FLOURISHING


I have never fancied myself much of a gardener. In fact, I might be the worst gardener that ever lived. I have no proclivity for gardening, no passion for it and nothing in the way of talent. No green thumbs here. However, ritually, every spring, I set out to tackle some type of approach to gardening in my yard. I have selected some shrubs that I really like – hydrangea and lilacs and roses – and I make a valiant effort of pruning and creating flower arrangements in pots for my front and back doors. And I do ok. Nothing spectacular. I am scrappy so I don’t too much research. I go by my gut and get drawn in to the pretty colors. I try to follow the directions of placing plants where they will get enough sun and make sure to space them far enough apart to grow to their potential. Invariably, I am cutting back wayward rose bushes and overgrown black beauties but I do my best.

Growing up, my father, an Italian immigrant, was the one who handled all the gardening in our family. Even though he and my mother divorced when I was young, I have memories of him mowing the lawn, planting shrubs, taming the roses and taking great pride in the manicured landscaping of our home. My mother could barely maintain a houseplant since she hardly ever let any light into the house. She kept the shades drawn because she believed there would be less dust that way (after all, the sunlight allows you to see the dust particles so she was able to fool herself into believing that if she did not see it, it did not exist.) I do not have that many fond memories of my father since he was not around all that much and, when he was, his drinking created an inordinate amount of chaos in our home. But, I do recall his work in the garden as something he was passionate about and it brings me warmth when I smell the fresh-cut grass or breathe in the scent of freshly bloomed roses. It takes me right back to being a little girl and standing in our small yard that was fenced in with the typical Queens chain link fence. My father managed to bring some beauty to our very drab row house. We had a corner property so there was lots of room on the side of the house to plant all types of shrubs and there was a large lawn in the front of the house. I remember my mother lamenting about this after my father was gone for it was a lot of work to maintain our property and I recall the days when the roses became overgrown and infected, the grass was tall and the shrubs were no longer perfectly pruned. The disarray of our gardens were a perfect metaphor for the chaos of our lives.

Yesterday I spent the day in my own garden, paring down my enormously overgrown butterfly bushes and trimming the lilacs that decided to bloom far too early and, as I do every year, I thought about my father and these tender memories. Last year, on my first day out in the garden, I was unusually angry. I resented the fact that I was the one trimming the roses because, in that moment, I irrationally believed it was the man’s job to handle that. That’s a pretty remarkable thought for someone like me who fancies herself a feminist and does not ever define gender roles in that way. But, emotions are a powerful force and mine resulted in irrational resentment and surprising nostalgia for a man who, otherwise, was not a very loving father. With every branch I snipped from my climbing rose shrubs, I longed for a man who would, like my father, take care of the important details like landscaping. In all fairness, my husband is pretty awesome about taking care of the outside of our home and, of course, my emotions had nothing to do with him and everything to do with the loss I was feeling at that moment. I was suffering from never having had the opportunity to experience a traditional father-daughter relationship and the only connection I could drum up was the one that overwhelmed me as I got thorns stuck in my hands as the large branches came down. The stickiness and pain that came with each thorn pressing into my skin was a reminder of what I lost when my father walked away all those years ago.

My father died last year and, in contrast to when my mother died, I found myself to be very emotional. However, similar to with my mother, I had been estranged from my father for many years – decades, in fact. He and I never had much of a relationship at any point in my life in that I was so young when he left and his alcoholism was so corruptive to everything in his life – especially his relationship with his family. He tried to forge a bond with me when I was in college but, after so many years of being told what a bastard he was by my mother and feeling alienated and confused, it was hard, even as a young adult, to bridge that gap. I regret that we never had that opportunity because I know, at his core, my father was a kind and loving man – and he and I were very much alike. Those who have known me since I was a little girl have always told me that all the goodness in me comes from my father – which makes it that much more difficult to accept the fact that he and I did not have a relationship. I would have liked to have known him differently and have had him enrich my life in positive ways. Alas, that was not possible for so many reasons – primarily because he was drunk for most of his life and was not that great guy that everyone remembered.

When my father died and I surprised myself with my emotional reaction, I spent some time trying to understand how I could feel sad about losing someone who never really was a part of my life – someone who caused a lot of pain in my life. I suspected it was because I managed to find a way to forgive him and release some of the pain I experienced. Or, maybe it was because he and I had a deeper bond that simply never had the opportunity to blossom. Whatever the reason, I am grateful that I sat with the feelings and allowed myself to make my peace with them.

