I really don’t like doing monthly reports. When I’m faced with the deadline for submitting them I feel like I did as a child on Saturday mornings.
I’d wake up knowing that, because it was the weekend, I had extra chores to do before I could play. So, I would do the chores first thing then feel both relief that the tasks were done and anticipation about the remainder of the weekend.
Yesterday morning, I sat down at my desk with the same determination I had on Saturday mornings as a child. I would complete the reports by the end of the day so I could spend the rest of the week tackling projects I’d enjoy.
And I did.
But as I hit the send key on the email with the reports attached, I felt something else I used to feel on those Saturday mornings years ago: a sense of accomplishment.
And that feeling always makes me smile.
Day 193: A Sense of Accomplishment Day 192: Growing Into the Person I’ll Someday Be
Day 191: Matt Groening Day 190: Tuning Out Bad News and Tuning In to What We Enjoy Day 189: Parents Who Encourage Independence Day 188: Watching Young Minds at Work Day 187: Funny Phone Calls Day 186: Healthy Lungs Day 185: Reality Checks Day 184: Coincidence Day 183: Lame Attempts to Go Retro Day 182: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 181: Goofy Childhood Memories Day 180: A soak in a bathtub Day 179: Optimism Day 178: The Year’s Top Baby Names Day 177: Reading on a Rainy Day Day 176: “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey Day 175: Watching the Torch Pass Day 174: Converse Tennis Shoes Day 173: Family Acceptance Day 172: Christmas Day 171: The Mr. Grinch Song Day 170: Positive People Day 169: Watching Movies From my Childhood With My Kids Day 168: Jealous Pets Day 167: Family Christmas Recipes Day 166: Church BellsDay 165: School Holiday 164: Unexpected Grace Day 163: Letting Go of Things We Can’t Control Day 162: Anticipating a good story Day 161: Hope Day 160: When Dogs Try to Avoid Embarrassment Day 159: Surprises in the Mail Day 158: Kids who aren’t superficial Day 157: A Garage on Winter Days Day 156: Real Christmas Trees Day 155: Being a Parent Day 154: Selfless People Day 153: Nelson Mandela Day 152: Memorable Road Trips Day 151: Great Neighbors Day 150: Oscar Wilde’s quote about being yourself Day 149: Love Letters Day 148: The first day of Advent Day 147: The Breakfast Club Day 146: Marriage and Shared Anniversaries 145: JFK’s quote about gratitude Day 144: Watching My Dog Play Day 143: Having my Family’s Basic Needs Met Day 142: When Our Children Become Role Models Day 141: Random Acts of Kindness Day 140; People Watching Day 139: Sharing Interests with My Children Day 138: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Best Advice Day 137: Weird Human Behavior about Garbage Day 136: Postcards from Heaven Day 135: Mickey Mouse Day 134: Generous Souls Day 133: I’m Moving On Day 132: A Family That is Really Family Day 131: A Personal Motto Day 130: Mork and Mindy Day 129: The Bears’ House Day 128: Veterans Day 127: Doppelgangers Day 126: Letting Life Unfold as It Should Day 125: The Constantly Changing Sky Day 124: When History Repeats Itself Day 123: The Love Scene in The Sound of Music Day 122: Helen Keller Day 121: The Welcome Back Kotter Theme Song Day 120: Sheldon Cooper Day 119: Having Permission to Make Mistakes Day 118: A Diverse Group of Friends Day 117: Family Traditions Day 116: The Haunting Season Day 115; Life Experience Day 114: Changes Day 113: The Wooly Bear Caterpillar Day 112: The National Anthem Day 111: Parents Who Care Day 110: Good Friends Day 109: My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss Day 108: A.A. Milne QuotesDay 107: Spending Time Wisely Day 106: Parades Day 105: The Peanuts Gang Dancing Day 104: Sharing a Secret Language Day 103: The Electric Company Day 102: Doing the Right Thing Day 101: When Siblings Agree Day 100: Being Optimistic Day 99: Trying Something New Day 98: The Sound of Children on a Playground Day97: Good Advice Day 96: Red and white peppermint candy Day 95: The Soundtrack from the Movie Shrek Day 94: Accepting Change Day 93: True Love Day 92: Camera Phones Day 91: Bicycle Brakes Day 90: HeroesDay 89: The Cricket in Times Square Day 88: The Grand Canyon Day 87: Unanswered Prayers Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard Day 85: Being Human Day 84: Captain Underpants Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Day 80: The Outsiders Day 79: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day77: People Who Touch Our Lives Day 76: The Rewards of Parenting Day 75: Improvements Day 74: Family Traditions Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 72: Live Music Day 71: Sleeping In Day 70: Grover Day 69: A Good Hair Day Day 68: A Sense of Community Day 67: Kindness Day 66: Living in a Place You Love Day 65: Gifts from the Heart Day 64: The Arrival of Fall Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird Day 62: Green LightsDay 61: My Canine Friends Day 60: Differences Day 59: A New Box of