Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free Time: Noticing the nice.

Today was a day off from my real job, so I had a bit of free time.

I spent most of today out in the world, navigating through the slush and melty wet remains of our last snowstorm.

I love Colorado. Arctic one day, sweater weather the next. But note to self: waterproof boots are a better choice than Converse tennis shoes on days like today.

In any case, I don't know if it's because of this Free Time project or if it's because I've just taken the time to perk up my ears to the sound of nice. But everyone was so nice today, even when they didn't need to be.

Is this the way everyone normally conducts themselves? Have I not been picking up nice when it's tossed in my direction? Have I really been this disconnected to noticing nice while I wander through my busy life?

Maybe so.

But not today. It's like everyone I met today put a teeny but potent long-acting Nice pill in their morning coffee.

Definitely not complaining.

You know what else is nice?

The fractal that began just a few days ago is getting bigger every day.

Because I read a few emails and I sent a few emails before I left the house today.

I received an email from Marilyn, who emailed me on Monday about the house full of items she wants to give away before she relocates to another state in March.

She let me know that she and Jan from Jubilee had made a connection.

That's worth a whole lot of nice.

I'd intended to pick up a fully functional washer and dryer from Martha on Saturday.

Then I got to thinking.... Ronda emailed me on Monday, and she needs a whole bunch of stuff. So I called her, asked her if she needed the washer/dryer set, and she does! She even has the vehicle - and person-power - to pick up this set of functional goodness at Martha's house.

Nice! Another connection was made. Problem solved.

As I was negotiating the details of this connection, Sue and James called.

I work with Sue at my real job, and I simply love her husband James. They're such a wonderful couple.

They'd read my blog about Michelle and the connection we'd made with the young woman who truly needs what I've found in my Free Time. Sue and James want to provide some items that might make this woman's load just a bit lighter.

So Sue and James are putting their thinking caps on about what a young mom with a young child might need, in addition to what I've found.

I did have a span of actual free time today, during which I had a lovely lunch with my friend Shawn.

What a necessary, nice respite. Our waiter at Pasquini's on Broadway was extra-special nice.


As Shawn and I were wrapping up our time together, I got a call from my Free Time recipient. We'll meet on Saturday. I keep forgetting to ask her if it's okay to mention her name on my blog. So for now, she's my recipient.

We nailed down the time we're meeting on Saturday. She, Michelle and I will finally have some face time.


Once I finally got home, I had to quickly leave again. I headed to my bank. Typically, the drive-through is pokey, and the drive-through tellers deliver a formulaic "My name is '______,', I'll get this right out to you..." patter.

My teller today seemed extra-nice. Ebullient, even. Totally off the script.


Is it me? Have I not noticed the nice all around me before now?

What with my typical crazy To-Do list, my overwhelming need to try to not forget something important, my attempt at multi-tasking, my desire to be organized and task-driven during my free time, my spinning about just to keep ahead of the next thing, have I not noticed the nice before today?

Is it this project?

Regardless of why, I've been noticing so much more nice. After this Free Time experiment is over, I fully intend to notice the nice that's right in front of me, despite my distractions.

Nice is good. It's very catchy.

Nice has been nice to notice today.

And today, I've noticed that nice is everywhere.


  1. "I believe we can be better," said Obama. "Those who died here, those who saved lives here -- they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us." I think people may have listened to the president's speech last night and are inspired to treat each other with kindness and be NICE! I am, anyway, inspired to niceness.
    Liz B.

  2. “Companies are starting to hire again, but many are turning their backs on older job seekers.” If you’re over 40 and out of work, Even though the national unemployment rate among older workers is lower than that of younger workers, none of the recent gains in hiring have occurred for the older bracket. For help visit:

    employment tips