Eat Dessert First

You’ve probably heard this expression before about eating dessert first.  Taken literally it seems crazy, and even as much as I like dessert and sometimes feel addicted to sugar, I’ll bet my body would freak out were I really to do this.  We talk about crazy neighbors who we believe eat dessert for dinner sometimes.  Crazy right?

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Too Busy to Think

I got back from the cable show in LA at the end of last week, and wonder if the jet lag still is still affecting me.  Or maybe 10 days of driving through crazy traffic lulled me into the habit of being able to leave whenever I wanted, and not subject to the train schedules.  Whatever the reason, I have literally run for the train each day this week, and have enjoyed the kindness of Christopher the Conductor, who one day re-opened the door just to let me sprint on.  That was an example of sunshine following me 🙂

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The Daily Journey

I was reminded yesterday of how important our daily journey is. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what I am doing and what’s going on that I forget to pause and remember that the moment I am in represents the quality of my life. The quality of your daily journey is the quality of your life.

Remember how struck I was when I found out that my retiring CEO had been diagnosed with throat cancer, just months before his retirement date? Well I found out yesterday that he is also now almost totally blind, whether from the illness or the treatment, and the joys and benefits of sight are now a real handicap. Continue reading

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Write a new story

Happy New Year! It’s been probably too cold to write recently as this has been a crazy stretch in the Northeast. But really this year has started off like a shot and has only recently slowed down to the cadence of a gallop.

Something happened the other day and it struck me as significant enough that I have been thinking about it for days, and I have been trying to make analogies to instruct me in other areas. My friend Vince called me and said his son was going through a relapse of a collapsed lung. Over the past year, this 16 year old has gone from a nationally recognized cross country runner to being down in the dumps, pretty much giving up on school, his chances to go to a good college, and how good life was when all was going well. His dad was threatening to take him out of private school and instead let him fare in public school from here on. Continue reading

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Frozen

Frozen is totally appropriate today. It’s in the movie theaters, Mother Nature is certainly trying her best to put the deep freeze on the year’s end, and when your company is in discussions to be sold it seems frozen is the easiest plan of action. Still, we are moving ahead trying to complete the business before the holidays, get the last minute gifts in this short Christmas season, and push through without thinking that I might not have a job at some point in the near future. Continue reading

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Uncertainty

Nowadays I come to work and the question is “What have you heard?” and “What have you read?” “Has an offer come into buy our company?” “Are we going to get broken up, split up, obliterated?” I am thinking about our jobs, will our suitor want me or us? Am I safer than anyone else? And of course lots of jokes about ordering the suitor logo wear, etc. And when the company leaders sent an email wishing us a happy holiday season, and to please focus on your work even though there is a lot of swirl out there… It is enough to make us all feel like we are walking on a waterbed, slipping on the ice, working without a net…just basic uncertainty. Continue reading

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Best Friend

This morning, early morning, sun not even risen yet morning, while drinking coffee, Kecia was giving me the business about not asking her about the things going on in her life, or asking her out on dates, and for saying here stories were too long, or what she said was wrong and that she ought to be quiet. It was early for this kind of commenting, way too early, not enough coffee too early. But it got me thinking.

Last night Olivia had a melt down because of revelations that came about after a nasty fight between her and Marlo. There was a lot of she did this and she did that, but at one point Marlo said something that surprised everyone. Marlo has a friend who does not get long with her own sister, and Marlo told her that Olivia and Marlo do everything together, and that Olivia is like…her best friend.

Whoa. That was a game changer. Continue reading

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Free Agency

There has been a lot of shake up at work, and although my number has not been called (knock on wood) it makes me and everyone wonder who is next. This has been a big one and whole departments get rearranged at a time. Seeing friends get eliminated or be retired jolts me to reassess where I am, what I do, and what would happen if this situation ends. But did I have any security anyway? Was I lulled into a false sense that I would work here for the rest of my career? Shouldn’t I really think of myself always as a free agent?

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“Rather Harsh Perspective”

There is a line in my favorite movie, Love Actually, where Emma Thompson comments on her brother being the prime minister and how it “puts your life in rather harsh perspective.” While her brother fought for his country today, she was making a papier machet lobster head costume for the school play. Even though today is Halloween and I could go on about the costumes we wear, the tie into the harsh perspective comes from the note our CEO put out this week saying he has throat cancer. Whoa! Continue reading

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Releasing My Grip

I like to find strategies for dealing with life’s issues in other things that I do. Sometimes it seems easier to see a successful tactic in tennis, or in driving through the LA freeway system, and be able to apply it to another aspect of life. For example I recently heard one professional tennis player say that all he could do is put himself in the best position to take the shot, and as a result had the best chance for success. Putting himself in the best position takes into account all of the preparation both physically and mentally, and at the time of the point, being focused and ready to execute. That is easily applicable to just about every aspect of life. The natural follow on is that he, the player, is not emotionally tied to the outcome but rather just to the execution, which is something he can control. Continue reading

