Cleaning, Day 7: Ch-ch-Changes….

April 26, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Bed, check.  Kitchen, check.  So far, so good.

I’m thinking a lot about changes today.

A lot has been going on in my life lately…  I mean, I guess that’s life for everyone, most of the time, right?   But when I think back over just the past five months — and read back, because it’s all recorded here — it’s amazing to me how much has changed for me just in that short of a time.  You always hear those testimonials from people who talk about how losing weight just changed their whole life.  I can kind of understand that now.

I have a pet project called Project Common Ground that I’ve been working on for two years with limited success.  The idea is to provide community-based websites for subdivisions in order to encourage neighbors to get to know each other and connect, all the better to foster happy things like safety, protected property values and just an overall sense of belonging.  The latter is often lacking in suburbia, especially in established subdivisions where meeting one’s neighbors can be really difficult.

It’s a good idea, but it’s not without its obstacles.  For one thing, just getting subdivisions to give the idea a fair shake is a challenge.  I’ve had two or three solid takers so far, but most of the ones I’ve approached — including my own! — have been dismissive of it.  The parties usually involved with the decision-making process in most subdivisions are the older residents.  They have the time, as they’re usually retired, and I find that that generation tends to feel a greater responsibility to local community than younger folks tend to do.   That should work in my favor, but unfortunately a lot of them are intimidated by and resentful of technology, so even though this project might really help them with stuff that matters to them, they don’t want any part of it.

The other part is funding… Subdivisions don’t have a lot of money to throw around, usually, so it’s easier to do something like this if I can give them the website for free and fund it with advertising.  This shouldn’t be that hard, as web advertising is inexpensive and I could cover my own expenses fairly easily with just one or two ads per site.   Moreover, since subdivisions neatly divide up people by income demographic, it’s fairly targeted advertising too.   Sponsorship, loyalty business, local community, etc.  It’s a win-win.

The hard part is motivating myself to get out to businesses and talk about it.  I am pretty savvy online, but in real life I’m shy and uncertain, and my lack of self-confidence makes it hard for me to step up when I should.  I hate to bother people, and I REALLY hate being pushy.  When I started the project, I was sure I could sell the ads just because they seemed like such a good deal all the way around; I figured since it was something I could really get behind, I wouldn’t have too hard a time.  Unfortunately, the first few flat refusals I got from subdivisions undermined my confidence by a lot, and I’ve been too intimidated to really pursue it.

And I know a lot of that actually does come back to my weight.   While I don’t think everyone out there is flagrantly prejudiced against overweight people, I do think that in general people respond better to a thin, attractive person than they do to someone who doesn’t look as nice.  I know I’ve talked about that before.   So I go into sales situations feeling like I’m already fighting uphill, and that makes me even more intimidated.

At this point, I am wearing those much-hoped-for ‘normal sizes’.  Granted, I’m fitting into an L or XL, and somewhere between a size 14 and a size 16, so I’m still only JUST under that mark.. but I am there, and most everyone who sees me says I look fantastic.  Granted, this is compared to how I looked before; I’m not under any illusions that I’m ready to qualify as some kind of model just as I am.  But between the weight loss and my new haircut and all, I have attained a level of acceptability that I don’t feel I really had before.  This SHOULD make selling easier, but so far… I’m still not there yet.

But it’s something to shoot for.  I would really like to see PCG take off, if only because it’s a good idea.  I’m frustrated that my own subdivision is not supportive, but maybe if I get other subdivisions around us off the ground I can persuade them. :/


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Cleaning, Day 6: Almost Perfect, But Not Quite… Weight Check, Week 1

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