Archive for the 'Connecting' Category

Because 77 lentils deserve 77 more.

So Havi does this thing for American Thanksgiving. The Lentil Game, aka the Ungratitude Game. Or her list of 77 Things That Don’t Completely Suck.

It’s cool. It’s the sort of thing you read and think to yourself, “Ooh, fun! I want to make a list of 77 things that don’t completely suck!” Especially if you are hoping for a way of practicing gratitude without being pressured to say what you’re thankful for before you’re allowed to eat the turkey you only make once a year. (Mom and I are pretty good cooks, but a whole turkey? Just a series of educated guesses. At least one of which we got wrong yesterday. But don’t worry, we’re not sick or anything like that.)

But it’s especially cool if you turn out to be one of Havi’s lentils. #12. Right next to Marissa. [blushing] Lucky lucky me.

So, as Barbara did, I might be sending Havi a gift later. But for right now, the best way I could think of to say rightbackatcha sweetie! was to make my own list.

Like Havi, I’m sure I’ve forgotten important stuff. Like brie. And Portland. But it’s just a game. And we all know my life is richer than 77 things. There are tools and places and people not listed that I adore and am deeply grateful for. Like you.

So, with that, I present 77 Things That Don’t Completely Suck.

  1. The Lentil Game.
  2. Havi.
  3. My sweetheart.
  4. My poochaloo.
  5. Sauvie Island.
  6. Fetching sticks.
  7. Coffee.
  8. Parents I actually want to spend time with.
  9. Especially being spoiled by my mother.
  10. And my dad.
  11. And his wine collection.
  12. Which brings us to the privileges of having more than enough.
  13. Like this Apple laptop on which I’m crafting my post-turkey day list of 77 things that don’t suck.
  14. The internet.
  15. That allows me to earn my upkeep my way. In my pajamas.
  16. And connect with the most wonderful people.
  17. Models and colleagues like Jen.
  18. And Jen.
  19. And Guest Guides like Laura.
  20. And students-now-friends like Deborah.
  21. And Sarah.
  22. And Sarah.
  23. Twitter where I can hang out with said wonderful people who joke about things like It’s Talk About the Americans Behind Their Backs Day! (best Thanksgiving Day laugh ever – thanks @jovanevery).
  24. Allie – who knows how to make internety things work while looking all gorgeous (the unveiling is right around the corner!).
  25. Marissa – the spectacular person behind the curtain (well, I think of her as Rusty, but that’s a story for another time).
  26. Hint: Ocean’s Eleven – a guilty pleasure that also doesn’t suck.
  27. Not working alone anymore.
  28. BFF Annie.
  29. And our upcoming mastermind retreat – plotting! fireplaces! soaking in hot water!
  30. The entire profession of massage therapy (me and my arms thank you).
  31. Balms that feel and smell oh-so good.
  32. Ishbel – though it’s been much too long since she worked me over.
  33. Appliances like the dishwasher.
  34. And the washing machine.
  35. And the vacuum, not to mention, sigh, the rug shampooer. I love you.
  36. And shelter – shelter that keeps the rain and cold out definitely doesn’t suck.
  37. Rawhide – the second best dog-sitter.
  38. Linda – the first best dog everything.
  39. Except, Max would like to say, purple jolly balls – and bread.
  40. Did I mention a car that runs most of the time?
  41. Oh, and Waverly (swoon).
  42. And traditions.
  43. And permission to make up your own. Like the Lentil Game.
  44. Yarn.
  45. The occasional glossy magazine.
  46. I am thankful for yogurt.
  47. And day-of-the-week pill boxes.
  48. And bag clips from Ikea.
  49. As well as big reusable grocery bags.
  50. And giant poppy wall stickers that cheer my kitchen.
  51. The replacement of my favorite-but-worn-out-and-sadly-discontinued winter shoes my beloved found on ebay. Best early Christmas present ever.
  52. Walks.
  53. Being able to walk.
  54. Friendly neighbors to greet on our walks.
  55. Craigslist.
  56. Rather, my husband’s gift for manifesting both income and whatever else we need on Craigslist.
  57. Plus his punny punny sense of humor.
  58. And his techy talents (what would I do without an in-house IT department?).
  59. Which he applied to recording tv shows to watch later.
  60. Nova and Good Eats whenever I want them.
  61. Yeah, Alton Brown doesn’t suck.
  62. Naps.
  63. With Leonie.
  64. Down comforters.
  65. Art.
  66. That people make it.
  67. And I get to, too.
  68. Plus music. Music is good.
  69. Jamiroquai in the morning.
  70. Or Steely Dan.
  71. And Fabeku who takes sound to a whole new place (acutally, sound is where it’s always been, he just shows people where and what it really is).
  72. The ocean.
  73. The sky.
  74. And other perspective-restoring bits of nature.
  75. Like butterflies.
  76. The ancestors who came before us.
  77. And, of course, Thanksgiving leftovers.

Lists (but not to-do lists).

Seems like a good day for some lists…

If you follow me on Twitter today you can learn ten reasons to become a Time Disciple with me this fall. [Have I mentioned the early bird price ends tomorrow? No? Well, now you know.]

But in addition to composing my own, I’ve been reading some darn good ones, too. Maybe that’s what inspired me.

Ken over at Mildly Creative posted not one, but two this week (don’t know how this guy consistently turns out such smartness – there’s nothing mild about his creativity). My Inner Delete Button – 7 Things I’m Trashing from My Life and The Resistance List: An Overview of Everything You’re Avoiding.

Similarly, Charlie, my productivity-crush over at Productive Flourishing, explained How To Mind Map Your Way Through Stuckness (a mind map counts as a list in my book).

