Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Month: June, 2012

#32: Fruit Bowl Extravaganza!

I had brunch with some friends today, and we got a fruit bowl.  The guy who took our order raved about the fruit bowl, so we ordered it, and I was thinking, “Really, how good could a fruit bowl in Boston be?  I mean, this isn’t like some tropical country or anything.”  But we got it and it was quite amazing!  It even had mango and papaya!

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my experience here in Boston doing the work I’ve been doing and meeting the people I’ve met.  I have a lot of disparate thoughts about this experience that I would like to itemize and then see if there are any common themes, so bear with me:

  1. I know a lot of people, and I think a lot of people look to me as a mentor and supporter; but I have few really good, close friends whom I can lean on and go to when I have my own problems.
  2. I have touched a lot of lives, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount about how to bring out the best in others and in myself, how to create an environment where people empower themselves, come out of their shells and discover their potential.
  3. One can give and give and give but shouldn’t expect anything in return because that won’t always come.  Therefore, it’s not always healthy to give so much.  One has to give to oneself, too, or BURN-OUT ensues.
  4. With youth comes passion, idealism, and sometimes unreachable expectations.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that all that passion, idealism, and high expectations can be tempered with the understanding that the journey is long and in order to persist and endure, I have to be patient.  This is not an easy lesson because I am impatient and want things to happen fast.
  5. Finding allies, like-minded people who want to WORK together is hard, and when you find those people, grab hold of them.  I’m not so good at the “grabbing hold” part.  I’m often afraid to just ask someone if they want to work with me on something.  I don’t want to impose, and sometimes I just assume they’ll say no.  I have to stop doing that and work to build my dream team!
  6. “Everything in moderation.”  Life is about balance, not black and white.  This is my mantra.  I don’t believe in absolutes– absolutely opposed to this, absolutely in support of that.  I think there’s nuance to almost every important social issue, and we need to have more discussion and conversation to raise the bar of intelligent dialogue and critique and feedback.  Why do we always go to the lowest level of intelligence rather than raising everyone up to more civil and rational discussion?
  7. Frozen yogurt is amazing.  Especially “tart” flavors that they have at places like Mixx, Pinkberry, and Red Mango.  Yum.

Those are some of my learnings. Not sure where to go with that.

#31: Purple Clouds

What started as a rainy, grey day turned into a humid, purple-cloud-sunset evening.  Just couldn’t resist stopping around town to take this pictures.  It was kind of funny my stopping in the middle of the sidewalk.  Like  tourist.  But taking time to slow down on impulse and not thinking about it too much.  The small steps in slowing down.

It’s amazing what you can see in a city when you stop and look up.  If I had had my head down, or even straight ahead, I would’ve totally missed these clouds hiding in between the tall buildings.  And yet there they were to be watched or not.

And then on my train ride home, more stopping to gaze.  I usually have my head buried in my iPhone, reading or just staring into space, but I happened to look out the window where the train comes above ground and saw this:

I’m still amazed at what I can capture on my iPhone.

And finally, getting off the train, I stopped again to look up at the sky and saw this– a perfect finale to an hour commute home:

I’m starting to count down the weekends.  One by one, they’re coming and going so quickly.  And so much to do before I leave.  Thing to buy.  People to see.  Loose ends to tie, or at least semi-knit together.  And a realization it’s probably all not going to get done.  But I’m going to have to be OK with that.  I’m trying to just enjoy the summer, enjoy the last weeks, and keep breathing.

#30: A Summer Evening

I got out of work at a reasonable hour and walked from the train station to the beach.  On the way, I saw this bright, cheery yellow door.  Something about yellow doors– they have the same effect as daisies on me.  Happy feelings.

If I could have gotten the blue sky in the picture, that would have been perfect.  A beautiful summer late afternoon.  Blue skies, a touch of a breeze and humidity.  And a nice walk through the quiet neighborhoods heading toward the beach.  My goal was to get this!

There is really nothing like fried seafood and french fries to make it feel like summer!  Fried scallops in this case.  They are huge!

Feeling less prolific these days because work is draining my brain of all language– verbal and written.  There’s a lot stored inside, I know, as evidenced by my not being able to sleep well and in fact waking up from a nightmare in the middle of the night.  Stuff to let out but don’t have the time and space to vent.  And just too tired to write.  So for now, I’ll just wait until the weekend.

#29: Morning Daisies

One more week of the streak (July 4th was the deadline from the original challenge).  And the streak continues!

These were some happy morning daisies with their faces turned toward the morning sun.  When I came home at the end of the day, their faces were turned in the opposite direction toward the setting sun.  Such a cheerful sight.

#28: The Case of the Missing Watermelon

This is probably going to end up being one of those “You had to be there” stories, but I’m going to blog about it if only  to remind myself in the future of this funny incident.

Yesterday, I brought a lot of bags of food for a party we had today for our graduating seniors.  In the midst of the bags, I had a watermelon that I brought as dessert for the party.  I took the bags and watermelon up the elevator to our building’s kitchen, and that’s the last I remember of the watermelon. I put the bags of food and groceries away in our building refrigerator and went to my office to work a long busy day.

This was in the morning, when I came to work.  At the end of the day, I had a sudden realization that I didn’t remember putting the watermelon anywhere– fridge, office area, anywhere.  So I retraced my steps and looked for the watermelon and couldn’t find it.

Without thinking too much, I sent an email out to the whole agency (about 100 people in total) that read:

Hi everyone,

I’m so sorry to clog up emails, but I was hoping to get some help finding a missing watermelon!  I brought it into the building this morning and then had it in the elevator up to the 4th floor and then after that, I think I lost it… has anyone seen it?  If so, please return it to the 3rd floor. 

Sorry to take your time!! (can’t believe I lost a watermelon!!!)

As soon as I wrote the email, I thought, “People are going to think this is a joke!  It sounds ridiculous!”

And then I got emails and responses starting that night into the next day of people dying laughing, cracking jokes like “Maybe the Gingerbread man ran away with it.”  It was hilarious.

So I found out that our maintenance guy found it in the kitchen the day before and stored it away for another party later this week because he didn’t know whose it was!  He thought it was a watermelon left by others for that party.  I tracked him down, and he returned the watermelon and we got to eat it for our party tonight.  After recovering the watermelon, I wrote this email back out to the whole agency:

The case of the missing watermelon has been solved.  Thanks to N__ for rescuing the abandoned watermelon.

And this is my last silly email of the day.  🙂

Thanks for all your well wishes in the meantime.  It meant a lot to know so many people cared about our poor missing watermelon.

We’ll enjoy it tonight at our party for seniors!

And here’s the wayward watermelon:

This fiasco was quite funny and lots of people said it made their day with a good laugh.  But it made me think about my post the other day about slowing down.  What if that watermelon had been something more valuable?  My rushing through things, trying to multitask was going to get me into trouble soon.  This was definitely a case of trying to rush through and do too many things at once.  A funny story for now, but how quickly that could change…

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