Now it’s time to try to bundle all of our awkward gratitude into ritual good wishes and material presents as a way of expressing what those people mean.
Everyone gets a free pass for Christmas. Take full advantage of if! With the exception of the year-end retailers and deal closers – all others enter into a calendar grace period. Everyone does.
A sterile period – this year about December 21 through January 3 – when no one expects anything from anyone else. Because they’re off enjoying the same relief from the demands of the outside world and turning to the simple joys of family and home.

Caution: we’re tuned to a frequency set by the immediacy of the digital age. We’re so used to a full load of email and the rapid response expected, that we can drag that habit into the holiday sphere. So completing that release still requires an gestures of defiance, acts of will.
One of my prized people was having his pre-holiday session. In a rare moment of confession, he professed to be “tired”. I knew it was true.
“You’ve been running on empty. Want to do something about it? Your battery, How about a recharge?”
“It’s like your cellphone. Treat it like you’ve been going, pretty soon it’s a brick.”
I had two vectors for him:
First, plug it into the power, the generator. Do what puts the juice back in, fires you up again, renews your energy. For Alan, it’s running. Every moment spent vaulting over the paths is a big deposit into the account.
“You’re heading out of town. Put your shoes in the bag. Run every day during this pause. Every time you do will put a shine in your cheeks.”
He agreed. He knows how good, how renewing, running is for him.
Second, break away from the power drain.
Here’s what we came up with. We were meeting in a grocery store. Yes, meaningful encounters can happen there – or anywhere! While he was busy messaging, I went out into the store.
Returning, I asked, “Do you really want to recharge?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Ok, give me the drain machine.”
He was puzzled.
Beckoning with two fingers, I pointed to the phone….
“No, No, that’s my software!”
“Hand it over…”
Reluctantly, he crossed my palm with his coveted, leather covered iPhone.
Into a plastic bag I’d retrieved from the produce counter.
His reaction – that of an addict – was visceral. He lunged for it.
I tied a knot atop the bag. It was gone.
Good for Alan. He called his significant other.
“Doug’s forcing me to make a deal. I’m calling you to be my witness…”
“What’s the deal?”
“I’ve put the cellphone in a bag. I’m not going to take it out until January 2.”
“Anything else” I prodded from the sidelines …
“And I’m putting my running shoes in my luggage.”
“And…” hinting…
“And I’m going to run every day we’re away.”
“Wow! Honey, I’m so glad for you: that’s just what the doctor ordered.”
What are you going to do with all that time and space freed up? The energy unleashed?
Here’s an idea. There’s a wonderful Dutch word, thanks to my estimable son in law, Dennis.
It means the warm, convivial feeling of being secure in the embrace of family and friends.
Turn toward gezelligheid – and let that be enough.
I wish you a boatload of Gezelligheid over this magnificent period of relief and grace


Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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What’s Our Business?

Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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