While uber-smart Kelly at over at Copylicious explained the first step in creating an itinerary for doing nothing is to make a list of your bucket-filling activities. Which is the sort of thing you want to read as you think about unplugging for the weekend (nudge – it’s right around the corner – nudge).

Inspired too? What’s your top-ten (or three or seven) for today? Share it with us!

• • • • • • • • • •

On Being Fit To Do Your Job

Our mayor is in the midst of a scandal.  It happens to be a sex scandal, but that’s not all that relevant to this post.

I’m sad.

I’m disappointed that this otherwise smart, hardworking guy – who genuinely cares about this city and I’d like to see stay in office – had not one but two big lapses in judgment (a poor choice followed by lying about the poor choice).

But I’m also ticked off.

By the publication that decided to stir the pot this week of all weeks. By the knee jerk reaction of the citizenry.

I’m thinking perhaps we should look inward before stoning him out of office.

I’ve been wondering who among us could actually survive the vetting process and come out a viable candidate for public service on the other side.

I wonder, if pressed, who among us would be tempted to lie about our choices, if only to keep something that’s really no one’s business but our own private.

Because we’ve all done something we’re really not so proud of.

Ms. MacDonald. Would you care to explain dating that jerk in your twenties? I mean, what were you thinking? How can we possibly trust your judgment now?”

Can you imagine having such a conversation with an entire city?

[By the way, the jerk is not my big secret. Like I’m going to share my Big Hairy Screw-up, the thing I would be seriously tempted to cover up rather than defend in public, here.]

* * * * * * * * * *

It seems to me we are created to learn. It’s one of the basic things we are born to do. Why else are we walking around with these big brains on the top of our bodies?

And we seem to learn best from trial and error, from our mistakes. Our fallibility has been ideally designed.  Our imperfection is perfect.

So what does it mean to limit public service to the squeaky clean? What are the implications of choosing leaders who have never made a mistake?  How smart can they really be?  How well can they do their jobs without ever having experienced Things Going Very Wrong And Knowing It Is All Your Fault?

[I’m not suggesting we not have any standards. But if we insist on placing public officials on such a high pedestal, I fear we will be governed only by the most talented liars.]

And what does that mean for the rest of us and our jobs?  Am I unfit for my work because of my Big Hairy Screw-up?  Because, seriously, if you knew what it was, you might think so.

Yet that Big Hairy Screw-up (in hindsight, not at the time) was a huge gift.  It informs everything I do now. It actually gives me a certain credibility. It’s not a detriment, but rather the very thing that makes much of what I do possible. 

If Mayor Adams was the sort of guy that habitually exercised poor judgment and never learned from his errors, I wouldn’t be supporting him.  But if he was that sort of guy, he never would have become successful enough to rise to the office of mayor.

We need him and all he has learned from his imperfections.

And we need you, too, in all you have learned from yours.

Be a Mensch

There’s a scene in the movie The Apartment in which Jack Lemmon’s neighbor demands that he

Be a mensch!”

“A mensch?”

“A human being. A decent human being.”

There are a lot of top-ten lists out there about how to blog and use Twitter and other social media to your advantage without offending or alienating people.  And I suppose they are useful up to a point.

But it doesn’t strike me as all that complicated when all you really have to do is be a decent human being.

A New Ritual for MLK Day

In a ritual started by the example of a college professor, each year on MLK Day, I take a moment to observe the holiday with two poems.

First, The Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Nikki Giovanni

His headstone said
But death is a slave’s freedom
We seek the freedom of free men
And the construction of a world
Where Martin Luther King could have lived
and preached non-violence

Then I listen to Sweet Honey in the Rock’s adaptation of Sonia Sanchez’s Letter to Dr. Martin Luther King (which is an artistic tour de force worth listening to on any day).

Although they express a longing for what could or should have been, how things might have turned out differently had history taken a different course – both pieces also speak of a conviction of a better future. But it is a hope for someday.

I’m not saying everything has been put right – far from it – nor that these works are no longer relevant.  But on the eve of this US Presidential Inauguration, I’m thinking I need some new poetry.

My Resource Family Tree


For some reason (I blame it on Twitter), I thought it would be fun to map how I found the people on my resources page and blogroll.  And it was, although some of the connections were complex enough that it took me a couple tries to come up with a neat version. [ Click here for a larger image with links. ] Who knew Mark would turn out to be the hub? On second thought, that’s not really so surprising…

Please note, I realize there are existing connections between many of these lovely people quite independent of me (which is part of my fascination). The arrows just indicate which direction I learned about them.

Point? Maybe just that there was no way I could have engineered these paths – and it would have a mistake to try.

Where will the branches lead/grow next?

Just Ask Me

After participating in the Morning Meetings at CubeSpace last fall, I got to thinking… Why limit the opportunity to ask questions to those who can meet me at a specific time and location? There are easier ways for me to help more people. Technology is handy that way. So, if you need a little guidance or a nudge in the right direction – just ask here.

Of course, you can still ask me your burning questions about organization, time management or anything else related to the admin of your creative business in this space, too.

Oh, and by the way, if you have some big hairy questions – or need help with a specific area of your business or special project – or want more individualized attention than is available in a class – I currently have four openings available for one-on-one coaching at 2008 rates. (Yes, it’s a year-end close-out of last year’s model. When they’re gone, they’re gone. Seize the moment.)

Third Hand Works

from overwhelmed to ready for anything | organization and time management for people in their "right" minds | administrative guidance for independent creative professionals [more info]



© 2008 Cairene MacDonald, Third Hand Works. All Rights Reserved.