Category Archives: Lessons Learned

The Worst Is Yet To Come

I checked in with my voice of inner wisdom a few weeks ago. Tara Mohr, in Playing Big, introduced me to that voice, my inner mentor. When I get overwhelmed with questions that seem to have no answers or I feel like I am failing, I find my way back to that voice.  My inner mentor, is connected to the Divine and has that peace and confidence that I lose when I get wrapped up in the anxiety that comes from perfection-seeking.

That’s what she told me a few weeks ago when I asked about my dad. “How am I doing?” The answer came back, “You are doing great with your dad…. but things will get worse.
And you will still be ok.”

I am stepping into the parenting-my-parent role. Perhaps with his diagnosis of Mild Dementia this week, I have jumped, not just stepped, into it.  I am in the movie, “Groundhog Day.” Dad and I have the same conversation about the same aspects of his life every week. “What do you mean I ……?!” he asks with genuine surprise.  And I tell him, again, the status of his health or his finances.

And I will still be ok….


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Valentine’s: Just Another Day Around Here

Dear Hunter,

It seems like just yesterday it was New Year’s and a few days ago was Christmas.  But we are approaching Valentine’s day with the speed of light.  You, my dear son, are mine and Dad’s Valentine.  Every day with you is filled with smiles and love and fun and I love it!

As you get older, you’ll get caught up in all the little Valentine’s giving and receiving at school (If they still do that, I don’t know). And you will learn all about the commercialism of this holiday and many others.  But Dad and I will balance that out for you because around here we say, “Every day is Valentine’s Day.”  We don’t withhold our love and caring and then try to make up for it on one day of the year with ‘stuff.’

We share our love for each other (and now, for you, too) every day. We show each other kindness, consideration and passion every day. Some days its more than others.  And some days it might be hard to see altogether. That’s just the ebb and flow of a relationship, son. The important point here is that we intentionally create our relationship and love and friendship on a daily basis.

Valentine’s day is nice and we celebrate it, but it’s special for us because it reminds us that we make our relationship work the rest of the 364 days of the year. And that is pretty darn sweet.

I love you, son.


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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Lessons Learned, Letters To My Son


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Moving from one place in life to another is not easy.  I am recognizing what it takes to move, whether it’s a new job, new life stage or new state. It’s all an upheaval of epic proportions and not for the faint of heart.

There is a space of ‘in-between-ness’ with certain moves where time feels like it slows or gets measured differently.  When I was waiting for my son’s birth, in those last few weeks of pregnancy, I was between being a mom and not being a mom. I felt like I would be this behemoth woman forever and that my son would never be born. I measured time by the numbers of doctor visits we went to each week.  And I called this place my state of grace.

Most in-between spaces don’t even come close to that.  They are messy.  Literally.  Moving a household is a messy job. And it produces insanity in typically sane people. I know, I recently moved (OK, it was 7 months ago now…but I remember it like it was yesterday!) from one state to another.  And leaving friends and comfort zones like the favorite Pho restaurant can feel pretty sad. OK, so I am not really sad about leaving the Pho restaurant behind. But I definitely miss the pals!

Changing jobs… definitely ranks high on the stress and mess scale. Even a good job shift isn’t easy.  Learning new people, new systems and again, leaving a comfort zone of the “known” increases the blood pressure.

Getting through that in-between stage can really suck. But coming out on the other side, looking back and saying, “wow, I actually did THAT!”… well, I think that is pretty dang cool.

So, if you are in that in-between stage with something… hang in there.  If you’ve made it through, pat yourself on the back and say, “Job well done.”


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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Lessons Learned, New Adventures, Uncategorized


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Twenty-Five Years

Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of my graduation from high school. If I had known on THAT day where I would be on THIS day, I would not have believed it.  But when you are 17 years old (or 25 years old, for that matter), no one can really tell you anything.

Many of my 20-something choices were sketchy and I have often wished for a do-over on some of those.  Getting married at 19 falls into the “wish-I-hadn’t-done-that” column.  Same with dropping out of college (to get married, no less).  REALLY regretted that one over the years.  And sometimes it took more than once to learn a hard lesson.

I have much to be grateful for over that time span, too. My parents are still walking the earth with me.  I met fascinating people like the Discovery Channel crew who were in Talkeetna, AK and went on to climb Denali and document it over the internet. I hopped a flight to Switzerland to spend a long weekend with buddy from Smith College (because I eventually finished college and even a Master’s degree along the way).

