Wednesday, December 31, 2014


God and good mothers love us as we are.  Pets love us as if we were God.  May we all remember that regardless of how harsh we can be to ourselves, we are lovable just the way we.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Good Enough

My definition of great, for any specific task, and yours are quite likely very different. "Good enough" brings me much joy and far less stress than continually striving for an elusive "best".  Continuous improvement is in my DNA, but embracing "good enough" each day keeps me happy and healthy (and probably more fun to be around). 

I've decided to be perfectly imperfect, rather than constantly struggling for impossible perfection.  Good enough is perfectly imperfect.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Time to Relax

The glorious holidays are filled with marvelous opportunities to celebrate with cherished family and friends.  It's sometimes only when the last present is purchased, the last task completed or the calendar marks Christmas Day that we finally allow ourselves time to relax. 

Moments are often all that are needed to recharge our batteries.  I'm going to try to remember that regardless of how many items are on my perpetual to-do list, taking a few moments to relax each day needs to be a recurring priority entry.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winning by Watching

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend time with a dear friend who is in middle school.  Among our activities was a card game, Phase 10, that I'd played once when Julia introduced it during her last visit.  It was great to watch her competitiveness emerge during the phases of the game.  Though I lost, I won by watching her compete.

It reminded me that score is just one measure of winning.  We often win by encouraging others, spending time with them, and competing in efforts where age, skill and experience don't dictate winners.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Magic of Distance

A dear friend and I were recently analyzing the reasons that some out-of-town business trips can generate great memories with work colleagues who already are, or because of the trip, become great friends.

Many of us have countless opportunities to visit with work colleagues in the office, at luncheons and after work events.  When we're at home, each of these sessions comes to a natural conclusion, with each of us returning to the demands of daily responsibilities - job, family and community.  When we are out of town, these normal daily demands are temporarily suspended.  Those great conversations can continue without detriment to other responsibilities.

We owe it to ourselves, and those we hold dear, to create some less time-bounded opportunities to let our conversations morph as they can when our daily responsibilities are distant.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Balancing Work, Life and Stress

Sometimes we just need to schedule time to talk about how we can create our most effective blended work, family, community and individual lives. Today, three of my colleagues and I spent time pondering how best to balance work, life and stress, in anticipation of an event on Friday.

Some tips include:

  • Focus on gratitude
  • Protect time for self-care
  • Set boundaries between work, family and other activities
  • Create transition time during the commute to move from work/home to self to home/work
  • Establish entry/exit routines to move from work/home and home/work
  • Don't wait for big times - a glass of wine with your spouse after work is special
  • Take time for daily devotional, exercise or other super start to the day
  • Communicate clearly and compassionately 
  • Agree to roles and responsibilities

Remains of the Tray

My favorite gatherings are those where the slight remains of the trays are consumed in the kitchen, reminiscing about the lovely time enjoyed by all.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What Happens When Stuff Happens

When stuff happens we can:

  • react
  • respond
  • reflect
  • rejoice
  • remember
  • reverse
  • reprimand
  • reprieve
  • reconsider
  • read
  • rest
  • run
  • risk
  • reveal
  • reinvent
  • renovate
  • report
  • reach-out
Or, we can stop and get our bearings, before doing anything else.

Service is the Heart of Business










Monday, November 10, 2014


I'm an energizer bunny, and was unexpectedly and suddenly slowed, from my warp speed pace this weekend.  After a three mile run, and tackling several things on my to do list, I experienced an action stopping back spasm, that rendered me incapable of moving without serious pain.

Because I'm active, healthy and mentally programmed to accomplish the things planned, I assumed that this would pass within a few moments.  It took 24 hours for me to regain any degree of customary mobility.  And 2 1/2 days later, I still twinge with a change of position.

This extremely frustrating, painful and slowed weekend vividly reminded me how quickly things can change.  As I'm regaining speed, I'm even more thankful for how remarkably well my body generally functions.

Temporarily slowed... but not stopped...
Things take longer in slow motion...
Time to think...
New ways to do...
Regaining speed...
With new perspective!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Humor Advantage

Mary Feeley, edutained (educated and entertained) Comerica Bank's Women Business Symposium guests last week, as she shared the importance of laughter in our lives.  She gave many ways for each of us to combat a plague-like situation in our workplaces: HDD - Humor Deficit Disorder.  She effectively used humor to convey the importance of being a blend of the following orientations:

  • Action
  • Detail
  • People
I'm delighted to discover that I'm an action-oriented, detailed, people person.  

Caring and Sharing

I'm thrilled that my life is filled with so many different opportunities to deepen friendships by sharing meaningful perspectives.  This past week, I hosted seven other members of Greater Houston Partnership's Executive Women's Partnership for a fall dine-around.  I knew each of these amazing women, from varied industries, before they arrived, but had not previously spent meaningful time with two of them.

