A Matter of Balance: A Woman's Quest for Health, Harmony & Kick-ass Heels

Friday, December 30, 2011

The big & the small: In 2011 I.....

A few  moments in 2011

This is the weekend everyone reflects on the highlights of the year.  Many of us have our year end rituals.  We celebrate the highs, vow to move past the lows and look with promise to a fresh start.

This morning while journaling, I began a list of 100 things I am grateful for in 2011 (a tip from Fabienne Fredrickson in one of her recent e-zines)  I'm still working on it and plan to finish the list tomorrow.

When I ponder the pieces that created the sum of my year, more than the adventures and events, I ask myself about the people woven throughout my year.  Have I been a good friend?  A decent boss?  A loving spouse?  A supportive step mother?  

In addition to nurturing my current relationships, I always wonder if I've made any new friendships during the year.

This year the answer was a resounding yes.  My life changing adventure to China this summer with the Yale Alumni Services Corp brought countless special people into my life.  From my 200 fellow travelers, to over 1300 students, to the countless others we met along the way, 

While it's unlikely I'll ever see any of the children again, there are without a doubt a few special people who I will always call friends.  And for that I'm especially grateful. 

The big and the small, here are a few things that shaped 2011 for me.

(in NO particular order)

  • Started wearing mascara
  • Climbed the Great Wall of China
  • Welcomed a new nephew into the world 
  • Made jam for the first time (blueberry) 
  • Tried my hand at fencing 
  • Mourned the loss of an amazing inspirational woman
  • Learned how to eat with chopsticks 
  • Skyped for the first time
  • Sipped tea at The Plaza 
  •  Watched my lovely stepdaughter go to the Prom
  • Went horseback riding
  • Read 50 books 
  • Performed at half time at the Big East tournament
  • Took the summer off from golf due to an elbow injury 
  • Went on National T.V. wearing a sports bra 
  • Met an incredible group of people from Yale 
  • Took a pizza making class 
  • Was a guest on a radio show (twice) 
  • Hosted a Little Black Dress party
  • Took Belly Dancing 
  • Dined by candlelight during Hurricane Irene
  • Was in a car accident (thankfully not my fault!)
  • Mentored a new instructor and said good bye to a few others
  • Became an OpZomist :)
  • Corresponded with two student pen pals from China 
  • Biked 42 miles in the Five Boro Bike Tour
  • Did yoga on the beach in Aruba
  • Launched a new website 
  • Received an iPad from my hubby and got hooked 
  • Got a great chair and ottoman for my office and finally ditched the old loveseat 
  • Started a regular meditation practice 
  • Tried Laughter Yoga during my annual retreat to Kripalu
  • Bought my own Reiki table 
  • Was on the cover of a magazine 

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
- Oprah Winfrey 

Cheers indeed!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tell others you care about them:

From Pinterest

I am sitting at my desk right now listening to the press conference about the horrific tragedy that occurred in our area on Christmas morning.  Everyone is talking about it, yet there are no words. 

It is almost impossible to scrape up any goodness from this.

All I can say is this.....

Too often we just assume that others know how we feel about them, but are you sure they know? 

Or perhaps we rush out the door and don't take the time to give a kiss good-bye and tell someone we love them. 

There's no harm in telling them as often as you can how you feel again and again.

It never gets old. 

And if by chance you never get another chance you'll be happy that you did.

Go hug someone and tell them you care.

Friday, December 23, 2011

How big can the regret be?

Yesterday I enjoyed a lovely lunch in Manhattan with three super classy, smart women. I met them in the mid 90's when our paths intersected professionally, and I have been mentored by them (whether they realized it or not) both professionally and personally, and looked to them as role models ever since. 

While individually we may see one another more often, it's been ten years since all four of us have sat down together. 

Of course given the rarity of the occasion, the nature of the season, and the fact that at least three of us were off that day, Cindy suggested a glass of wine, and Rose and I quickly gave our seal of approval. 