Yesterday, when I was undergoing my annual ritual in the garden, I decided to make it joyous. I chatted with friends and then listened to music – for hours. I spend a large chunk of my day trimming, planting, mulching and found it calming and enriching. My skills are no better, my eye is no more sophisticated and I am not sure what results will be yielded from my efforts. However, I was at peace. I remembered my father with fondness. I thought about all those summer afternoons when he would put on his shorts and t-shirt and sport his white boat shoes and tend to the garden. Memories I will forever cherish.

BREAKING THROUGH


I am in the process of purging so I decided to check out the definitions to see what the true meanings are. The entries include:

  • to rid of whatever is impure or undesirable; cleanse; purify.
  • to rid, clear, or free (usually followed by of or from )
  • to clear of imputed guilt or ritual uncleanliness.
  • to clear away or wipe out legally (an offense, accusation,etc.) by atonement or other suitable action.
  • to remove by cleansing or purifying (often followed by away, off, or out ).

When I study those definitions, what I keep reading is cleanse. When I think about purging, I conjure an image that resembles a ritual of purification. It feels liberating and results in clarity and refinement. But those are just words without any emotions intertwined.

Over the past year I have been engaged in, both consciously and unconsciously, an ongoing purge. I have been actively trying to purge extra weight and fat from my body, replacing it with lean muscle and strength. I have been purging negative emotions such as guilt and anger that have traditionally held me back. I have purged toxic relationships from my life to ensure that I am surrounding myself with love and positivity. At the same time, small pieces of me that I may not have intended to be flushed with the cleanse have disappeared as well. When we go through such cathartic and intentional processes to help us advance in our lives, there is often collateral damage that we don’t necessarily recognize until long after the dust settles.

What I have found most interesting about my purge is that I am missing aspects of my personality and psyche that I did not actually want to hang on to but, nonetheless, the absence is felt. As a child of abuse, I recognized long ago that once I removed the abuser from my life, the need for abuse did not end. I could not understand how I would need to be abused when I worked so hard to separate myself from the toxicity. However, it was familiar and, with that, came a form of comfort. Despite the pain I suffered through and my deep and desperate desire to no longer be emotionally entangled in an abusive relationship, when the ties were severed, I was somewhat lost. There was energy that was expelled to either manage the abuse, deflect the abuse, absorb the abuse or heal myself that was now stagnant and needed to be redirected. My immediate and unconscious response to this was to abuse myself mentally. While I purged the perpetrator, I was still the victim and did not immediately know how to redefine myself.

In recent weeks, similar experiences and feelings have arisen related to the changes in my body. For my entire life I have had perceptions about myself and made excuses for myself as a result of how I viewed myself. I was not pretty enough so therefore I could not accomplish____________. I was not thin enough so therefore my life was lacking ______________. I was not athletic so therefore I could not be expected to _____________. I have used my own shortcomings as scapegoats to prevent me from feeling and processing certain disappointments in my life or to hold me back in order to not feel vulnerable and exposed. As I have been shedding layers of my body, revealing something that looks very different from what I have become accustomed to, I am suddenly unfamiliar with what I see and feel. The person that was locked behind extra weight and excuses is now becoming more and more visible to the world and it presents me with a new set of challenges to confront.

When I set out to change my life from a physical standpoint, I imagined that every pound shed would be a liberation of sorts. Every clothing size that melted away would bring me closer to a reality that I have longed for. And, to a great extent, that has been true. I feel strong in ways that I never have before. I feel like I stand on much more solid ground. I feel proud of myself. At the same time, there is a part of me that feels unfamiliar and insecure. Things are changing so rapidly that I feel like the momentum that is leading me to a destination that I desperately want to reach is also giving me whiplash.

Over these past few weeks I have been undergoing a process of purging my closets, removing clothing that no longer fits my body. Some items I had been wearing were remarkably oversized and were continuing to hide the leaner and fitter body that was beginning to reveal itself underneath. I spent one afternoon sitting on the floor in my bedroom closet and went through piles of clothing items that had been a part of my life for years. There were memories packed in with them that were very hard to let go of. Some of them felt like old friends I had to say goodbye to. Coupled with that was the fear of what would happen if I let these go and then gained the weight back. Would I then have to go through the most painful process of buying larger clothes? Should I just keep these locked away in storage containers in my basement or garage? I shared my feelings with some friends who mostly encouraged me to complete the purge and not hold onto the clothes, removing the possibility that I would think of them as waiting on me to return to their respective sizes. I imagined them as a group of mocking naysayers who were taunting me from inside the large blue boxes. They represent the insecurity and uncertainty in my head that does not believe that I can accomplish my goals. And, without my excuses and scapegoats, I am completely vulnerable to their attempts to take me down.

