Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012-The Year of Yin and Yang

" Don't let the bastards get you down, Lisë!" I can still hear my father's words earlier this year.  He's right, of course, as he is so very often.

Those words fell upon my newly-numb ears. I, along with dozens of my colleagues, had just been told that we were out of work. Jobs that most of us had begun just the year before. Jobs we'd had every reason to believe would be given much more than a twelve month run. Ah, yin. The year had begun so very, well...yang! Too bad it wasn't the only 'yin' moment of the year. But as the (old) song goes, "Accentuate the Positive". So, that's what we do. Because we have to. Or, just watching the news may drag us down into a very deep mental well.

Here's the great part, 'yang' wins this annual story! Goodness and the milk of human kindness always does. Thanks to all of the dear friends and relatives who sent me fun, flavorful gifts and cards to cheer me up; 'mystery' money to help with gas costs; drinks bought, meals cooked, leftovers packed up and sent home with me. All done to help defray the high cost of being unemployed. And then there are strangers; people who sent words of encouragement through social media; shared with me their unexpired parking slips; granted me interviews and made me feel like my career thus far, actually mattered!  Thank you. Thank you to all of you! I can't wait to do something wonderful for each and every one of you in turn. And seriously, as another (old) song goes, "How lucky can one guy be, like a fella' once said, ain't that a kick in the head?"Ain't it , indeed?

 Time now to turn the page. Look forward, not back. And never, ever let the bastards get us down again. Now, doesn't that feel good? Happy New Yang Year to you!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Double Deeeeeelight!

Who says 'pay it forward' is dead? Nobody I know. And it certainly hasn't been my experience. It is most certainly ALIVE!! (cue Frankenstein music).

There are the random acts of kindness, the 'blind' pay it forwards if you will. It just happened for me again. On my way to a job interview in downtown Chicago, I ask a man who's walking toward his parking space whether he's leaving and he nods, yes. Then instead of pulling out of the space, he walks toward me as I sit in my car, hands me his paid ticket stub and says, "Would you like this, it's paid up till midnight?" I thank him profusely. He has no idea that the sixteen bucks he's just saved me will really, really help. He didn't have to do that. Which is exactly the point. He didn't have to do that. But he did.

Today, out of the blue, I got three, count 'em, 3 (!) bottles of the promotional Heinz Tomato Ketchup with Jalapeno delivered to my door. I'd lusted after them openly on Facebook but shied away from buying any because of the shipping cost. Somebody, maybe Heinz Ketchup,  or one of my crazy sweet friends who call me "The Condiment Queen", made this happen. No ID on the sender. So, how FUN is that?

Lately I've been on the receiving end of all kinds of kindness and goodness. What's going on here? Wait, take that back. No need to question why, just the need to say, Thank You! Yes, I say thank you to the thoughtful and generous family members, AND friends, AND acquaintances. All of whom have gone out of their way to feed me, amuse me, encourage me, and just generally make the past several lean months a lot easier to handle. You all know who you are. And to the strangers, may you blessed in multiple ways as someone else 'pays it forward' to you. Bless you. Peace.