Changing the Rules… with Patti McConnell, Something Different

patti oconnell

While some have been finding their zen centre during lockdown, others, like Patti McConnell, have been having an altogether more domestic experience.

McConnell is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of New York agency Something Different.

She shares how the pandemic lockdown has unwrapped some personal oddities she’s discovered or reaffirmed about herself…

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Patti McConnell

My demeanour has evolved from slightly paralysed and panicked to full on schoolmarm with myself.

I’ve always been very structured with myself, but I’ve stepped up my game, possibly to the chagrin of others…mostly at the agency.

Meetings on the run

I’d always grab a run or a solid walk to make way for the brownie and wine consumption, but its goal has become my hour to status with our team or catch up with friends or colleagues.

And I have no shame in the spectacle I must appear to be. Walking at full speed, arms and hands flapping around me (I talk with my hands) as I hold in depth conversations.

For those on the receiving end, it must sound, well, interesting… It does work to keep a natural and acceptable distance from others.

Zen in the rinse cycle

I wish I could fall in line with what many have written about-becoming more Zen, more present.

Maybe on some level my level of Zen is making my hours more productively balanced?

Being efficient mixed with self-care. Conference calls mixed with laundry folding. Possibly I’m doing more laundry.

The smell of Downey wafting through the house is my incense.

Inner calm: Zen can come in many forms, even in the notes of Downey.

News choices

I’m a news binger. But I’m getting more selective and healthier with my time investment.

I still do my morning scan of multiple reads over coffee, from bed and I still wrap up the day with Don Lemmon.

But once the ‘office’ hours start to quiet, we put music on and make dinner.

Our daughter has been home since mid-March and I have to say, I’m loving every second. I think she might be too.

Family time

We’re getting time we wouldn’t have had. It may sometimes be difficult, volatile and emotional time. But it’s real time. With real conversations about what the world looks like or should look like.

I’m learning to assess it through her eyes.

She’s not dwelling on her lost months on a campus, there’s no whining. Okay, maybe just a little.

We’ve all found our new family norm. I will miss having my near 19-year-old curling up next to me. But this time with her has been a gift.

family time
Family time: Few would argue one of the benefits of lockdown has been the chance to reconnect with loved ones.

Working through

As an agency, we’re making it happen and work. It’s busy, it takes more effort and more communication, but we’re all grateful to be busy and busy with work we’re enjoying and with clients truly appreciating how we work.

We have an amazing team. I miss them all. But I’ve never been more certain of the make up of who we are at SD.

Maybe it’s the mom in me, but SD is one of my children, so I do find myself pondering about how to make it better or easier for our team.

I worry about everyone’s headspace. I probably check in too often. I’m sure I cross the line in terms of what’s happening in their day to day worlds.

Then again, I think this exactly what I’m supposed to do.

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