Here we are. Exactly one month later. (Since the fateful day that I madly rushed to the ferry and into the city for a luncheon that was scheduled for today, if you recall.)
Well, today I made it to the luncheon. A full hour early.
And, while I might argue that my work schedule, Halloween planning, and social commitments are even more insane today than they were a month ago, I am happy to report that I have fully regained my wits.
Today, I was able to leverage the full spectrum of modern technology to stay in touch with my colleagues and clients all day … on my phone, on my laptop … even from Starbucks (bless you, Starbucks), to keep an urgent project moving forward–while still managing to attend a charity event to raise awareness for a program that works miracles in our local Autism community.
I don’t actually have children with autism. Nor do I know any children with autism personally. But after today’s luncheon, and hearing the stories from parents of children with autism, and organizations working hard to develop programs and opportunities for these children, I have a newfound respect and appreciation for the challenges they face. I may have even shed a tear or two.
I left the luncheon feeling both inspired and compelled to help. Did you know that 1 in 110 children in America today is diagnosed with Autism? Nearly 1% of all children in America. That is a fascinating statistic in and of itself, but now, consider that in the 1980’s, the prevalence of Autism was 1 in 10,000 people in the United States. Staggering.
So, as I was driving home today, I brainstormed a new kind of challenge … in addition to minimizing the material items in my life, and replacing the void that those items leave with meaningful adventures and experiences, I’m also going to challenge myself to find a way to give each time I think I need to receive. It goes back to my whole barter system theory of finding ways we can trade our skills and services for not just goods, but for the good of our communities.
This thought is still in the incubator, and to be perfectly honest, there’s not a lot of room in the incubator at the moment, as I still have a deadline and a Captain Hook costume to pull together. But come November … we’re moving on to the Thanks-GIVING challenge.
(If that is not the farewell sign-off from a totally sane person, I don’t know what is …)