I have been so derelict in my blog writing. Sometimes I wonder how I wrote every single day back in 2010 when I did the Year of Giving.
So there are several items to update you on. First, Anthony is doing well. We got some amazing news recently. He was approved to receive a small amount of government assistance to help him as we prepare to move him into housing. What? Housing for Anthony?!?! Well, while I have been away there have been some people who have been very busy trying to find housing for Anthony. And with this small supplemental income, I think it will put him in a great position to get into some low-income housing. Special thanks and a shout out to Elizabeth for all of her help with Anthony!!!
Today things got a little bit clearer…in more than one way!
Not only did I wake up after my Lasik eye surgery that I had yesterday and could see better than 20/20, I also met up with Anthony and an outreach worker named Elizabeth who has been kind enough to provide Anthony with some assistance. Before I get on to Anthony, if you ever consider Lasik eye surgery or have keratoconus (a rare but treatable eye disease) you should definitely consider seeing Dr. Roy Rubinfeld in Chevy Chase, MD. He’s amazing!
This quote was one of the only things I took away from the Oscars on Sunday evening. It was attributed to the late Nora Ephron who died last June after losing her battle with leukemia. Although I can’t find any source attributing this to the great author and director, I did find it attributed to the author Gabe Rotter. Regardless of who said it, I agree!
That being said, maybe the secret is just making time for it. So far today is off to a good start. I’ve taken some time off of my job to focus on writing this week. I got five pages written this morning and have more time planned this afternoon.
I’m taking the rest of the day to work on my book proposal. My brother Ryan recently shared with me an interesting video of the English actor John Cleese talking about how to unlock your creative juices. It’s about 5 minutes too long in my opinion but the core content is quite good. In a nutshell he claims that creativity is not a talent, rather it’s a way of operating. He focuses on five factors to help us be creative.
Space – You have to create some space for yourself away from your everyday demands. That means sealing yourself off. You must make a quiet space for yourself where you will be undisturbed.
Time – It’s not enough to create space. You have to create your space for yourself for a specific period of time. Keep in mind that it’s much easier to do
rivial things that are urgent, than it is to do important things that are not urgent – like thinking. And, it’s also easier to do little things that we know we can do rather than starting big things that we are not so sure about. Your mind will start thinking about all of the other things that you could be doing instead of working on your project. He says to just sit there for a little bit recognizing the potential interruptions but just letting them come and go. Your mind will eventually calm Continue reading →
Before I get started today, just a note to let you know that I have added some ad banners on the blog. Yep, there’s one just above where you’re reading now and another one over on the menu to the right. All proceeds go to help support the Anthony&Me project. If you see an ad that interests you, I encourage you to click on it as each click results in micro-revenue for the project. Thank you for your support!!
Anthony and I met up this morning for our bi-weekly meeting. First we went over to a doctor’s visit that he had. It seems that his blood pressure is getting more stable although it is still considerably higher than what the doctor would like.
We then headed across the street to the Whole Foods for lunch. We circled the hot and cold food bars surveying the various offerings until we both honed in on our prey. I made Continue reading →
So yesterday I stopped by to see Anthony at his corner of 19th and M. There was something different about him this time though. He was wearing a sharp looking black three-quarter length wool coat. “A friend was nice enough to buy this for me,” he told me. Handing me the receipt that was still in the pocket he looked me in the eye. “You’re not going to believe how much they paid for it…I’d be happy with something from the thrift shop.” I explained to Anthony that giving is often times just as much about the giver as it is the recipient. He nodded and said how thankful he was for the generous gift.
While we were talking, Anthony said he wanted to introduce me to somebody. You got to understand that talking with Anthony at his corner is not usually a simple bi-directional conversation – nope, not with Anthony. You see that’s Continue reading →
Greetings from sunny Miami! I’m here for work for a few days. After the frigid week we had in DC last week this is a welcomed change. You’d be surprised how just the sight of sunglasses, flip flops and swaying palm trees can unfreeze you from winter’s grasp.
I was struck by how many people there were begging around my hotel last night. I tend to think that DC has a large population of panhandlers, but this was at San Francisco or New Orleans levels. I’m not sure if they were homeless, but if they were I can understand that as surviving outdoors in South Florida does seem like a brighter option than Washington and places north.
We’ve heard a lot about service and volunteering this weekend with the MLK Service Weekend. I volunteered with a great local DC group called Yachad – they help rebuild low-income housing in our nation’s capital. As I write up my blog I regret not having invited Anthony to come along with me to volunteer. I think he would have enjoyed it.
Anthony volunteers a lot of his time. Not in the conventional sense of volunteering once a week with a hospital or signing up for a national day of service, rather Anthony takes time every day to help people on the streets of DC. From providing directions to tourists who he encounters staring blankly at a DC map to new Street SenseContinue reading →
I’m sitting on an Amtrak train coming back from NYC. There is no other city like it in the world. I’m not sure I would want to live full time there, but I do love this city. It is so chock full of interesting people, stores, restaurants, buildings, etc. I don’t know how it doesn’t just collapse as it seems that the entire city is built on top of an enormous subway network carved out of Swiss cheese. And it seems to all work. Most trains seem to come by every 3-5 minutes. In DC it’s not uncommon to wait 15 minutes for your train.
Anyway, I had some meetings up in the Big Apple…so I didn’t spend any time working on the book or helping Anthony since I arrived yesterday. I had five meetings which kept me quite busy – but I did have a little downtime. Here’s what I filled my day with:
Visited the Marble Collegiate Church where nearly 7,000 yellow ribbons hang in honor of the fallen US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are also green ribbons for the Iraqis and Afghans who have died in conflict.
Walked 60 blocks of Broadway – I did a lot of walking there yesterday. My FitBit recorded 23,059 steps – or nearly 11 miles!
Took a few minutes to take in the skyline from the 48th floor where one of my meetings was.
Yesterday was a good day for me. Despite a sluggish start, I managed to get three pages written. Although I feel I’m allowed to give myself some credit when I have good days like today, I’m also a realist and recognize that perhaps the nonstop drizzle that coated us yesterday might have contributed to my discipline. Nobody wants to sit at your computer and write when it’s beautiful and sunny outside!
There is something about the rain and the cold that seems to just fuel your pen. Perhaps that is why Ireland has produced so many damn good writers – or then again maybe it’s just the Jameson. Who knows…but it gets me in my writing mode – the Jameson that is.
Now for the depressing part. As I sit here in front of my fireplace with a blanket over my legs and a warm cup of English Breakfast tea soothing my throat I’m jolted by the thought of Anthony. Not only is he probably cold and wet, he’s certainly not selling many papers in this drizzle. It’s actually worse than a full on shower. At least then you have an umbrella and you can go on your merry way. No, yesterday was that miserable cold spitting that is just enough to allow you to run out without an umbrella but not enough to get your head out from dry sanctuary of your coat collar so that you can see more than just the sidewalk in front of you. If Anthony was out there – we’d probably have walked right by him.