Tuesday, November 27, 2012


It's always fun to achieve a goal, delight a customer or acknowledge a deserving family member or associate.    In our hurried world, it's important to take time to say "hurrah!" when successes are achieved - those of others and our own.  The treadmill of continuous activity can be a detriment to the important celebratory pause.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Look at Who?

This week has provided the opportunity for me to be a part of two special luncheons honoring most deserving women and men.  It's always energizing to me, to celebrate the accomplishments of high achievers.  Of the many awards presented during these two very different events, one presentation was distinctively different than all others.  This very articulate, poised presenter did a lovely job of making the honoree shine.  But by also drawing significant attention inward to the credentials of the presenter, generated the feeling of "look at the honoree, but don't forget to look at me".  This most gracious honoree, not only made the presenter feel special, but also heaped obviously heartfelt appreciation and praise on so many others who were part of the honoree's success.  The "look at you" recipient garnered the respect that the "look at me" presenter was obviously craving.

In this case there was a significant contrast between the one receiving and presenting the award.  Naturally, the "look at you" recipient was far more favorably accepted than the "look at me" presenter. 

When we're honoring another, the entire focus is most appropriately on the honoree.  When we take time to selflessly honor another, the reflected praise from the recipient has far more impact than any attempts at misplaced, self-generated acknowledgement. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Questions Connect

Questions connote interest, elicit information and give us the chance to discover commonalities when we pay attention to the answers given. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Childhood-like Day

Only after I'd read the last page of the latest novel of one of my favorite authors, and reported my lazy day to family, did I realize that I had allowed myself the opportunity to enjoy a childhood day.  I did what I wanted to do, rather, than what I thought I should do.  (No r.s.v.p.s were neglected.)

I, thankfully, grew up in an era long before hyper programming was the norm.  My very wise Mother encouraged us to engage in many group activities, but also knew that unstructured time was great for the soul.

As a youngster, I loved Nancy Drew mysteries, as had my Mother, and fondly remember undisturbed opportunities to devour a new book.

Though I remain an avid reader, I rarely allow myself the opportunity to disengage, childlike, and spend most of a weekend day reading.

Often, when we embrace the things that brought great joy in childhood, we bring more joy to our adult years.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Light or Smudges

Generally when I look through windows I see light and landscape.  Today, I saw smudges as I cleaned the insides and outsides of some of our many double paned windows.  Fortunately, I'm usually looking beyond arm's reach.  Whether we're looking for light or smudges, we'll usually find what we expect to see.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Your Organization Is Mine

At a lovely charity luncheon and style show today I met a colleague's guest, and asked about her organization.  She wasn't certain that I'd know of it, but, in an everything's connected way - she works for my law school.  Suddenly, three non-practicing attorneys had the opportunity to collectively appreciate our law school education and the positive impact on our lives.

When we are eager to meet and connect with new people, we often reap unexpected  rewards.  Though I'm extremely grateful for my legal training, I'd not recently had occasion to consciously remember some of the many benefits of this undertaking.  When we take the time to understand our connections, we often realize that your affiliation is mine. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Intentional v. Unintentional

Things don't always happen as we'd hope.  Often it is unintentional neglect, oversight or ignorance of the situation that causes angst or hurt feelings.  When appropriately addressed, we can forgive and move on.  However, many damaged relationships occur because we think (or know) that the slights were intentional. 

Regardless of our assessment of how intentional or unintentional the action or inaction may be, we owe it to ourselves to assess the importance of the real or perceived unmet expectation. 

Valued relationships deserve fair assessments, the benefit of the doubt and second chances.

We all make many unintentional, and often unconscious, mistakes. 

Often, we need to accept heartfelt apologies intentionally and excuse unintentional slights as anomalies.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Will Do it Myself if It is Done

There are so very many things we can choose to convince or pay others to do for us. The title of this post, "I will do it myself if it is done" sounds like the mantra of a control freak. However, it was prompted as I interacted with a CEO of a large publicly traded company on election day.  With thousands of people working for him, he has the opportunity and responsibility to delegate to others.  I was struck, however, by his encouragement to others to exercise their right to vote, with his story of
standing in line to vote early.  Though he did not voice it, I immediately realized that this, and many more important tasks, cannot be delegated to others, regardless of our role or status.