Polly debated (she was not the one going back to work, and for the record, neither was I ), not sure if a glass of wine in the middle of the day would make her too tired. 

Rose immediately asked, " How big could the regret be?"

Well, that sold Polly on a glass of wine, and it really stuck with me. 

How often do I hem and haw about something, wasting precious time and energy? Sure some decisions require careful deliberation, because the regret could potentially be significant. I'm weighting one of those types of decisions right now in fact.

But a lot of decisions are given far more mental energy and pondering than necessary. I'm going to make that question a regular part of my decision making and thought process. 

Why just this morning my mind is whirling with the usual dilemmas. Take time to go to yoga or not? Serve salmon on Christmas Eve or a different fish? Pick up the bread today or wait until the craziness of tomorrow morning? And the mind chatter continues to roll. 

As I traveled home from this beautiful gathering, I realized once again being in the presence of these women inspires and teaches me. 

And the only big regret, we all agreed, would be not making time to get together more often. - 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Passion & purpose: A true legacy

My mom & I with MayMarie in her prized garden

A few months ago, we lost an amazing and inspirational woman, MayMarie Conte.  She was a long time customer, a friend, and over the years had become an avid pen pal with my grandmother.  They had met and hit it off sometime in the mid 90's and kept up an ongoing correspondence for years.

At the time, some people asked if I was going to write a blog about her. Seems that all major life events are commemorated in social media these days, as if the cyber world brings us some closure.

I didn't write anything.  My choice was to mourn quietly.

This week I had the honor of being invited by two of MayMarie's friends to come over to her home before the last of her belongings were to be taken away.  An estate sale had been held earlier this fall, but again, I opted not to attend, preferring my memories to any trinkets I could have purchased from her life.

I was grateful when her friend Barbara gave me a few of her beautiful belongings to remember her by, but more than that I was struck by something Barbara shared.

She said MayMarie had been cremated wearing her scrubs and a Jazzercise Breast Cancer Fundraiser t-shirt.

The first thing that came to my mind were the words.... Passion & Purpose.
As in life, her choice at the end was to go forth with passion & purpose.

MayMarie was the consummate nurse.  It was her vocation, but it was also her passion.  Nursing was her purpose on this earth.

She was also a breast cancer survivor. Maintaining her health was paramount and she exercised regularly, which included fifteen years of Jazzercise workouts.  Jazzercise was one of her many passions and she no doubt did it with purpose, even when it was clear that it took painstaking effort just to get up the stairs to our studio.

She was a woman who lived her life with passion & purpose in every way.

This Christmas when I set my table with MayMarie's beautiful Irish linens and napkins, I will  give thanks for her beautiful legacy, and I will step in the New Year with as much passion & purpose as I can muster.  

And maybe a tiara and a bit of red lipstick too.

A much appreciated visit to celebrate my 20th Jazzercise Anniversary

My Big Bang Theory

I've always said that if you don't slow down and take care, the universe will put something in your path to force you to.  Guess that's what the woman in the Toyota Camry who rear ended me yesterday was up to.

To be honest, I think I've been handling this Christmas season with fairly little stress and had been having a very productive, albeit, busy week.   Until the Camry.

 I could be frustrated that I have to stay home from work,  have a back and neck that is super sore  (not ideal when you have a physical job),  a muffler dragging along the pavement, insurance paperwork, claims adjusters, rental cars and the like to deal with today.

Could be much worse. So I actually find myself in a place of gratitude. If it's all in how you frame it (as I always say), then it's a happy accident.

I got to lie on the couch last night with no agenda.  Plus my hubby brought home some chocolate and pretzel crisps, two essential elements when confined to the couch.

I get to sit in my home office and sort through my inbox this morning (a task that's been nagging me for awhile).

I'm going to see the fab Beth Leas at the TLC Center for some healing Reiki ater.

I am surrounded by amazing  family, friends, staff and customers who have been sending me lots of love today.

All in all, it's a pretty good day. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"It's not so much how busy you are...

