Uncommon Courtesy

I received a comment on my 100th post from a colleague of mine, someone I respect immensely.  After seeing that her email was one I wasn’t used to, I visited her blog and found one of many posts I really liked, Uncommon Courtesy.  It’s amazing how much you can learn about life and the world at large by stopping to learn about people in the outer circle of your life.  Ask the person in the cube next to you what they enjoy doing.  Ask the mailman why he is smiling this morning.  Ask your daughter’s teacher or son’s coach or the Bible School teacher why they do what they do.  At the end of the day, it is my belief, we are all doing the best we can with what we have.

21 Days

Last summer, my brother, my sister, and I, with our respective families in tow, converged on my father’s house for a week of rest and relaxation in sunny California. It was a much anticipated—and needed—family reunion. I hadn’t seen my sister, who lives in Indiana, in a couple of years. It had been even longer since I’d seen my brother, who resides in Washington. And we hadn’t all been together since my wedding almost a decade earlier. The week was nothing less than amazing. We ate. We drank. We laughed. Our kids got to spend quality time with their cousins, splashing in the pool and playing video games. And at moments, it felt like our mother, who passed away in 1998, was overseeing the whole event, still the loving matriarch of a closely knit family, bound together by affection, respect, and enough disagreements, arguments, and spats to rival any family.

But as anyone over the age of thirty with brothers or sisters can attest, spending time with your siblings as adults is surreal. At the most odd of moments, images of your childhood almost hijack your consciousness. You remember specific moments as children, both good and bad. You literally see your brothers and sisters—as they were years ago— in the eyes and actions of their children. (“She looks just like you” and “he acts like his daddy” were two of many refrains echoed over and over throughout the week.) And you wonder where all the time went. If you’re not careful, you’ll even find yourself holding back a tear or two. It’s okay— normal and healthy, even— to let those tears flow, but I’ll get to that in a later post. Read more of this post

What’s Your Diet Vice?

Hello Friends,

A few weeks ago I reconnected with my old pal Bobby through his very informative and inspirational website. Bobby and I met 14 years ago in Silicon Valley at a start-up tech company. He took care of the money (thankfully!) and I took care of the marketing communications. Working with young, eager, and energetic innovators, we managed to have a great time in the workplace; and, because we didn’t have children or many responsibilities outside of ourselves, we found plenty of time to stay fit and healthy.

That life may have very well belonged to someone else. Who was that person? Somehow, I worked all day, and then taught group exercise classes at a gym in the evening. I found time to run and compete in races, including a few marathons. I even worked on my strength in the weight room—not Mr. Bluford-style, of course, but I did my share. And, most importantly, I consistently stoked the fires burning at home with the hubby, managed to be a staunch supporter of Girls Night Out with my peeps, and was a smiling presence at all family holidays, births and birthdays. A skilled juggler! Read more of this post

Family First

I can only remember two games that my parents missed.  That’s thirteen years of football, four or five of basketball, and about two playing baseball.  And if I’m not mistaken, they went to most, if not close to all, of my sister’s track meets, Junior ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) tests, and speeches.

And it meant something.  I didn’t know it then and it’s hard to say why even now.  But it did. Read more of this post

Be an EggHead!

A coworker of mine recommended a book to me a few weeks ago.  The Power of Full Engagement.  It’s primary message is that full engagement, maximizing production and efficiency in anything you do, requires not the management of time, as we have all been programmed to believe.  Instead, success in life and relationships is dependent upon efficient energy management.   This energy management is important along four dimensions: Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual. Read more of this post