We caught up on big changes before sitting down for dinner.  Over salads, we contemplated the question we'd been asked to consider by GHP about workforce.  Then, the sharing and caring began, as we contemplated "gratitude".  This simple open-ended round-table discussion provided a chance to get to appreciate one another at an "everything's connected" level.  So many unexpected connections, shared experiences and appreciation for who we all are at the core, were revealed.

Though it's impossible to recreate the magic of a single special event, the sharing and caring provide wonderful memories to enhance each relationship.

Each of us has the chance at structured events to get to know others at a more memorable level. Asking about gratitude can cause a pessimist to reconsider the situation, and give an optimist the chance to spread joy.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Homecoming Feels Like Coming Home

Homecoming at Ole Miss this weekend felt like coming home, though my only official tie to the state is my son, Gar, who is a student.  What a remarkable student body and alumni group!  Ten acres of  side by side open air tents were most hospitable to friends, strangers and opposing team fans.

What a great tribute to the whole community, that Oxford demonstrated in so many ways, what true Southern Hospitality means.  I'm grateful to have experienced graciousness above competitiveness, enthusiastic friends by association, and thousands of genteel, fun-loving Southerners who made me feel at home.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pen Pal

Many of my older friends, who are retired, retiring or contemplating this life change wonder what their less structured days may hold.  Though I am still happily, productively employed, and very actively engaged in community volunteering,  I've recently, accidentally discovered, a meaningful and flexible way to make a difference, as a pen pal.

My new pen pal is a former colleague's adult child, who I initially met as a Special Olympics athlete. There are so many folks, young and old, whose lives can be brightened by occasional letters from those outside their immediate circles.  And, as fate would have it, our lives are brightened equally or greater.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Amazing Timing

There's a time for everything and it always thrills me when I have the chance to be a part of amazing timing.  Some recent examples:

  • A friend I've not seen in over 3 years came to mind recently, and I sent her a note.  It arrived when she was in the hospital, brightening her day.
  • My trips to the post office are infrequent.  My attempt yesterday to assess postage for a package to Daddy was thwarted by an out of order self-service machine.  Thus, I ventured today to the post office nearest my office, at the end of the traditional lunch hour.  This post office had technology issues, and could only accept cash and predetermined package sizes.  And, the parking lot was full of folks trying to transact normal business.  Though I've never previously seen a work colleague at a post office, today I did. A long-time colleague, a few folks ahead of me, turned to leave and return with cash, when I offered cash to complete her task.
  • A friend and I were going to see a movie at our neighborhood theater this weekend.  Because of the rain, she was planning to pick me up.  However, the rain stopped, and I started walking meeting her near the theater, which saved critical minutes with her unplanned demands.  
Sometimes perfect planning reveals itself after our plans are altered.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Everything is Personal

One of the least astute cliches someone can use, when delivering bad news is "Don't take it personally".  This ineffective catch-phrase, is at best, a time-filler, in an uncomfortable conversation to let the hearer know that she/he was not selected for a job, promotion, continued employment or other important roles.  

The way that we perceive each moment, day, week, month, year, decade and lifetime is uniquely personal.  And, thankfully our perceptions are as unique as we are.  Since everything is personal, we have an opportunity to selectively share with appropriate audiences of, 1 to millions, our ideas to improve the world our way.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

7th Grade Again

On Friday, I had a chance to participate as an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow and Comerica Bank volunteer for a unique program.  Members of the business community and other volunteers spent the morning with 80 seventh graders from 20 Houston area middle schools.  These bright young students had the chance to hear about various careers from 40 folks working in various industries.  Each student had the chance to hear 6 different business representatives talk about their jobs and industry for 8 minutes, then were given 7 minutes to ask questions.

The objective was to expose these students to various career paths prior to their 8th grade deadline to choose a high school curriculum.   Each school's 4 students rotated to different tables so each school was potentially exposed to 24 of the 40 business representatives participating.  And one of the expectations of attending was for students to share the information learned with their classmates who weren't a part of the group.

Anticipating being with the students made me think about things I wish I'd known as a seventh grader:

  • everyone you meet is a potential friend for life - learn not only about your friends, but your teachers
  • the wide array of career options available and what it would be like to work in various fields
  • continuous learning is part of constructing a successful life
  • how critical it is to work effectively in teams throughout life
  • to try more unfamiliar things rather than sticking with the comfortable known things at which I was capable 
  • that track could launch a life-long fitness journey
  • that listening is one of the most important communication skills
  • to take every reasonable opportunity to practice public speaking
  • how important it is to be able to write clearly and succinctly
  • that regardless of how busy life was, there would never be a time with fewer responsibilities
What do you wish you'd known as a 7th grader, high school or college graduate, or as you began a new relationship or career?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Goldilock Choices

This week I've been reminded of Goldilocks.  Trying to meet the expectations of even three people is sometimes difficult to do.  And crowd pleasing is far more challenging. Just like Goldilocks - there can be individual assessments of too much, too little or just right.

