Are You Coping?

Story of the Week Aug 23, 2020 2 min read

📚 Story of the Week #13

“We’re all watering cans really”.

“Watering cans?”

“Aye, think about it. We wake up each day fresh and full, and then we start watering the parts of our lives we want to go well: we brush our teeth, fill our bellies, kiss our loved ones good morning. The sorts of things that keep life ticking.”

“Well you and I both know it ain’t all flowers. What about the weeds?”

“Aye, the weeds. I was getting to those. You can ignore ‘em, not waste much water on ‘em, and they’ll go away. Else, you can pull them out at the root, so they stop sapping the goodness away from the rest of the garden.”

“That’s all well and good, but have you seen our watering can lately? It’s all rust and cracks.”

“Well, we aren’t very good gardeners, are we? It started getting cracked, and the water would go everywhere, watering the weeds we didn’t like, and not leaving much for the flowers. We were running on empty before we’d even started.”

“I did drop it that one time. Not my finest moment, but the other cracks aren’t on us. They just crept in, and the water started leaking out. It started as a drip, but now it a steady trickle, and soon there’ll been a gapping hole.”

“It’s too late.”

“It’s too late?”, he smiled, but behind the smile was nothing. He was cracked, and the water had been seeping out faster than he could refill. There were too many flowers to water, and too many weeds to pull. He loved his garden, so he'd ignored the cracks at first, but then the rust came, and he could feel the holes forming.

She pulled something out from her pocket and placed it on the table, “Magic that stuff.”

He lifted his gaze to meet hers.

“Don’t look at me like that. You might not know how to fix up the watering can, but that’s why you’ve got me.”

💧Your Cope Bucket
My friend had come to visit earlier in the year, and she introduced me to the idea of a Cope Bucket.

Each morning, we wake with a fresh bucket of cope. During the day, the amount of cope we have goes down, as we take on life’s challenges.

If we get hungry, our cope levels drop, and we become grumpy, but with a bit of bread and an olive, the world looks less hellish.

Exercising, meditating, relaxing, spending time with people we care about – these are all ways we can top up our cope and maintain a healthy bucket.

Awful jobs, money problems, a bad night’s sleep, and pandemics put temporary holes in our Cope Buckets, so we start each morning with lower levels than normal, and the day’s challenges feel extra draining.

2020 is a tough year, and our Cope Buckets are being tested.

Next time you feel down or irritated, remember to pause and think ‘How’s my Cope Bucket today?’.

As for your watering can, are you watering the flowers or the weeds?

Stay curious,


P.S. What do you think she put on the table?


Jamie Miles

🌱 Building a media company to make sense of the 21st century 🍎 Sharing the best ideas along the way 🍵 Former @Airbnb @Onfido @UniofOxford

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