Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Twenty-two years ago, at 2:54 pm, I become a mother.

When I posted on Facebook to wish my fabulous daughter a Happy Birthday, I wrote, "I would love to do it all over again."

Wouldn't it be nice to have the stores of wisdom, patience, and good humor that I possess now as a newly minted mother? All the crying over spilled milk, literal and figurative, would evaporate under the light of understanding this: don't sweat the small stuff ... and it's all small stuff.

My friend Denise replied to my wistful remark, "Absolutely, any day of the week. But I'm not up for the months of little and interrupted sleep."

Oh yes, sleep.

Been there, done that.  I'll wait until I'm a grandma.

Monday, January 29, 2018

We are like two bumps on a log. My husband and I.

My husband would say to me about right now, "Being called a bump on a log is not a compliment."

I would respond, "You know what I mean."

My husband has become an expert at translating Ninette. He has logged over thirty years of time perfecting all forms of Ninette, written, verbal, and non-verbal. It has been a requirement of the job.  Since I grew up in a home where my parents' first language was not English, veering off the beaten path when it comes to colloquialisms is par for the course.

Ha, did I just use those two phrases correctly?

When I say we are two bumps on a log, we are inseparable. We are strong. We are enduring.

Sounds like a compliment to me.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Being in One's Body

I have noticed a palpable change since the Pema Chodron retreat at the Omega Institute, thanks to the silence meditation and the Qigong class I took.

I am fully present in my body.  I feel the pressure of the desk against my wrist as I type, the sturdy texture of the dress fabric against my legs.  I hear the whirring of the HVAC system outside my office window.  I see the dried lipstick smudges on my coffee mug.  Time for a wash.

It's exhilarating.

My brain is still here. It's not dominant.  My ego is still here, but its voice is not so loud.  I relish where I am right now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom

Photo Credit

With curls of black hair framing intelligent blue eyes, Debbie speaks with a calm, soothing voice that is like a hug.  More importantly, the words that come from her are imbued with deep understanding and derive their power from love.  She is a wellspring of life.

With each conversation, I have the urge to write things down, so that I can hold onto each pearl of wisdom. So many come from her that I can string a necklace that is beautiful, timeless, and ethereal --yet as unbreakable as steel.

I know, as her words have been lifelines in times of great need.

I will hold one thing that she said to me today close to my heart, another pearl to my necklace.  She said, "Love supports, not endures."

Debbie helps me to be my best self and to work from a place of compassion and service.  I am lucky to have an angel in my midst.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Remedy

Photo Credit

Negative energy spreads quickly. Like the flu, the impact of unkind words infects others, jumping from one person to the next. Complaining and gossiping, soured moods and dour faces, malaise and apathy, and lost time and productivity unfold as side effects in a sick world.

Luckily, Nancy Troeger, my colleague, had the remedy.  The recipe was simple and familiar: honesty, respect, kindness, and responsibility. One dose of our Honor Code, and we were as right as rain. 

She employed honesty as a way to have a respectful and kind conversation with the original host, listening but also communicating the widespread impact of actions taken in anger.  By taking responsibility and speaking her truth, Nancy demonstrated our core values.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Gift

"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." -- Joseph Campbell

One thing that chronic pain does is stop you in your tracks.  Literally.

After a long day of work, I paused before my front walkway.  I gathered my resolve, steeling myself to take the first, agonizing step.  I looked up and in front of me unfolded a stunning view of grass blooms glowing in the late afternoon light.

Without the gift of pain, I often wonder how many sacred moments I would miss as I hurried and fretted my way through life. By slowing down, I see.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Gift of Warmth

Every year, the senior class does a Midnight Run to NYC.  They collect jackets, clothes, blankets, toiletries and other items from the St. Luke's community.  Camille DeMarco-Havens, whose warm and loving personality embraces us all on a daily basis, runs this program with heart and passion.

My husband went through his clothes and donated many pants and shirts, many of them with the tags still on them.

I went to my linen closet and pulled out an abundance of blankets.  Like my younger daughter, I develop an attachment to things.  Each blanket holds a memory.  This one was the first blanket I bought when I was working and started making money.  So and so gave that to me for Christmas when we moved into our first house. That blanket was draped over the rocking chair in my daughters' room when they were babies.

I had a selfish impulse to take my blankets and place them back into the secure confines of my closet as tangible artifacts of my history.

I had another flash ... of people in the here and now, with no homes and little resources, out in the cold, hard rain and sleet we've been enduring here.  I saw my blankets descending gently around their shoulders, spots of cobalt blue, ruby red, and patterned green in an otherwise gray landscape.

I took my blankets, washed and dried them, brought them to school, and placed them in the Midnight Run basket.

I always say that if I had a lot of money, I would give most of it away, knowing how much impact that money would make in people's lives.  But it's worth acknowledging the impact of all acts of generosity, including those small packages which carry the gift of warmth and care for our fellow man.