When we realize that we're never going to be able to satisfy all members of varied groups, every time, we can gather the best feedback available, and try to make things just right for the less rigid majority.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Games We Can Win

We all play games.  Some of us acknowledge that we enjoy structured card, board, word and puzzle games.  However, when we play life games, where the rules aren't defined, we are  subject to manipulation by those who don't play by the Golden or Platinum Rules.  Our chances of winning any of the games we encounter are enhanced when we know the game, players and rules.

We owe it to ourselves to play games we can win, or choose simply to have fun playing!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Paper Cuts in Life

We all experience injuries, and most would agree that on a scale of 1-10, paper cuts are generally 1s.  A dear friend made me rethink paper cuts this past weekend.  Paper cuts hurt and are annoying, but when we tend to them, they often cease to be an issue within a day or two.  And, in many cases, others don't even realize that we've been injured. But, left untended, in a high risk environment, a tiny, infected paper cut can become life-threatening.  

Many of life's issues are like paper cuts.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014


On the way to church this morning I saw the vanity license plate "Sothpaw" which made this left-hander smile.  And since I generally think of north, south, east and west just when driving or boating it made my wonder why the term isn't westpaw.  Speculation is that this term was coined for left-handed baseball pitchers who traditionally face west when pitching, thus their left hand would be to the south of their body.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Bite Marks on My Tongue

The bite marks on our tongue don't show.  Though I've said this for years, I shared it this week with two friends I've known for 15 years, who hadn't heard me say it.  Many scars from things done and undone show.  But, when we refrain from uttering unkind remarks, the bite marks on our tongue never show.  I'd not thought of the corollary before, but the resulting goodwill manifests in many visible ways.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Levels of Knowing

It struck me this week, as I had a totally different conversation with someone I've known for many years, that different settings provide different levels of knowing others.  My best relationships, and I suspect most others' are as well, multi-faceted.  Sometimes we short-change ourselves by pigeonholing relationships into a defined arena.  When we share additional interests, the relationship can positively morph from a certain category of friendship to a broader, more satisfying one.

This was another reminder that time can be a less significant measure of impact than shared interests.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Smile in the Mirror

We can increase the chances of having a better day, regardless of what we are facing, by greeting ourselves first thing in the morning. with a smile in the mirror.  And, with so many reflective surfaces, we can bolster the positive feeling each time we catch a glimpse of ourselves.  A smile can be, not only the gift we give others, but a perpetual gift we give ourselves.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pennies from Heaven

Whether we consider them lucky pennies or pennies from heaven, found pennies should be day brighteners.  They are unexpected tiny bits of good fortune.  I've always relished finding pennies, and never more than since Edgar died.  I'd asked him to send me pennies from heaven and in the months since he died, I've found more pennies than I remember finding in the past several combined years. The beautiful, comforting thing about many of these finds, is that they often appear when I'm having a tough time.  Just yesterday, a confirming penny appeared, providing me reassurance on the day that my beloved uncle died.

When we expect and accept good cheer, regardless of how small the increment, we are often rewarded exponentially.  Small kindnesses, smiles, greetings, praise, thanks and gestures are other tiny treasures that we can as easily overlook generously giving and gratefully receiving, as the penny waiting to be retrieved.

We can all make a big difference when we continually seize small opportunities to be day brighteners.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Window of Opportunity

Sometimes our windows of opportunity are very narrow. This morning, I woke ready for my daily run.  Overcast skies and light drizzle greeted me.  This would have provided the perfect excuse to skip a day.  Getting out there and seizing the available moments provided a chance to experience much cooler temperatures than we've had in several months.  When windows of opportunity appear, we often gain more than we anticipate by quickly seizing them.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Admire or Acquire?

We can become obsessed with what we pay for items.  And when we focus on price, we can celebrate successful concessions, deals, finds and steals.  But ultimately, we are all seeking things we value at a price we feel is reasonable.

I love a great deal!  There have been countless great deals I've not taken advantage of.  Though the allure was great, I decided long ago that I was going to differentiate between the items I admired and those I acquired.

I love the things I have, and have the things I need, so I smile, knowing that I've admired more than acquired recently.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Power of 1+

It is amazing to realize how far-reaching each connection we make might be.  When I joined LinkedIn, years ago, before this powerful network was adding new members every second, I had no idea how far-reaching my potential network might become.  From a trusting start of one connection at a time, my first degree connections now provide access to over 14 million potential friends, colleagues, clients, neighbors, volunteers, etc.

