From the monthly archives:

June 2010

I’m on a quick business trip to New York for the umpteenth time over the past twenty years to teach a marketing seminar I’ve been leading for the past ten.  Truth be told, I’m in New York an average of three visits a year.  That probably makes for close to sixty or seventy trips in my lifetime.  After so long these jaunts have become pretty routine and with so many under my belt, they all blur together.  When held in New York, my seminar is always booked at the same location in Midtown Manhattan, so I end up spending a lot of time there specifically, without venturing uptown or downtown much or elsewhere in New York.

Still, with that many visits to the same place I’ve had ample opportunity to explore the city in bits and pieces, often working in a Broadway show, trip to a SOHO restaurant or Upper East Side boutique, a visit to a museum or, after September 11, 2001, even a ride down to where the World Trade Center had once stood majestically anchoring the south end of the island.

When I first started traveling for business two decades ago, every destination was a new realm to be explored.  That’s the kind of traveler I am – leave no stone unturned, get off the beaten path, find the hidden gems and soak up every moment of experience through total immersion.  Given the choice between lounging, resting and eating or squeezing-in one more new sight or experience, I opt for the squeeze-in every time. Each moment of a journey to a new or favorite destination is a treasured one since, as a traveler, I’m always journeying with the knowledge and awareness that “this time could be the last time” I’m at a particular destination, so I’d better make it count.

But in the past year or two I’ve [click to continue…]

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If you wanted to do anything badly enough you would either just do it or die trying and the pieces would fall into place to support you.  In moments when we pursue what we really want – fueled by ability and experience, desire and passion or all of those – we don’t think about choice.  We don’t weigh pros and cons.  We don’t perceive limitations and discuss options.  We go forth in faith with an assumptive clarity that we’ll succeed in getting what we want.  That somehow, everything will work in our favor.

But most of the time we don’t live this way at all.  Most of the time we make excuses for why we can’t have or do or get what we want.  Ultimately, we forget everything is a choice.

For months I’ve been inviting my friend Donna to a meeting of a women’s spirituality group near where we live.  The meeting is every other Tuesday night at 7:00.  Donna has three kids between the ages of six and thirteen and a husband who travels for work every week.  Essentially, she’s a single mother of three about 75% of the time.

So I get why it’s challenging for her to make it to a weekday night meeting.  Child care would have to be found and paid for. Kids would have to be fed and helped with homework.  Planning would be required.  It might not be easy for Donna to come to a meeting, but it’s entirely possible.

To hear her tell it, she’d really like to attend but it’s out of the question.

What’s really happening? [click to continue…]

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Image: federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week, the father of a dear friend died. It wasn’t a surprise – he’d been ill for a while and there was adequate time to prepare – still, the loss is palpable. In the same week my sister’s mother-in-law was seen for chest pains and promptly ushered into open heart surgery for a quadruple bypass. She came through it fine, but the loss of expected freedom, mobility and livelihood during what is sure to be an extensive recovery (she’s in her 70’s) hits hard.

There are losses like these which are significant and permanent. They undeniably affect the person experiencing them firsthand and impact all with strong emotional attachments to that person. In these types of losses, it’s difficult if not impossible to see a silver lining.

Then there are those losses which are really wins in disguise, like my daughter’s recent loss. She’s twelve and has lost her eyeglasses AGAIN.

Mothers of kids with glasses, retainers, and similar personal health implements can relate. You spend thousands of dollars on braces, they finally come off, you spend a few hundred more on the retainers, and you think you’re done. Wrong. Retainers and glasses and sports wraps and such inevitably fall out of backpacks, are left on restaurant tables, and vanish on school buses. In my daughter’s case, she has worn glasses since the age of six and probably had at least ten pairs so far.

I’ve been at this motherhood-vision-care thing too long to freak out about another pair of lost glasses. I’ve been worn down. With calm resignation, I simply booked an appointment at the ophthalmologist. Her prescription had expired so she’d need to have an eye exam before new glasses could be ordered anyway.

Off we go to the doctor and while we’re waiting [click to continue…]

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