Musings from George


Weddings and zoos
May 17, 2007, 7:06 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Oh yeah, my niece’s wedding was a LOT of fun.

 Dinner with my mother-in-law was _wonderful_ on Friday,  and we really enjoyed anniversaries / food / restaurants / family trauma. She’s a remarkable woman who has had a remarkable life, and I’m glad to have her in my life.

We made it to the zoo again on Saturday, which is just always fun. We had dinner with my siblings on Saturday, and my brother was more relaxed than I had seen him in a long time — overall, a great family weekend.



Happy and sad
May 17, 2007, 7:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of my kids’ teachers asked me today if anything was bothering me. I had a bad day recently where my son didn’t want to go to school, and I left him crying in a teacher’s arms. Not a good day.

I explained that I had a bad day, but overall things were great. She said that she (or more accurately, “we” meaning the teachers) view me as a role model of happiness and gentleness, so they were concerned that it must really be something terrible if it was enough to knock me off my normal bliss.

That caused me to stop and consider a few things. (1) am I really that unusual because I smile most of the time and I am nice to everyone? isn’t that a sad statement? (2) if a little tussle with my son can knock me off my bearings, and cause me to lose my halo of happy, what can I do to make sure that I keep my bearings?

I was invited to a YMCA celebration last night for donors (yes, I gave them money) and got to sit next to one of the featured speakers. He was exactly the reason I give money to the YMCA, a kid who wouldn’t otherwise get to spend time in the gym or get to travel to college campuses to see what the future could hold. I enjoyed meeting him and meeting his brother, both of whom were warm and intelligent kids who were NOTHING like the donors in the room. I was also glad to know that my parents raised me to be color-blind, and raised me poor enough to appreciate the breaks that I have been given — it makes it that much sweeter to be able to give back to those who need breaks today.

Went to the gym today (the YMCA), and the executive director recognized me from the dinner — it was a great event, and I look forward to being even more involved with the program in the future.

Totally different thread, I’m on the board of a nonprofit and we went to pitch our application for funding from the SV2  last week. Found out tonight that we will receive the funding grant, chosen out of the 12 invited applicants. That’s good money, targeted at strategic issues (rather than operations), and is a great validation of the value of the program and the services we provide to under-resourced neighborhoods. That feels pretty good.

Sad? I’m not, really. And I’ll try not to let the little things that go wrong cause me to give my friends reason to worry. I really am happy, and the smile and interest in everyone else’s lives are real. So much in my life approaches a fairy tale that it feels cheap to complain about the pieces that bore me or make me less than happy. So if you know me, keep me honest — most days are great, and I have a lot of friends. I love my family and am proud of my kids. I do a good job, and the company treats me well on balance. I do a lot of good things, and meet a lot of great people as a result.

Don’t worry, be happy. Life is good if you have the right attitude.

George



Upbeat Update
May 11, 2007, 12:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Recently I had a chance to relax and feel good about some of the things that I get to do, and I realized that I am not very good about sharing those happy thoughts on my blog. To correct the imbalance of sad or deep thoughts, I offer a few happy memories:

1. Having dinner at our house for a group of friends, prepared by teachers from a nonprofit I help out, and raising a good chunk of money while eating well and introducing people to the program. I’m on the board of directors for Family Connections, which offers free parent-involvement preschool in under-resourced communities. The teachers who offered to cook (auctioned at our fundraiser) are from Peru, Argentina, and El Salvador.The meal:

Appetizers:
Tortilla de Chauchas (Green Bean Frittata) from
Argentina

Palta Rellenas (Stuffed Avocados) from Peru
Tomate Rellenos (Stuffed Tomatoes) from Argentina

Main Dish:

Pupusas from El Salvador

Arroz con Pollo (chicken with rice) from Peru

Green Salad from USA

Dessert:    
Panqueques con dulce de leche o crema y frutillas (crepes with dulce de leche or cream and strawberries) from
Argentina

Helado de Lucuma y Pionono con manjarblanco (cake rolled with manjarblanco filling with lucuma ice cream) from Peru

 2. Being invited to speak at a Habitat for Humanity house dedication because of my company’s continued involvement and support in this very worthy program. I had the chance to speak to the seven families who are earning their homes, and to talk with the people who make it all possible. My son and I gave one family their keys, and he was perfectly behaved for the entire event. Fun link here about Habitat.

3. We are having 20-30 people over for dinner and a celebration of a microcredit organization that serves the poorest of the poor in Honduras. Adelante (in Spanish, “moving forward”) was founded by my wife’s college buddy and his wife, and we have had an annual fundraiser for them at our house. One of our good friends joined their board, and we really believe in the program. A British crew is filming a documentary about the program, and will be coming to our house for the dinner.4. My niece is getting married, and our family will be getting together to celebrate one of the happier moments in anyone’s life.

5. Our son is potty-trained, for the most part. I will NOT miss diapers when our daughter catches up with him.

6. So far this year I’ve been to a zoo five times, walked my son on a pony several times, visited the Monterey Aquarium twice, and stayed on the Pacific coast several times.

It’s necessary to worry about global warming and energy independence, but there are also a tremendous number of flowers growing in my life that I do take the time to nurture and enjoy. The resources available to me, and the friendships that I enjoy, make life a real joy most of the time.

George