We all make a difference is so many seen and unseen ways!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Doing the Impossible

When the task/goal/project we are tackling seems overwhelming, it's easy to delay/avoid/procrastinate.  Unfortunately, if it's something that needs/must be done, we are creating daily stress for ourselves each day we fail to address it.

The only way I know to do the seemingly impossible is - one step at a time.

Even if we call in reinforcements, at any stage, we're already x steps closer to completion, once we've started.  And for many of us, just getting started is the hardest part.

I tackled a seemingly impossible project recently.  Fortunately, I didn't actually know how large, and growing the tasks were when I began.  Getting started had its own rewards.  And, it since it involved manual labor, I could visually relish each portion completed.  Since I gave myself the option to call in reinforcements at any stage, and my timeline for doing the seemingly impossible was fluid, I remained motivated to finish.  Another silent success relished!

When we tackle the seemingly impossible we need to:

  • start
  • give ourselves options
  • celebrate each interim achievement
  • continue or call in reinforcements

Thursday, September 4, 2014

If the Shoe Fits

When the shoe fits I will run, fish, dance, work  or play in it! We sometimes pigeonhole ourselves or allow others to do so.  Because we have different skills and interests, we can't be confined to one shoe. My weekend shoe wardrobe includes the dress shoe I wore to work, my running shoes, wading boots and sandals for dinner.  When the mood hits me I'll find the shoe that fits me and encourage others to do the same.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Power of Silence

There are abundant wonderful resources for effective communications.  One that I haven't seen frequently mentioned is silence.  We are inundated with talk, text, email and can get antsy when we have unscheduled time.  Silence is powerful.  It allows us to think, react appropriately or refrain from reacting.  Silence also provides space for others to: take charge; offer opinions, advice or options; be acknowledged non-verbally (eye contact, smiles, hugs, etc.).

And most importantly, appropriate silence allows us to hear our own voice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Getting Back Up

I've been fortunate to never before have fallen when running, until this past weekend.  My injuries are minimal - bruised hands, skinned knee and bruised hip.  My iPhone looks far worse than I do.

Quite close to home, I could have easily turned around to nurse my wounds, but I got up and finished my run.

Had I turned around, I'd probably have been more sore the next day.  And I might have been nervous about getting back out.  Sometimes, when we get back up and keep moving forward when we stumble, it's a far better option than seeking sanctuary and solace.

We need to know when to run and when to hide.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Facing Fear

For years, I'd said that the only way I'd get in the water in Port Mansfield was if I fell out of the boat.  Love prompts us to do things we don't think we can do.

Gar has been an accomplished traditional saltwater fisherman for many years.  Over the past year, he's developed impressive expertise and success in fly fishing, and convinced me to try his newest fishing passion.

We honored Edgar's birthday with our first trip back to our favorite Texas fishing destination since his death.  And we both had fishing firsts to celebrate - exciting catches and (for me, actually consciously) stepping into the water.

I was physically impacted by the prospect of facing my fear of stingrays, sharks and other unseen creatures.  I couldn't sleep and my digestive system was a wreck.  Gar might not have realized I was serious moments before stepping off the boat, when I asked if I should throw up over the side or in the water.

No stingrays, sharks or other feared creatures appeared.  However, by facing my fear, I joined my son in one of his passions, observed several species of birds up close and personal and got to see smaller crabs than I could have ever observed from the safety of the boat.

And because I'd faced my fear earlier, I was able to plop back into the water to help Gar photograph his huge fish caught on a fly he tied.

I realized that we often ask family members, friends and coworkers to join us in things that are second nature and exciting to us, but intimidating and disconcerting to them.

Things that are easy for us may well cause the angst that I experienced for others.  When we face fears, it's cause for celebration.  And, it's a cautionary note to be attentive to verbal and nonverbal clues that those in our sphere are fearful.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Size and Sighs of Heart

When we have a big, open heart, we increase our support network.  Supportive networks are always beneficial and help greatly as we deal with loss, disappointment and frustration.  Thus the size of our heart can help us deal with the sighs of our heart.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Don't Quit!

Gar and I were playing Backgammon on Thursday and it looked like I would certainly win.  In fact, the only way I could lose was to roll double 1s two times in a row, which I did.  When there is a possibility for victory, whether it's winning a game or achieving a goal, don't quit!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Age is only a Reference Point

My precious parents are the youngest/older  (70s and early 80s) people I know. When my grandparents began turning 90, I decided that was my definition of old (who knows - 90 may become the new 70!).  I have friends and colleagues who are chronologically decades younger, but far less receptive to embracing all that life has to offer.  Adults can be x years old or x years young.  My wonderful parents have role modeled x years young for me and so many others.

I think that the next time I'm asked how old I am, I'll ask chronologically or attitudinally.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


All of our potted plants thrive with once per week watering, except one.  And it demands to be watered twice per week, wilting severely, if too many days pass without a drink.  I was convinced, that in my vacation absence, I'd killed this plant.  It was so seriously dehydrated that Gar asked, when he saw the perky plant this morning, if I'd replaced it.