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Finishing the Point Too Early

I realized last night in my normal Wednesday night tennis game that I was trying to end the point too quickly, and not letting things mature and present the opportunities for real success. Now you probably thought that based on the title of this piece I was going to use this topic as a measure of male performance in bed or other similar playing field. Well, luckily for you, I am not, but I am wondering if this concept of finishing early might be a metaphor for how we perceive daily life and if there are some benefits to letting our days mature, while keeping pressure on, and seizing the opportunities when they come. Continue reading

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Powerless

This morning is an adventure in commuting for sure. What started out as a beautiful fall day of bright sunshine in a cloudless sky, crisp and clean where you are glad to be wearing a jacket, has become an experience where you are not sure how it’s going to end, but it’s such a nice day nobody is really getting very upset about it.

Looking up at the monitors, pointed out by Trevor and Liz, we were going to be delayed. The tv monitors in the waiting area showed police cars in Greenwich, but I have no idea if that meant the issues there were related. It was as if we were Under the Dome, or enjoying the nice weather knowing that somewhere not far away lots of trouble was happening. And in our case, the power was out on the New Haven line in NYC.

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The Power of the Handslap

This is a serious late night edition of the Life on the 649, especially since it is neither 6:49, nor a workday anymore. It is the middle of the night between Friday and Saturday. I am laying in bed, not able to sleep, and blaming a soar back for my inability to fall into slumber, which likely was aggravated by my strenuous tennis match this evening (last evening?), and also probably stemmed from sitting on the damn train! So there is my connection to the 6:49 and hence my applicability to this blog. The fact that I am awake has just given me opportunity, but the real topic is the power of the handslap that I experienced tonight (last night). Continue reading

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Finding the Anchor

We just got back from the 4th of July holiday weekend, where we sailed away with the crew to Montauk and then back to Mystic on Sunday. And now I am riding the train in, my head filled with random thoughts and issues, and questions about how to fix them. Why is it that I look back in my memory and think about fixing the rough patches instead of multiplying the good fibers? Maybe that is the key, increasing the good experiences, since the quilt can only be 24 hours long, so having more good squares will certainly decrease the ugly ones! Or maybe you need to have ugly ones to know when the good ones are… Continue reading

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Smothered and Sfathered

My almost 15 year old Gregory is not very happy with his mother and father these days. He is very upset with all of the rules and he voices his opposition to them and us through his demeanor, words and actions often. I know you will say he is a teenager, and teenagers fight for independence and struggle for their own identity. They are like new spring arrivals working their way out of seemingly nothing to end up as beautiful flowers. Is there an easier or better path to get through? Do Mom and Dad need to smother and sfather this boy as he becomes a man? Will that pressure help his springing up?

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Derailment and The Last Moment

What’s it like riding in the train, commuting on a Monday morning after a train derailment and accident on Friday? Smooth so far! (as I make the Sign of the Cross a few times + + +). Getting in seems to be easy, but had I been on the wrong train on Friday, it seems getting out of this life could be equally easy.
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Life and Death

Yesterday morning I got up early because I knew I needed to dig a grave before going into work. I couldn’t leave the lifeless body there for the whole day while I was at work, and then into the evening as we were going to a charity dinner. My worst fear was that the house would start to smell like decomposing body. Kecia said “Make sure the hole is deep enough this time.”

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Back With Old Friends, er…Characters

This week I have been running later than usual getting out of the house. Either Marlo was sick, or I wanted to keep checking the sprinklers, or wanting to catch up on mail, all before hopping on the Vespa. I usually don’t have any minutes to spare, so adding in activities only pushes me to miss Southport and instead get on at Greens Farms.

The cast of characters at Greens Farms includes Dave, the yoga guru financial analyst, and Trevor and Liz, the couple who hook up on the train and recently had a baby together – the scandal!
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The Importance of How You See Things

So much of my day revolves around how I see things. I was driving on the Vespa to the train this morning and I am thinking about my timing and where in the bus stop route I will get stopped. I know if I am late or if I am early based on where I get momentarily delayed. I also think how much of my life is taken up commuting, going into NYC, and working at my job. Am I solving world peace? Am I getting any younger? Am I going to look back on my life and think that was awesome!??
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Being blocked and cleaning up the attic on my anniversary

I don’t know what it is but I feel like something is blocking my ability to focus on the issues of the day. In this case, focus on my 16th wedding anniversary today, and finding the beauty in this momentous event. Heck, I don’t know the exact number, but half of all marriages end in divorce, so making it 16 years should be celebrated!

We have had our bumps along this walk for sure and have had big events happen that have strengthened our marriage and have tested that strength. Taking our swings at life’s pitches have been an amazing and surprising awakening of purpose and priority, of value and desire, of forgiveness and of joy, and for the daily choice of what is most important in life.
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