I have a time-honored tradition* of responding to some of Hayley’s blog posts. Our friend Rahul calls it “competing blogs”. I like to think of it as complementary blogs. But I digress…
Hayley’s recent post expressed some of the busyness that we’ve experienced recently. Like Hayley, I’m a bit tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. Yet both of us are very very excited. Here are some of the things going on (both in my thoughts and in real life):
We started a non-profit program, the Excelsior Community Food Pantry. It began off as a Bible Study idea: “The Poor and the Bible”. It’s now grown into a monthly farmer’s market-style food distribution. We provided free food for over 120 families this month. Customers who came to the food pantry got a hot cup of coffee and an opportunity to fill a bag full of groceries with red onions, carrots, cabbage, apples, oranges, Newman’s Own pasta sauce, chicken bullion, granola bars, and a box of Triscuits.
Does this make me a community activist? I don’t really see myself as one. And I hated those Berkeley tree sitters. Yes, I know. Hate is a strong word. It’s just that, well… I hated them.
If you want to volunteer for one of our coming months, sign up on the Facebook page or contact Hayley or myself. Donations — money or used shopping bags — are welcome too.
Yes, we’re all aging. But once a year my facebook wall fills up with wonderful messages to remind me of that fact. Yep, this past Friday was my big three-oh, my 30th birthday. I’m celebrating with a party at a local wine bar.
I’ve actually had a really exciting birthday. I enjoyed a birthday brew with some co-workers, and I have plans for a birthday toast (with wine) tonight. I got a food pantry, time with family and friends, and a…
I’m excited to announce that we closed escrow on a house in San Francisco. It’s in the Parkside (aka Sunset District) with a view of the sunset. It’s not big — it’s about the size of our current apartment — but it ours. All we need to do now is to deal with painting, and repairing, and fixing floors, and appliance shopping, and packing, and moving, and… and… and…
The Burden of Responsibility and the Value of Teams
I would be lying to you if I said that all of these new responsibilities didn’t feel a bit burdensome. It does. I feel like I’ve got plenty of weight on my shoulders, along with my share of stress-induced knotted muscles there too. But it’s all good stress, in the sense that I’ve actively sought out this additional responsibility.
All my life I’ve worked towards increased responsibility. In high school student government, I remember thinking “Wee! Leadership responsibility is Fun!” But now that I’m a manager at work, an owner of a new home, an elder at church, and a co-founder of this food pantry, I think “Woah. This is serious”.
It’s in the face of this heavy responsibility that I truly value the importance of teammates. In almost every one of our recent milestones, we had gotten into a pinch and someone else came through for us. At work, it’s been coworkers both from inside and outside of my group. For our new home, it’s been our families. And for the first food pantry, we’ve had numerous members of our church step up.
I can honestly say that without these teams, I would not be reporting these successes to you today. I would be mourning failed work projects, an unsuccessful escrow, and dashed dreams of a non-profit food pantry. But I’m not. And it’s all because of my colleagues, friends, and family who have teamed up with me.
Hayley is Awesome
Does it look bad to brag about your wife? I don’t care. I’m doing it.
In my recent endeavors, Hayley has been a key teammate. I’m accustomed to relating to Hayley as my wife, friend, and companion. But recently I’ve been interacting with Hayley like a work colleague, and — it might sound weird but — I’ve been really impressed.
On multiple occasions, Hayley’s coworkers announced “Hayley is Awesome!” when I first met them and introduced myself as Hayley’s husband. Well, I’ve worked with her now, and she IS awesome. She’s fast, efficient, reliable. She’s a good negotiator — both polite and firm — and an effective communicator. She wades through the beauracracy and politics and makes stuff happen. I’m glad to have her on my side.
It’s been a busy busy few months. It’s been a lot hard work and overwhelming at times. I’m really excited about these new milestones, thanks to the great support from my teammates and the community around me. To all of my family, friends, and colleagues who are reading this blog post: THANK YOU!
* This is my third time posting a response to Hayley’s blog. In the virtual world, I think that makes a “time honored tradition”.
Posted on March 21st, 2009 by Ryan
Filed under: charitable, chasing happiness, church, diary worthy | 1 Comment »