This incredible bounce-back from from a major affliction made me realize once again we can learn so much from nature.  Think about the damage to human relationships that are sometimes caused by minor infractions.  When we realize that my plant's near-death experience was remedied by a bit of TLC, it's easy to see that we'd be well advised to administer and accept TLC frequently in our human relationships.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


So many people exaggerate - intentionally or unintentionally.  Many of us are taught from toddler-hood to be polite and respectful.  In following our lifelong teachings, we sometimes overplay just how comparatively good something is to normal, average or everyday.  It's rarer that we are undersold on the attributes of an item or experience.  Though they were afraid they had oversold Crystal Bridges Art Museum, my wonderful parents, despite their best attempts at a fair, but incredibly positive review, had actually undersold this phenomenal venue.  

Though I knew I would love it, I was blown away, because it was far better than I'd imagined.

Exaggeration may be good for egos - ours and others, but underselling (when a sale is made) has the opportunity to create remarkable experiences and memories.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

On Track?

How can it be that today marks the halfway point of 2014!  My running goal is quantitative and easily tracked day by day, week by week, and against my annual objective.  And, I'm happy to be slightly ahead of my YTD mileage.  Some other goals aren't quite that precise, as they are either done or undone by year end, and percent completion isn't easily tracked or possible.  And other aspirations haven't been committed to the precision of measurable goals.  Today's a great day to adopt a New Year mentality and assess where we are, where we want to be and how we're going to get there.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


We generally think of milestones as being major accomplishments.  However, as I embrace moving forward one day at a time, it's encouraging to consider addressing, accomplishing and celebrating as milestones, anything that we complete that might have impeded our progress.

Milestones are as unique as the individuals who achieve and recognize them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Realistic Expectations

We adopt realistic expectations of others.  And those are the expectations we owe ourselves.
Far easier said than done.

How We Play the Game Matters

Playing the card game, hearts, provides a classic reminder that tides can change frequently (from hand to hand).  A slow start, is often just that.  It is not necessarily an indication of how the game will progress,or ultimately conclude.  And, as is also the case with important projects, the result is often not available until the conclusion.  Though winning scores are the only ones recorded, how we play the game matters. We know if we finished second rather than fourth,  and we also know when we sacrifice an uncompensated point to keep another player from taking all the points.  We remember, too. lessons we learn, win or lose.

Winning is always fun, but playing the game well has rewards beyond the final score.

Monday, June 9, 2014


So many of us are ecstatic that recycling in our neighborhood is improving.  Adding glass is a huge plus.  And  it will be less physically taxing for those of us who have been dragging exceptionally heavy bins of paper to the curb, as rolling bins are utilized.

Many neighbors, however, did not read the instructions about relinquishing our old bins, and starting the automated pick-up on a different day.  Just because the new bins were present, it didn't mean that they were immediately available for use.

We have become so accustomed to seeing and accommodating new things that we don't always stop to read the instructions.  This was a reminder to me that multiple modes of communication are important when a big change is afoot.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Achievement is Timeless

It was so exciting to get another confirmation that recognition of exceptional achievement transcends time and generations.  Gar just texted that he was visiting with the former #1 athlete in a very competitive sport. I know from a previous conversation that this man is nearer my age than Gar's.  With so much media focus on the most current achievers, it's nice to realize that once one has reached the top of his or her game, there is multi-generational interest and appreciation for what it took to rise to the top.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Picking Up Where We Last Parted

With great friends we can seamlessly pick right up where we left off, regardless of the amount of time that has passed since we were last together.  The comfort of so much affection and so many shared experiences creates a strong foundation that time and distance can't disrupt.  Seizing such opportunities nourishes our spirit.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Still Have Unlimited Potential

I Still Have Unlimited Potential

I Will Not be defined by my losses
  • I will learn from them
  • I will forever be mindful of what is
  • I will appreciate now
  • I will move forward one day at a time
  • I will cherish the memories
  • I will thank those who remember
  • I will celebrate small victories
  • I will be me
 I Will Learn
  • To appreciate what is
  • To anticipate what might be
  • To listen to myself as well as I listen to others
  • To accept that one day at a time is enough
  • To share the lessons from the memories
  • To appreciate all who show compassion
  • To create even more victories for others
  • To be me
 I Will Forever
  • Learn
  • Be Present
  • Be Grateful
  • Grow each day
  • Acknowledge all who have helped me be who I am
  • Celebrate others
  • Create opportunities for other
  • Be me
I Will Appreciate
  • Experiences
  • Empathy
  • Moments to be seized
  • Each day
  • Everyone who has touched my life
  • Small gestures of compassion
  • Those who excel
  • Me