      Love this quilt given to us by a friend

"It's not so much how busy you aret why you are busy.  The bee is praised'; the mosquito is swatted."
(quote by Marie O'Conner)

Ah, so true.

With the countdown to Christmas on, things seemed to be moving at a more rapid pace. As I sit here planning the week ahead and deciding how to spend what's left of the weekend I'm going to reflect on this quote and focus on the  WHY in my time.

Yesterday was filled with work (which for me fortunately includes working out), volunteering, and then curling up with the family to enjoy a Christmas favorite, Elf. Other than watching my hubby put the lights on the tree (Meg and I were a rapt audience, but lent little assistance other than supervisory direction), not a lot of tasks were accomplished.  

Rather than volunteering yesterday I could have tackled gift wrapping and there's a bit more shopping that could be done. Instead of watching a movie, I could have faced the laundry  which is piling up. But I decided that until I am seeing eye to eye with it, I'm not going to stress too much.  

But going back to the why, I'd like to think that the time was spent wisely.

Take a look at how you're spending your time this season and ask yourself just exactly what you're busy with.....better to be the bee!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Christmas traditions: old & new

The holidays are a time where we bring out the traditions.  Things we've done since we were little, traditions that were born as a result of a marriage or having children, and then new traditions that emerge, sometimes accidentally.

Last night was a wonderful evening which included a fairly new tradition.  First I enjoyed a delish dinner at the Abbazia's (cooked by the big guy, Frankie himself).  After dinner we went on to what is becoming an annual event,  a drive to see the light show at the home of Paul Tudor Jones.  

This is the third year Pina & I have ventured out, hot chocolate in hand, to soak in the holiday ambiance (and the second year her wonderful daughter Danielle has joined us).  If you haven't seen it ,here's a glimpse at last year's display  but I think this year's is even better.

There's always great conversation such as Danielle's creative ideas for inventions, fashion, and  last night  veered into the topic of our favorite (and least favorite) Christmas carols.

I shared that one of my favorites is  "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" was written in October 1962 with lyrics by Noël Regney and music by Gloria Shayne Baker .  The pair were married at the time, and wrote it as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
One of my favorite old traditions was heading to the Elms Inn in Ridgefield every Christmas season to hear Noël sing his classic song. For years my musical theater pals and I frequented the Elms to sip a drink and to sing along side Noel as he tickled the ivories.  

He always played our favorite show tunes and let us take the spotlight,  but at Christmastime,  when it came to the song made famous by Bing Crosby, it was his turn to shine.  He was known more for his piano prowess than his vocal stylings, but somehow this one was all his.

I get chills thinking back on it now.   

Christmas traditions old and new....it's all good!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Go ahead, sing along. 

Yes, it is looking like Christmas around here, and even smelling like Christmas too, as we picked up our tree today. We're giving it a chance to settle and will be decorating it later in the week. In our attempt to create as stress free a holiday as possible, we're keeping the decorating simple.  

We are contemplating doing something different to decorate the tree this year rather than our usual ornaments, and when I say 'we' I mean me.   I think it'd be fun to get a little creative, but Rich tends to prefer the status quo.  At the moment I don't have any brilliant ideas (please pass any along !) so the jury's still out on that one.

However you do it, just be sure to enjoy the process.....


Friday, December 02, 2011

One for you....one for me....

Ever get into that mode when you're doing your Holiday shopping? Spot a great gift  for mom, and hey look over there - something just right for ME!

Is it me? Or is it hard not to fall into that trap?  

But this is the season of GIVING, 'tis it not?
Mid-year I made a choice not to buy anything for myself for the second half of the year, with the exception of while traveling in Beijing (there's gotta be an exception to every rule right?).

For the most part, I've been consistent and successful, but sometimes a girl needs just a little sparkle for the Holidays.