There are very many important things that we must personally do, if they are to be done, including casting our vote.  I'd never thought that discretely about voting as being an activity that the highest and lowest paid individual within an organization must do themselves, if it is to be done.

Lab tests, academic exams, hugs & kisses, photographs and original signatures are other examples of things we must do ourselves if they are to be done as intended. 

Recognizing that there are many truly personal responsibilities provides another common human denominator.  Though we all have different advantages and disadvantages, none of us can delegate a good night's sleep, firm handshake or personal appearance.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

3 Generations of Connectedness

Obviously, I believe that everything is connected.  And, reinforcement of that belief continues.  Last night, I called my parents at exactly the same moment they were calling me. And a couple of minutes later, my daughter called to let me know she was safely back from her trip.  Though we all had several hours to check-in, we all chose the same few moments. 

It's fun to reinforce that connectedness is a state of mind, being and love across time zones and generations.

Monday, November 5, 2012


It's easy to overestimate the good things we do and underestimate the things that don't meet expectations.  Wish I could invent a general goal tracker that's as exacting as some of the exercise tools I use! 

Regardless of how active I think I am during the day, my electronic trackers, don't let me hedge.  These devices help me hold myself accountable for the activity level and distance I want to achieve.  Without them, I fear, I'd forget the days an early meeting precludes a run, and mentally substitute busyness for actual physical activity. 

Accountability is crucial for goal attainment.  We can monitor ourselves, be monitored by others and/or rely on tools.  The ideal formula includes all three.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What's A Lot?

This morning as I was running, a neighbor I don't know, was being walked by his dog.  That's not just the way it looked - his greeting confirmed the optics of the situation.  "Do you run a lot?", he asked.  "Yes",  I answered with a big smile,  "Great day for it!"  He smiled as he and his pet tried to navigate the path and offered, "I don't often walk the dog!"

Even as I answered, yes, (I run almost every day, but not a great distance) I wondered, "What's a lot?" In the case of his intended question and my proffered answer, a lot, meant frequency.  However, it could have just as easily meant distance.

Obviously this was merely friendly neighborly banter.  However, if the subject and response had been important, understanding what is a lot would have mattered.  So much miscommunication occurs due to imprecisely conveying what we mean.  When it matters we need to remember to check for understanding.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Little Irritants

On one of my morning runs this week, something didn't feel quite right.  I stopped and removed a tiny twig, about the size of a half of a toothpick, from an indentation in my running shoe. That's all it took to rectify the situation.  This incident reminded me that countless little irritations are easily eliminated.  However, we sometimes just live with them, rather than take the time to make things better.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happier at Home

Last week, I had the delightful privilege to sit next to Gretchen Rubin and to hear her share insights from her latest book, Happier at Home.  Some wonderful tidbits from her book and presentation include:

  • Holiday breakfasts are a great way to celebrate minor holidays without a lot of effort.
  • Look for ways to give and get support in relationships.
  • Know yourself and be yourself.
  • Resist happiness leeches.
  • Outer order can contribute to inner calm.
  • Control the stuff in life - assess if you need it/use it/love it.
  • Get enough sleep and adequate exercise.
  • Under react to minor problems.
  • Create a threshold ritual. As you approach your entry remember how happy and grateful you are to be home.
  • Practice nonrandom acts of kindness.
  • Act the way you want to feel.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Great at 8!

My 8 year old friend inspired me yesterday!  His assertion is that he is 99% angel and 1% devil, but when he is older (11) he will be 100% angel.  My very bright young friend, with controlled ADHD, has made enormous progress in impulse control and self awareness.  He has much deserved pride in his accomplishments, and wonderfully high expectations for his future.

Think about how much more we could all achieve, if we likewise, appreciated our accomplishments and held ourselves to extraordinarily high goals!