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  • Writer's pictureJenny Lynne Erickson

The Roadrunner & The Hummingbird

"Beep! Beep!" - Roadrunner, Warner Bros.

Roadrunner illustration by Jenny Lynne
Ⓒ 2022, Jenny Lynne

I have two favorite birds that are prevalent in my backyard. The roadrunner and the hummingbird. They are nothing alike.

The hummingbird flits around from feeder to flower, constantly needing to consume calories to keep itself fueled. A jumpy bird, they are happy to visit as long as I stay still (although one of them cackles at me the whole time to let me know he knows I’m watching and I best behave).

The Roadrunner, on the other hand, is a bird that was mythical to me before I moved to Arizona — a Saturday cartoon. But in my backyard, the roadrunners don’t run, and they aren’t chased.

They strut.

My roadrunner reminds me of a peacock. He fluffs his tail feathers and hunkers down to take stock of the lizards he plans on enjoying for breakfast.

While completely opposite, these two birds are also the same. Two sides of the same coin. Highly territorial.

As a parent and a leader, I have been coming at life from a place of fear and exhaustion. Holding all the pieces together, I feel like if someone (a client, partner, team member, friend, or my kid) catches me at the wrong time, I might blow.

The more I take on, the more things feel out of my control. The more out of control, the more I try to grab on. The more I try to grab on, the more escapes my grasp. Which leaves things more out of control.

It’s a vicious cycle.

The hummingbird represents what has been going on inside (flitting around looking every which way to see what’s happening), but the roadrunner reflects how it has shown up for me (strutting my stuff as if I have something to prove… and maybe I do… to myself).

August came and went as I dug deep into the different emotions playing out on the landscape of my work and life. And I realized what needed to change.

It was space.

There was one emotion that showed up in a lot of ways. Mortified. Inadequate. Overwhelm. FEAR.

In the rushing around, I had started to operate from a space of fear in all areas of my life instead of a space of what’s possible.

So I called it. I set up a different future than the present I was living in. One that was filled with space and a path to get there.

And then I realized the slow path wasn’t going to be quick enough or complete enough.

So I went on sabbatical.

It’s the first Sunday night of my adventure, and for the first time in a long time, I feel space around me.

I have five intentions for this space:

  1. Give my team the space they need to thrive and a chance to ensure the ACThoughtful business model scales without me

  2. Build & launch a new company Jenny Lynne LLC, a canvas where I can create and help people in a different way.

  3. Develop my writing & speaking capabilities, hone my skills, and use the time to capture the learnings as they are happening.

  4. Create the space I need to center my family after a long year

  5. Do something that is only for me (in this case, learn to ride a motorcycle!)

As I swung on my back porch and watched the storm roll in tonight, it was like watching the fear explode into lightning bolts of possibility.

And tomorrow, I will watch the hummingbirds flit, and the roadrunners pose, and instead of fear, I will see resourcefulness.


Two sides of the same coin.


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