In my shopping travels of late, I picked up these festive sparkly earrings (with the Kohl's sale + coupon they were less than $10).  So don't beat yourself up about wanting to give a little to yourself as well.  You were good this year, right?  It doesn't have to be extravagant or big.  An inexpensive bit of holiday cheer may be just what your festive outfit needs.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A little R&R

Sometimes a little R&R is what what the body and soul need. I seriously can not believe it has been a mere eleven days since returning from a beautiful vacation in Aruba. 

What makes the time fly so fast? 

Here are just a few scenes from the week. 

Great spot to sit and wait for my massage appointment

Beautiful views

On the Black Pearl for a snorkeling adventure

Catching the sunset

Enjoying the sand

Ready for dinner

Cosmos on the beach

Looks like a Board Meeting of the birds
There are always rainbow somewhere if you keep your eyes open

Monday, November 21, 2011

Keeping it local this Christmas

Our Christmas Tree circa '09 maybe?

I received this email from a friend.  I'm not sure who  wrote it, and originally wasn't going to post it until I could find out it's origin, but it really strikes a chord.  Let's carry our Patriotism into the holidays.  Buy American and support your local merchants!

Feel free to share, and thanks Tony for sharing!  Too bad you won't be getting that flat screen you had your eye on :).

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.

Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificate from your local American hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.


Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.


THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

Friday, November 11, 2011

The riskier the endeavor, the more exhilarating the reward

At this week's "Fabienne Unplugged" Client Attraction Bonus Day (me on the far right:))

I had the honor yesterday of spending the day with a group of inspiring entrepreneurs at the beautiful Stamford Yacht Club, compliments of Fabienne Fredrickson of Client Attraction.

Yes, there were many great marketing strategies discussed, but the even bigger message was one of playing a bigger game.  She delivered a compelling message about harnessing your passion (or as she likes to say, "your brownies") and generously sharing it with the world. Now that's a brownie recipe I'd like to have!

Of course it takes courage and also FAITH to go BIG (I love a biz workshop where the word faith keeps appearing on the page as I feverishly took notes to capture the  magic).

On this powerful day of 11-11-11 think about how you can play a bigger game in your own life, in whatever form that takes for you.  If not as an entrepreneur, as a mother, as an employee, as YOU.

It might be uncomfortable at first, but the riskier the endeavor, the more exhilarating the reward. 

As one participant shared, "When a rocket is about to break the sound barrier it shakes the most." 

I say....bring it on!

Monday, November 07, 2011

"All I got was a rock"

Ok, it wasn't really that bad. But the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin episode did come to mind last night as I enthusiastically awaited the trick or treaters whose Halloween plans were thwarted in Norwalk by the unprecedented fall snow storm last weekend.

The porch lights illuminated the pumpkins, the Pandora Halloween station was cranking. Did you even know there was such a station? Although after we got through the obligatory Monster Mash and Thriller, the selections were a bit of a reach.

We were assembling homemade pizzas and I had my glass of wine in hand, while Rich was working on the last of the fall ale.

Then, crickets.

I double checked the porch lights.

I shuffled up the candy bowl to ensure that all three selections were easily visible.


I must be honest, Halloween isn't my favorite holiday. I think it goes back to the year my grandmother (many of you knew her as Dolly) made me dress as a tree for Halloween, despite my adamant protestations and desires for less brown and more pink, ideally something involving tulle.

Instead I had a bird's nest fastened to the top of my head.

Not nearly as cool as a little bling.

I was, however, ready to embrace it this year. Celebrate it.

In the end only three small groups of determined trick or treaters made the trek to our doorbell.

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow....so, I kicked back and ripped open a bite size Milky Way (or two) as the One-eyed Purple People Eater played on Pandora.  

Friday, November 04, 2011

Don't waste the sexy

Perks of working from home

This quote is on a t-shirt I got from a pole dancing class awhile back. Anytime I come across it crumpled up in the back of my drawer,  I decide it's a good idea to put it on every once in awhile and revisit the concept.

