I have an awesome 9-year-old named Oscar. He spends half his time with me, and half of it with his dad, step mom, and 2 little brothers. We're all as communicative as can be, but I still felt like I was missing too much. So, on his 9th birthday, we started this experiment.
Every day we each write down the best thing that has happened to us, on opposing pages of the same book.
Sometimes we capture our best moments together, sometimes we get a stolen glimpse into what happens when we're apart. Either way, I've learned just as much about what makes me happy as I was intending to learn about him.
A milestone birthday duel
Last year, an old friend of mine and I discovered we were facing tangential milestones within a few weeks of each other. I was hitting 40, and he was hitting 50. Having worked together at a celebrity brand management agency with clients such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Aerosmith, and Sigfried and Roy (yes, really), we decided there was only one thing to do: face the music.
We threw a giant party, fueled by a public 40/50 duel via facebook and Instagram. Perhaps I'm a bit too competitive for my own good...or I had an unfair advantage being the younger one. Either way, I think I won.
When IDEO moved into its new studio in the West Loop, we decided that we needed a public space to convey weekly events and activities. We painted three different central walls with chalkboard paint, and dedicated one to weekly events, one to daily events, and one to visitors.
For the last 4 years, my handwriting has welcomed colleagues from other locations, wished happy birthdays, and invited all who passed by to movie nights, beer and chip events, and IDEO Stories.
Random Acts of OCD
Occasionally, my OCD manifests itself in unreasonably temporary forms.