Friday, February 27, 2009

It may seem sarcastic, but it's not 2/27

Dear Parking Ticket Fairy,

I have lived in Boston for nearly 4 years now. I have never encountered a profession in which I have been as impressed with the personnel in terms of their dedication, availability,endurance, and vision. More than once I have thought I could outsmart you, get away with disregarding parking rules and regulations. Although I have gotten by at times without incident, more often than not, you have been there to help me understand the importance of orderly parking and public safety. When I have parked in a parking space limited to 2 hours, and I don't get back until it's been 2 hours and 10 minutes, I am AMAZED that my ticket is stamped at 2 minutes past the allotted time. You're dedication is to be admired. When it's snowing, white-out conditions, the parking spaces are filled with plowed snow, it makes no difference to you. You will make sure every loading zone is clear and parking meter valid. Rain or shine, I see you nearby, lurking, waiting for the second my meter runs out. It is impressive.

Today I left my car for three minutes in a loading zone and I saw you leaving the $55 dollar ticket on my windshield. Thank you. Thank you for keeping me on my toes, for keeping me from thinking I can get away with a loading zone pause.

If only your dedication and loyalty to your responsibilities could be mirrored in other professions. Cable people, phone companies, cashiers, professors, employers even--They could all learn from your vision of a better world, with rules and regulations, where no one gets away with ANYTHING.

Thank you.

and lent begins 2/26

Yesterday I desperately wanted to compliment this person aloud but there was no way I could. I have a client. Clearly I cannot disclose any specifics or share any detailed stories (although you know I want to). My first compliment to those in need of my stimulus offering of compliments to a negative, angry world goes to the intensive manipulators.

Many overlook the artful craft that is skillful manipulation. To know how to whine and complain enough, to blame and avoid responsibility just the right way, to invoke others towards feelings of guilt or desperation to help you, to create an atmosphere where one may desire to give you money or a listening ear (which leads to your getting something), to make them think it's their idea and you somehow deserve the offering, or that in anyway the offering will somehow relieve some degree of your pain...

it's masterful really. I get to work with some of the best.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the lent plan

Last year I had a great time writing confessions everyday on my blog for Lent. I like Lent. I'm not a Catholic but I really do like the idea of giving something up or doing something differently. I realize that my lame offering for Lent last year may be seen to others as mockery perhaps but I assure you it is not. My confessions last year really helped me to reflect and be grateful for so many blessings in my life. I take a lot for granted and I'm already excited for my new plan this year. Although there is some silliness to my plan, there actually is some sincerity and interest in making self-improvement.

I was talking with some co-workers the other day about what to do for Lent. One of my co-workers brought up a very good point. For Lent she tries, instead of giving something up, giving back. She seeks out shelters and other programs that she can volunteer a few hours each week. We talked about how this is another way to be reflective on all the capabilities and resources we have and offer it to someone else. Another factor leading to my decision this year was a talk we had in church last Sunday. An institute missionary couple was speaking to us and the Sister was talking about kindness. It was an enjoyable talk and one I've thought about since. One thing she offered was that a compliment withheld is a criticism. Interesting, I thought.

For Lent this year I would like to offer a compliment a day. There are many times, I'm sure, when I am complimentary to others, but this will be something that I plan to put energy into. It's an opportunity to open my eyes, view this interesting world around me and find honest sincere ways to compliment (perhaps when it seems un-compliment-able?) I couldn't help but think about this like my own version of a stimulus package. Some people have gone a long time without compliments, sometimes because they don't deserve them. I will fix this. I am going to saturate my immediate world with kindness and compliments to the undeserving, the ungrateful, and the unsuspecting.

I will also seek out an hour a week to dedicate in some kind of service capacity of which I am not already involved.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

new tunes

I recently went back and enjoyed some old posts. I loved Lent last year. That was really hard for me but so much fun!! I think I'll go back to confessions...

I love my roommate. We're an interesting pair because we have a lot of things in common and at the same time a lot of things NOT in common. I think we balance each other pretty well. Nat appreciates music much like I do but our tastes are quite different. Since living with Nat (actually, since knowing Nat) I've gradually added to my music collection. It all started with her making me a Fall Back 2007 mix cd with "popular" songs. She couldn't believe I hadn't heard that Umbrella song. Since then I've found space in my life for some fun music I wasn't too interested in before I met her.

My confession:

My recent additions to my music library include:

Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, and T.I. featuring J.T. (that one song, and no I don't know who or what T.I. is) AND I really like it.

I've also added DCFC latest Narrow Stairs (it's ok) and an old love of mine The Cure's Show (one of the best)