Week 2. Reflections.

A new friend of mine - who I'm sure will appear on here when (s)he least expects it...;)....made an excellent suggestion that i think I am going to follow. I'm going to find a way to make some non-ostentatious business cards with the URL for my blog on it and a brief description to give to those who may appear on here at some point and time so they know to stop by and see "their name in print"...I really hope it helps close the loop so that people who are doing extraordinary things in ordinary days will know they are appreciated.

On another brief note - doing this has certainly heightened my awareness of other things going on around me. I find myself to be quite affected by those who seem to be after things on a superficial level or those who are willing to disregard or ignore the essence of relationships and the unique beauty in each person. I'm having a hard time with this. I was born an inherent optimist and believer in the good in people...I certainly have been disproven numerous times but I wish that people could find a moment in each day to find that which is good and true in every other person. 

We've got some good folks to highlight this week...I thank those of you who've found this lil' blog and have joined me in this journey. Truly, it is a tremendous honor to know people are reading this...not for me, but for those who are doing so much good in the world.


Day 14. The Valiant One.

Today is the first day of the college football season, so if you know me, you probably think I'll be blogging about that, but I'm not.

A fairly new friend of mine is leaving town shortly. He's leaving on Monday. He's leaving to do something that is very very honorable and very very admirable. I have tremendous respect for the path he took to get to this place. Not only is he leaving for something bigger than himself, but he is leaving a lot behind. He's leaving a loving girlfriend, a good life and lots of joys and comforts that he had chosen to incorporate into his daily living. I can't imagine how hard this is...he didn't think he'd have to do this again.

So today, I honor him - I honor him for being a great person in the first place. I honor him for his sacrifice, his strength of character in recent days, his wisdom througout, his attention to those he cares about (and who care about him). I think many of us would be crazed if we had a few short days to get ready to go away for a while, but he never shows it - and in fact, has paid so much attention to building up the reserves that will sustain him, and those he cares about - reserves of friendship, love, and memories to bridge that gap till we are together again. 

I liked this guy before, I REALLY like him now...in his wise words: "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it, and that is OK. Everything WILL be ok". Godspeed my friend.


Day 13. The Creative One.

I got my hair cut this week. I came upon my hairstylist Pam somewhat by accident. I'd had bad luck finding a good person and I had FINALLY found someone I really really liked. When I showed up at my appointment one day, turns out he had moved to Seattle. I was about to just leave when Pam stepped up and said she'd do my hair if I'd like. Boy am I glad she did. I'm no fashion plate, but she always manages to give me something a little bit different each time I am there and more importantly, she makes me feel good about the way I look when I leave. (plus her styles are UBER easy to maintain which is key...ladies, you know what I'm talking about)

Anyway - I appreciate Pam so much. I appreciate her stepping up to help me that first day, and more I appreciate her creativity. It seems simple, I guess, to say someone can cut hair. But I think it takes quite a bit of thoughtfulness and artistic talent to figure out what to do to make someone look their best. Not to mention the semi-professional psychology degree sometimes required to figure out how much change someone can take and/or to listen to them whine while you do their hair. 

Pam is really gifted on both of those fronts and I love that she fosters the creativity that she has inside her every single day. 


Day 12. The Helpful One.

I just got back from a two day meeting marathon in NYC. While we were there, one of my colleagues from LA had an issue with her cell phone, it literally stopped working and one of the buttons continued to repeat as if someone was pushing it. One of our hosts asked his admin, Cynthia just to check if there was a T-Mobile store nearby that my colleague might be able to go to to get a replacement phone.

Next thing you know, Cynthia had found the store, GONE to the store, explained the problem and gotten a complete explanation of alternatives - including the possible impact on service plans/ contracts/ cost etc. She came back and politely explained the options. My colleague was so appreciative but frustrated to hear what the contract implications were so said she would just wait till she got back to LA to deal with the issue. Cynthia came BACK later, having returned to the store, expressing the frustrations and found alternatives to get service back up and running for someone so far from home. Before this, I never knew ANYONE who would go to such lengths - particularly without being asked.

Many people are disrespectful of "administrative professionals", but I have always found them to be the lifeblood of any organization, and in this case, I really want to single out Cynthia for going above and beyond the call of duty to serve someone not only regarding the task at hand, but also to give them back peace of mind. Cynthia - I have tremendous respect for your character and work ethic. You are a truly valuable asset to your company.


Day 11. The Flying One.

