It’s 9:30 a.m. on a beautiful sunny Saturday in late March.

So far this morning, I’ve made plumb jam.


I’ve baked scones.


I’ve read two magazines and a newspaper.

I’ve even blogged!

All in avoidance of this:


It’s a big truckload of shredded leaf mulch. I need to spread it all over my garden.

I’m always so optimistic when I order the mulch. I’m so eager for spring when I think about having it delivered.

Then, it arrives. And all my enthusiasm for it just kind of melts away. Like the snow..

I will get to the mulch this morning…

Just as soon as I’m done cleaning up my desk and getting my papers in order….  .


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Friendship is the bread of the heart


It takes a little bit of effort to re-connect with people.

There are always so many other things that seem to get in the way of it.

Your friends from the past… they keep popping up in your head…you think of them… you remember them…. you wonder how they are and hope that they’re healthy and happy… and in your head, you really, really want to re-connect with them.

The problem is, this stuff just happens in your head.

You get busy. Or something else takes your attention away. Or you promise yourself that you’ll do it tomorrow. But somehow, it just doesn’t come together.

Then, one day it does!

You manage to re-connect.

And it’s awesome.

You pick up right where you left off. (Even though that was like 5  or 10 or 15 years ago; neither of you can really remember exactly how long it’s been…)

And the experience leaves you so energized and happy.

You remember all the wonderful things you loved about the person. You also get to remember the things that drove you bananas. ;-)

For those precious minutes that you’re together, you both get to travel back in time. Together you visit the past that you shared. And as you do, you see it through each other’s eyes. And you remember it more clearly. It becomes richer, more vivid, and somehow … it feels closer in time.

You both get to indulge in the people you used to be. And, walk forward, to catch each other up on the people you’ve become.

Growing older has some downsides. But one of the huge upsides is that there are so many people with whom you’ve had the chance to share something special.

And when you find the time to re-connect …. well, you get to have that something special all over again.

Today I re-connected with Betsy. It was awesome. It was so, so awesome.

And it made me thirsty for more…


p.s. for the record, Betsy doesn’t do anything to drive me bananas.

p.p.s. the title of this post is inspired by the Beautiful Penelope and is taken from the works of Mary Russell Mitford, the poet, playwright, novelist and essayist born in Hampshire England on December 16, 1787.

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“Here’s what you missed….”

When I was working, there were so many conversations that I had to keep track of. So many developments happening simultaneously.

I managed to stay on top of it. I was really good at just keeping my finger on the pulse of everything.

The funny (and sad) thing is that while I’d never really miss a beat at work, I’d miss lots and lots of stuff at home.

I would literally zone out during dinner. The people I loved most in the world would look me straight in the eye and talk to me, and I would be looking right back at them — but I didn’t hear a word they said.

The love-of-my-life recently told me that one of the things that he likes most about Gap Year is that they all have my full attention. He told me it used to be “painful” to watch #2 trying to get my attention, and I’d be completely zoned out, thinking about work.

What’s worse (and I still cringe when I think back on this) is that I’d miss the volumes spoken through silence.

I know there were times when I could have lightened the load that one of my kids simply by hearing their silence. Adolscence can be such a difficult and lonely place. I deeply regret the times I missed hearing the voice of silence. I regret this most of all.

It’s embarrassing to own all of this. I wish that it wasn’t me who did these things.

But here’s the thing, you guys…. you can never get too bummed when you blow it like this.

I’m not trying to minimize or in any way excuse it… It was a huge miss on my part. I’m finally coming to the place where I own it. Heavens knows I’ve previously spent plenty of time excusing myself for it; numerating all the things I did well as a parent; as a spouse. It was a huge miss. I own it now.

But I’m not going to let myself get down about it.

The future is SO HUGE. It’s just so big. There are so, so, so many conversations that haven’t yet happened — and lots of them are super important ones.

There will be joys and disappointments and accomplishments and total, spectacular failures.

They are all coming. And they’ll all be expressed in some way, shape or form.

This time I’m listening.

I think that the people I love most in the world see this in me. I think they’ve forgiven me for all the stuff I did miss. Or at least, they’re on their way to doing so.

So here’s a bit of perspective for my friends surfing that monster wave that is work…

If you miss something at work, someone will brief you; someone will catch you up; someone will have your back.

With the people who really matter most in your life, that won’t always happen.

And sometimes the fact that you totally missed it hurts them. Deeply.

It’s just something to think about, I guess. It’s something I was thinking about and I wanted to share it.

Thanks for indulging.

<…. we now resume our regularly scheduled programming.>



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A friend had me over for coffee this morning. Then we went to a Yoga class together. It was a perfect morning.

During class there’s this part called sha-bas-a-nah. The object is to bring stillness to everything — to your body; your mind…

It’s usually my favorite part of class because it’s at the end and you’ve been working really hard you get to rest…

But today, it occurred to me — during sha-bas-a-nah — that when I’m done cleaning this whole house top to bottom… that’s when I’m going to have the space I need to be able to relax and think and figure out what’s next.

Every day, when the love-of-my-life comes home from work and I report what I got done that day he tells me to back off a little; to relax.

