Posts Tagged ‘Economic Stimulus’

Zen retention bonus

March 19th, 2009    -    5 Comments


All this talk of undeserved bailouts and ill-gotten bonuses has me scratching my head. What, exactly, is a retention bonus? And then mine came.

Yesterday I walked out my front door under the lazy beat of the afternoon heat to wheel my four garbage cans out onto the curb. Yes, four. One for trash trash, the dirty stuff. One for recyclables, although I hear that in these dire times they aren’t recycling them anymore. And two for the green waste, the clippings, leaves and branches that we harvest from my yard by the ton. As I yanked the dusty bins from the driveway to the street for the umpteenth time I realized I was wearing the same Old Navy denim capri pants I always wear, my only denim capri pants, although they ride too high and are cut too short and in truth are half a size too big, the pants I bought so long ago I can’t count the years, the ones I rarely wash or tend, that have ferried me through the thick of post-pregnancy and post-menopause and completely across the broad span of my middle years, pants no one else would want or wear, but I senselessly, foolishly, stubbornly – as is the nature of retention – retain them still.

The bonus? They still fit!

That was my retention bonus. I’m not giving it back.

A companion post to the Zen stimulus plan.

Zen stimulus plan

February 24th, 2009    -    11 Comments


Get up when the alarm goes off. Make your bed without a second thought.

Walk your child to school. Notice the sky, the buds and the berries. Let the sunlight and fresh air dispel the mood of sullen reluctance.

Greet her teacher with a wide smile that imparts your trust and respect.

Walk the dog. The dog knows the way.

Say hello to your neighbor sweeping his sidewalk. He is nearly recovered from that terrible train collision. When he asks you for some good news, say, “Rain is in the forecast.”

Let him tell you about the groundcover seeds he’s about to plant. Laugh that between the two of you, you’ll keep the nursery in business this year.

Visit Jim’s blog and donate a couple of dollars to rebuild the far side of the world. Extend the domestic rescue and recovery to Mongolia, where English is still revered as the language of liberation, and learning it is an act of love.

Using what’s at hand, make dinner.

Drop by the grocery store for extra cheese from California, Wisconsin and Ohio.

When the checker asks if you found everything, say yes. Then ask her how her day is going, and mean it.

Clean up the kitchen without complaint, because one day soon you may need the rain gutters cleaned.

Day done, go to bed. Don’t waste a minute of this wondrous mind to self-criticism, worry or distraction.

Rest easy, knowing that tomorrow won’t bring any more than you can handle, or any less than you absolutely need.

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