What's your definition of success?

Micène Fontaine, October 31, 2020

October - is all a blur. I feel like I am emerging from 31 days spent in Las Vegas, having lost all sense of time (minus any of the entertainment). I wake up with my omnipresent sense of sarcasm set dangerously high and a nagging sense of urgency. The urgency of someone who can’t wait for 2021 to come around while realizing that they are not ready for it.

To make matters worse, my painfully optimistic husband reminds me that we « get one more hour » and texts me suggestions on how to use it best. I resist the urge to answer that text. Nothing constructive would come of it. He later texts me a meme of Kermit the frog with the caption: “I am not turning my clock back on Sunday. The last thing we need is one more hour of 2020”. Now, that’s more like it. I even venture to naively think that this might be one statement that we can all agree on in 2020. Is it? I am not sure, but it makes me smile and reminds me that I am lucky to get these extra 3600 seconds (and fortunate to have someone in my life who nudges drags me towards the bright side). Many aren’t that lucky (on both counts).

As Charles Baudelaire famously wrote:

3,600 times per hour, the second whispers 'Remember'
- Charles Baudelaire, The Clock

Granted, he meant it as a bit of a sinister warning. Still, it is a reminder that each second counts and that we get to decide whether or not we show up and how. In my book, this is also a great reminder to live by my own definition of success. This year, it means showing up to continue doing the work I believe in, which boils down to having conversations with architects and designers about leveraging the power of design and architecture to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. Some days, merely showing up is a win. I invite you to define what success means to you. What makes you feel grounded, feeds your sense of purpose, your soul?

In the midst of one of the most unpredictable years of my life, I find solace in choosing to widen my lens and realizing that we have all shown up. Each in our own way, but we have.

Here is to showing up.

:Food for Thought and Action

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