July 2010


We read about it often – grow our network virtually by meeting people online. By connecting with others in different areas of the country – or the world – we can meet new people and garner new projects.

There’s another benefit. Different time zones allow us to connect with our network and support system almost 24 hours a day (depending upon where they live). Personally, I don’t want to work 24/7 – I strive for balance. Yet there are times when I do want to chat with someone at an odd hour – say midnight my time. That’s what happened last week. 

It was midnight and I couldn’t sleep. Reading, relaxing, and yoga breathing didn’t work. Who could I call at midnight? I have friends overseas and it’s morning there. I tried a few – no one was home. Oh well; I tried breathing again. Didn’t work.

Wait! Maybe my friend in Hawaii is still awake? She was! We caught up on each other’s lives and exchanged ideas. She provided the much-needed support I sought. After an hour’s conversation, I relaxed and was ready for sleep. What a gift to have a support people in different time zones!

During a recent exam, the chiropractor re-aligned my spine. Pressing ever so slightly, she gently maneuvered some of the vertebrae along the spine back into alignment.  At one point, the doc pushed on a muscle while I straightened my leg, and “click,” another out-of-place part snapped (literally) back into place. Miraculously, I moved freely and felt lighter than when I had entered the office.

Hmmm, I thought, by pressing, pushing just the right spots, we re-aligned my spine. What’s the larger lesson here?

Re-aligning the spine is similar to re-aligning priorities. I had a “to do” list, composed of calls, emails, errands, and social engagements. Is shopping for the candy bar truly top priority? Which emails are most important? What happens when I’m double-booked – what appointment takes priority? Everything felt out of whack.

Press a little here – look at the list. What’s really important on a specific day? Move this item up and that project down the list. Write the thank you note to the interviewer is a priority. I can email my friend later in the day.

Make it easy to maneuver the list. The parts snap into place. I feel lighter already!

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This post belatedly marks the blog’s anniversary. My blog debuted July 15, 2009, wherein I planned to explore changes, challenges, transitions, and travels. It’s been quite the year – full of major personal transitions that led to changes, challenges, and travels. Thank you for travelling with me!

A few days ago, I had a delightful opportunity to teach my friend’s 5-year-old son how to swim. Her son was a bit fearful of moving around in the shallow end of the pool, and certainly didn’t want to get his face wet. So the lesson was more about overcoming his fear of the water than real swimming. No matter – we had a great time! We started with walking next to the pool’s edge in the shallow end – one of his hands on the edge and one clenched my hand very tightly.

At one point, he stopped, “I can’t go any further.”

“Why?” I gently asked.

“Because it’s too far.”

“OK, let’s go back to the steps.”

Relieved, he sat on the steps and kicked up the water. He enjoyed kicking and getting me wet. He relaxed and giggled. Since it was hot weather, I welcomed the water! Then I challenged him to try again. As we walked along the side this time, his grip on my hand loosened (ahh…the blood flowed easily again in my hand). He stopped suddenly, “That’s it. Let’s go back.”

I noticed that there were flowers on the pool tiles. “Look! This flower has two petals and this next one has three.”

“Ooooh,” he said, “and that one has two. And the next one has three!” We walked a little further as he pointed out the differences between the pool tiles. We made it another few feet and then returned to the steps.

Besides appreciating this little boy’s company and the cool water, I realized there was more to this interchange than a swimming lesson. I saw this experience as a life lesson.

We move out slowly from a safe place, taking small steps, grasping something we know – familiar surroundings, supportive friends, or perhaps our network. As we build some confidence, we move a little further away from the familiar surroundings, yet we look for some recognizable aspect, to help orient us. This little boy counted the petals on the pool tiles, noting the similarities. As adults, we might search out professional or personal national networking opportunities so that we have some frame of reference.

Eventually, after much practice, we’re willing to swim in the deep end and teach others how to get there.

Have a great swim and enjoy the water!

As a teen and young adult, I was a Peter, Paul and Mary fan. I memorized many of their songs and strummed (well, tried to strum), the tunes. It was natural, then, when I saw that my bags were packed, Peter, Paul and Mary’s rendition of John Denver’s “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” came to mind.

Written in the airport June 30, 2010:

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go
I’m standing here beside our door;
I can’t wake you up to say “goodbye.”

I’m leavin’ on a jet plane,
Don’t know when I’ll be back again.
Can’t wake you up to say “goodbye.”

Grateful for being a pair
Grateful for the time we shared.
Grateful that you showed me
How colorful the world can be;
Life looks different through your eyes.

I miss you and cry for you.
I miss your smile and loving words.
I miss your loving eyes.

I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh, hon, it’s hard to go.

Watch over me and smile at me.
Guard me and take care of me,
See that I have ev’rything I need.

I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again,
Oh, hon, it’s hard to go.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

With gratitude to Herschel Henkin, may he rest peacefully and joyfully in his Garden.