Monday, March 17, 2014

Pay it 40-ward in Action: Mile 37

Dede is a high school pal who, like many, took the challenge to Pay it 40-ward seriously. You can read her wonderful write up of her experience below. Any obfuscation by me would be a waste of your time:

Dede, Mother Warrior (on right)

Join Phoebe’s “Pay It Forty-Ward” challenge!
Do something good AND creative!
Think, Give, Be!

This is right up my alley….or so I think. I get my envelope with its kind words, challenge of goodness and a crisp $5 bill. I CAN DO THIS!
I wait.
The procrastinator in me explains to my rational brain that this is the “creative process” at work. I need time to flesh out used up ideas, and come up with something new, meaningful and worthwhile. This kind of genius takes TIME!
Then I see your posts.
My overachieving mind is starting to panic a bit. DANG! Those were good ideas. Why didn’t my mind come up with those? I can’t copy someone else’s ideas. My rational mind is finding her voice. It’s loud and shrill and kind of annoying, but my procrastinator is equally loud, and very accustomed to drowning out the noise of those who attempt to thwart her goals. It’s still all good. I’ve got PLENTY of time to do the right, best, creative and meaningful thing.
I realize another month has passed, and I’ve done NOTHING.
“NOT NOTHING!” my procrastinator shouts, “Creative thought, research!” My rational side asks for results, at which point my procrastinator starts to sweat. She’s got nothing, she knows she’s got nothing, and she doesn’t want to admit it.
I had spent the better part of my previous day working, carrying buckets of ice, chopping food, flipping eggs, making and serving food at the café at my daughter’s swim team’s Championship event. TOMORROW….I would have to go and do the same thing at 6:00 am! What better way to celebrate Phoebe’s day by treating some of those tired parents who were on their third day of sitting in the basement of RPI Roberson Pool house. How you might ask? By giving away “Fortune Coffees”! $5 will buy 10 exhausted, sleep deprived, dedicated moms and dads a morning coffee from our café. To make it special I printed out slips of paper reminiscent of the fortune cookie to put into my purchased empty cups, such as:
“A sense of humor is the pole that adds balance as you walk the tightrope of life.”
The reverse side of the fortune explains the gift:
“Your morning coffee/tea is courtesy the ‘Pay It Forty-Ward Birthday Challenge’ Make the MOST of today and every day!”

I am a little giddy about my opportunity to brighten up some friends and strangers at the literal crack of dawn. It is giving me a strong case of “the feels”. I can’t wait to report back tomorrow afternoon (perhaps after a nap) with the results of my end of the challenge. I might even have pictures!
Happy 40th Birthday my dear wonderful, funny, charming, brilliant and witty Phoebe! (Editor's note: I swear I didn't add or change any of her adjectives!)

The "after" message:
But, seriously, how did she manage to hang onto "THEE" $5 bill I sent and the envelope all of these  months? That's some organization, right there!

So stinkin' smart. So stinkin' thoughtful. Somebody go sniff Dede and see if she stinks!

Needless to say, it was a beautiful experiment of joy. I'm grateful to have participated in your birthday gift! "Ok! I have a short break and am a bit giddy about this entire experience! I explained to the café captain what I wanted to do and he thought it was a fabulous idea, so I paid for my cups, set them up with their "fortunes" and then patiently waited for my first coffee customer. It didn't take long. These folks are TIRED and even in their haze to caffeinate, they managed to react to their gift.
Some were curious...and as it was slow and I was the first cashier I had a moment to explain "anonymous donor paid for the first ten, it's a fortune coffee, explanation on the back, go forth and enjoy your day!" There were lots of smiles, some laughter and someone came up to "request" a fortune coffee! 

When the permanent cashier arrived there were only a few left. She was MOST intrigued and fortune would have it that I brought your letter, so she had a chance to read it. Let's just say, I feel this might be something She'll be doing with her friends later this year. 

It only took 20 minutes from the first cup, but when they were all gone I felt REALLY good! Then something interesting happened, a few folks who got their first cup free came by for cup #2....they paid for it and for the NEXT person who wanted coffee! IT WORKED! Paying it fortyward really did result in forward payment. I did not expect this....and am genuinely happy that this small gesture resulted in forward movement of kindness. 

So again my dear Phoebe, Happy Birthday! I got the BEST gift FROM you for your birthday!"

THANK YOU, DEDE. I hope your idea catches on. Truly great!

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