Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gentle Strength

There is power in kindness. It takes strength to remain calm within any storm. And being quiet while others grandstand and shout over one another to be heard is not a determination of meekness or ineptitude. But in business, when you are surrounded by type ‘A’ personalities who have been groomed to perform aggressively, silence is the quickest way to obscurity.

I am not overly quiet, but I don’t like to speak unless I actually have something worthwhile to say. I most certainly prefer meaningful conversations to small talk and platitudes. And I have been fighting this prejudice my whole life.

As a child, my type ‘A’ father pushed me to be different and for years, I tried. But eventually, I had to concede that I was working against my type and that it really is okay for me to be more comfortable shining behind the scenes rather than on-stage. Not everyone is meant to be “The Star” outside of their own lives. I dare say most of us even prefer our supporting roles on the world stage. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want or expect to be appreciated for our talents.

This week, my bosses discovered what happens when you fire (or reassign) all the copywriters: the ads don’t write themselves. Quel surprise! We may have looked like we didn’t add much value to the company when we were all quietly working away at producing simple but brilliant copy, yet the reality of it is just now effectively hitting their bottom line. Fortunately for them, I’m still here to help them out in a pinch.

All any of us truly wants is to be treated fairly and with kindness. With a smile, you have the power to transform someone’s day. And requests delivered with humble appreciation will more than likely produce better-than-expected results. We may be quiet. Most times, we may exist in the background. But at the end of the day, we all have vital roles to play and ultimately discounting anyone who operates differently does a disservice to everyone. Namaste.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Age of Grace

Recently I’ve found myself thinking more about the subject of aging. Although it’s never been something I’ve been especially worried about, I find that my perspective on it seems to be changing along with my own advancement.

When we are children, our birthdays are eagerly anticipated and vigorously celebrated. We count our ages in ½ and even ¼ year increments. We imagine all of the ways our lives will be better with each passing year… and in many ways they are.

In our later teenage years and on into our twenties, we are so caught up in the adventures of our youth that considerations of planning for our future health, retirement savings and the like seem utterly ridiculous. Anyone over a certain age is most certainly obsolete in their thinking and way of life, and only members of this particular generation can possibly ever “get it”.

When I was that age (too many moons ago), I remember my parents and their friends often using the expression “Youth is wasted on the young.” It always angered me to hear that then, because I thought of it as a nasty commentary on our collective naiveté, which would ultimately prevent us from fully appreciating our lives in that present moment. I whole-heartedly disagreed because beyond any doubt, I knew I was having the time of my life.

But, this is also the stage when some heavy soul searching begins to take place. I’m not sure it’s something that ever really ends (for some of us, at least), but “finding” ourselves is certainly a key component to growing up. And during this time, how many of us did not make life-altering decisions we’d give plenty to reverse at this point? “If I only knew then, what I know now” is another expression that comes to mind – and may more accurately reflect what the “old folks” actually meant by that earlier statement.

Either way, the past is what it is and focusing on what can’t be changed is not healthy. And then I look in the mirror and for the first time, I realize that my face is truly changing. I know that I can no longer pass for 20-something and probably not even early 30-something – unless someone were to be very generous. Yes, it’s all down hill from here. So, what now?

I’m certain the key to really living is in finding authentic enjoyment at every stage of life. Being you and embracing or changing each situation to suit yourself as necessary. I don’t want to look back on my life with regret. I think that’s wrong. We all make decisions based on what we know and where we are at a specific time in our lives.

So as I age, I hope I have the wisdom to forgive myself for my mistakes and courage to move past anything that proves very difficult, in order to have a chance at living my life with the same exuberance I once did when I was 5 ½ and 11 ¼ and 16. And I wish the same thing for all of you.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Moving On

Looking back
What could have been
Was never her way.
Focused only
On now,
She gives the past
Its dignified end.

Happy times
That are no more.
Sad times
Without purpose
Of being relived.
She knows
It’s better this way.

Events long gone
Ever clouded
In subjective
Far more available
In present tense.

Looking forward
Toward future bliss,
With hope and
As her guiding lights,
This can be
Her only way.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nature Alert!

It’s that time of year again when baby animals of all kinds are stopping traffic. This morning, driving into work, marked the second time in two weeks that I’ve witnessed cars halted in both directions while a new family of geese toddled across the road.

While being so close to nature in the city has always made me smile – even when I’m in a hurry – I also realize how truly vulnerable these animals are. So when you are out and about over the next couple of months, in order to avoid tragedy, please remember to be extra cautious.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


14 years ago today, I became a mother… forever transformed, by my new but complete understanding of what it truly means to love another human being selflessly.

Sunday 160 is a creation of Monkey Man.
If you’d like to participate or check-out other 160s
visit him here! 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Of Longing

Across this great expanse
You are.
I feel you,
The way I have always felt you,
From the core of my being.
Though we have never met
On this side of the veil
Your essence
Is imprinted upon my soul.
And I ache
For the time we’ll be together
Beyond my dreams
Once more.

55 Flash Fiction Friday: Compose a story in 55 words and report back
to the G-Man at …every Friday.