My Kind Of Town, All Over Again

After living in Chicago for 20 years, I thought I’d seen it all. But one of the benefits of my move to the Streeterville neighborhood is a new walk to work that’s reopening my eyes to the city’s beauty. Every morning, I breeze by the beautifully ornate Wrigley Building dwarfed by the behemoth, glossy Trump Tower; cross the Chicago River bridge on Michigan Avenue and see the flags fluttering over the commuters’ heads; walk past little Ogden Plaza (a tribute to the city’s first mayor) and the beautiful river walk; and look up at the giant Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza (brings to mind Ferris Bueller every time). For all the smiles it’s putting on my face, Chicago is my kind of town and my Rainbow of the Week.

Postcards From The Edge (Of Lake Michigan)

Postcards: the snail mail equivalent of texting. It doesn’t matter if they come from a vacation spot or your home town. Postcards are a quick, easy and fun way to let people know you’re thinking of them and to bring a smile to their day.

Having just moved a few blocks from Navy Pier, I find myself living in a tourist destination, complete with a souvenir shop down the block. Last night, I popped in and bought postcards to send to friends as a Random Act of Rainbow.

Is there someone you can surprise with a postcard today?

A New Beginning, & Another Beginning’s End

There’s a line in the song “Closing Time” that goes, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” For me, my “other beginning’s end” is leaving my home to its new buyers this week. I’m stealing a “random acts of rainbow” idea from my friend Susan (who also recently moved) by leaving a bottle of champagne and a “welcome” card for the new owners in the fridge.

The beginning’s end of selling my place opens the door for the new beginning of pursuing my application for the Peace Corps. Today, I had my first interview with my Peace Corps recruiter. The discussion ranged from whether I’d go to a country where I had to wear a burqa (that would be very, very, very, very, very H-A-R-D for me, but I promised myself to be open to ANYTHING), to describing a time when I disagreed with how something was done but had to do it anyway (I went back to the “old skool” days when I, a mere girl, was unqualified to be an altar boy).

The interview went past the allotted 90 minutes and, at the end, my recruiter nominated me for a university teaching position in Asia. It will be several months yet before I know if the nomination leads to an actual offer and, if so, what country I’ll be heading to. (Please no burqas, please no burqas, please no burqas.) For now, it’s closing time, time for me to go out to the places where I will be from, and to leave a bubbly and random act of rainbow in my wake.

Lost and Found

This week, as I sort through and pack up my belongings to move to a smaller place, two things are happening: (1) I’m shedding boxes and bags full of stuff that’s no longer me (why in the world did I accumulate so many things relating to shoes??); and (2) I’m finding old beloved things that I had forgotten all about (so THAT’S where I put the watch my dad got when he retired!), and I’m bringing them back into my life. I’ve also been following T.D. Jakes’ advice to “move into a new room” that makes me “dream again, think again, read again, learn again, a room with people who make deposits and not just withdrawals in your life.” Part of moving into that new room is doing this blog. I’ve encountered some very kind and helpful people in this new room, including Kate MacNicol, who recently reminded me that I should be reading Writer’s Digest.

Writer’s Digest used to be a regular part of my life when I was working on my Masters in Editing and Publishing at the University of Cincinnati, back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth. (OK, there were no dinosaurs, but there were no iPhones or Kindles either.) I lost that part of me when I went to law school, like a cozy sweater I put in a storage box and lost track of. By directing me back to Writer’s Digest, Kate helped me remember how much I enjoyed focusing on the writing profession before I got sucked into the black hole of lawyerdom. Finding that part of me again feels pretty wonderful. So thanks, Kate, for being a rainbow in my moving clouds this week!

If you’re also in the midst of moving into a new room, keep at it! Your efforts will pay off if, like T.D. Jakes advises, you take baby steps, wait for the payback, and have courage to take risks. And if you see a chance to help someone who’s moving into the room where you already reside (like Kate did for me this week), seize the opportunity to be a rainbow in their clouds….