Crayons Day 58: Bookworms Day 57: Being Oblivious Day 56: Three-day Weekends Day 55: A Cat Purring Day 54: Being a Unique Individual Day 53: Children’s Artwork Day 52: Lefties Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer Day 50: Campfires Day 49: Childhood Crushes Day 48: The Words “Miss You” Day 47: Birthday Stories Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us Day 45: Play-Doh Day 44: First Day of School Pictures Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes Day 42: Appreciative Readers Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote Day 40: Being Silly Day 39: Being Happy Exactly Where You Are Day 38: Proud Grandparents Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want Day 34: Accepting the Fog Day 33: I See the Moon Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap Day 31: Perspective Day 30: Unlikely Friendships Day 29: Good Samaritans Day 28: Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet? Day 27: Shadows Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads Day 25: When Harry Met Sally Day 24: Hibiscus Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck Day 22: The Wonderful World of Disney Day 21: Puppy love Day 20 Personal Theme Songs Day 19: Summer Clouds Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s VictoryDay 17: A Royal Birth Day 16: Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His MasculinityDay 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter Day 12: Round Bales of HayDay 11: Water Fountains for Dogs Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers Day 8: Great Teachers We Still RememberDay 7: Finding the missing sock Day 6: Children’s books that teach life-long lessonsDay 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment Day 4: Jumping in Puddles Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street
The moment came at the end of a long weekend celebrating my daughter’s upcoming birthday. She, her best friend, her best friend’s mother and I packed a lot into 48 hours. By Sunday morning, when we were exploring Lower Manhattan, we had slowed considerably.
The city, on the other hand, wasn’t slowing down at all. People crowded narrow sidewalks under the watchful eyes of police officers on every corner. While the officers graciously responded to requests for photos with tourists, their ability to give good directions was questionable.
Despite their help, we were finally able to locate the Charging Bull on Wall Street. Since the bull had never been on my list of sites to see, I hadn’t expected the frenzy of people mobbing it for photos. Many were lined up behind the bull to touch its anatomically correct underside for good luck.
The eleven-foot-tall bronze sculpture is supposed to symbolize aggressive financial optimism and prosperity. Last year, when the Occupy Wall Street protests began, metal gates were set up around the bull to prevent it from harm. Now, the public can once again touch it, but judging by the police presence, there’s still concern about the safety of the more than 7,000 pound bull.
Personally, I think the concern about vandalism is a bit misplaced. I’m more worried about the almost worship-like reverence people demonstrate for an icon that represents an industry focused more on the value of money than the value of people.
Don’t get me wrong. I like money. I just think that, as a society, we’re too fixated on who has it and who doesn’t.
To me, the bull represents a culture rooted in money and the immense appeal that has. But when people go to great lengths to touch that lifestyle, they may miss seeing what’s really going on around them.
For example, just feet from the Charging Bull, there’s a garden full of rodents living off the crumbs of others. The mice live among the vivid red flowers in the circular garden around the fountain in Bowling Green Park where we ate our lunch.
What seemed like a quiet public garden was actually teaming with dozens, if not hundreds, of mice. When bits of bread, meat, tomatoes and even cucumbers dropped, they would scurry out from under the blossoms, grab their feast then rush back for cover.
Many of the people intent on enjoying the beautiful, late morning sunshine didn’t even notice the mice. Others were completely disgusted by them. No one wanted to touch them, and very few people wanted to feed them.
But my daughter and I were fascinated.
Although seemingly dependent on others for their livelihood, the mice certainly weren’t lazy. In fact, the were quite industrious. And even when vying for the same crumbs, they seemed to respect each other’s efforts.
That’s when I had my epiphany.
The mice represent all the low-income people who live and work right alongside those who are more financially secure and influential. They represent all those people on Wall Street who clean bathrooms and pick up trash instead of buying and selling stocks and bonds.
And even though they live in the shadow of a bull that people fondle for good luck, they also represent a great deal of dignity.