I Will Move Forward One Day at a Time
  • With things to learn
  • Centered on reality
  • Grateful
  • Incorporating what I've learned
  • Embracing each morning
  • Celebrating others
  • Creating opportunities
  • Being Me
 I Will Cherish the Memories
  • Learning
  • Mindful
  • Appreciative
  • Of each day
  • That have enabled me to become who I am
  • Of all who have been a part of my life
  • Of victories
  • Of who I have been at each stage

I Will be Thankful for
  • Lessons
  • Reality
  • The Present
  • Each Day
  • Memories
  • Compassion
  • Successes
  • Me
 I Will Celebrate
  • Perpetual inquisitiveness
  • That I get to walk in my own high heels
  • My abundant blessings
  • Today
  • Yesterdays
  • Everyone who is part of my life
  • Successes
  • My life
 I Will Realize My Unlimited Potential!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tiny Breaks are Big

Because I've spent my life swimming, water skiing, fishing and being flown in small planes, I'm likely more weather wary than many.  I'd planned to run after work on Friday, but a darkening sky and rumbling thunder accompanied by a light rain shower thwarted my plans.  However, within 30 minutes, the sky lightened slightly and the thunder and rain stopped.  I decided to take this tiny break in the weather to at least run around the block, thinking a bit of exercise was better than inactivity.   As I rounded the first block the sky began to clear and my tiny break turned into a lovely 3 mile run.

When we take advantage of tiny breaks, the impact can far exceed our expectations.  

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Complete the Jigsaw Puzzle Border First

A friend and I were visiting recently about indecisiveness in an otherwise decisive life.  With multiple life options in play, it was clear to me that in this life jigsaw puzzle, the borders weren't yet in place.  We sometimes forget that we need to complete the framework before we can successfully complete a project.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Why Didn't You Respond?

It's hard not to take it personally, when we don't get the hoped for reaction from others.  There may be multiple terrific reasons that aren't even remotely related to us, including:

  • Talking on the phone with a hands-free device that isn't obvious
  • Didn't see us
  • Didn't hear us
  • Totally absorbed in something
  • Forgot
  • Didn't actually receive the message
  • Language or customs difference
When we feel confident, it's easier to accept that we may simply need to try again to reach our intended party. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

You Don't See What I See

We all see things a bit differently due in part to:

  • actual exam results based upon 20/20
  • attentiveness
  • frame of reference
  • distractions
  • familiarity with setting
  • experience
  • what we are looking for
  • selective perception
  • feedback from others
  • what else is going on in our lives
  • distractions
  • preferences
  • interest
  • timing
So, when it is important to have others see things our way, we might consider different ways of presenting our vision.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Smile in the Mirror

Before we leave the house each morning, we all use a mirror to ensure that we've accomplished the essentials.  Unfortunately, I've encountered successful individuals who don't also use their mirrors to offer a warm, validating and encouraging smile to themselves.  Smiling at ourselves in the mirror each morning is a great way to start the day.  It's easier to provide a smile to another when we've already received one.  Sometimes the gifts we give ourselves keep on giving.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kaleidoscopic Life

Kaleidoscopes have always fascinated me.  I love the ever-changing patterns.  As I was waiting for the pasta water to boil, after adding a bit of olive oil, I realized that we can see changing patterns in many every day occurrences - if we take time to observe.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bigger Than Life

As I was running, on this beautiful morning, before church, it was fun to see how large my shadow was.  It reminded me that when we shine a light on others, we help make their impact far larger.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Surrounded by Family

Last night I attended solo, an annual party, that Edgar and I had always thoroughly enjoyed, ever since we began dating.  I initially intended to decline, but decided to honor our happy times by going.   I'd planned to sit with dear cousins from Edgar's Dad's side of the family, with whom he and I often enjoyed this event.  As fate would dictate, I also had the opportunity to join another set of cousins, from Edgar's Mom's side of the family.  Being flanked by family signaled to me once again that celebrating happy memories is a healthy way to move forward.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

We Don't Know What We Don't Know

As a continuous learner, I'm very aware that there's always much, much more to learn.  One of my best ways to learn has been to be in a perpetual state of inquisitiveness.  Since we don't know what we don't know, our best options are curiosity, observing, questioning and connecting.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Timeless Resources

I'm a continuous learner and I love sharing tools, resources and tidbits with others.  Through the years I've learned that just because I know and embrace something, life can get in the way of others seizing these offered opportunities.  It has been such a treat, to have a new colleague enthusiastically use resources I'd long ago provided that had been forgotten by other tenured colleagues.

