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As I stated in an earlier post, I knew that the first few towns to meditate in would be relatively easy. I would be hitting the towns around me, and I could do them while I was on the way of doing other things. Today, being Presidents Day and a holiday, I had the opportunity to get a massage (highly recommended to anyone who’s never treated themselves well!) and I knew I had only one more town in the Greater Boston area that I normally go through but hadn’t made it to yet. So, my mission for the day was clear: I needed to stop in Watertown.
Many years ago, I used to live just over the border of Watertown in the Waverly section of Waltham (which confused everyone as it’s on the Belmont-Watertown border, but I lived in a little tiny section of Waltham that peeks in there), and when I lived in Cambridge, I used to go to the grocers in East Watertown all the time. While Watertown is one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts (founded in 1630), it’s probably most known now as having one of the largest Armenian populations outside of Armenia. I stopped by the Armenian Library and Museum of America (it was closed for the holiday), but I am more likely to go for the food. I still remember the great bakeries and other food stores where you could get all sorts of Armenian/Middle Eastern type food. Given my celiac diagnosis, I have to be much more careful about that, but hope to make my way to these places again.
So, when have you returned to a place you remember from your past, and what triggers your memories?
We are in the middle of February now, and winter has still not decided to stay with us. We’ve had short visits, but nothing that we New Englanders would really call a real winter. It’s like North Carolina’s winter has decided to visit us instead. We’ve had many days in the 40’s and 50’s, and it’s just disconcerting for us. We keep wondering when we’re really going to get wholloped.
I was out and doing some errands, and realized that I hadn’t yet done a meditation in Medford. As this is one of the closest towns to my house, it seems strange. I go through there at least weekly, as it’s on a major route if I’ve to get out to I-93 into Boston. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I figured I’d take the opportunity.
I walked along the Mystic River, which starts up in Winchester and flows down to Boston Harbor. Most people know if from the movie, but did you also know that this is the same river mentioned in the Thanksgiving song “Over the River and Through the Woods“? Lydia Child wrote the poem that became the song, and her Grandfather’s House is right on the Mystic River, opposite the Lydia Child Bandshell that you see in the picture here. Shows that there’re new things to learn every day, even in places that you pass by all the time.
So, have you looked at something close by to make new discoveries about it?
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a program at the Theosophical Society of Boston by Pam Kristan, and the subject was “Awakening in Time: Practical Time Management for Those on A Spiritual Path”. Pam’s presentation was on thinking about how to manage your time and consider how it fits into your spiritual context. The most interesting thing for me was concept of Sufficiency Practice. Just like yoga or meditation being a practice, Pam mentioned that we need to think and consider what we’ve done already in order to appreciate it before we go into the next thing. This is also the work of my friend Gina LaRoche and Seven Stones Leadership.
Just like in any presentation, the standard set up for that is an introduction, presenting the content, and then a wrap up. Too often, we completely forget about the wrap up. The following is another video blog on my concepts on this.
So, are you noticing what you’ve already accomplished?
Yesterday, I had a relatively quite Saturday, and I had a bunch of errands to run, and was out and looked around the see if I had some time to meditation in a new town, and I was near enough to Lincoln that I decided to make that number 17!
I’ve been through Lincoln many times in my past, as it’s on one of my routes from my father’s house to mine. It’s known as one of the wealthiest towns in the Commonwealth, and for some place that is so close to many major routes and business centers, it’s really rural. People can afford to have very large houses and a lot of space. I wondered around the town center and even went into the town library, which was really nice and quaint. It’s a very quiet place, but it has usually been a place that I’ve driven through instead of walked around. That again is the power of this challenge.
I made a video of my time there, as I was thinking about a workshop I’d been in the past. You’ll see my thoughts on that shortly.
So, where’s something or someplace that you’ve been in many times but never stopped to notice?
As many of you have probably experienced, cover letters bring fear into the hearts of most job seekers. People who can write eloquently on any subject given suddenly freeze up when they have to write a few paragraphs about themselves. The old “I don’t know what to say!” phrase comes out and people get paralyzed I would say that the reason for this is people don’t know the purpose of what they are writing and why.
As I’ve written before, a resume’s job is to speak for you when you’re not around to speak for yourself and to show you’re a professional in your field. It’s like an advertisement for you, just like any other company would have an advertisement for a product. A cover letter is your opportunity to show that you are a good match for this organization and to highlight your writing skills. A resume is your advertisement and your cover letter is trying to close the deal of getting you in the door to demonstrate to them that you’re the best candidate.
I like to say that a cover letter should answer three questions:
- Why am I interested in your company? 99% of all cover letters start with some version of “I saw your ad and I’m perfect for this job.” it might be dressed up in different language, but it’s the same blah, blah, blah. Can you show you’re different? Why is this particular organization interesting? Do you know anything about the product or initiatives they’ve completed? Can you mention any people that work there that know you? How does this fit into your career path? Give them something to show you e done done homework and this isn’t the 17th of 32 cover letters you’re writing today.
- Why Should They Be Interested In You? The hiring managers want to know that you’ve already got the skills, knowledge, and experience they need. What are the stories of your past experiences that show them that? Choose two or three and tell them in a way that connects your experiences with their needs.
- We’re A Great Match! We Should Talk! What’s Next? You made the match, now ask for the interview. Most people say something to the effect of “I’ll be sitting here in the dark until you get back to me.” You need to say you’re looking forward to speaking with them about the opportunity, or something to that effect. Also make sure you include all the ways that they can get in touch with you (e.g. phone, email, Skype, etc.) Also, if you are looking in another city, you can say “If it is convenient, I will be in New York City from March 12-19 and available for interviews”, so that they don’t have to ask you when you’re available.
So, how are you selling yourself?
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I actually visited in Needham on January 29th, but because of a number of reasons, it’s taken me over a week to actually get this posted.
I was at the winter meeting of Healthy Villi, which is the celiac support and advocacy group in the Boston area, which was held at Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley, and I had a little time before I went to my father’s house in Maynard. As is the impetus of this project, I thought that I had a little time to snag another town. Upon looking at my map to see which town would be best for me to go to, I settled on Needham as it was pretty close and it was also one that I didn’t normally go through. While I could have gone to other towns more on the way, I figured I could get them later.
I’ve been to Needham many times in my life: I’ve done road races there and been to other events, but I had never really spent some quiet time in the town center. It’s got a good amount of businesses and it’s got an MBTA train line that goes right into Boston. It’s not the oldest town in the area (founded in 1717) and I don’t know that it’s particularly famous for anything in particular. The overall feeling that I had about it was that it was a nice place to live. The buildings were nice and it had an orderly town center with a cute sculpture of children playing. It just seemed not average, but very homey. You don’t need flashy all the time, and it was nice to appreciate the good.
So, are you noticing the good, steady things in your life?