• Working From Home

    I don’t know about working from home, she said. I don’t know if I can be as productive. It’s going to be an adjustment. We spoke the day she found out that her office would be closing for two weeks, because of the coronavirus epidemic, and she would have to work from home. Hearing her apprehension made me realize how challenging it must be to start working from home, not because of choice, but because you have to. Not only that, but you’re asked to work from home because of an epidemic, during a time of chaos, confusion, and uncertainty. When I decided to leave corporate, launch my coaching practice, and work mostly from home, I did it because I wanted to be there for my girls. It was a choice that I made willingly and happily. This is not the case these days, as people are asked to practice Social Distancing, change their daily routine, cancel travel plans, remain vigilant, and self-protect against a contagion. Anxiety, fear, and stress are escalating with each News…

  • Warning! Unknown Territory Ahead!

    My twin daughters are high school juniors. Our family of four is dancing — or should I say spinning — to the tune of change these days. Not that change is new to us. These girls have been changing our lives since before they took their first breath and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The day I had my first ultrasound the doctor pointed to the screen and said, “Here’s one head and . . . there’s the second. Congratulations! You’re having twins!”  Neal jumped up. He couldn’t contain his excitement. He was over the moon. If he had any cigars on him, he would have passed them around.  I remember getting dressed and excusing myself for a few minutes. I walked into the bathroom – the only place where I could be alone. I stood there for a few minutes, trying to comprehend what had just happened. I kept breathing, trying to untangle the web of emotions I was flooded with. I was feeling ecstatic, terrified, and everything in between. There was…

  • 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…

  • Dare to Dream: Endings and New Beginnings

    There is a stream that cuts across our back yard. Yesterday, it seemed completely frozen. When I looked closer I realized that, right under the ice, there was this faint vein of water moving. There is life at the bottom of this stream. There are frogs, fish, and all kinds of creatures snug in the mud, waiting and preparing for the thaw. Spring is coming and when the temperatures are right and the environment hospitable, they’ll find their way to the surface and they’ll begin yet another cycle. We too are creatures of nature. We live our life in cycles; endings and new beginnings and everything in between. Every cycle has its own purpose. There are tasks we need to accomplish. The better we are at being present with ourselves, the easier and more purposeful our transitions become. You can try being present with yourself now. Take a couple of deep breaths and pay attention to your thoughts. How are you talking to yourself? Notice the impact of the words you’re using. How does your…

  • Photo by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash

    Spring Forward

    On Wednesday, March 20 at 7:09 am EST, Spring, the season of rebirth, made her entrance! There’s still snow on the ground but it’s melting fast. The weather report is warning us of yet another snow storm coming Monday. It works like this, as one season gives way to the next; two steps forward, one step backwards … dancing the tango and so we go round the seasons. Saturday morning, I made my usual rounds to the recycling center, post office, and driving the girls to their various activities. It was windy, at times cloudy, then sunny. The sky was a brilliant blue. There were even snowflakes falling, dancing their way down. When I returned home, I took a bag of potting soil and headed to replant my peace lily. It felt like a good day to replant something. It must be spring! I washed a clay pot with hot water and soap and filled it half way with new soil. I took the peace lily off the old pot. The plant had outgrown the…

  • 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…

  • It’s About the Chocolate

    I’m sitting at my favorite cafe and writing spot; a cup of hot coffee and a morning glory muffin next to me. It’s raining pretty heavily, puddles of water already forming on the sidewalk. There’s the steady hum of the fans above, the chatter of a handful of people ordering coffee and joking with the owner, light jazz coming through the speakers. On my way here, I drove by the post office to mail a letter and decided to circle back by the Middle School, on my way to Washington. The school is in session and the streets were quiet. I drove by slowly, looking at the school when, suddenly, it hit me. My daughters are in High School now. Gone are the days when I used to drive by the Middle School, thinking of them, wondering what class they were in and sending them smiles. Or, when I’d walk in the building for committee meetings and to help with this and that. I used to see them in the corridors, on their way to…

  • It’s a New Beginning!

    We’re well into April. For those of us in the North East, the cold still lingers but the daffodils are blooming and the days are getting longer.  The skies are blue and sunny, more often than not. It’s taking me longer to get going this year. My motivation feels sluggish . . . it’s been a dark, cold winter. My attention has been pulled in a myriad of directions and I can’t say I enjoyed them all. Some distractions can be more painful than others. It’s not always easy to jump start the engine and gain momentum after a long winter. Many of us develop our rituals for moving through the seasons. I remember vividly how my mother used to prepare the house for spring. Winter carpets would be rolled away and blankets would be stored until late fall. Heavy curtains would be replaced with lighter, airier ones and the furniture would be covered with lighter slipcovers. The house would be washed inside and out. Windows and doors would stay open to let the light…

  • Change Happens!

    “Change is as inevitable as rain in the spring. Some of us just put on our raincoats and splash forward.” ~ Amy Bloom Being willing to flow with change isn’t always easy, even when we know that change is fundamental to our growth. Change provides us with opportunities to reflect and evaluate, make adjustments, and open to new possibilities. Whether change happened by choice or not, whether we view it as positive or negative, we’ll have to go through the process of transformation which, at times, can be challenging. Change tests our comfort level with uncertainty. As the old gives way to the new, we enter the “I have no clue where I’m going or who I am” land. There is a gap between the familiar and what’s next and it’s in that gap that we feel the most vulnerable. Our fears and doubts, as well as other people’s expectations, begin to weigh down on us. How do we survive and successfully navigate the gauntlet of transition? “For a person who’s used to our culture’s…

  • Living in Present Time

    Abigail Thomas is one of my favorite authors. I read “The Three Dog Life” sometime ago, liked her style and what she had to say, and I decided to read all her books. “Thinking About Memoir” is another one of hers and as I was reading through it the other day, I couldn’t help but think of how our personal stories evolve. We go on living our lives, going through the motions, dealing with unexpected events, checking off our to-do lists, and crossing paths with each other. Somehow morning turns into evening and we don’t know where the hours went. Much of life’s richness goes unnoticed. There is treasure to be found in every day living. When we live in the past or constantly agonize over the future, we forget to recognize and appreciate the fullness of our lives. When I stop and think that the present moment is all I have and allow myself to become absorbed in it, my mind becomes still and quiet. I’m at peace, I’m focused, and I accomplish all…

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