Almost noon and I had only just started my 750 Words exercise. That actually made me feel a bit guilty as I had gotten so used to doing this exercise before even getting out of bed. At least, while writing, I hadn't dressed for the day yet. ;–)
When I woke up I was thinking about the whole roof common area campaign being advocated by a very aggressive new board director, who is a young lawyer. His emails are often very long and opinionated but he seems yet not to grasp the requirement that the board think about all aspects of building maintenance and make decisions in the interest of the building overall. Living in a building that is well over a century old means that there is significant maintenance that needs to be done over time. Before a board thinks about adding amenities to an old building, it needs to be certain that maintenance can be done without excessively increasing the monthly fees every shareholder has to pay. The larger issue for me is how to deal with aggressively argumentative directors.
I have no issue with debate. When I was in high school, I quit wrestling and got into debate, which I really enjoyed – and was relatively good at, along with my partner, Art Carter. The problem is that debating in a team like a board of directors isn't listened to by an independent judge who determines the winning argument. The winning argument is determined by votes by the same folks engaged in the debate. My experience has been that the tactics used in formal debate don't help teams reach consensus nor make vote decisions. The other issue for a housing cooperative board is that the building shareholders can also get very involved if they feel the board is not doing the right thing. That actually happened in 2013 and resulted in complete turnover of directors. The result was a loss of continuity that interrupted the ongoing management of key initiatives for the building, the consequence of which we are still feeling today.
The largest issue for me is simply, How do I keep aggressive argumentation from getting under my skin? I think of Bill Clinton, who apparently was able to keep the impeachment effort from dominating his mind to the point that he couldn't sleep. In fact, Clinton was able to focus on the substance of his job while the impeachment was in process.
I just got a kick out of seeing that Googling “free your mind” returns multiple reference to the song by American female group En Vogue. I had to use “put things out of your mind” to get more relevant advice like Lifehack's “31 Simple Ways to Free Your Mind Immediately”. What just amused me even more was that I put that link in the text in the manner necessary for posting – as if I was writing a post in Write.as as opposed to just doing this very private exercise in 750words.com.
In any case, one of the suggestions in the Lifehack list was exactly what I am doing now – writing about the issue that is on my mind. Whew!
Yesterday was another conversation with neighbors Bernie and Nina – neighbors who left their apartment in March and have lived in their Adirondack cabin ever since, not returning until the pandemic is history. That conversation was about the issue that will be discussed between them and Mr. Roof Common Advocate – they will, hopefully, give him some perspective on what opposition he faces and what questions he has to deal with to make any realistic proposals regarding what he wants to make happen.
This will be a Zoom meeting – I will participate so there will be five of us. For me, this will be an opportunity to be “Mister Cool” rather than “Mister Mouthy” or something similar.
I just verified that “rwhitney.com” now lands one one my new “LifeNow” blog, which I may or may not be serious about. It also requires a password – my three initials in lower case. Now the question is whether to let at least several family members know about it. I just don't want them to feel obligated to keep checking it as the exercise is mostly for me at this point. I am slowly learning a text-based blog that is easier to write on than what is typical on a Wordpress blog.