I flew home from New York today and I think its really really important to acknowledge my PILOT. Did ya ever think about what these men and women do? They steer a multi-ton hulking mass of electronics and steel through the air tens of thousands of feet from the ground...making sure to stay on time, on course and give you a comfortable ride. When I think about all that they have to know and be prepared for to do something that I, for one, take for granted its astounding.

There's a lot to complain about these days in airplane travel, but the mere act of getting you to and fro safely truly deserves some respect. So thank you, Mr. Pilot - I appreciate the dedication to your craft that got me hundreds of miles across the country safely. You did a great job.


Day 10. The Lost one.

So when I was in middle school and high school, I had a friend named Trevor. He was fabulous. He was the stereotypical good looking, lacrosse playing, well off guy. But he had a heart of gold.He was just...Cool. We were friends all through high school (in fact my high school boyfriend was his best friend, that's not why we dated, but I digress). There are so many special little memories that I have of Trevor - we met in the hall before our math classes every day my junior year. We had nicknames (it was the same word for each of us - "homeslice" - dont ask!). We double-dated to homecoming my senior year. We camped out for Dead tickets together when they used to come play Buckeye Lake. We all went to college, Trevor also became an EMT (saint!) and stayed in touch and involved. When you talked to Trevor - each interaction was a gift, he was smart, funny, kind. It wasn't the kind of relationship that you had to actively feed to keep it alive. He was wonderful.

Unfortunately, memories are all I have of Trevor. My sophomore year of college, I felt like I should try and get in touch with him over Christmas break. Things popped up, and we never talked. He called me once and left a message. Two days into 2nd semester, my roommate came to get me out of class to tell me Trevor had taken his own life. In my ex-boyfriends car. In the parking lot of the shopping center where we all used to hang out. 

Apparently there were notes left. Someone got one early in the mail and a wild goose chase ensued, but they didn't find him in time. He did it on a night he knew HIS EMT crew would find him. 

All that doesn't matter. He's gone. And I miss him. Some of our friends formed a band and now have a song about him. It makes me cry. Trevor was wonderful, and I'll never ever understand what happened. I don't think anyone does. Were the hardships of life too much for his beautiful spirit? Did reality seem too unfair to bear? 

Trevor was wonderful - I don't ever want him to go unrecognized for how beautiful he was. Please - know that Trevor will never be thought of as anything less that an angel on earth for the short time we had him.


Day 9. The Kind One.

This one is a little bit different. I don't even know this persons name. Tonight, we had a business dinner in New York City. As the many pieces of the restaurant machine took form, one gentleman came over to fill our water glasses and serve the bread course. He offered a kind greeting in the most powerful, booming, quality voice I've ever heard. Think Isaac Hayes, think Barry White - this guy was better. I am NOT kidding.

We immediately told him what a great voice he had and that he should be in radio, or podcasting (natch) or reading books etc. He shared he had been in Radio and was about to go back. He asked if there was anything else he could do for us...I, obviously, was enchanted, and said oh just keep stopping by our table to talk to us! And do you know what? He DID!

This wonderful man, was so kind as to stop by and make a point of saying something, always with a knowing wink, with that gorgeous voice and kind heart that underlined everything he said. Kind sir, who's name I do not even know, THANK YOU for being aware, and PROUD of your talent. Thank you for sharing it with us and thank you for making us smile. To many, he may just be the gentleman who brought them water and bread - and boy did those people miss out. Every person is special, every person has a gift - Look for it.


Week 1. Reflections.

As this project has gotten underway, I'm already learning that there were some things I didn't anticipate...I've decided that even God thought he needed  a day of rest so I too, will now, on occasion, use my Sunday's to reflect on some things that I realized through this project that are bigger than one person. [note: this is NOT cheating ;) ]

The first thing I want to reiterate is that I am not necessarily presenting people in any kind of order. As the mood strikes - or as life dictates certain lessons, any person may end up here.

The second thing I learned is that right or wrong,  I find my mind leaping to people in my present to be named each day. This isn't a bad thing - but it speaks to history, a personal history. I want to be sure to not forget those who've made an imprint on me or others. When I really sit and focus, people come back to me who've really meant something. Some are still around, others are not. I've learned that in some cases I've too quickly discarded that which is "past". I want to continue to integrate what is my history into my present and future. The lessons and the PEOPLE are too important not to do this...PLEASE don't forget people just because they aren't with you "right now".

Finally - I am going to try to focus on people who are still alive, while I know some who were dear to me who aren't here will show up, the point was to let people know NOW that they are appreciated...plus that whole thing with the coffee? OK that was kinda cheating...


