My Goodness Journal

My life is filled with goodness.

Fresh Starts January 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — napril1023 @ 11:33 am
Tags: , , ,

There’s nothing like a fresh start. It is your chance to become someone different, better. To try new things. I think that’s why I’ve always loved moving to a new town or starting a new school or job. There was no one who know of the stupid mistakes I had made, or the trouble I had gotten into. Starting over gave me a clean slate.

That’s what I love about the New Year. I get to start over. I leave all the problems and bad choices behind. Bad attitudes, doubts, struggles, toxic people — left behind. After all, that’s why people say “don’t dwell on the past.” I mean, what good does it do?

2010 is bright and shiny, full of potential. And I’m going to wring every ounce of life out of it.

You should, too.

Let’s have a happy, healthy and wise new year, folks.


Lazy summer Sundays August 16, 2009

Filed under: Friendship,Relaxation — napril1023 @ 9:34 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I appreciate the cool crispiness that rolls in around October. The colors changing from lush greens to warm ambers. The pungent smell of backyard bonfires. Somehow, despite being born and bred in the south, I never acclimated to the heat and humidity that stretches from May to August.

In my teen years, I developed a habit of staying indoors between the hours of noon and five… or six. (I deeply believe that this contributed my night owl-ishness.)

When I migrated north, I thought I had left a great deal of the stifling heat and humidity behind. That was obviously a misguided expectation for they are here in full effect.

Nowadays, though, I don’t let them keep me inside… of my apartment anyway. I found a few ways to entertain myself while staying cool, and I’m not shamed to say they all involve free air conditioning.

With today’s weather forecast called for temperatures reaching into the 90s, I ditched my plans to walk the GWB just for kicks. So how was going to spend the day? I wasn’t too keen on sitting around my apartment waiting for the season premier of Mad Men. I didn’t want to visit yet another museum or see a movie. And the public pool was not appealing, not even a little bit. There was only one other option: brunch indoors. Did you know you can drag out a brunch til 5pm?

My good friend Lora and I headed over to Good Enough to Eat on W 83rd and Broadway. In addition to the fully functioning air conditioning, the service and food were fantastic. We shared fresh blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs, biscuits with strawberry butter and coffee, and talked and laughed for hours. When we left the temperature had dropped to a balmy 80s and a nice cool breeze was blowing.

All in all, a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.


Great customer service August 11, 2009

Filed under: Customer Service — napril1023 @ 10:42 pm
Tags: ,

I’m a fan of excellent customer service. Having worked in the service industry at various points in my life, I’m well aware of how little effort it takes to give decent service. After all, the majority people have reasonable expectations. But too often service is sub-par, and you’re made to feel as if you’re a bother. I’ve witnessed a transit bus drive yell at a passenger because he didn’t like the noise her newspaper made when she turned the pages. I’m constantly flabbergasted at restaurant servers who get upset when they get a less-than-desired tip despite the fact that they disappeared after delivering your meal and you had ask someone else to refill your drink.

But nothing tops the auto repair shop. It’s by far one of the places I dread going to the most. I accepted long ago that, to a mechanic, I am a walking dollar sign. It doesn’t help that I can never adequately describe the problem. Even the random car noises I try to mimic elicit laughter or a raised eyebrow. It never fails that the attendant comes back with a scary list of recommendations. And it never fails that I freak out.

That’s the reason why I’ve been driving my car around for months with an insanely loud rattle. I knew it was time to visit a shop when a nice looking man in a shiny black car next to me at the light motioned for me to roll down my window … not to say hello … but to make sure that I knew my car was making a noise. E.M.B.A.R.R.A.S.S.I.N.G.

That sent me straight to the auto shop this weekend. I went in already dejected, expecting to give away my money. I tried to describe the noise, pinpoint the general direction… I get blank stares in response. The guy takes the care back and 15 minutes later comes back and says, “You’re done. You needed a clamp replaced.” I ask, “How much do I owe?” He says, “Nothing, don’t worry about.” What?!?

No list of things to fix (and there are several). No pressure to make immediate and costly decisions. His only request was that I come back if ever need service. You bet I will.


Celebrating birthdays August 8, 2009

Filed under: Holidays — napril1023 @ 12:35 am
Tags: , ,

As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing better than birthdays. Your birthday is the only day in the whole year that is all about you. People are generally really nice to you, and you get free stuff – food, drinks, presents. You receive calls, cards and emails from people you hear from often, even those who live in other countries! When does it get any better, I ask? Christmas doesn’t even come close for me.

I’ve been fortunate to take part in several birthday celebrations, and none are the same. And I’ve never been to one that wasn’t fun. I’m not sure how or why it is, but I know a so many August babies. (Also a lot of May babies, but not as many.)

Thursday I went to an outing to celebrate a coworker and friend at 1-2-3 Burger-Shot-Beer in NYC. It was exactly the sort of celebration K.G. would love. Decent food, decent beer, great conversation and big laughs. Sunday I’ll be attending a very special celebration for a very special young friend. She turns 21! I’m looking forward to sharing this big occasion with her. We’re aiming for something classy yet low key, just like H.E. In 11 days, my little brother turns 18. (I need more time to come to grips with that, actually.)

