There’s been an autumn chill in the air recently in DC. Normally that brings with it mixed emotions. While I enjoy the fall very much, it serves as a reminder that colder weather is coming and that my friends who sleep on the streets will begin preparing themselves to endure the elements.
Thanks to his new apartment, I will not worry so much about Anthony when it drops below freezing. Sure, he still spends exponentially more time outdoors than I do since he sells the newspaper on the street corner, but at night he will escape the misery of being wet and the loss of sensation in the exposed parts of his skin. I do want to get him a heavy winter coat – one that is made well and will keep him dry and warm.
We usually meet on Tuesdays. Yesterday I had to travel though and I didn’t get to see him. Last week we met for lunch. He was upset that Street Sense was charging the vendors 50% more for the paper – at least until the end of the year he said. While that increase will certainly help the organization, it directly impacts Anthony and the other vendors as well. “I guess there’s nothing I can do about it though,” he said, “It better go back down at the first of the year.”
He didn’t eat all of his quesadillas. Something I’ve noticed about him on other occasions. He’ll often leave about half of his food for later. When money is scarce in your pocket you reserve a little bit for a later time. And he takes lots of napkins. Often times I go into small family owned delis here in DC and the owners keep the napkins carefully guarded behind the counter and only give you one or two. Anthony grabbed a wad of probably 50 or so. Maybe another habit from when he was living outside, because he only used a couple and left the rest on the table when we were done. We talked about budgeting and discussed how he was managing his income and expenses. So far he seems to be doing a good job. Although nothing is saved at the end of the month – something that concerns me.
The book is coming along slowly. A friend of mine recently finished writing a nonfiction book. She took more than a year off of work to finish it. I often think that maybe that’s what I should do – take a leave of absence from work to focus 100% on the book. As it is now, I’m not focusing fully on the book or job. On top of this, I’m exhausted. Not an excuse, but it’s the truth. I just don’t seem to have enough energy to do everything I would like to do. The disturbing part is that I believe that I had this energy 5-10 years ago.
As autumn greets us and we say goodbye to the long sun-drenched days, I focus on the big picture and try to sooth my frustrations from not getting enough done. It’s about attitude.
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. – Thomas Jefferson