Day 7. The Natural One.

I have known my friend Maggie since I was 5. I met her because I spent time with her family every summer growing up...her family lived on a farm in Amish country. Though not Amish, we had no phone, no electric - we had a root cellar, an icebox and a working farm we had to maintain so we could eat.  My time there throughout the years is some of my most favorite, and happiest.

Maggie was the 2nd of 5 children, and each child got to pick an interest as they grew up. Maggie started with sheep, we then had to figure out what to do with the wool we had to shave every year- we started carding, followed by spinning, followed by knitting. We then had to heard the sheep, so she started training sheep dogs, which led to breeding her own, which led to breeding, training and racing sled dogs. Maggie quickly rose to the top of each of these areas and as a woman, as a YOUNG woman that was amazing. Today, Maggie has returned to her family farm after studying all over the world as an artist.  She still pursues this and whatever else captures her interest...

In this day and age, I find it rare when a woman stays so true to who she is - after taking the TIME to find out who she is - and makes such unique choices. It was my pleasure to share so much of this with her - directly helping her. What a contrast my time with her to when I returned to teenage life in the 80's. (I assume that needs no explanation). So many accomplishments in a still young life and in areas that may never attract any mainstream attention and for that I turn the spotlight to a well deserved, amazing person.


Day 6. The Fashionable One.

Nothing makes me happy like a good pair of shoes. Planning an outfit around a new pair of shoes can just make my day...so today we celebrate Manolo Blahnik. Yes, his work has become part of the pop culture lexicon, but the man has been designing shoes for over 30 years, well before his umpteen mentions on Sex and the City. And while Jimmy Choo isn't even the real designer, and Christian Louboutin gets a little too gimmicky for me with the red soles, Manolo's were part of the beginning of shoes as definitive style...

And, while I can wax superficially for hours on shoes, I do want to say that Mr. Blahnik truly is an artist. How can you not consider something like this shoe art? Mr. Blahnik thank you for bringing beauty back into the world a foot at a time...you made it OK for women to indulge their girly side just a little bit more, and express their sense of fun. Now if we can just do something about those prices....


Day 6. The Pure One.

There are many things I could say about my mom. She is amazing is so many ways. But the thing that consistently stands out - that quite frankly blows my mind a little bit - is her ability to always trust in people and believe in the good in them.

As we all go through life, we learn through experiences good and bad on how much we let people in, We put up protective measures; we overanalyze; we doubt; we think the worst. Its normal for all of us to do...all of us but my mom. She has the gift of 100% pure, positive belief in EVERYONE. Everyone deserves a second chance, everyone's voice should be heard, everyone is trying their best.  I don't know how she does it...seriously.  Of course she gets hurt sometimes...and sometimes she looks "the fool". But she keeps on keeping on.  She gives candy canes out on Christmas...to everyone. She tells everyone to have a wonderful day. She's always thinking of others - when you see her, if she knows you, its rare she doesn't have a gift for you - especially for you.

I think I had this once...I know I lost it. But I always try to remember, at the very least, before I judge, to consider what it would be like to be in another's shoes...and then, maybe, I'm a little bit of a better person.


Day 5. The Unstoppable One.

Today is Wednesday. On Wednesdays, I usually think of my friend Kim. A lot of you know her and know how flat out cool she is and all that she has already accomplished and all that she is capable of...and I am in awe enough of that. 

Why do I appreciate Kim? In the past year or so, Kim has lost all of her physical life (belongings, home, technologies in some cases, keepsakes)...TWICE. She has had some real traumatic things sent her way personally as well, and yet she keeps going. Her ability to withstand whatever life seems to throw at her astounds me. I can't believe that she can push through these obstacles. All the while, she is focusing on getting to know people and really building relationships.

She also is the epitome of a hard worker. Those of you who know me know how important passion and pursuit of excellence is to me...well, meet Kim. She leaps into new concepts, opportunities, technologies, strategies, masters them and then takes the even more important step of learning how to apply them.  This wins my appreciation any day.

Kudos to you, Kim for having so many hidden gems within you and thank you for sharing them with me.


Day 4. The Loving One.

I had to write this one today since its been going on all around us - yes, over the past week, Michael Phelps has won 8 gold medals, broken goodness knows how many world records, inspired millions to get interested in swimming and become second only to a Russian gymnast in terms of total number of Olympic medals won. It goes without saying that he is driven, accomplished, determined and utterly deserving of all the praise he's getting and more. But that's not who I am writing about...

