Dusting Off: The First 100 Days of My New Administration

My last post was three weeks ago, a fact I find sort of amazing.  It’s not like I’ve done any huge things in those 21 days — you know, I didn’t get inaugurated (or forget to tell the President-elect the right words to the oath), or dance at any balls, or even explain to hostile senators the problems with my taxes so I could become Secretary of the Treasury.  

What have I done?  Oh, basically, I polished forty cabinet pulls to put back on the cabinets of our recently painted kitchen.  And I wrote half a story,  cooked some stuff, thought half-heartedly about my blog, and discovered Facebook, which might not be such a good thing, achievement-wise.   Okay, so, basically, I have fallen into a post-holiday stupor.  

But I’ll tell you something:  Obama’s inauguration speech totally picked me up, dusted me off and set me going again.  When he was done, I felt like I’d just been shown into my own oval office (in my house, it is called The Kitchen, and as I said, it is newly painted, probably a little like some of the rooms at the White House, although I have no way of knowing that for sure). Today, I am going to hit the ground running with a Plan for my Administration, because the country is in a bit of a crisis and I’m not doing a single damn thing to make it better.  

It is, therefore, time for a List.  You know, the stuff you are going to accomplish in your first 100 days in The Kitchen.  My list of things I will do to make the country better is all about what Obama said when he mentioned that we should be helping each other out.  I realized when I heard this that my biggest impediment to doing good is my fear that what I do is too small, as in They’ve already filled the Secretary of State job so, therefore, I cannot make any contribution.  After Aretha Franklin got up there in her big hat and  belted out My Country ‘Tis of Thee, I became officially Way Over That.  In my first 100 days I am ONLY going to do small things, but I am going to do them well.  I might even wear a hat to some of them.  But, no matter what I wear when I do them, I will actually do them.  

In fact, I already did one of them, which is take a voluntary 1 day a month furlough at work.  Remember when Obama said in that speech something about how it is good when people cut their work schedules so their friends don’t lose their jobs?  Well, a furlough does that.  

The other three things:  

1.  I’ve gone through our house, packed up every single coat that hasn’t been worn since the last year of the Bush administration and I am going to give those coats away, like I wish we could give away so many of the things we were left by the Bush Administration.  

2.  I’m giving blood.  I always say I will and then I never do.  I’m O negative, a universal donor and not the fainting type.  It is a shame that I don’t do this.  The Alameda County Blood Bank is four blocks from my house.  It is next door practically to a  place where you can get a pedicure as a kind of reward for giving blood, and that pedicure place is a small business and those ladies need to be patronized.  Okay, I might not do the pedicure part.  But I will give blood.

3.  The hardest thing, but the thing I think will be fun and the thing I happen to be completely qualified to do (unlike, say be Secretary of State) is to become a writing coach at Berkeley High School one day a week.  

And when I finish those three jobs, I will think of a couple more.

In a few days, I will have a great interview to share with you.  In the meantime, what are you doing in your First 100 Days?

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19 thoughts on “Dusting Off: The First 100 Days of My New Administration

  1. Wow! Not that I need more inspiration after the inauguration high…but thanks for putting your new “to do” out there for us to see. Those are such great offerings! I hadn’t thought about it in the context of the first 100 days, but I’m on it 🙂

    My sister and I had a long talk over coffee this morning about what each of our parts might be. And then we realized there are a gazillion people all over America and beyond, having the very same conversation. That’s pretty darn exciting!

  2. I’ve already been up and running with various projects for a while now. My three favorite projects are:

    1. setting up four micro-financed women’s co-ops creating Village Phone Salons in Kenya, Ruwanda, Cameroon, and Uganda (www.vpsnabuur.weebly.com). Could still use assistance (hint, hint).

    2. helping to sponsor a Master’s opera student at the local Music Conservatory with a very humble monthly sum of money, but being a student every penny helps.

    3. helping to build a new school for 400 OVC (orphans and vulnerable children) in Kimilili, Kenya.

    Next on my list is to sort through all of my books and donate all the books that I do not plan to read again to our city library. Last time I did this, three years ago, I passed on 15 bags of books. This time around there will only be four or five bags, but I just like the idea of books being read.

    Great idea for a post and I hope others answer with their ideas.

  3. Lilalia, These are magnificent suggestions! I love the concept of the mircroloan, and have long thought about contributing to them. Thanks for the hint!

    Dear Deborah, Yes, it is really wonderful to know that a lot of people are thinking just what we are.

  4. Totally give blood! And, if it goes well, have them schedule you for the next time you are eligible. I do this and get a tremendous feeling of goodness. Plus, you can get sympathy from people for a day. 🙂

  5. I’ve been lending to Kiva for about two years now, and this recent activity about Village Phone Salons is setting up a business as well.

