Gratitude

While on Wednesdays, there will be mid-week celebrations, Thursdays will be the time for expressing gratitude. We will return to failing on Fridays.

Today’s gratitude is extended to the invention of air conditioning.

Where I live, we are breaking 90 degrees and while I know that is not the hottest temperature in the world, it is an intensity of heat that is uncomfortable to me.  By July, we will probably be breaking 100 degrees around here, or it will feel that way with the heat index.  So, air conditioning is a pretty cool thing to have around.

90 degrees, it turns out, is hot enough to require canceling horse therapy sessions.  This meant that I did not sidewalk today. Currently, the organization is in the process of getting enough fan units to keep the arena where the sessions occur cool enough for both clients and horses.  Having been at the arena yesterday, when it was a mere 89 degrees, I can say that my gratitude towards being able to stay in my nice air-conditioned home today has been amplified by that experience.

In order to express my gratitude in a semi-accurate way, I even casually googled to find out who invented air conditioning. The inventor was Willis Carrier, according to the search results.  He established the Carrier Air Conditioning Company in 1902, according to http://www.popularmechanics.com.  Also according to the site, 2015 marks the 110th anniversary of air conditioning.  Neat!  They even published an article that has a timeline of the history of air conditioning in order to celebrate Willis Carrier and his invention.

Anyway, I am grateful to be living in a house and conducting daily life business in buildings that have air cooling units within them.  Air conditioning makes the summer much more bearable.  It is also an encouraging reminder to know that autumn, my favorite season, is just around the corner.  Thanks to the AC, I will not melt before it gets here!

Thanks Willis Carrier! Thanks air conditioning units! Thanks mom and dad for paying the electricity bill!

Until tomorrow, happy failing!

For anyone interested in the timeline, it is here:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/a7951/a-brief-history-of-air-conditioning-10720229/

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Gratitude

While on Wednesdays, there will be mid-week celebrations, Thursdays will be the time for expressing gratitude. We will return to failing on Fridays.

This week’s gratitude is extended to acquaintances, both acquaintances in general and a specific one.

At the equine therapy center where I volunteer, I have only been present a day or two each week for five weeks.  For this reason, I am still a newbie to the organization.

My sister, however, is not.  Last spring semester, she was the volunteer coordinator for the organization.  Meaning, she was in charge of making sure that the people who did the things I am doing at the center now were in the right places at the right times.  So, she directed multiple newbies and old hand-type volunteers.  Now, she is well known and respected by the administrative-types in the organization as well as the old volunteers she helped coordinate during the spring volunteer opportunities.

As a newbie volunteer, this puts me in an awkward place of not-just-another-volunteer-but-actually-only-a-volunteer.

Today my gratitude is extended to someone who my sister has developed a strong friendship with at the organization, but who hardly knows me.  She is one of the riding instructors, and while I am in an awkward volunteer space, she has always gracefully managed to treat me without any awkwardness.  I am acknowledge as someone who is not a background volunteer person, which I technically am, but as someone who does know quite a bit about the organization through my sister, although I do not expect or want to be engaged beyond volunteer responsibilities all the time.

Instead of ignoring me or not including me in conversations, she always makes sure I know that I am appreciated as a volunteer.  Since I usually arrive with my sister, who arrives early, and only volunteer for 2 or 3 hours when I am there for 8-10, that alone means a lot.  She takes her kindness one step further by including me in snack runs and/or as part of the group that she will share snacks with after the volunteer hours are over.

She is the reason I feel included in and appreciated by the organization, without feeling awkward when I am there and in either the not-yet or have-just-finished volunteering mode.

Acquaintances can make your life miserable for no apparent reason or wonderful for the same lack of reason.  I am fortunate enough that in this experience, I have an acquaintance that has chosen to invest some time in me to make sure I feel appreciated and enjoy volunteering.

Here’s to acquaintances that make life wonderful.  Thank you!

An Electrifying Tail

Hello followers!

Unfortunately, I did not fail in any inspiring or spectacular way today.  So, I am going to have to do something that I did not plan on doing. I shall talk about a past failure.

A few weeks ago, I went to the equine therapy center (that place I volunteer as a sidewalker at) for the first time. While I was there, my sister, who interned at the center this past spring, was asked to “catch some horses.” Catching horses refers to putting a bridle and reins on a horse, then leading them to the stables.

One of the horses she was asked to catch was Dreamer, who is her favorite horse. However, he was in a paddock that was partitioned off by an electric fence.  There are two wires that form this electric fence, and to “open the gate” in it, you have to grasp these plastic handles on each wire and unhook them from a pole. Once a person and/or horse has gone through the gate, you rehook the ends of the wires (which, of course, are made of metal to keep the current going), and the gate is closed with the current complete.

That’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway.  When I tried to rehook the ends of the wires, I found that the plastic handles did not quite give me enough control over the metal hooks.  I kept missing the space where the hooks needed to be placed.

So, without thinking, I adjusted the metal hook with my bare hand in order to get it back into place.

It worked.  But, I also had these thoughts…

1 millisecond before touching the hook-“I probably shouldn’t be doing this.”

1 second after touching the hook-“Oh, that’s right, I shouldn’t be doing this because this is an electric fence.”

2 seconds after touching the hook-“I can feel the current, wow it feels thrummy.”

3 seconds after touching the hook-I feel a soft WHUMP as the current went through me and into the ground. I also let go of the wire.

And then guys, after the WUMP, my ankle……….twitched.

And that was the entirety of my reaction. I didn’t feel or receive a painful shock.  I have always had unusual luck/responses to electricity, though, so that was not as surprising to me as it has been to the people I have told.

That story was also an elaborate setup for a recent failure that my mentor told me about.  I was lucky compared to the squirrel that was on his property.

What happened? In his words, “We had a squirrel who met a shocking end on our power pole.”

You read that correctly, my mentor and his wife had a squirrel die on their property because it electrocuted itself. They even had to have the city come out to fix the situation.

I, of course, could only point out that it was a stunning conclusion to a current event.  Only one jolt and that squirrel went off the grid for good.

I warned you about the puns.

What is the point of these failures? You should turn on the AC in the summer, but not in that way.  A slightly more serious interpretation is this: Remember that even when you think something you have done registers as a particularly stupid failure, there is always someone else out there who has failed in a more stupid fashion than you did.  So, you should do a happy dance to celebrate not being them.

Until tomorrow, happy failing!