I would like to spotlight his mother today - Debbie Phelps. And yeah, I know she's getting a lot of press too...we're all learning the story, she's a single mother who raised her three children while working in education. We hear they hype. But, please, pause and really think about what this woman did. She worked as a school administrator (and hello we all know they aren't raking in the dough) while raising three kids and fostering their passion for swimming. She laid a foundation in each of their soul for them to weather taunting (Michael has been diagnosed as ADD and other diagnoses have been implied), seek greatness, understand the value of sacrifice and hard work, and has fostered one son to become one of the greatest athletes of all time. REALLY REALLY think about what that meant for her life...her energy...

And what sealed her for this post for me? The love. Oh the love...the moment that Michael had finally accomplished his goal and climbed into the stand to be with his family. The interview the next day with Bob Costas where they not only spoke about each other lovingly but also watched each other with love in their eyes. "Love" is an easy catch all here for the respect, trust, honor, that that mother-son love encompasses. Any any woman who can build that for, and with, her child deserves all the respect in the world. 

Yes Michael Phelps is a tremendous swimmer, and part of that is due to genetics. But more importantly he is a tremendous person and MOST of that is due to his mother, and her love. Cheers to you Debbie, thank you for what you have put out into the world - may you have every happiness.

post script: no I CAN'T link to the amazing footage becuz NBC decided Apple users don't need to be able to navigate their site. FTL.


Day 3. The Required One.

I certainly wouldn't want you all to think I take myself too seriously, and I thought it was important to follow the "rules" for this project early on - so, today we appreciate Constantinople and the Turks. Why? Because that's the earliest reference to one person I could find who did the essential task of introducing coffee to the masses.

The worlds first coffee shop opened up in 1475 and Turkish law became that a turkish woman could...wait for it...divorce her husband if he did not supply her with an adequate daily supply of coffee. [i should have added that to my wedding vows]. 

I am not ashamed to tell you I need coffee - I covet coffee - I am an empty shell of nothingness without my daily coffee. I appreciate good coffee: no powdered creamer (ew), always natural sweetener, and never so much "stuff" that you lose the flavor of the coffee itself. I like a good, strong cappuccino or latte that I can sit with through the morning hours. Its my security blanket.

On this first monday during project 365, as I drag my tired butt into work I am beyond thankful for the contribution the Turks and Constantinople made by bringing us coffee. I can promise you that without it, my life would be a whole heck of a lot less fun and you would all probably hate me.


Day 2. The Inspiring One

So this person is the one who got me thinking about doing this in the first place...its my friend Amy.  As this idea began to solidify, it was approaching her birthday and I thought "how cool, I can make this her birthday present!" Well, her birthday was two days ago so you can see where that went ;).

Anyway - to Amy. I've known Amy a relatively short time, but I consider her a lifelong friend. She's one of those rare people to whom I quickly felt comfortable sharing myself, warts and all. She's been with me through some incredible highs and stuck with me through some incredibly selfish and irrational lows. The best gifts she has given me is when she's helped me through these...she knows exactly how to pull me back to rational thinking, and lightly scold me when its appropriate. To have such strength with such grace is amazing. I consider this a mark of the purest form of friendship. Its easy to be a supportive lovely girlfriend, but to care enough to put me in my place (and boy can I be a bear) means more than anyone knows...

Amy is so giving in so many ways. Others who know her know all the things she does and it would take another page to talk about these things. What's important here today is to focus on the hidden treasures she has...her perspective on the world humbles me. I want to be like Amy too and for that, she gets the second post of Project 300sixtyfive. I love her, I'm glad I know her, and I am honored that she calls me friend.

(on another note - I've pleasantly realized that picking a person each day will be a bit more challenging than I thought - so this is forcing me to do my daily run - it gives me time to think through what I'll put up here each day! :) )


Day 1. The Easiest One

In a very quick, unscientific study, I asked today on Plurk what was the most important thing in people's life...the majority answer? Family. Me too...

My husband is amazing. I think we would all say this about our partners, but what's important is to know why...I could write far too long on this but let me say - he is truly one of the best people I know. He always focuses on the person, not the situation. His ability to see the motivation behind the action and soothe an ego, heal a hurt feeling, motivate a dream are top notch. What else is amazing - he has conviction. His strength of character is unbelievable: you can't make him do what he doesn't want to do and you can't make him NOT do what we wants to do. And then there's his values - "he gets it". This is one person who's never "gotten his priorities mixed up"...he's centered, and kind, and focused and still knows how to have fun.

I not only love this guy - I admire him. I want to be more like him in many ways...he inspires me.