While I am excited about the prospect of buying new clothes that are smaller, more stylish and look great on my ever-changing body, I am also very overwhelmed. Some months the weight comes off faster and the sizes shrink more rapidly. It feels like a state of flux that will never end. It feels like the minute I get used to my new clothing items I will have to say goodbye and move on to something new. There is no ability to grow attached and develop a meaningful connection. It feels scary and lonely. Last night I walked around in my closet again, filling up several more large bags with clothes that I had not yet been able to detach myself from and I felt sad. The feelings were so confusing because my rational brain told me I should be jumping for joy that I was so much smaller than I had been even 6 months ago. But instead, I was lost. I looked around at the growing vacancies on the racks and shelves and longingly wished for some comfort and stability. Equal parts metaphor and genuine feeling, there was loss and pain and suffering.

I woke up this morning with a feeling of emptiness after a restless night filled with dreams of self-sabotage. I feared that this change in my life was only temporary and that I was teetering on the brink of reversing all that I had worked so hard for. Fortunately, those are just feelings and don’t necessarily represent reality. My life has changed. I have purged lots of excess weight but have not yet cleansed myself of the baggage that accompanied it.

MEMORIES


When I look at my children, I often wonder what they will remember when they grow up. I hope that they are capturing some of the amazing moments of their lives and that they are etched in their brains for all of their lifetimes. However, I fear that the only things that stick are the very highs and the very lows. I fear that every bitter fight my husband and I have had in front of them will be emblazoned in their memories and will surface when they are adults and engaged in their own complicated relationships. I pray that they will also cherish our wonderful family vacations, the nights we sit in our house and laugh at the dinner table and the special times they spend with their friends.

My very first memory is from when I was 4 or 5. I was in my most favorite place on Earth – Montauk, NY – where my father’s parents lived throughout most of my early childhood. They had emigrated from Italy when my father was a young boy and settled in the Bronx where many Italian immigrants ended up in the 20s and 30s. When my father was a young adult, his parents bought property at the Easternmost end of Long Island in a community that was largely unsettled and he, his father and his brother set out to build a charming cape cod where my grandparents would live until their deaths decades later.

In my memory, my family is at the Montauk Motel – a place that we frequently stayed at while out east. My mother did not get along too well with her in-laws and did not enjoy staying at other people’s houses so we often rented rooms at what I would now consider to be a bit of a dive but, at the time, was paradise to me. There was a kidney-shaped pool with a waterfall that sat within a concrete patio and, when we stayed on the second floor of the motel, I would often hang over the edge of the balcony to watch the water cascade down. It was definitely during the summer because we only went there when the weather was warm and my mother, my older brother and I had probably been there for a few days and we were awaiting the other guests who would arrive for the weekend. At the time, my family was still pretty intact and my father would be arriving along with the others on Friday night. We often vacationed with our neighbors – my parents’ best friends, Evie and Billy -and sometimes their adult kids would join us for a visit too. My older sister, who was dating her future husband at the time, would also come out to visit for the weekend and it was simply sublime to have everyone I loved in one place and experience something that I can only equate to being pure happiness. In fact, I believe this memory stands out to me so much because it is the only blissful childhood memory I have.

On this particular day, I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my parents’ friends and was standing up on that second floor balcony jumping around like an antsy child is inclined to do. I kept peering over the side of the rail to see if I could find their car pulling into the small parking lot on the side of the building. I ran in and out of our room at least a dozen times asking my mother when they would arrive. She had little patience for my impatience and, in between puffs of her cigarette, told me to go outside and look for them. My brother was off somewhere likely getting into trouble with the friends he made each summer. They would pull pranks on the little kids and I often wondered what type of secret activities were going on behind the motel.

Finally I spotted Evie and Billy’s white Monte Carlo pull into the driveway and could hear the rustling of the pebbles beneath the tires as they parked. I was jumping out of my skin and could not wait to see their faces. Billy, a NYC taxi driver and former butcher, was a bundle of sunshine. He was a jokester who lived to make people laugh. He often talked about how much he enjoyed entertaining the passengers in his cab and shared stories of celebrities he would chat up during their rides. As an adult, whenever I ride in a cab, I often wonder how Billy would fare today with his big moustache, thick Brooklyn accent and wry Jewish humor.