When we provide ongoing opportunities, we don't always know what the ultimate impact might be.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Keep Asking and Exploring

I've spent my entire career in Houston and have had the good fortune to experience so many diverse treasures in our fabulous region.  And, unlike many of my other non-UH alum friends and colleagues, I've spent quite a bit of time on the UH campus, engaging in various collaborative opportunities.  What I thought I knew and appreciated about Texas' newest Tier One University, was expanded tenfold in the past two days.  A well planned and orchestrated executive women's retreat exposed our largely non-UH alum group, to exciting research, amazing collaborations and world-class facilities.

This experience reminded me that our relationships and knowledge are only growing when we keep asking and exploring.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fun "To Do"

So often my to do list is filled with things that need to be done.  Since I've started adding fun things to the list, it's not quite as tedious.  Still get to check off the musts, but it's great get to enjoy and check off the wants, too.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Flat Tire Doesn't Have to Suck the Air Out of Your Day

My day had gone so very well, and I was really looking forward to a small dinner party, in a lovely home, with interesting, accomplished women.  And when the air went suddenly out of my tire, on the way to the party, I chose not to let this suck the air out of an otherwise great day.  Yes, I was disappointed, frustrated and inconvenienced.  Yet, as I've been doing, I chose to put it in perspective and focus on the positives of a negative situation.


  • I stopped for gas seconds after I drove over whatever obstacle damaged my tire, and discovered the problem.  This was a low speed road hazard incident with no loss of vehicle control or wheel damage, and the car had not yet even exhibited flat tire symptoms.  Had I stopped for gas, as intended, earlier  in the day, the situation would have been far worse.
  • It was daylight, in somewhat familiar territory, and my vehicle's roadside assistance was a phone call away.
  • The dinner party wasn't at my home.
Lessons reinforced:
  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • Gratitude
  • Some things can't be controlled
  • There are so many lovely, skilled people willing to assist us when we acknowledge their talents.

When bad things happen we can choose to be victims or victorious.  Victorious feels a million times better!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


We all encounter unexpected things each day that cause us to change course.  Whether we view these obstacles as mere speed bumps, or road closings is up to us.  When we're forced to slow down, we must consciously consider next steps.  Sometimes these pauses render better outcomes than we would have gotten at full speed ahead.  And, even when it's an actual forced detour, we can choose to enjoy the scenery along the way or grumble.  It sometimes takes an obstacle to free us to to take another, often better, path.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Responses to Unfamiliar

It is always interesting to note how others react to the unfamiliar including:

  • caution
  • acceptance
  • waiting to see how others respond
  • questioning
  • disengaging
  • eagerness
  • curiosity
  • exploring
  • leaving
  • getting information from the most knowledgeable person present
  • stress
  • excitement
  • nonchalance
  • rejection
  • endorsement
None of these is right or wrong.  These are simply different ways of processing new things. Regardless of our enthusiasm, it's important for those of us introducing change, to be able to recognize and accommodate various understandable ways of processing the unfamiliar. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It's Not Just the Words

Consider the difference in each of these differently ordered phrases:

  • Good Morning, God!
  • Good God, it's morning...
  • Good Morning, it's God.
  • Good, it's morning, God.
  • It's a good morning God!
  • Morning God!  It is good!
It's not only the words we use, but how we combine them, our emphasis, intent and meaning.  Praise, disbelief, acceptance, moving forward, expectation and thanks are among the sentiments that can be expressed as we say these same words differently.

When it's important, we need to remember to make certain that the words we've used have been received as intended, rather than any number of other very different ways. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Technology Desert

It would have been awesome if I'd experienced a technology dessert - think of the enjoyment without the calories and guilt.  However, mine was a technology desert, without an oasis.  We've become so very dependent upon technology that when it fails, we have an unexpected sense of loss and an accelerated sense of frustration.

I've been loyal to my technology provider forever.  In fact, I worked for the company during my first career.When my technology began failing quickly, and my only option was to patiently wait a week for a 4 hour repair window, that my working schedule would allow, my journey in the technology desert began.

My week in the technology desert highlighted the importance of:

  • alternate ways to operate
  • patience
  • skill and persistence of technicians
  • perspective
Consciously disconnecting is to be commended.  Being abruptly disconnected forces us to ultimately realize some of the same benefits.  

We all like choices.  Choosing when we want a technology desert rather than a technology oasis is the best option.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lessons from My Microwave

Life was far different before the introduction of the microwave, decades ago.  And life will continue to change.  Oddly enough, our microwaves teach us about life:

  • seconds matter
  • we pay a price for convenience
  • most tools are not universal 
  • even in a contained space, big messes are hard to clean up
  • fast isn't always best
  • even if you prefer to be open in life, coverage is best in some settings
  • we sometimes take for granted gifts that most don't enjoy

Monday, March 10, 2014

Killing Time or Fulfilling TIme

The difference in killing time or fulfilling time is mostly attitudinal.  And one of the best ways to ensure we spend fulfilling time is by saying yes consciously, rather than merely because there is open space on our calendars.  We fulfill time when we are engaged in activities or thoughts that:

