Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Next Big Thing: Pay It For(ty)ward

I wrote and published yesterday's post pretty quickly. I did this mainly because I didn't want to give myself too much time to change my mind about the undertaking that I will be under taking... which, come to think of it, may require me to utilize an under TAKER if I don't plan and prepare properly!

The idea for Pay It For(ty)ward stems from my looming 40th birthday. I say looming, but quite honestly I am not freaked out about it. I have the benefit of 289 (give or take) older siblings who have faced it before me as well as my husband, who just broke on through to the other side a couple of weeks ago. I am good to go with the Changing of the Decade.

Buuuut... I do kinda want to mark the occasion. A long weekend on a warm beach someplace would be nice. A blow out bash with friends and music and fireworks might be fitting. And a trip to NYC to see a Broadway show sounds fantastic, too. However, since so much of my life (both social media and IRL) are focused on ME ME ME, I want to mark the occasion by focusing on other people. (Though when you get through reading this I think you'll notice that it does all come back to me. What can I say? I live pretty hard in the first person singular!)

As best as I have it figured out in my head at this point, here's the plan:

1. Anytime before the end of 2013, forty* friends/family members/whomever email me and confirm that they want to part of the Pay It For(ty)ward Team. They give me their mailing address.

2. In late 2013 or early 2014, I send out a participation 'kit' to each Team member. The kit will include instructions - most of which a person can get by reading this blog - and $5.

(Ha! If you stop reading here it sounds like a pyramid scheme. I promise it isn't!)

3. Any time before March 1st, each participant will use the $5 (more if they wish) to Pay It For(ty)ward. How they wish to do this is completely up to them. (I will write future posts with suggestions or experiences of those taking part in case people get stuck).

4. Any time before March 7th, each participant will email me with a summary (and maybe a photo?) of their Pay It For(ty)ward experience. These collected experiences will be featured on my blog (anonymously if someone prefers) and in the This American Life broadcast/major motion picture/Broadway musical/theme park ride that will surely evolve out of this. (Think Big, right?)

5. On the weekend of March 15th and 16th (or maybe the next weekend... we still have to work out some logistics on this end) I will run 1 mile* for every Pay It For(ty)ward action that the Team took.

And most importantly...
6. By March 17th (or a week after) at least 40 people will have done something good for at least 40 other people. And, to quote Miley Cyrus on Saturday Night Live, "that's pretty cool." Oh, and also I will have completed a running challenge that will push me far beyond anything I've ever done before. Shhhh. I'm still in a bit of denial about that part. 

*Because of budget and physical limitations, I am holding the official count to 40 'sponsored' Team members and 40 miles, but obviously if more than 40 people want to participate in this project, that's fantastic!

Obviously, there are lots more details to work out. If you are an eager beaver and want to get on my list right away, you can send me your mailing address now. I would also love to hear your questions, since I'm sure there are pieces of this that I have not explained well or that I haven't even realized need to be worked out. I will be posting more information as I figure things out. I will be looking for locals (or those willing to travel) who might want to join me for some miles (and some beers when it's over!)

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