The Blog

September 10, 2013

You know how when you move, you pack everything into sturdy cardboard boxes--and then after you arrive at your destination you put off the unpacking? Gradually you realize you don’t need that much of it. It’s stuck in a box somewhere, and you don’t miss it.

We took five weeks off from most of our routines, and when it was time to return to them we added back in only those things that serve us.

First up, workouts. I didn’t look forward to that one!

But I missed how I felt afterward.

say goodbye
August 22, 2013

What were the odds? We were fifteen hundred miles from home, among millions of people crammed into twenty square miles--and we ran into someone we know not once but five different times in the course of two days.

He was one of Katie’s favorite tennis camp counselors, and it was great to catch up. Kate credits much of who she is to that annual summer sojourn.

Now “Closing Time” is stuck in my head. The counselors would sway back and forth as they sang that to the campers--with lyrics adjusted for game, set, and match--after presenting awards and congratulating everyone for making it through a rigorous few days.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Yes, indeed.

The question is, “Now what?”

I hope you’ll watch this video and look forward to a new beginning.

Care to pass notes back and forth during class?

just look
August 20, 2013

“Wow. I hope I enjoy this!”

Have you ever paid so much for an evening of entertainment you started calculating the price per minute?

Darrell and Katie and I did last week, and the men behind us threatened to ruin it. The cell phones were silenced, the lights dimmed, the performance began--and the chatter, loud and obnoxious, ramped up.

I looked at Katie. She’d noticed.

Now what?

There wasn’t time to deliberate. I thought, “That takes a lot of nerve, to do what these men are doing in such a classy setting.”

And then, “I know! I’ll summon some nerve myself.”

I turned around and looked at them.

The chatter stopped.

We started enjoying the performance, all three of us, when the chatter started up again. I turned around and looked again.

It stopped.

It took a few exchanges like that--but thanks to summoning some reciprocal nerve, we have memories of the sweetest evening being treated to the hottest tickets in quite the town.

turn questions around
August 19, 2013

“What did you pay for such and such?”

If someone poses a question you don’t want to answer, there’s a way out of it that--in my experience--is not only effective, but instructive.

Ask, “Why do you ask?”

It works every time!

Next up, something you can try when the person behind you at the theater turns his cell phone off--but not his mouth.

just say no
August 18, 2013

“You’re better at saying no than anyone I know.”

My friend told me that many years ago, and I get a little puffy every time I think about it. It smacks of someone who knows what she wants to say yes to, who can let the rest go.


choose your battles
July 31, 2013

Would you rather have the pain of really boring evenings in front of the television? Or the pain of really intense exercise?

One goes down easier, definitely--but leaves a nasty aftertaste. The other pays dividends forever, especially if you make it a habit.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever stop hating the boredom and the pain of the workouts I’m so devoted to. Odds are, no. I’ve had years of data and it all points to: “What? Again? I hate this!”

But I love how I feel afterward.

Remembering that makes all the difference.

listen and learn
July 31, 2013

When Darrell and I started dating we each took it as a good sign the other knew--and loved--Dave Barry.

Dave’s a household name, now. He wasn’t, then.

Something else Darrell and I bonded over was our love of radio commercials--if they were well-produced, and told a good story.

This Milky Way commercial brought back our courtship the way another couple’s favorite song might.


After a few installments of the talk show where I seemed to get better and better--this was last summer, if memory serves--I told Darrell my goal was to have every performance top the previous one.

He looked at me.

“That’s impossible,” he said.


“Sure,” he said. He pointed to an episode that was practically flawless (thanks, honey) and told me there wasn’t enough room between that and perfect to constitute a gap in skill level. My handlers might disagree (hi, Skip!), but I have nothing in Darrell if not a devoted fan.

“Besides,” he continued, “people don’t go to the ballpark expecting someone to pitch a perfect game. They go to the ballpark hoping to be there when it happens…”

Baseball would be boring--more boring, that is (to me anyway) (most of the time)--if pitchers only threw perfect games.

Doing better and better, every time, when you’re already pretty good--is not only impossible, but overrated.