What do you do when your plans are changed for you?

quickbooks cancelled

quickbooks cancelled

This week (as you’ll know unless you were living under a rock or not using the internet), QBC London was cancelled out of “an over abundance of caution” with the current #coronavirus situation. Protecting people, just in case.

Making that kind of decision in the first place has to be really hard.

I’m sure they were discussing it continually, hoping all the way up to the last minute the show could still go on. I don’t envy those who had to make the call, but i honour them for making it and communicating it well.

Naturally with an event and company of this size, you expect to see a variety of responses. Some understanding, some grumpy, some frustrated, some resigned.

When plans are changed for you – and there’s nothing you can do about it – your response to the changed plans says something.

If character is evidenced best in trouble, i think attitude is evidenced best in cancelled plans.

I thought about it later and realised my reactions went like this:

  1. Oh my word, that must have been such a hard decision to make. They’ll have so much work to do now cancelling and adjusting things.
  2. THREE DAYS WITH NO MEETINGS IN THEM I CAN GET SO MUCH DONE

What struck me was how many people’s reactions I saw and took note of without realising it. Reactions like…

  • This must have been such a hard decision
  • We support you in a really tough time
  • Ugh, this is so annoying, what about me?
  • I don’t agree / it’s not what i would have done
  • Can I get my money back? Can I cancel things or get refunds?

In a sense any of these reactions are normal. But what we do with them, how we communicate them, and what it tells us about ourselves, is really important.

One of PF’s internal values is “Stay positive”, which we define as “We look for the good, and believe there’s always a blessing”.

Everything felt chaotic for a day or two, I’ll admit.

Most of you know Sundays are my rest day – no emails, no social, no working. But the announcement was made on a Sunday, so some of my team (very kindly) messaged me to make sure i saw it, and i checked emails to see if there was anything i needed to know or do. There wasn’t much to deal with straight away, so I left it for Monday and tried to go back to resting, but it felt really weird and off-pattern.

Mondays are usually my quiet day – no appointments, keeping email and slack to a minimum, getting content written or books read or plans made. This particular Monday i was supposed to be flying down to London, so that was off, but i spent the morning cancelling travel plans and communicating with the team and looking at how we could Tuesday & Wednesday well (not just replace those now-blank days with regular ol work).

But as Monday settled into itself, I began to see blessings from the cancelled plans.

I was reminded not to hold plans too closely or too dearly.

Anything can change at any moment, and I have to be ready to respond.

It’s been a good reminder and for a planner like me has oddly enough given me more peace.

We had two full days (me and the PF team members who would have been at the conference) to work on things we don’t usually have time for. We are always bemoaning the lack of time: what do we do when we are suddenly gifted that time? Do we use it well, or just fill it up with “stuff”? We held a call on Tuesday morning and agreed the areas all four of us (who would have spent two full days out of the office) would work on, with assigned deliverables by end of day Wednesday.

In this instance I decided we would replace one kind of planned work with another, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. When something is cancelled, you don’t necessarily have to fill up the time you got back. It’s also completely acceptable to (for the right reasons) use that space for quiet, or rest, or sleep, or holiday. Or reading a book or making dinner for friends or something restful. Either one is okay.

What plans (great or small) have you had cancelled recently? What did you do instead?

 

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ON THE GRAM

Morning walk. I stood and watched the ferry come in and the sun lighten this little edge of the world.
Been going through old photos and letters - the last of the boxes i had stored at my sister’s house in america. 

When I first moved to Scotland, I only planned to live here for a few years and then go back. Then after a few years I wasn’t ready yet…then I got my residency…still not quite ready….then started a business…then Scottish citizenship…bought a house …finally accepted this is my home and I wasn’t moving back. 

And with every visit back to the states I would go through more boxes, more photos and letters and memories. I’d keep some and throw others away; take photos out of frames and give away the frames; and as time went on I was able to distinguish between the ones I definitely wanted and needed to keep, and those which were lovely at the time but didn’t need to be saved anymore.

Over twenty years on and this past trip I went through the very last of the boxes. I joked to my sister that I’ve now officially settled into Scotland 😆 

This photo of me and my Gramps is a fave and definitely a keeper. Most of the photos and letters I’ve kept are those of family - parents, grandparents, sisters, nieces and nephews. And as much as I love taking landscape photos, I noticed that 20 years later it’s the people photos I am more likely to keep. Thankful for the traditions and patterns of seeing family every year or so since moving to Scotland. They’re small things - baking Christmas cookies and going for walks and going for road trips - but it’s the time together and the continuing family jokes and the memories which remain. And a few photos.

My grandfather (and all my grandparents) have now passed on, but I remember with fondness sitting around at their kitchen table, eating fresh vegetables from the garden, playing scrabble, laughing and talking and drinking coffee.

It’s the small things, and the rhythms of family, which last. ❤️ 
#family #memories #grandparents #oldphotos
Made fresh mince pies for the first time ever. Over twenty years in Scotland and I’d never tried to make them from scratch, so I figured…now is the time! I’m doing lots of thanksgiving baking (yes, we stretch it out here so I’m still prepping!) and decided to buy the ingredients. 

Dried fruit…mixed peel…lots of spices…and Venezuelan rum :) I made up the mincemeat last night, and then today put it in the little pastries and even cut out the wee stars to go on top!

I think I can safely say they’re the best mince pies I’ve ever had. Fresh out of the oven sprinkled with icing sugar and with a glass of said rum alongside :) 

Now we are curled up with a Harry Potter marathon, with plenty of mince pies AND a thanksgiving feast still to come. Happiness! 

#mincepies #homebaking #maryberry #maryberryrecipe #happythanksgiving #happychristmas #harrypotter #hpmarathon
Oh hey, it’s me. 

And a new updated KLR brand and website! 

For the past six months or so, while I was finishing my book content and the final edits from my side, we have also been working on an updated KLR brand and website, to distinguish from the PF brand and site. 

It’s a tough job, when you’re the business owner and have been for ten years. And the book you’ve written is for the kind of clients your business serves, so it feels like a PF project.

But I’ve also been working for years to figure out (and help others see) that PF is far more than me. I’m the owner and MD, and I’m involved in sales and speaking and writing, and yet our clients primarily work with the team. There are 18 beautiful humans delivering great creative work every day from PF (soon to be 19!) and as I always say to potential clients, you definitely want all of them working on your creative projects. They’re structured and organised and talented - 19x more talented than just me. 

I’ve still got my own skills. And my own identity. It took us weeks to dig into how we represent “Karen L Reyburn” as a personal brand, with an audience of clients and friends and accountants and non-accountants and witches and wizards and family members and creative humans. 

We settled on “Leader, writer, creative, coach”, because those are the areas I love the most and want to lean into more as PF grows. And as I write more books and keep being my own self. 

If you’d like to be on the list to get “Karen’s notes” by email every Saturday, or to be on the waiting list for the book (coming May 2023), the link is in my bio. 

And I’d love for you to head over to my new site (karenlreyburn.com) and let me know what you love or anything you notice and wonder about! 

Stay strong, stay creative, and keep going. 

#karensnotes #staycreative #justkeepgoing