#31AmazingDays : Week 2 Roundup
Wow, is this challenge half-over already? Here’s the roundup of the amazing things I did during the second week of the 31 Amazing Days Challenge. (And yes, I will be posting one of these posts every Monday for the remainder of October.)
On Day 9, I attended my second Toastmasters meeting since I moved, and officially committed to joining my local club. I also invented my own main dish for dinner: broccoli trees wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with the sandwich spice mix from Penzey’s Spices, a local business just up the street from me. This was my first time using the spices that my godfather had given me as a housewarming present. My creation was pretty tasty. 🙂
On Day 10, I used my new health insurance card for the very first time, to get a company-provided flu shot at an on-site clinic set up in one of our meeting rooms. I also put up my scarecrow decoration on the door of my apartment, adding a touch of autumn cheer, and I spent part of the day relaxing and reading some good books.
Day 11 was a work day. I beat my previous personal best for the number of productive tasks completed in a single workday, for the third time this month. I also donated money to a friend in need. (I won’t give any more details, because I said I wanted to be anonymous.)
On Day 12, I took my problem-solving and troubleshooting at work to a new level of effort. I also went into my Mint.com account and updated my monthly budget information, which I had originally put in about a year ago. Things have changed a lot since then, of course.
Day 13 was a Saturday at work, and I got the opportunity to learn not just one, but two new skills from one of my coworkers. I also collaborated with two coworkers to troubleshoot a particular problem, an experience which is now officially my first funny tech support story. The guy we were talking to over the phone was from a location where they were working on their internal network, and they had decided to plug one of their end devices directly into our router, so it would still be on the network. With a regular straight-through cable. My colleague, Patrick, and I both knew perfectly well that that was not going to work; it will work if you use a crossover cable, or if you do the normal thing and put a switch in between the two. I politely suggested that the client do the latter, and he did, and it worked. I maintained a professional demeanor until after I got off the phone, but it was funny.
The other cool thing I did on Day 13 (Saturday) was transfer Kindle books checked out from the Omaha Public Library onto my phone for the first time. That was really, really cool. I’m grateful that my library provides this service. You check it out through the library’s Web site, and get the book through your Amazon.com account. The book file stays on your Kindle or device with a Kindle application on it (in my case, my new phone) for 7 or 14 days, depending on what you select (I selected 14), and then automatically disappears from the device.
On Day 14, after church, I felt really energized and wanted to go on an adventure, so I went out and explored a new shopping center, Village Pointe. While I was there, I went to a restaurant for lunch, where ran into my friends the Vann family from church, and we chatted for a bit. In the evening, I took a writing test that required me to write a sample article of at least 200 words on my choice of ten different topics. I chose the only one I felt I had any kind of expertise on – interviewing for jobs. Today at around noon, I discovered that I had passed and had been awarded the $10 bonus that was promised to everyone who passed. There will be a second round of reviews of the quality of the articles, and those writers who make the cut will be offered the chance to write more articles for more pay in the future.
Once again, today, Day 15, has been amazing so far. I picked up and put away a few things this morning, and completed my paperwork for my new Toastmasters club. Then I went to volunteer at Food Bank for the Heartland, which I do every other Monday. The last two times, I helped pack food in boxes, but this time, I got to do something different. I helped stick labels on plastic bags for the Backpacks Program, and I helped sort food donations into bins. That was, hands down, my favorite volunteer task that I’ve done there so far. I hope I get to do it again next time. While I was there, I also learned that there will be a Chili Cookoff there next weekend. I plan to enter. After that, I went and dropped off my recycling, and then I came here, to my favorite hangout (Jones Brothers Cupcakes) to write this blog entry. This evening, I plan to do some laundry, some recording, and maybe watch some of the special features on the DVD I currently have out from Netflix. I watched the movie, The Italian Job (the original version with Michael Caine) last night.
After two and a half months of living on my own, I think I’m finally starting to find my groove. I’ve finally found the self-motivation to get things done on a daily basis, like managing finances, taking care of my apartment, and working toward personal goals. I think this challenge has really helped me to find and embrace this now state of mind, a state of mind in which fulfilling everyday responsibilities and achieving personal goals feel less like burdens to be avoided and more like opportunities to be enjoyed. I’m pretty happy about this. 🙂
This upcoming week will be the busiest and most exciting week I’ve had since I came here. Check back next Monday for a complete rundown.