Evie played the straight man to Billy and, while she had a heart filled with love, she struggled to show it as freely as he did. Nonetheless, they were like second parents to me and my heart beamed when I was with them. I spent so much time in their house that they suggested that they should be able to write me off on their taxes. Later in my childhood when my days were very dark and I searched for a safe haven, their house was my sanctuary. Evie was a redheaded beauty and made sure that everyone knew how beautiful she was. Every Friday afternoon I would walk over to the beauty parlor by our house in Queens and watch her get her nails done. She and my mother were so close and so similar in many ways but, unlike my own mother, she had a lot more confidence about her looks and took every opportunity to primp and beautify herself. My mother went to the salon every week to have her hair done but never indulged in such luxuries as a manicure or pedicure. I loved watching Evie get her long beautiful nails polished and lamented as I looked down at my own chewed off nails that I only dreamed would one day be long enough to be manicured. It was one of the many aspects of my personal being that I was embarrassed about as a child. I was a chronic nail-biter – a habit my mother often tried to break me of using a variety of tactics, most unsuccessfully berating me and telling me how ugly my hands looked.

When I saw Evie and Billy make their way to the concrete surround of the pool and head towards the steps to come up to the balcony, I immediately burst into tears. I sobbed like a baby, so filled with emotion to see these two who I loved so much and whom I knew loved me back purely and unconditionally. To this day, this memory assures me that I was capable of feeling deep emotion before I became numb to what was happening around me.

I am often taken back to this memory, especially when I begin to explore the topic of vulnerability because I know, for certain, that I was raw and pure and unfiltered in that moment. I felt safe and secure enough to let my feelings show to these people who I knew, without a doubt, loved me and protected me. As an adult, when I reflect on this, I wonder how anyone could possibly recapture a moment, a feeling as pure as that. I am sure you can but it eludes me.

When I look at my children, I pray that they will be able to feel loved and secure enough to allow themselves to experience raw emotions not just at their tender young ages but throughout their lives. And I fear that life will simply get in their way.

EXPOSE YOURSELF


I am about to launch my very first company website. I boldly made the announcement on Facebook several days ago that I was going to get it done by the end of the day and I was then accountable to my virtual network who was (no doubt) waiting with anticipation for the finished product. After months of researching design tools, hosts and all the other assorted options associated with building a website, I settled on a platform that I felt was sufficient to communicate the message of my new company. I worked tirelessly, with the help of my village of colleagues, family members and friends, to develop content that would effectively communicate our mission and provide a good marketing tool for our services to our clients. And, finally, the site is done.

Holy cow!

When I thought about the website, it felt like a necessity that I had to deal with and I knew I wanted it to look good. I’ll admit it – aesthetics are important to me. And, while I am a staunch advocate of and believer in the power of social media, I was surprisingly reluctant to finish this project because I did not believe that it would make a hill of beans of difference to my business. After all, I do my best work face-to-face with the client and who is really going to look at that website anyway? So, despite my resistance, I just went with it. Well, mostly because my husband kept nagging me, relentlessly asking me at the end of every day that I complained about clients not returning my calls or expressed fears about not generating enough new business, “Did you finish your website today?”

I decided not to hire an outside firm to design the site because I knew I had the capability to handle this myself the same way I designed my beautiful logo and business cards. Besides, that is an enormous expense for a new business and I would rather spend the money on attending a conference where I can network with clients. I could do it but would I?

Finally, when push came to shove, I forged ahead and ripped the bandaid off really fast and just did it. I locked myself in my purple office (which was simply the perfect spot for me to do this work) and I worked and worked until I was done. I suffered through highs and lows, both loving and hating the site at various intervals. I ignored all the tips about not comparing your site to others and scoured the web for friends’ and competitors’ sites to set the bar and measure my site against theirs. Not surprisingly, in my state of feeling very anxious and vulnerable about my work, my site always fell short. But I persevered, called in my mafia to edit and review and was done!

I had my big big girl pants on and finally had a company website!!! I felt excited and accomplished and ready to take on the world…until it was time for me to share the site with the world. The minute I turned the site live (if a website goes live in the woods and no one knows about it, is it really live?), I felt anxious. Now anyone could see my work and I was exposed to the world. I was now available to anyone who might want to google me or type in my company name. Now, one might presume, after having this blog out there in cyberspace, I would not really worry about a company website that is professional and well-written but, in fact, I actually felt more vulnerable and more exposed by that website than I do with this blog. Intriguing.

