Monday, May 19, 2008

Confuscious Says...

Fun announcements at the end...

Life ebbs and flows.  Sometimes we're up, sometimes we're not.  The past four or five days have been the latter for me.  No real reason.  The weather has been great.  I've been the recipient of good news.  I'm fine.  My family is fine (knock on wood).  I'm generally just feeling blah... Maybe it's a Libra thing, a year-of-the-snake-thing, the curse of my Colorstrology, or the pull of tides.  I have no real idea and I'm sure tomorrow by this time, it'll be a done deal.

In the meantime, a good friend of mine forwarded a mass email (something I would typically delete immediately).  For whatever reason I kept it and stumbled upon it this weekend while getting ready to transition into next year's calendar.  It is titled, Food for Thought In Tough Times.  The whole, "tough times' thing might be overstating the case, but still the message was good and it immediately let me know in which direction would go this week.

The article shares ten recommendations for things to do when feeling less than perky.  I'll tell you all ten (just so you're not left wondering), but we'll immediately hone in on one in particular.  I should tell you there is a descriptive paragraph to go with each recommendation, but for brevity's sake, I'll just share the key points.  They are: forget about yourself, focus on others; forget about your commodity, focus on your relationships; forget about the sale, focus on creating value; forget about your losses, focus on your opportunities, forget about your difficulties, focus on your progress; forget about the '"future," focus on today; Forget about who you were, focus on who you can be; forget about events, focus on your responses; forget about what's missing, focus on what's available; forget about your complaints, focus on your gratitude.

The focus of our thought and creativity today... and,  in fact, this week... "Forget about yourself, focus on others."  Yes, this week we are going to focus our creative energies towards thinking about, talking about, and maybe even doing RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS. And if you're really up for it... SENSELESS ACTS OF BEAUTY!

For those of you who have been with me for quite some time, today's blog will not be a discussion of my Annual Random Acts of Kindness Party - held every October.  No, this will be a much more informal attempt to explore all the clever ways we can brighten the days of people around us (...and in turn, lift our own spirits). 

My Random Acts Compatriots might be wondering why I am choosing to focus on random acts of kindness when the observance of the next nationally recognized Random Acts of Kindness Week is not until February 9-15, 2009 and World Kindness Week is not until November 10-16, 2008.  In short... to wait until then would (1) NOT be random, and (2) be of no help to the funk I am in... NOW!

The first example for this week came to me immediately.  I went to dinner with an old friend of mine last Thursday and on the way back to her car from the restaurant, I shared a short story about a ritual - an actual random act of kindness - that Richard and I do each time we visit that restaurant.  Lisa and I went to P.F. Chang's for dinner, so we could catch up (and so I could inhale as many lettuce wraps as possible before my Szechuan Beef arrived).  

When Richard and I eat there on Saturday nights (which is somewhat frequently, since I am a creature of habit), there is typically a 2-hour wait.  We immediately take our pager and move toward the bar where there are numerous tables seated on a first-come-first-serve-basis. Richard orders his regular... Makers Mark (he's an Ambassador) and diet coke, while I stalk the people eating in the bar area.  It never fails that within 15-20 minutes of lurking... bam... we have our seat.  We enjoy our meal, laugh over fortune cookies, pay our tab and are out of there in 60-90 minutes.  If you're doing the math on this, then you know by the time we leave we usually only have 10-15 more minutes before our pager is scheduled to go off.  So here it is...

As we leave the restaurant, we identify the people in the parking lot upon whom we would like to bestow our random act of kindness.  We greet them with big smiles an then inform them that their 2-hour wait has just become 10 minutes! I love it!  It makes me feel so good every time we do it.  I feel better right now... just talking about it. Next time you go out to eat, try it. You'll feel better too.

Oohhh... and if you're wondering... "Luck happens when hard work meets opportunity."  That was this week's fortune.

  • Taste of USA: What's Your State Made Of? is fully up and running.  Click on the icon in the top right hand corner of my blog to discover the rules of play and to check the fun out along the way.  It is going to be a fun couple of months and you won't want your state to miss out.  Speaking of states... Alabama, New Mexico, Texas, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, and Hawaii you are all up first.  On deck (May 26-31) are Idaho, Alaska, New York, Tennessee, and Michigan.  It will be much more fun if people from each of these states participate, so if you know someone... encourage them to tune in.  As for you... get ready to share your stories of people you know, vacations you've taken, fun facts you've learned, etc....  I'll go first... I don't have much association with the state of Alabama, but I do have a friend and valued colleague who lives there.  Corrie... if you're out there and reading this...HI!  I'd love a quick update on the other Corey.
  • Helena and Julie... hopefully you are working out the Flat Stanley pass off.  Let me know if I can help.
  • A big thanks to Cheryl and CSPgradstudent for making Taste of USA happen.  Cheryl is a creative (and technological) genius who helped make the click-on page (my technical term) work and CSPgradstudent is the conscientious, detail-oriented - and also technologically savvy - person who will be reporting updates on where each states stands.

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