What goes around comes around, and that doesn’t always mean something bad. This concludes Sir Husband’s first official week of work at Harvard U, where information abounds and enlightenment reigns. IMG_2648 copy

He was fortunate to be working the Baccalaureate ceremony that took place in his building – so to speak. He manages communications for the Harvard Memorial Church, which is in an of itself an iconic building of pomp and circumstance for many ceremonious events.

Just a few weeks ago he covered Carrie Fisher receiving a lifetime achievement award on that very pulpit, and most recently listened to the President of Harvard give a Baccalaureate speech to this year’s graduating class. That’s where the going around comes around.

For as long as Sir Husband and I have been in the car together, I have encouraged him to please park in the first or closest spot to the door of wherever we are going. He’s doesn’t care where we park, and always parked as far away from the door as possible for no reason.

But I have parking karma – one of those built-in good luck mechanisms that allows me to pull into virtually any parking lot and get the first spot. Although this is still much to Sir Husband’s amazement, he does not always comply with my good karma, complaining about my silliness of utilizing the gift. It’s an ongoing marital debate, when on occasion I have watched him drive by the first spot – usually empty – saying he didn’t see it as we approached. It’s almost like a game of chess. IMG_2649 copy

As he meandered around the Baccalaureate ceremony working and taking photos of the event, he listened to Harvard’s president tell the graduates to always go for the first parking spot, and if it’s not available, drive around the lot again until it is. Never, ever settle for anything other than the first spot she said, in a parking lot, or in life. She calls it the Parking Space Theory of Life.

Now he was listening. And all of a sudden what for years sounded like nagging to him, just became a symbolic key to happiness and success. What goes around comes around.

I imagine this is only the beginning of many new ways of thinking that both Sir Husband and I will embrace as he experiences the experiences of Harvard. Steven Spielberg gave this year’s graduation ceremony speech, another event Sir Husband worked beginning at sunrise that day. But I will save that story for another post. In the meantime, he’s found the first spot.

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The Parking Space Theory of Life

For years I have been telling students: Find what you love. Do what matters to you….But don’t settle for Plot B, the safe story, the expected story, until you have tried Plot A, even if it might require a miracle. I call this the Parking Space Theory of Life. Don’t park 10 blocks away from your destination because you are afraid you won’t find a closer space. Don’t miss your spot—Don’t throw away your shot. Go to where you think you want to be. You can always circle back to where you have to be. This can require patience and determination. Steven Spielberg was, in fact, late to class his first day as a student at California State University, because, as he put it, “I had to park so far away.”

Excerpt from Harvard University Baccalaureate address, President Drew Faust, May 24, 2016



3 comments on “Park The Car In Harvard Yard … or, Find The First Parking Spot”

  1. I never thought about going for the first spot, or being safe and parking farther away, as representing how you approach your goals. “Go to where you think you want to be.” – that’s great advice, especially to college grads!

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