I spent most of yesterday trying to understand my feelings while mustering up the courage to send out the email blast to my many contacts who I have known for many years to let them know that my site is live. It was time to put my company and myself on the market and, hopefully, generate some interest in the work that we do. And, I realized that it was a watershed moment for me. For the very first time in my life I was standing on my own two feet, not hiding behind anyone else, and putting myself out there. I was ready to be accepted, rejected, measured and critiqued. And while this all excited me a lot, just a small part of me was scared and wanted to run and hide behind someone who could serve as my armor and defense. But, as with many other aspects of my life, I no longer need to cover up or hide because I can step forward and take on whatever is being thrown my way. So, today we go live for real and anyone and everyone can take a look at my new website.

Even better, now this blog also lives on my corporate website so everyone can learn who I really am and understand the authenticity I bring to the work that I do. Now, I will just stand naked before the world and hope that nobody laughs too hard.

UNPLUGGED


Yesterday I was reading the blog of a friend who committed herself to going one full year without buying any new clothes or cosmetics. She had proudly lost a significant amount of weight after baby #2 and reclaimed many of her old favorites that had long gone out of rotation and decided now was a moment that she could revisit her closet and shop there rather than going out and wasting money on discounted designer items that she really didn’t love all that much.

I was intrigued. I love the idea of giving myself a challenge. Right now, of course, I am working on this great weight loss challenge but I have been at it for a while and it is becoming sort of a way of life (yay for me!) so it no longer takes up that much of my mental bandwidth. Without a doubt, changing behaviors takes a significant amount of dedication. I have always subscribed to the thinking, based on conventional wisdom, that it takes 6 weeks to make or break a habit. So, my friend’s commitment of committing to a year means she will have broken it (and likely acquired some new bad habits along the way) and can move on. Given that I am on the weight loss journey, giving up shopping for a year is not really an option for me unless I am prepared to walk around with my pants falling off my butt. I keep telling my son he can’t wear his pants that way so I am not sure I would be setting a good example there. Plus, there are rewards that comes from working hard to lose this weight and one major one is the ability to buy smaller and more flattering clothes to show off my efforts. I am not prepared to give that up (although my wallet might be).

I was walking through Target today, armed with a shopping cart full of items that I did not need as I approached the bedding aisle and contemplated some nice soft, inexpensive jersey sheets. I thought twice about it, thinking about part of my friend’s rationale for her decision not to consume for the year. You wallet will become fatter if you stop unconsciously making purchases of items that you simply do not need. This made me edit my cart substantially. Did I need to buy yet another case for my son’s Nintendo DS cartridges? He has asked for a travel case for the device which holds cartridges but it is out of stock. It can wait. Did I need to buy a lighted make-up mirror? Mine did break recently but I have been functioning just fine without it. The light in the bathroom is adequate and, last time I checked, I am not planning on being on a red carpet or a magazine cover anytime soon so I think I can survive. I dumped out a few other unnecessary items like the umpteenth kitchen gadget that will sit in the drawer after the first time I use it because I really don’t need it but it looked so cool in the store. I wanted to lighten my load. Good for me.

On the drive home, as I was recklessly texting as I drove (using Siri but definitely taking my eyes off the road – no kids in the car so extra points for me!), I started thinking about what else I might be able to give up to improve the quality of my life. I looked down at my iPhone and my new friend Siri (who, by the way, uses no punctuation so it always seems like I am monotone or typing run-on sentences, which is a bit of an issue for me, developers at Apple – I hope you are paying attention), I realized that at this point in time, my biggest addiction lately is to my electronic devices. Last night, we had some friends over and one of them pulled out his antiquated phone which made me laugh because I did not think you could even still make a call from those things. I kept probing him to find out how he functions without the ability to check email, Facebook, or search google for some random, useless bit of information. He looked at me like I was crazy and responded by asking why anyone would need to do that. Good question buddy. Why would we? Not sure but I know that I do. The other day, I was in a client meeting for about 4 hours and I nearly started shaking and vomiting because I was not able to look at my phone or iPad during all that time. To add insult to injury, I had to travel via subway to meet with this client and was disconnected for nearly 20 minutes – each way! I thought the world was going to come to an end. Clearly, I have a problem. Then, I found yet another blog this afternoon by a woman who told about her period of disconnecting from the world over the holiday last week. Perhaps there was a message coming my way?