Looking back, the joyous moments outweigh the thorny ones. The loving, smart, sweet people out-number the crazy, manipulative, angry ones. Looking forward, there are new lessons to learn, interesting people to meet and sparkling adventures to be had.  And I am up for all of it!


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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in Lessons Learned, New Adventures


The Day I Stepped In Dog S—

Twice. Then tracked it just about everywhere.

Anyone who knows me really well knows that I have the ability to use some of the very best cuss words and nastiest language on the planet. No really. I have a potty mouth that could put shame to a line from a Quentin Tarrantino movie. And if there was ever a time that deserved such descriptive language, THAT was it. Seriously. I had doggie doo-doo up my pant-leg, on two pairs of shoes, on my vehicle floor mats and running boards.

The birth of my son got me thinking about how I want him to talk.  I want to give him a broad vocabulary to use when expressing himself, minus variations on the “F” word and all the other swear words out there. To that end, I have worked to flex my vocab muscle and weed out the gutter-speak.

Cool side effect: Happier. When I stopped using the “F” word and the other explicit profanity in my arsenal as verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs, my mood also improved. “This effing-thing!” became “This dang thing.” Minor irritations really ARE minor now. Adding the colorful language isn’t really colorful.  It sort of blows things out of proportion and has the tendency to make us angrier about something that doesn’t deserve that kind of mental or emotional energy.

My son will hear a lot of swearing during his lifetime. And he’s going swear a lot, too. Of all the things I want him to learn from me, that isn’t one of them. I know I will slip up, but that will be the rare exception, not the usual rule of conversation for me.

Oh, and I never once swore during the dog poop incident.

PS: kudos to my sweet hubby who cleaned both pairs of shoes for me!!


Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Lessons Learned, New Adventures


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I have nothing to write, nothing to say. OR I have so many ideas, I don’t know where to start. So I won’t.

Self-discipline means doing that thing – whatever “thing” it is – when you don’t feel like it or don’t want to do it or don’t know where to start. Right this moment, for me, that “thing” is writing. Specifically, it is writing here, now, this blog. Like so many bloggers and authors before me, I am actually writing about writing. Or maybe I am writing about self-discipline.

Today I didn’t know where to start. Then I thought of a quote I posted on Facebook. “Now that it’s all over, what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?” by Coleman Cox. So tomorrow morning when I look back at today I will be able to say I wrote. May not be my best work, or the most viewed blog. But that’s ok. Today’s lesson for me is not what I actually write it’s that I actually wrote.

A few posts back I wrote about living life from a happier state of being. This spring season is about blossoming in a few key areas in my life. I found that being positive takes discipline. Writing regularly takes the same. I often say to clients that “we do last that thing we most love to do.” And yet, we are so much happier, more at peace with ourselves when we take the time to do what we love; when we do that which feeds our heart and soul and body.

Tomorrow morning it will be worth mentioning that I had the discipline to write today.

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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Lessons Learned


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Time to blossom

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
—Anais Nin

For several weeks, I burrowed myself down into the dead earth of negativity. I saw the wrong in every thing, every one. I felt my soul drying up and my heart getting hard. Confession: I held onto my “everything is ok and happy” facade for a while. I think those closest to me felt the incongruity of my positive words and the negativity emanating from my very being.

I closed tightly into myself, kept the bud of my joy on lock-down. Why? I don’t know. I could list off a handful of reasons but those are just guesses. Hormones, stress, moving, fussy baby…  BLAH! Guesses? or Excuses? Doesn’t really matter. I figured it out before negativity took root too deeply or permanently. Whew!

It feels so much better to risk blossoming… to risk being happy… to risk putting good stuff into the world, not knowing where or how it will land.  Embracing life with arms wide and light shining from my eyes energizes me, quenches some unexplainable thirst.

Blossoming, embracing happiness – it’s work. But it’s honorable work. When I want to lash out, bite and sting others with my words or actions, I breathe deeply, close my eyes, take a beat. When I start the negative self talk and run anger scenarios in my mind, I shake my head and clear my brain like an etch-a-sketch. I remind myself I want to sow seeds of kindness, joy, positivity… I want this blossoming garden tended to with gentle, loving intention and attention.

Yeah, weeds will pop up now and then… because that’s just life and human nature. I’ll dispose of them as needed.

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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Lessons Learned


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