• Jack of All Trades

    Thirty plus years and what seems like a lifetime ago, someone made two statements that have stayed with me. You’re made of stuff that changes, she said and proceeded to tell me that I was a Jack of all trades and master of none. I remember my breath stopping as I took a pause, trying to figure out why the latter felt like an insult. Time passed and I came to understand and appreciate that, yes, indeed I am made of stuff that changes. Not that I can’t be stubborn or blind to my failings at times but I do try to stay open to possibilities. I am curious and willing to change. As for being a Jack of all trades, I have to confess that I felt the sting of this comment for many years. But why? Let’s see. I have always contended with a heightened sense of perfectionism. At times it worked for me, most of the times it worked for everybody else, and often it left me in conflict. I can blame…

  • On Finding Goodness

    It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again. Anne Frank Anne Frank wrote that, in spite of everything, at a time when her world was being destroyed. She was 14. I’ve been thinking a lot about goodness lately. It has become exceedingly difficult to focus on goodness, given the tsunami of bad news and toxic culture assaulting us daily. Racial tensions, inequality in the face of a pandemic,…

  • Off To College Already? How’s That Possible?

    Five airports, three hotels, thousands of miles, two car rentals, five college tours later, we got back home at 1am on Saturday morning. I was tired and sleepwalked through the day. Neal and I went to New Haven to return the rental car and took the opportunity to go and sit at our favorite Mexican restaurant. There were margueritas involved. We needed this down time but, of course, we still got to talking about . . . well, the girls and colleges. The thing about having twins is that there’s no dress rehearsal. For those of you who have heard me saying this before, I apologize for being repetitive. You see, they do everything together . . . or, almost together. This togetherness can be a blessing and a curse. For us parents, it’s been sink or swim. We’re raising two first-born children . . . in every possible way:-) As for the girls, they can’t wait to get away from our little town and each other, and experience the world alone! I understand. After…

  • Winds of Change – On Pillows and Such

    I noticed her as I walked by. She must have been in her late seventies. She was being helped by a young woman and they were discussing pillows. She was trying to choose new ones for her couch. I soon found what I wanted and headed to another part of the store, then to the register to check out. The older woman was already there, completing her purchase of two pillows. As she was getting ready to leave, she turned to me and the young woman at the register and said . . . “I needed some color – a change. I’ve lived with the same living room for as long as I’ve been married. My husband doesn’t like change but I’ve had enough. I want to see color. I know he’ll be upset but I just don’t care.” I smiled at her and said. .. “It’s time don’t you think?” She smiled back and nodded – You bet! I was smiling all the way out the store and back into my car. This feisty…

  • Beyond the Obvious

    On the fourth day, after Irene struck, we got power back. It was a moment of celebration and relief mixed in with survivor’s guilt. We finally had access to the news and were able to see the images of devastation Irene had inflicted. I couldn’t get them out of my head. As the surge of excitement subsided, I realized how tired I was. Yet, things had to be taken care of. The refrigerator, for once, needed to be purged and scrubbed. The floors needed to be vacuumed and the laundry sorted. I made a pot of Earl Grey tea and sat on my favorite chair on the deck to enjoy it. A hot cup of tea! Heaven! I took a few deep breaths and looked around. The pots of herbs and flowers on the deck had somehow survived Irene’s wrath. They were battered but not destroyed. The hummingbirds were zooming around me, trying to let me know that it was time for them to feed and, somehow, I was in their way. The rain that…

  • Life Behind the Wheel

    Earlier this morning, I was on my way to meditation. There was traffic but nothing crazy. Suddenly, a recycling truck cut in front of me. I stepped on the break and thought “Oh, dear!” Everything slowed down. I kept hoping he would turn somewhere but no, he stayed, right there, in front of me. As I was forced to slow down, I became aware of all the thoughts and emotions that this simple act had triggered. Here I am, going to meditation, and I’m getting annoyed over a truck. A truck! I took a deep breath and focused on what was right in front of me. A big, heavy, white, clunky truck! There was a sign in the back of it . . . “This vehicle stops and breaks frequently.” No kidding! Suddenly, everything went still and I became aware of a bigger picture. We go on with our lives, making plans, setting goals, and moving right along. Then, out of nowhere, garbage gets in our way! It has nothing to do with us, it’s…

  • Turn on the Light!

    On Tuesday evening, I sat to meditate, in honor of the winter solstice. It was my intention to sit still, breathe and be present in that very moment. I prayed for inspiration and guidance for this coming year. What I received was a deep sense of peace and acceptance. I’ll be holding on to this experience and here’s why. I usually drive myself crazy, trying to do it all well and produce the results I think I should. This last year, my focus has been on being mindful and accepting of what is instead of fighting against it. I’ve been focusing on doing what I can and not getting too hung up on the results. I’ve been giving myself permission to relax more and enjoy the nuances of my life. It must be working because I’ve been feeling lighter, more accepting of myself, and truly grateful. Today, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the support you’ve shown me over the years. You have inspired me in so many ways. My…

  • On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

    Always loved this title – don’t remember the movie very well but the title has stayed with me. It must be the idea of total clarity and panoramic view that I’m attracted to. A few years ago I took a trip to New Mexico and visited the cliffs of Puye. I remember standing on top of a cliff, outside a cave dwelling, looking out. The view was vast, clear, and powerful. There were trees as far out as I could see, and a sunny, blue sky that took my breath away. It was a gift. We go from one thing to the next, hardly any time to pause. Often, we can’t see the forest for the trees. We loose the ability to take in the view, appreciate where we are, and evaluate our position. To rise above the hustle and bustle is to give ourselves permission to stop and look at the view. In doing so, our view of life expands, our perspective changes, and our experience of the present moment becomes transformed. We owe…

  • Observing Life

    It’s been three months since my last entry. Life happened and I found myself in need of a retreat. As a dear friend once suggested: “Maybe it’s time to do just what’s in front of you; chop wood, carry water and let the world go by.” Every so often, I need to do just that. So, I focused on my family, my closest friends and my work with existing clients. I only did what was absolutely necessary and what gave me joy. I needed to clear the cobwebs of my mind and gain some clarity. During this time, I witnessed an old friend’s futile battle with cancer. He was 37 and a father of two. I opened up to the fear, anxiety and confusion that most of us experience these days with everything that’s going on. My daughters are growing up with lightning speed and I find myself wishing things could slow down a little. Nevertheless, life keeps going, impervious to our little dramas. My parents are aging and friends are going through major life…

Scroll Up