Writing Our Own Health Ticket
I spent some time en route today. I started the morning with a long run. My tired self was happy to be done with that extra long route. Then I proceeded to be en route to another location; this time, by car. I drove the easy 25 minute drive to an area in Berkeley I have never been before (and absolutely love!), parked my car, fed my meter, and walked to the most quaint little cafe to have a lunch meeting with a friend. Lunch ended and I made my way back to the car. As I returned, I noticed a little white piece of paper flapping on my windshield. It was at that moment (okay, maybe more like 5 minutes later…I needed the first 4 minutes to whine) that I discovered the Unexpected Health in…parking tickets.
Yep, we can actually come to appreciate that little piece of slick paper, surrounded by an easy-to-mail-in-with-your-payment envelope (thank you city officials for giving me a FREE envelope to send my $40 parking ticket…bit of sarcasm there!). But seriously, after the double-check to make sure the parking people had the right time, the, “Why me’s?” and choice curse words offered to those obsessively punctual ‘Meter Maids,” I have found that a bit of health can be experienced with tickets; Unexpectedly. You see, although being the recipient of a ticket can be full of unhealthy feelings, the Unexpected Health in a parking ticket is that tickets force us to contribute to communities…and being a part of a community by any means possible is healthy.
Did I want to contribute $40 to the City of Berkeley today? Not necessarily. In fact, I could have thought of a million other ways I would have liked to spend those double $20s. But do I want cities like Berkeley to thrive; to continue growing, expanding, and providing more opportunities for its dwellers and beyond? Absolutely! And furthermore, I was in Berkeley for a meeting to discuss how I can further develop my own aspirations, dreams, and visions. Double bonus!
Life has a funny way of allowing us to ‘give back’ sometimes. Sometimes we give back by feeding someone else’s meter so they don’t get a ticket (remember Day 85?). Other times, we give back by force; say, with parking tickets. But no matter how we give back to our communities, we will undoubtedly experience health. Today I might have given more financially than I wanted, but I received the gift of collaboration tenfold. So the next time you are forced to ‘give back,’ try considering the gift you may be contributing. Yes, a 2 minute-longer lunch might have cost you a ticket, but I am willing to bet that more often than not, the conversation and the connection is worth the money…and then some. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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