Power can leak out of our lives in small ways. We all know about the abusive boss or co-worker that deflates you when you walk into the office (or when you remember they exist). Getting away from them is certainly a top priority in reclaiming your power. (Stories about my devil who wore knock-off Prada are here: http://www.kellidudley.com/2017/01/04/7-ways-to-know-its-gonna-blow-and-get-out/)
However, even for those of us who seem blissfully self-employed, power can leak out of our lives in more subtle ways. These slow leaks take the form of dread of an otherwise highly-anticipated task. Slow leaks are usually tangential—you look forward to the meeting, but you know your colleague serves awful coffee!
Addressing slow leaks can be tricky—asking an acquaintance to upgrade coffee service can be awkward or completely out of bounds–so we often live with them. Slow leaks get incorporated into our mindset as unavoidable, when perhaps we could suggest meeting at our own office or bring some good coffee as a gift.
For those of us in urban areas, parking is a big leak of energy, cash, and motivation. It can drain our wallets, wastes time, and even causes us to avoid otherwise-pleasant meetings. My parking used to be a large expense, often $500.00 or more per month. The parking I used was not convenient, and I had often had to drive around to find a parking garage with space left. Cost of the parking was often a mystery until after I had driven well into the garage. Every single trip into downtown Chicago began with feeling frustrated, cheated, and inconvenienced—not a good mindset for a meeting or court date!
Parking was awful, but the public transit option available in my area is so unreliable that mailing myself downtown is more feasible. The problem worsened as I took on representation of 50 people who could not afford to pay. I was dedicated to representing my clients, but I filed one Federal case for 50 people that spiraled into 28 state-court cases, 18 human rights cases, and 38 administrative hearings. Tolls, gas, and parking expenses mounted. I was unable to continue providing services to many paying clients because the uncompensated cases were so demanding. My credit card balances began to add up.
At a fundraiser to try to offset some of my out-of-pocket expenses, a colleague mentioned ParkWhiz. I immediately signed up—and my monthly parking costs plummeted! Where I was spending $35.00 to park in a garage several blocks from the courthouse, I began spending $16.00 to be valet-parked a block-and-a half from my destination. Frustration disappeared—instead of driving looking for an open garage, I looked online for spots at my leisure before leaving home. My expenses are set and paid in advance rather than subject to guesswork and desperation, and are tracked for tax purposes online—replacing the pile of receipts that always littered my floorboard.
There are several parking services online—ParkWhiz earned my loyalty through hyper-responsive customer service, discounts, and a fair cancellation policy. It is at ParkWhiz (This is an affiliate link, and I will be recompensed in filthy lucre if you use the service.)
In the New Year, look for your slow leaks—and patch a few!