I am not going to be able to relax and really think about what’s next until I’m done putting everything in order.

That’s what I’ve been spending my time doing these past days.

I now have a spotless refrigerator; a beautifully organized garage; a sparkling clean grill; sheets that smell of sunshine because they’ve been line dried… and all these things are giving me pleasure right now.

Getting them done is keeping me busy but reflecting on the beauty of the order and the cleanliness that comes with that gives me pleasure and happiness.

I need to get all of it done. I need everything in this house to be in order before I can find the stillness which I need before I can figure out my next step.

How’s that for introspection? See what happens when you go to Yoga?


Happy Friday!!!!


p.s. Fridays are just as happy on the other side. Just in case you were wondering. :-)

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Gap Year Begins

It’s been a long time since my last post. Lots has happened. Not all of it great.

My family has been through a lot this year. It’s been hard.

Most recently, I was one of 2,000 Yahoos who lost their jobs as part of a re-structure of the company to position it for future growth.

I’m still trying to get my head around it. Every day it gets easier though.

I’m to live in the moment, and not stress out about the future.

I’m trying to really explore and enjoy and treasure the things that I have — and not focus on, or lament, or mourn the things that I’ve lost this year.

So if you’d indulge me, dear reader, I’d like to take you on this journey with me.

Bringing you along will help keep me on the path. I need to keep it positive. And having you along will help me do that.

So here we go. My first post of “Gap  Year.”

Prior to getting laid off I used to fantasize with my kids and the love-of-my-life what it would be like to have a “Gap Year.”  A year that I take off. I stop working. And I do all the things that I never had time for.

For them that meant things like my learning how to cook a restaurant-quality Calamari dish, my helping them re-decorate their rooms, my going to sports practices and actually watching the kids rather than the Blackberry.

For me it meant I’d stop being distracted and have my mind elsewhere when I was with the people I loved most in the world. I can’t even tell you how many conversations I’ve just completely missed even though I was in the room at the time and the people I love most in the world were talking directly to me. I hate it that I would make them feel like whatever I was absorbed in was more important than what they had to say. For me, Gap Year meant I would stop doing that. And so much more.

The upside of getting laid off is that I get to have a taste of Gap Year.  I don’t know how long it will last. It might not last a year. I’m not quite sure what is going to come next.

So, like I said, I’m trying to live in the moment.

My Monday morning started with an Italian Proverb.

After the game the king and the pawn go into the same box

Every night, before #1 goes to bed, she writes something to me on her white board.

She’s been writing me these notes every day since “Gap Year” officially began. I wish I had taken pictures of all she wrote. I think I was just too numb those first days.

I’m sure she won’t keep doing this indefinately. I’m sure the notes will putter out and fade away.

Regardless…. In this gesture I am reminded that I’ve gained so much more than I’ve lost. I don’t think I’ve ever started a Monday morning feeling more happy than I do today.

Happy Gap Year!


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“FW: We won top prize at Sundance!!!!!”

Staff meetings.

Need I say more?

Actually, the ones I go to aren’t bad.  That is to say, the ones I go to for my boss’ staff aren’t bad.

(You’d have to ask my directs what they think of the ones I run.)


We digress. My favorite part of my boss’ staff meetings are when my colleague who manages Comms for Consumer Programs updates on the work her team is doing. It’s always so super cool. Well, for weeks now she’s been updating on the program Yahoo! launched in partnership with the Sundance Film Festival on Shorts. There are lots of legs to this. All of it is really fun.

<pause button while we switch to the personal front>

This morning, a neighbor sent me an email.



(usually I’m not a fan of the FW: emails. But this one I loved, loved, l-o-v-e-d!)

It turns out a member of the team that produced FISHING WITHOUT NETS, which won the Sundance  Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking grew up right here in my neighrohood in Hometown, U.S.A,

Local boy makes good!

Congratulations to the entire team!

What’s really, really neat for me is how here’s an example of how my two worlds collided.

That’s one of the best things about working for Yahoo!.

It’s really, really neat when that happens.



p.s. it was perfect timing. for a smile. timing was perfect on this one.  :-)


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Breakfast at Tiffany’s

<we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to share an important encounter with a very special box>

Last night the UPS guy came. It was late. Well after dark.  It was after we had dinner. He rang the doorbell and pounded on the door and all the kids bolted up from the homework they were in the middle of working on to see who was at the door.

It was a plain cardboard box, addressed to me. We all assumed it was something related to my job. Everybody moaned “oh man” and sulked away to get back to homework. I took the box into my office and plopped it on my desk to deal with it the morning. Then I went back to helping the kids with the homework.

Well, this morning, I sit down at my desk to start my day. I open up the box and guess what I find inside!


(I know! That’s exactly what I said.)

I can’t actually think of a better way to start the day!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I feel very well loved!

(and lucky)

(and appreciated)


</that’s it. move along now. nothing more to see here.>

</no, I’m not going to share. suffice it to say that when I look at it I’m reminded of how much I’m loved by some very special people. and it makes me feel so warm and happy inside.>


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