30×30 Day 9

I was walking down Newbury St. with sis today when we came upon the new Allbirds store. I immediately dragged her inside to try on a pair of wool runners, because I believe they’re the most comfortable shoes ever and wanted her to experience them.

Sis, who has an impressive collection of shoes, including a subcollection of super comfy sneakers, agreed. Most comfortable shoes ever!

Contributing to the world, one amazingly comfortable shoe experience at a time.

30×30 Day 8

Today I went the mall with Penny, Paige, sis, and Dad. While sis and Dad shopped, I wandered the kid’s section of Macy’s with Penny, answering her many questions.

There were a LOT of things out of place. Penny pointed at a onesie with a hanger on the floor.

“Look, it’s on the floor,” she said, and proceeded to step over it.

“Why don’t we hang it up?” I asked.

“Because someone else left it there,” she replied.

“That doesn’t mean we can’t help make it better.”

“Okay.”

5 minutes later, the entire section looked tons better.

One day at a time, one teaching moment at a time.

30×30 Day 7

Today I went to the supermarket with Penny and sis. While sis shopped, I wandered the store with Penny, answering her many questions.

Whenever we encountered something that was out of place, or on the floor, she’d stop and comment on it. I’d ask, “Should we put it where it belongs?” “Yes,” she’d reply, and proceed to make the store a better place.

I do this myself on a regular basis, but I hope that doing this with Penny has a lasting impact, far beyond the items she items she touched today, and far beyond the walls of the store we wandered together.

30×30 Day 6

Flew into Boston today to visit my folks. Interacting with Penny is my way of contributing to the world. It takes a lot to be mindful of how you act and react with a little one.

My sister picked me up from the airport and told me on the way to the house that Penny had been getting frustrated playing Osmo. She gets frustrated when she doesn’t know the answer to something right away, and I found myself thinking about how to teach and instill grit.

At the very least: How do we make something frustrating fun, or at least make it doable, to get to the point where things start clicking and become fun?

So that was my contribution today. I played Osmo with Penny and tried different things with her when she got stuck. Eventually, “I’ll do half, and you do half,” helped break complex problems into ones she understood, and we breezed through a few at the end.

Tomorrow, more Osmo!

30×30 Day 5

Went to the gym this morning and as usual I racked all the weights I used regardless of whether they were racked to begin with. I also adjusted every handle I used that I found twisted out of place.

Leave it better than you found it.

30×30 Day 4

In a work discussion about resource contention (of the human kind), recognizing that a team other than mine is hurting more right now, and even though I would really like to have the person in question join my team, deciding they should help the other team, because that’s our bigger need.

Ultimately, we’re one big team.

30×30 Day 3

On my way to the Caltrain station this evening, I came up on another pedestrian sporting a backpack with my company logo on it. I’d never seen them before. I caught their attention and introduced myself. We had a great chat and when we parted ways at the station, we both had big smiles on our faces.

When I think back on this, I realized I started this conversation because I thought the person was new to the company. As one of the veterans I felt compelled to make them feel welcome, and promote our culture of inclusion and Team. As it turns out, this person has been at the company for a year now, and we simply didn’t know each other because we work in opposite corners of the building.

Given the outcome, length of tenure had no bearing on whether I should have introduced myself. I was emboldened by my incorrect assumption, but why did I even need that dynamic to act? Do I assume that if I haven’t met someone after a certain number of months, that they’re not open to meeting?

This 30 Days is great. Three days in and I’m identifying and challenging my assumptions.

30×30 Day 2

My teammate ordered a dozen Dynamo Donuts for our group meeting today. On my way in, I said hello to our coworker at the front desk. Remembering that she receives all our incoming food orders for us, I let her know we had donuts on the way and offered her first dibs on one.

Sharing is caring.

30×30 Day 1

It’s a lot harder to come up with examples of active giving than of passive receiving. I think in part because “giving” is a term with a lot of meaning behind it.

I’m going to add a term to the mix: Agency. The idea of agency came up in the podcast as part of active vs. passive. Thinking about my day in terms of times I acted with agency gives me a much better rubric for evaluation.

With agency in mind, coming up with today’s contribution was easy:

Today I walked to the Caltrain station with my coworker. When I got there, I had a choice of trains to take, as well as a choice of places to sit. Despite the usual socially awkward commentary in my head of, “What if my coworker had intended to do something else on the train and doesn’t want to chat with me?” and, “What if we run out of things to talk about?” I asked if it was okay to sit together, because I decided getting to know my colleague better is more important than my awkwardness.

Reading the above, I realize how foreign the commentary in my head may sound to a people person. I also realize I’m not alone, that I have colleagues far more awkward or anxious than I am about social situations, and I wonder what I can do to make it easier for them to connect.

This 30 Days is great. One day in and I want to do more for others already.

30×30 Begin!

It’s been almost 3 years since my last novel 30 Days project. I’ve been busy with other, longer running projects. I still have those, but recently I’ve found myself yearning to do a 30 Days.

Serendipity! On my way to go mountain biking this morning I listened to this podcast: Savvy Psychologist: How to Fix Dissatisfaction at Work

About halfway through the podcast, they touched upon gratitude. You may recall I did a month on gratitude in 30×7. I loved it.

To my surprise, they talked about how gratitude wasn’t enough.

“As much as it can boost your happiness to be grateful, when it comes to motivation, gratitude is often a passive emotion.”

“You don’t want to be a passive receiver. You want to be an active giver.”

This was accompanied by two examples: a contribution journal, and turning a dinnertime “What are the things that you’re grateful for?” into “What’s something you did this week that helped somebody else?”

I was sold. This is happening. Every day I will post something I contributed. It can be big, small, tiny, miniscule. What matters is that I contributed to making the world better, one person, moment, day at a time.

Hold me to it.

See you tomorrow.