At the Top

Mastery comes from Patience, Repetition, Dedication. That’s it to be at the top of your chosen game, profession, calling.

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What Is It You Want?

I can have it, anything I want. All I have to do is know what it is I want.

True Story: My neighbor recently lost her husband of nearly 50 years to cancer. We have been neighbors for 16 years and have never had a real connection until now. When I say “real” I mean connection that only happens through one on one conversation and willingness on both parts to share honestly and listen.

My neighbor told me how 46 years ago her husband said “we need a bigger house, go out and look.” She found a neighborhood she liked and saw the biggest house on the street. There was no “for sale” sign in front of the house. That didn’t stop my neighbor. She got out of the car and rang the doorbell and asked the woman who answered the door if she was interested in selling the house. The woman said “I can’t believe you are here as my husband and I were just talking about selling this house.” A deal was made and my neighbor is still in that house 46 years later.

I don’t call that luck. I call it a combination of synchronicity and courage.

Synchronicity because one person is looking for a house and chooses the one she finds interesting and knocks on the door to find someone interested in selling. You have to believe the universe stepped in.

Courage because my neighbor was brave enough to knock on the door and ask for what she wanted.

I can have whatever I want if I know what it is and have the courage to act.

You can too. GO FOR IT! Whatever it is.

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One Hand on the Wall

There just are no wrong decisions. You could go this way, or that way, and either way will eventually get you to where you need to be.

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Treasured Moments_2017

During the holiday season I take a minute to appreciate the special moments in my life that cause me to pause and smile.

~ My niece, Emily, holding a frog on July 4th in Milwaukee with her red white and blue finger nails

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~ Family of Canadian geese on a Los Angeles golf course

Canadian Geese 2017

~ Hummingbird waving to me while resting on my patio

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~ First fig from my fig tree

First Fig 2017

~ Night lights and shadows in my courtyard

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~ Raindrops dancing on my pool in August (summer rain in Los Angeles!)

Raindrops Dancing in August 2017

~ My Beautiful Girl

My Beautiful Girl

 

~ My friend, author, and dog rescuer, who I adopted my beautiful girl from, with me at an author showcase signing our books

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~ Snail walking out of the street on to my driveway to avoid being crushed

Snail 2017

~ Bouquet of flowers from Trader Joe’s given to me by the checker on the day of the Las Vegas shooting

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~ My friend and me enjoying a sunset dinner in Del Mar

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~ Sunset in Del Mar

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~ Favorite Mutts Comic

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~ Gentle Nice

Gentle Giant

~ Reminder…Listen

Listen

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The Search for Meaning

The search for meaning in my own life is realized through gratitude then giving to others. Find meaning wherever you can.

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More Grief, Where Will I Put It?

Anya, my dog, and I were out for our daily afternoon walk in the hills of our neighborhood. We usually take the same route as she likes the routine and often leads the way. As we walked by one of the houses set higher on the hill, we saw the ivy beneath the house move and heard a noise like something was hiding in the foliage. Rats are attracted to ivy and often live within so I didn’t think much of it other than the movement seemed bigger than that of a rodent. Anya and I kept walking.

A block away I saw one of my neighbors. She was very distraught. She said “did you see a black and white cat? He’s a house cat, eleven years old, and has never been out in the world on his own.” I said “No, but I saw and heard movement in the ivy of the front yard of a house around the corner. I remember exactly where it was. Let’s walk down there.”

This is the same neighbor that a week earlier got a cancer diagnosis on her beloved thirteen year old dog, Norman. She decided to make Norman as comfortable as possible with medication, but no cancer treatments. As we walked she had tears in her eyes and told me that the bad news of Norman and now the possibility of losing her cat were devastating.

We got to the house and she called for her cat in the voice she always uses when looking for him. All was quiet. We walked back up the hill and I said good-bye and promised to keep an eye out for the cat. My neighbor said if she didn’t find him by nightfall she never will as we live in coyote territory.

While walking home I thought that cat would never come out with me and my dog standing there. After getting home and getting Anya settled with her dinner I decided to walk back to the place where I heard and saw something moving in the foliage. If I was alone maybe the cat would come out. Before leaving the house I heard the ping of a new email coming through on my phone. I opened the email and it was from my neighbor. She went back, alone, to the exact spot I showed her and called and called for the cat. This sweet boy came running down the hill and jumped into his mother’s arms. She was emailing to thank me.

I called her and through her tears she said “there would have been no place to put any more grief if I lost my cat.”

Her dog, Norman, is terminally ill, and even though we are not in the middle of a hurricane, wildfire, or among the concert goers in Las Vegas dealing with lost loved ones and trauma, we are all grieving for those that are. A personal loss just adds to the grief we all carry.

Where do we put it? How do we make room for it?

Be for each other. We’re all in this together. When we help each other, we’re never alone.

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Be Memorable

bE unIquE—bE mEmOrAblE—this is what truly makes you human.

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Poetic Illustrations

When you read poetry don’t articulate, just experience. Same thing with poetic illustrations, let it happen to you and see what you will.

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Every Day

I create a simple ritual or routine to help me stay motivated…and do it…every day.

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KINDNESS, It’s Contagious

Kindness is not only contagious, it matters, and it makes a difference.

I had a different story prepared to tell you however after waking up to the news of another American horror story of one more senseless act of violence, my other story seemed trite and meaningless. I will save it for a slow news day.

Watching the news and hearing the stories of the Las Vegas concert goers, those that survived, I felt the pain for the friends and families of the victims. Although we have been here before this time it seemed worse as the number of victims was so much greater. I was touched by one man who told the story of his friend who had been shot at the concert. He decided not to wait any longer for an ambulance. He put his friend in the back of his pick-up truck along with two other injured people and headed to a hospital. They saw an ambulance on the way and got professional medical help immediately. One of the victims died while receiving medical attention. The man helping out didn’t know the victim, but wanted his family and friends to know that their son, brother, nephew, friend didn’t die alone. Someone was with him from the time he was shot until he passed.

Getting on with my day I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up some groceries. The checker helping me was a young man, I would guess between 25 and 30 years old. He asked how my day was going. Normally I would say just fine and return the question. Today I chose to be honest and say “upset by what happened in Las Vegas.” He asked me to sign the credit card receipt and said he would be right back. He came back with a bouquet of flowers and handed it to me, and said “I hope this makes you feel better.” I looked at him, smiled and put my sun glasses on so he wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes. I went to my car and remembered I had a gift card for a free frozen yogurt from a yogurt shop in the same complex as the Trader Joe’s. I grabbed it and went back to the store and gave it to the young man and said thank you. He smiled and seemed embarrassed, and went back to his next customer.

The shooter’s brother said his brother was unremarkable. He lived a quiet, normal life and was just a “guy”. The first responders and the guy with the pick-up truck in Las Vegas and the checker at Trader Joe’s were likely just guys too, sensitive guys being kind. I find them remarkable.

I passed on the kindness in a small way, honoring the man in Las Vegas with this story and giving the gift card to the checker at Trader Joe’s.

One kind act at a time, it helps, it makes a difference, and it is contagious.

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