So, now I am pondering. Is it possible for me to exist in a world where I do not play Words with Friends throughout the day? Can I survive without posting links to my Facebook and Twitter accounts about some of the fascinating stories I come across during the day (and can I give up reading them too)? Would I be ok just listening to music on my radio or CD player rather than exploring my friends’ playlists on Spotify? It scares me. I feel like I am tethered to the world via my technology and I fear being trapped somewhere with nothing to do, nothing to read, no game to play, no updates to check, no mail to read or write. So, I am still pondering. I am not sure I am at a place where I can begin my rehabilitation from technology and I’m not even sure I want to but I want to consider it. Sometimes all this social media and electronic entertainment is a bit overwhelming. It takes me away from things I love doing like reading (on a kindle, of course) or playing a game with my kids or making jewelry or watching a good movie on TV (when was the last time I simply watched a movie without another device in my hand?) And, God knows, I’d be setting a far better example for my kids who seem to be genetically inclined to the same electronic proclivities.

I will continue to think about this and, perhaps search for support groups to help me with my challenge. Of course, how will we support each other without Facebook, email, twitter and texting? Maybe we will call each other on our home phones or simply meet and have coffee. Crazy, just crazy! In the meantime, I’ve got to go post this blog on Facebook!

PATIENCE


This first week of the new year presents a period of rebirth and reawakening. Not just because the calendar has marked the birth of a new year filled with promise and opportunity but also because it is a time that many of us return to work after a much-needed respite from our daily grind. For many professionals, this time of year is the only time that such a break is possible and it is a great chance to truly break away and recharge your battery.

In my old corporate life, I could not wait for my holiday break and was often even more thrilled with my return to work. Despite the volumes of emails and countless voicemails, despite the inevitable crisis that arose while I was out (but could not be handled until I returned, naturally), there was a calm that came with the familiar chaos. While I love my husband and children, two weeks of non-stop interaction with distractions only to shop, cook, eat and sleep, is frankly a bit more than I can tolerate.

In my new life as an independent consultant, the new year has a very different flavor for me. I definitely feel refreshed and excited about the possibilities but instead of me pouring through my endless emails, I am waiting on clients who have to sort through their chaos before they can turn their attention to me and my emails and voicemails. I need to have patience – something that is in short supply with me.

Yesterday, a friend shared a blog written by a woman in her community because she knew how much I enjoy writing and thought I would appreciate her friend’s work and writing style.  She warned me about the backstory of her friend and suggested that I arm myself with tissues before I dove in to read.  Her friend is an average woman with two children living in the suburbs talking about her daily travails.  Her anecdotes were funny and touching and I found myself engrossed with getting to know her and her family a little bit better.  Then the bomb dropped when, last September, she told the story of the tragic death of her 12 year-old son.  Being a parent (to an 11 year-old son, no less), her story was my worst nightmare.  She lost her son in a freak accident that, upon replaying it in her mind hundreds, if not thousands of times, she believed could have been avoided.  After her son’s death, her blog became a place of solace for her to rant and seek comfort and pay tribute to all the magic her son brought to her life.  One particular post I had to re-read several times and became the catalyst for this one for me.  It was all about patience.  It was so striking for me because it was if she and her son were giving me some guidance that I really did not know I needed at that moment.

As I said, patience is in short supply with me.  I want everything done yesterday.  I hate waiting – not because I am demanding or think I am entitled or privileged – because I want to rush to the next step, the next milestone.  I want to know the answer, I need to know the outcome.  When I was pregnant with both my children, I laughed when I talked to other expectant moms who said they were going to wait until the delivery room to learn the sex of their child.  How could you possibly wait?  It was non-negotiable that I would find out what I was having and, quite, frankly, 20 weeks was far too long to wait for that information!

When I was a kid, I often unwrapped and re-wrapped presents because I could not handle the anticipation and needed to know what I was getting.  That always backfired because it killed the surprise, but I had no patience.  How many times I read the last page of a book when I was a kid because I simply could not wait to find out what was going to happen.  Surely, patience is a virtue.  Patience is worth it.  Patience pays off.  Sadly, I have none.

Yesterday, as I settled in to my back-to-work-after-the-holidays routine of beginning to hunt down clients to try to get higher on their priority lists and get answers to my questions and find out what was coming next for my business, I was thoroughly without patience.  Once again, I wanted life to work on my timetable and anything less was going to truly bum me out.  And then, a little boy who tragically left this world and his mom whose life has an enormous hole that I can’t imagine anything in the universe could ever fill taught me a lesson about the power of patience that I hope will help me grow and learn.

And that is the beauty of the world we live in.  Thank you Jack.