It's so easy to go the UN-sexy route.  As I write this I'm wearing flannel pj bottoms, gray thermal long underwear top and fuzzy socks.  Fortunately I'm having a good hair day so that elevates the look, a little. Also fortunate for others that I'm working from home this morning in this lovely ensemble.

As women though we shouldn't be embarrassed to take time to EMBRACE the sexy.  You don't  have to make a big production of it.  Simply put on a little red lipstick or maybe a sexy bra. It doesn't even matter if you're the only one who knows.

I recently took a  Belly Dancing class which did wonders for helping my fellow participants and I  appreciate our curves dabble in a bit of Tuesday night sensuality.  Belly Dancing is a lovely way to reconnect to your body and boost your confidence and  I loved watching the women in the class celebrate their sexiness and ignite their spirits.

Now to look for ways to bring that into our every day lives.  Tonight I'll give it a try by donning high heels and taking a spin around the dance floor at a friend's wedding.
Your turn.....I challenge you to unleash the sexy beautiful goddess that you are!

Planning to slip into this later!

 Don't waste the sexy ladies!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spontaneity & Serendipity: Do the unexpected, get cool results

Yesterday was a bustling day.  I made my debut as a cover model followed by a fabulous fundraiser, both probably deserving of separate blog posts (forthcoming). 

This morning I woke up exhausted but filled to the brim with goodness and surrounded by tons of love.  Also a bit "hungover" - not so much from wine (although I had a bit of that), but from the adrenaline, dancing,  energy and love that had been enveloping me yesterday.

A few posts back I mentioned that on my fall wish list was the desire to add more spontaneity into my life.  So I decided to message a friend at 6:30 am this morning to see if she'd like to meet for breakfast.  Not only did I have spontaneity on the brain, I was also craving an arepa from Valencia's and in need of their high test coffee. 

Now mind you I've had what I'd term a professional acquaintance with this person for several years now,  so it's not like this is a regular occurrence.   I'm a big believer in surrounding yourself with people who bring more of the good stuff into your life.  I have a lot of respect for this woman and her enthusiasm is infectious.

Nevertheless, it is a bit out of my character to contact someone who is not a super close friend (or my mother) before sunrise and suggest an outing.   The typical conversation I'd have with myself is that she's probably too busy, has other plans, has lots of other friends to have breakfast with, and doesn't have the time.

I decided to stuff that conversation down where it belongs and just go for it.

Turns out it was a wonderfully spontaneous and serendipitous morning.  The company and conversation was exactly what I'd craved and needed, even more than the coffee.  I'd even like to think we're moving more towards the friendship phase these days. 

And the arepa was delish too. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Do you see yourself in this video?


Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation and there it is....the sound of the ring tone.  Whether it's the standard Marimba or a catchy new Usher song,  it doesn't matter, this interruption takes priority.  

Now of course I'm not talking about those times when you have a sick child at home or you're waiting for the jury to return with a verdict to seal your fate.  I'm talking about the every day conversations over coffee or lunch.  

You may even answer and tell the caller "I'm busy, can I call you right back?"  (something I can never understand).

Perhaps next time, see what happens when you stay in the present.  Experiment with NOT answering (if it's something that can likely wait). 

Maybe it's time to disconnect to connect....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Putting yourself first

This concept seems to come up everyday, especially in my business.  Women are experts at putting themselves last, and some even seem to wear that as a badge of honor.  This post today by the Daily Om is right on target so I'm taking the liberty of re-posting and of course giving them credit.  Plus that will give me a little bit of extra time to take a few deep breaths and enjoy a cup of tea....ah, it's the little things!
Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself.

We have all heard the instructions of an airline attendant reminding us to put on our own oxygen mask before we help anyone else with theirs. This advice is often cited as a metaphor for self-care because it so accurately expresses why it is important. It seems to say, ironically, that if you can’t take care of yourself for yourself, do it for others. Few situations in our daily lives mimic the wake-up call of an airplane emergency, so it’s easy to keep putting self-care off—easy, that is, until we get sick, overwhelmed, or exhausted, and suddenly don’t have the energy to care for the people who count on us. That’s when we realize we haven’t been getting the oxygen we need to sustain ourselves. We begin to understand that taking care of ourselves is neither selfish nor indulgent; it’s just plain practical.

Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself. For many of us, there is always something we feel we could be doing for someone else, and it helps to remember the oxygen metaphor. You can even encourage yourself by saying “I am caring for myself so that I am better able to care for others” or some other mantra that will encourage you. It also helps to remember that self-care doesn’t have to be composed of massively time-consuming acts. In fact, the best prescription for taking care of yourself is probably small, daily rituals; for example, taking one half-hour for yourself at the beginning and end of the day to meditate, journal, or just be. You might also transform the occasional daily shower or bath into a half-hour self-pampering session.

Whatever you decide, making some small gesture where you put yourself first every day will pay off in spades for you and the ones you love. The oxygen you need is all around you; sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe. 

October 17, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

En garde!

Our latest adventure brought Pina and I to the Farifield Fencing Academy and this time her daughter, Danielle joined us for the fun.  The event was sponsored by My Time for Me, one of my favorite organizations and our surfing excursion with MTFM was part of the original inspiration for the K & P adventures. 

John gives me some helpful tips

Here are my do's & don'ts I picked up on the fencing strip:

Don't apologize for going for it -  While there were a couple of more aggressive gals int he group, effortlessly racking up points on the electronic scoreboard, others were quick to serve up an apology with each thrust.  My guess is that among a group of men in a similar setting, the phrase "I'm sorry, are you okay?" would be heard as often as "Does this outfit make my butt look big?"  or "I think I'm having a hot flash under this mask."     

As women we are often afraid to go full out, afraid we'll be called  some choice four (or five) letter word!  Go for it and don't apologize. 

Don't be afraid to suck - Let's face it, I sucked at fencing. It didn't help that I am battling an elbow injury (let's not let my physical therapist get wind of the fencing outing).  Consequently I was in a lot of pain early on, BUT I'm not using that as an excuse.  I'm pretty sure I would have sucked no matter what.  I'm still glad I went

Do learn some new vocabulary - I'm now mildly versed in such terms as the epee, parry, foil,  and sabre.  I can only imagine the type of cocktail party where I'll be able to weave in such banter, but it never hurts to expand your mind right?

Do serve wine & cheese afterwards - It makes everything, especially some adventurous girl time, a little better, doesn't it?

A job well done ladies!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Leaving a legacy - in your own way

The world lost an icon this week.  He was a creative genius, a visionary, an inspirational innovator and an entrepreneur extraordinaire,  .  Yesterday's CNN article compared him to the likes of Thomas Edison and Leonardo DaVinici.  

When I reflect how much my own life has been impacted by his revolutionary contributions, I am astounded.  From using the iPod to play our music at Jazzercise (believe it or not I started just when we were phasing out 45 records, we sure have come a long way baby!), to how I stay in touch with friends and family scattered across the country through the ease and convenience of my iPhone, to using my iPad daily allowing me to have a mobile office to make my life as an entrepreneur possible.

He said he wanted to "put a ding in the universe."  Ding?  More like a ginormous cavity.

He created a legacy.

But legacies aren't limited to revolutionizing the world with technology or creating a global phenomenon.   Legacies are built by the small simple actions we take every day.  They are designed by how we live our life in own communities.

So while we mourn the loss of Steve Jobs and celebrate his legacy, we should ask ourselves how we are creating our own.

The mother of my very dear friend Jura, Rosemary Strimavicius, received an award this week celebrating her own legacy. She  has sewn thousands of pillows for woman in recovery from Breast Cancer surgery.   She has lost most of her sight due to an aggressive eye disease, but she sews by memory and feel and a lot of love.  According to Jura, "She stuffs more love than fluff into each pillow and finishes each one with a kiss every time!"
Granted Jobs certainly sold far more than 'thousands' of Apple products, but I bet the recipients of  Rosemary's pillows felt some pretty special love that can't be conjured up by a phone or a laptop.
Rosemary is creating her own legacy, and SHE inspires me, just as Steve jobs will always be an inspiration to me. 
What legacy are YOU creating?