    I recently wrote about Kiva and micro-financing, as well as posted an interesting video (http://vpsnabuur.weebly.com/5/post/2009/01/post-title-click-and-type-to-edit.html). Please feel free to watch the video. I think it explains mircro-financing lending from the lenders point of view very well.

    Now, setting up a women’s co-op business is another thing all together! Smile! A lot more complicated than originally anticipated.

  6. hey, pedicures are wonderful. you should try it after donating blood. which i do too! i love to donate blood. it’s like practically giving nothing away, unlike other sort of charities where you must either part with your cash or spend a considerable amount of time to contribute something.

  7. Good lord, I am now ashamed that I have no goals at all, and I wasn’t aware of this whole 100 days business. I shall have to think about it.

  8. “In my first 100 days I am ONLY going to do small things, but I am going to do them well.” I love this! Very inspiring Lily. I’ll be thinking now about my own small contributions, many of them actually focussed on the kitchen as ethical (and delicious!) eating is much on my mind these days. Obama’s call to service was a spectacular prompt for an apathetic age.

  9. Great post, Lily! I, for one, 150% relate to the January doldrums and the addictiveness of Facebook (which is always bizarre to me even as I’m logging in!). I, however, can’t say I’ll donate blood since I’m practically phobic about needles…

    However, I’ve been think alot — over the last six months actually — about my self-absorbed writing life and how it might be time to amp up my connection to others in some simple yet meaningful way. Small, like you say, but well done. You post inspires me because I, too, was putting off my idea, thinking, yeah, whatever, what kind of impact could I really have?

    But I WILL look into it! My idea: Train my little dog as a therapy dog and take her into rest homes, hospitals, and so on. I remember the dogs that came into the oncology waiting room one time (my mom was the patient), and it was so sweet, sweeter than could be.

  10. Lisa — I love (a) your typos and (b) your idea of going to visit people with your dog. Let me know how it works out. It sounds incredibly satisfying.

    Dear Kate, Ethical eating — I give that a big high five. In early November I stopped eating meat — not for ethical reasons, but because it struck me as a healthy thing for a woman who has had cancer to do. Fish, I eat. Because I love fish. It’s weird, the way we go about finding the right way to live. I find that not eating meat makes me happy, because it seems like a lighter way to live on the earth.

    Dear Ms. Sofa Muser, Take it slow. It can be dangerous to leap up from the sofa and charge out into the world. Someone could get hurt. Small, small, small. Say that quietly to yourself, okay?

    Dear Michelle, When I get back from lunch, I’m looking up the number and hours of our blood bank.

    Sulz, How lovely to hear from you! Okay, I’m doing the pedicure. Thank you for weighing in on that. It’s very useful.

    Dear Emily, I wonder if there’s a way to do good on Facebook? I don’t know, but it’s a lot of fun, that running around thing.

    Lilalia, Thank you so much for that link! And good luck with the village phone salons — they’re far more complex than microloans, right? Good for you for wading in and doing that.

    SW, Feelings of goodness and sympathy!? Wow. I’m there.

  11. I’m thinking so very small…I’m going to try to forgive my ex (for my son’s sake); I’m going to try to not get impatient and self-righteous with people who express ideas and do things I think are stupid; I’m going to try to be kind (actively.) What does that last mean? i think it can be as small as looking strangers in the eye.

    My bit for the economy? try not to default on my mortgage and let others who do have whatever dollars become available.

    And take my son places that cost more than I can afford where the sun and sea smile on us.
    –op

  12. I too have become addicted to Facebook recently. It is oddly compelling – and quite a timesuck.

    1. I started the year with starting a Kiva lending group & pledged that I would tie my blog to it somehow each month. This month I said I would donate $1/comment, $1 for each new commenter, and $1 for each person who joined my lending group. But, I’ve hardly blogged at all so my comments are minimal. Guess I better get busy blogging so people can comment!

    2. I volunteered to be a site coordinator for local Daffodil Days for American Cancer Society.

    3. You’ve inspired me to come up with one other thing I can do in the next 100 days. I need to think about what small thing I will do. I like the idea of giving blood. Although I can no longer do this, I think it is a great way that people can be of service to others and all it takes is a small amount of time.

  13. Wow, Bloglily, I just discovered you. And I love your writing. Thank you for showing me how “it” can be done. Marmalade

  14. Great list, and I definitely need to come up with my own list. Giving blood though, I just can’t – it’s the one thing I know I should do that I have never, ever been able to bring myself to! But one of my new year’s resolutions is to volunteer steadily and I have to find a way to begin.

  15. We stayed up late to watch Obama’s inaugeration live – I agree, it was one of the best political speeches I’ve ever heard. People, in our part of the world at least, are optimistic about the US again! Hurrah for democracy.

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