  • bring us joy
  • provide new skills or knowledge
  • are good for our mental, physical or relationship health
  • create memories
  • make us laugh
  • give us a sense of accomplishment
  • exercise our creativity
  • advance a project important to us
  • work through troubling issues
  • evoke gratitude
  • make a difference
Here's to millions of hours of fulfilling time!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

No More Big "Buts"

We limit ourselves each time we use the word "but".  I'd like to _______, but I only know how to________.  If we banish this enormous little word and substitute the word "and", we move ourselves immediately to considering possibilities of how to achieve our goals, dreams and desires.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Minutes Matter

We all squander minutes.  Often, we aren't immediately accountable for wasted moments.  However, we become grateful for well-spent moments when we encounter unexpected situations.

My parents and I enjoyed a lovely weekend together!  Travel logistics require a 90 mile trek to the airport, and since threatening weather was imminent, we planned accordingly. Thus, I experienced something I've never encountered - no one was in the airport security line before or after me.  This was especially surprising as my flight was clearing standby passengers. So, a moment earlier or later, and I might not yet have  experienced the joy of being TSA's only expectant passenger.  

My flight was expected to be temporarily delayed, but took off on time.  My anticipated minutes waiting were minimized. However, another passenger got the delay announcement, but didn't receive the back-on-time communique.  She was moments away from missing the flight.

 Fortunately, Mama and Daddy made it home moments before the icing conditions curtailed safe travel. And, an accident that had created huge traffic delays on my route from the airport cleared 10 minutes before I arrived.

We are told to seize the moment.  Realizing the consequences of missed moments increases our chances of  actually seizing them.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning keeps me excited and motivated.  In the past day I've visited with two folks who are at very different stages of their careers.  One recently graduated from college and is understandably doing a lot of on the job learning.  It was exciting to meet him at a large community event.  One of his colleagues invited him, knowing that exposure to community issues and leaders is another critical part of his post-college learning and growth.  The second encounter was catching up with a former colleague who has been in the workforce for 30 years.  She stayed in the same industry, but changed roles at her new company.  Though she has significant career experience,  her company and job learning curve is much like that of the newly minted grad.  And, I reminded her that she would be well-served to keep her community engagement and relationships current as she assesses what her next move might be.

Continuous learning takes many different forms.  Regardless of our age and stage, many of the elements are the same.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What Might Have Been

What might have been, wasn't.  When we allow ourselves to quit replaying what if scenarios, we free ourselves to accept what is and what might be.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Play with the Hand You're Dealt

How fabulous that we can learn life lessons as we enjoy card games!  Some similarities

  • life and cards are actually played one hand (day) at time - plan ahead, but live in the present
  • keeping score allows us to track progress - goals motivate accomplishments
  • losing one or more hands doesn't mean that we might not be the ultimate winner - don't give up
  • do-overs are easier in cards than life, but one is never granted without a request - ask for what we want
  • we don't know others' hands (agendas, motives, skills, ambitions) - play to our strengths and show our cards one interaction at a time
  • winning is fun, but many games well played make life wonderful, regardless of the winner
  • rules are boundaries - when desired, create a new game
  • fun is a-ok regardless of how busy we are!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

All or Something

As a recovering perfectionist, I understand "all or nothing" approaches to projects.  And in dealing with grief, I've adopted a "something is all it takes" approach.  Micro-approaches to projects are amazing!  Getting started is often the most important part of tackling a difficult, overwhelming or unpleasant project.  Committing 15 minutes to a task breaks the barrier.  Now the project is started.  When we give ourselves the option to quit after 15 minutes, we can choose to continue or schedule another 15 minutes at another time.

And, choosing to organize a drawer or cabinet, rather than a room or whole house,  provides a chance to more easily celebrate success.

If you have a drawer full of business cards that you've intended to enter into your contacts system, consider entering 10 per business day.  The stack will rapidly diminish within a month, and once you begin to see an end in sight, you might even commit to keeping your newly acquired cards, and LinkedIn connection requests current.

When we move from "all or nothing" to "all or something" thinking, icebergs become ice cubes.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Trash (Recycling) is Another's Treasure

My family razzes me a bit with my interest in putting unwanted or unneeded items into the hands of others who can use them.  Yes, I've plucked many recyclable items from the wastebasket.  And, I've never regretted, but often rejoiced, at giving items new life at Goodwill and Dress for Success.

My best friend brings her magazines to me. And, after enjoying them, I love passing them on to others.

Perhaps the least expected recyclables are canceled stamps.  Because of my friend's collection, I notice postage on all incoming mail, and have alerted others to save and share these oft overlooked delivery tickets.
And, this makes me far more aware of  the array of postage options.

Many of us are incredibly blessed.   A double blessing inures when we share our bounty.