All of this rambling is to say that I adore birthdays, and I love doing whatever I can to make sure that people I know feel loved on their very special day.


Being intentional August 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — napril1023 @ 11:26 pm
Tags: , ,

Today was one of those days when it was nearly impossible to pick out a moment of goodness. Nothing bad happened; in fact, the day was quite ordinary. Maybe too ordinary. In thinking about what I would write in this post, I went through a mental checklist of today’s activities.

– crossed some items off the work to-do list
– stuck to my new healthy eating regimen
– resolved a couple personal issues quite successfully

I tried to think if I did anything nice. Did I help someone out? Go out of my way? Nope.

There was nothing.

Except… perhaps the fact that I sat quietly, reflecting on my day is the point. Maybe the lesson is that I should be more intentional about creating moments of goodness in my life. I guess they just don’t happen organically.


Finding pockets of peace August 4, 2009

Filed under: Relaxation — napril1023 @ 11:32 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

At the end of a 10-hour work day, my temper was a wee short; my general outlook on humankind, not so pleasant. It was going to be a challenge to unwind and relax for sure. So on my drive home I was singularly focused on getting home to make dinner and plopping down on the couch.

I’m zipping down the road with the windows down, and I get a whiff of freshly cut grass. Yum. I love love love that smell. It reminds me of summer when I was kid and used to walk barefoot in grass that was just mowed… the soft grass anyway. It felt so cool to the touch, perfect on a hot summer afternoon.

I’m realizing that it’s August already and I’ve barely enjoyed summer. I haven’t taken much time to slow down, chill out or kick back. I decided to just breathe in the smell, and reminisce about childhood.

And that’s how I found that little pocket of peace to help me unwind. Who knew all it took was the smell of grass and a cool breeze in the window…


Asking for help August 3, 2009

Filed under: Maturity — napril1023 @ 11:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

For as long I can remember I’ve had difficulty asking for help. It translated as admitting defeat and coming across as an incapable person. I’ve been known to work long after the shop closes, only to go home and work some more. And saying no to additional projects and requests for help rarely happened. But today I grew up.

Circumstances beyond my control forced me to admit that I was overwhelmed by my workload. I just knew that I couldn’t handle everything on my plate. I struggled with feeling unable to give my best effort to any of my tasks – quite the challenge for someone with slightly perfectionist tendencies, and the “helper” gene.

Such an acknowledgment was hard to digest. Once I knew the fact, what was I supposed to do with it? Work more hours? Stay late all week? Work over the weekend? No, no and no.

Taking my maturity a step further, I summoned the courage to talk to my boss. I tried not to think too much about whether she would perceive my “admission” as a negative, wanting only to focus on a resolution.

Fortunately she was receptive and helpful. She didn’t blink an eye, or look at me like I was crazy. Actually I felt crazy for not having taking this approach before. This was a lesson well-learned.

I guess it’s true: Ask and you shall receive.


Being a mentor August 2, 2009

Filed under: Mentorship — napril1023 @ 11:46 pm
Tags: ,

Not all teenagers are self-absorbed, egotistical, materialistic, whiny, bratty, selfish individuals. It’s true, and if you don’t believe me, just spend 20 minutes with some of the kids I have the privilege to mentor. Two of them made my heart shine today.

First, I was thrilled to spend about 6 hours with one my girls this afternoon. She is such an amazing, thoughtful, inquisitive person. She likes to ask for my opinion and advice on important life choices… and typical teen stuff, too. This may not mean like much to you, but when was the last a time a teenager wanted to spend a Sunday afternoon with you to get your input on things going on in her life? Not to seem selfish myself, but it makes me feel important, valued and loved.

Second, my heart melted when I checked my Facebook status this evening and read this message from another of my mentees:

you are one of my role models, very up there on my list 🙂

Perhaps I’m doing something right. I am so grateful for the honor to serve as their mentor. I love them. They add exceptional, unmatched value to my life, and have influenced me more than they know.


Reconnecting with friends

Filed under: Friendship — napril1023 @ 1:22 am
Tags: , , ,

Lately I’ve had a hard time finding things to be happy about and seem to be focusing only on the negative. That’s a problem, especially because I have so many things to be grateful for. I don’t want to become that person who takes things – people, health, career, life – for granted. So I’ve decided to consciously and deliberately reflect on at least one thing that happens each day for which I am grateful, or which is just all-around filled with goodness.

So with that said… here is a little ray of sunshine from today.


Often it seems that life gets in the way of friendship. Work, spouses, children, graduate school, obligations, obligations, obligations. As a single, childless, mid-30s woman, I feel this rather markedly as past friends have married and become parents. The calls and visits are few and far, far between… sometimes years go by before a call or email is returned. I feel dispensable. It hurts. I miss them. They are great people; all of my friends are awesome and I want to spend time with them.

Just as I resigned myself to living in Single Isolation, two friends contacted me: one via Facebook friend request on Thursday (to share that she’s preggers!!!); and one via email on Saturday (effusively apologizing for the time gone past, and with news of a new baby!).

It sounds like a small thing, I know. But hearing from these wonderful people went a long way to lift my spirits. They hadn’t forgotten about me after all, and still thought me important enough to share the good news in their lives.

It made happy, and I’ll admit it… I feel a little special.

So, here’s to good friends who never actually go away. Salut.