Rosemary receiving the "Volunteer of the Year" award from Necessities Bag founder Maureen Lutz ~ she is receiving a Baccarat necklace from a beautiful representative from Baccarat
Now it's time to post this via BlogPress on my iPad and maybe give Jura a call later on the iPhone to say hello.:)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Look for the LOVE

Rainbow last Thurs night - the most spectacular I've ever seen

We all have those days (ok, lately it seems like it's been weeks) where there is more bad, sad and frustrating news then we feel we can handle. Both in the news and in our own backyards.

It's especially hard when difficult things happen to people we care about, and even worse when it feels like there's not a thing we can do about it.

I've heard more than a few earfuls of tough stuff going on lately.  At some point I figured enough was enough, I mean how much more can there be?  Then I arrived home Sunday night after a very long day to some very upsetting family news.  That was about the last straw.  It would have  been easy to go down the rabbit hole into despair and negativity.  I'm not saying I didn't shed some tears, because I'll be honest, I did.

But then I got to thinking.  I can dwell on this or I can LOOK FOR THE LOVE.  Even when things are dark, there's some love, somewhere.

Here's where I've found love floating around lately.....
  • A daily continuous stream of instant messaging among my two BFF's - these women are my rocks!
  • A cool surprise from my hubby last week
  • Wonderful emails from two of my China kids in my inbox Monday morning
  • A bunch of beautiful inspiring women whom I get to work out with every day
  • A much needed Mastermind meeting on Friday with my support team - PLUS it was at the beach (and followed by a glass of wine and a friend always ready to lend an ear)
  • Fun unexpected treats from my Reiki partner
  • My mom -  'nuff said. 
  • A spontaneous, and very special, family dinner 
  • A sweet note from a long time colleague
  • Glorious weather today and the chance to eat lunch and do some work outside (love the virtual office)
  • A spectacular rainbow spotted in Milford during an impromptu outing to spend time with my stepdaughter (photo above - which does not do it justice!)
I'm not saying that this love takes my mind off the tragedies people I love are enduring and the courageous battles being fought.  I just know that amidst it all I need to keep an eye out for the love.

 Where do you see the LOVE this week? 

Trust me it's there (oddly I now feel like breaking out into the Mary Tyler Moore theme song...."Love is all around...")

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall wish list.....

Photo taken on an excursion last fall

Autumn is upon us and it's my favorite time of year.  Have you been scratching your head lately wondering where summer went? 

In looking over my summer 'wish list' I'm happy to say that I did in fact enjoy everything on my list, except golfing with my hubby.  Unfortunately an injury early in the summer has kept me off the golf course and in physical therapy.  But other than that, I made the absolute most of my summer and enjoyed it to the fullest, including my kick off summer hot fudge sundae (which wasn't on the list, but a revered summer tradition)

When fall arrived on Friday, I started crafting my autumn wish list; There are lots more fun events and projects on tap,  but here are a things that I want to do this fall, and a few things that help me enjoy, appreciate and savor the season.

  • Make homemade soup  - every week if often as possible 
  • Try fencing
  • Recycle old cassettes
  • Teach a four week Pure Muscle class (will be packing my bikini for Aruba in Nov so this is a must!)
  • Go to an orchard for apples, cider and a pumpkin
  • Make something with the apples, maybe a pie or applesauce
  • Stock up on red wine (get ideas from wine class I'm taking in Oct with hubby)
  • Take some photos of fall foliage
  • Get a massage
  • Watch at least two documentaries I've been meaning to watch from my Netflix list
  • Sand and stain bench for living room
  • Take Belly Dancing
  • Do something spontaneous every week (believe it or not this might be the most challenging as I tend to PLAN my spontaneity.!)

What's on your Fall Wish List?