Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Elizabeth Lesser - everytime.

Via her FB page.  "This week between the holidays always throws me off kilter. I like routine; I like knowing what comes next, and so the “in-betweeness” of this week stirs up uneasiness, insecurity, bewilderment. But the “in betweenness” also makes it the perfect time to go within (if you can get away from kids on vacation, houseguests staying too long, family you are visiting, etc.) and ponder your New Year’s resolution. It takes a sense of bewilderment and insecurity to know what you want to let go of, and what wants to be born within you. It takes sitting in the discomfort of bewilderment long enough to ask yourself the deeper questions: What am I ready to release? What is calling to me? How can my own change contribute to a world that needs wise, kind, strong, awakened human beings? I make the writing of my New Year’s resolution a spiritual practice of sorts. The same thing happens every year. Right after Christmas I go into a weird mood, a slump, a confusion. I rattle around in my own head for a while, until I finally remember what this week is for. Finally I let myself rest in the discomfort of being “in-between” and I snatch some moments each day to contemplate what I want to let go of from the past year, and what I want to give birth to in the new year. I’ve been re-reading two books to help me frame my questions and resolution. Because I’ve been so upset about the state of affairs in our country, I’ve been studying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s small masterpiece, Strength to Love. And because I am a devotee of the Sufi teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan, I’ve been reading his book Mastery. I like re-reading books that have been important lights on the path—I always find something new, something clarifying. I hope you’ll take some time in the next days to find inspiration and to consider a resolution for the New Year. I’ll share what I come up with on New Year’s day."

Friday, December 11, 2015

This week

A few journaling prompts from the 5-minute-journal.

What made this week great:
1.  Doing the pickups/dropoffs at Joe's preschool.  I love seeing him and his friends "in their element."
2.  Addressing my Christmas cards.  Sending/Receiving them is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.
3.  Finding an hour with my husband to keep up with Homeland.

This weekend we'll celebrate Christmas with my side of the family.  My siblings and nieces and nephews will be in for the weekend and we've got plans to take the 6 kids on a Polar Express train ride, do our gift exchanging, and attend our annual big family party.   Merry making for sure.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015


We had so much fun with a little impromptu photo session from a family friend.  I couldn't justify the time or money to do professional shots as we've done in the past but I really felt badly about not having some special photos of our precious boy at this precious age.

A friend of ours, a hobby photopgrapher, was willing to come to our house and in the comfort of our own backyard - a space Joseph and I treasure so much - we were able to take these shots.  He captured the essence of our 3 year old.  Silly, patient, kind, curious, gentle --- perfectly, you.

Photos by Tony Sacco Photography

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Parade

Little One - yesterday we took you to your first Santa Parade.  It was a last minute decision - not knowing what you would think of it - but a reminder to push ourselves and get out there because you loved it!   You saw "Front Loaders!" and "Little Front Loaders!"  and dump trucks and fire engines and ambulances and of course, Santa.

It was such a special day.  I will never forget your joy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

and then you were 3

I'm not quite sure how it happened.  But Baby J, you managed to turn 3 over the weekend.  How is it possible you've been with us for 3 years, 1000+ days, since 11.22.2012.   My boy, you've been making us laugh and filling our heart with so much love and goodness since the first day you arrived.

I was so scared - terrified - when I woke up in the hospital room and you weren't there.  After a very complicated c-section, the nurses were just getting you cleaned up but I didn't know why you weren't there with me - but they put you in my arms and my life changed forever.  To hold you and know that you made it was to understand peace.

And since that exhale in the hospital post-op room, you have been the light of my life.  I have sang songs 1000's of times just because you request it.   We have read stories and flipped thru books that we both know by heart.   I have held you and chased after you and lifted you and wiped away tears.  You, my son, have done the same for me.   On my darkest days, you have been there to lift my spirit, to make me smile, to remind me of my greatest joy in this life --- being your mama.

So, now you are 3.   We began the year with a family outing to Chuck E Cheese.  You loved it. And we loved watching your excitement while you ran from ride to ride.  It wasn't the biggest of birthday celebrations, but it was perfect.  We love being with you and sharing your spirit.  We hope the love we have for you fills your heart forever, just as you have done for us.  Happy birthday my little angel.  Happy Birthday Joseph.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

This is 40

It's so much harder to write here than it used to be.  It's not due to lack or inspiration or activity, in fact, maybe just the opposite.  Life these days is so jam packed, I just don't have the time I used to for reflection.  But life is packed with goodness --- we've had events at the gym, surprise birthday visitors, and are hosting a decent sized 40th birthday party at the house.  October - November - December is without a doubt our family's busiest time.

We had some of our closest friends over on Tuesday night for a small birthday gathering.  There was guitar-playing (and J on the Triangle!), toddlers up too late, visitors who flew in and dogs running around... it was joy.  It was life.   Our life - the life  we carve with intention and create for ourselves.  Grateful for it all.

"Set your life on fire and seek those who fan your flames." - Rumi 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Madewell High Riser Skinny

These jeans are so comfortable and so flattering!  I wish they had a hair less stretch - but all in all, say hello to my new workhorse!    My new office is decidedly more casual so I'm trying to incorporate some more casual pieces...

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Tradition

I've started popping into Formaggio on Fridays for an Iggy's baguette, some jamon, and cheese, olives and a bottle of wine.  We pull up the bar stools in the kitchen - let the baby zone out on Barney (it's his Friday too!) and pretend we're far away.   The reality of it -- there's no place more perfect than right there.

Have a great weekend, friends.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Really enjoying Ryan Adam's rendition of Taylor Swift's 1989 album.  If you're needing something new.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Delivery Parable - Wayne Dyer

In a mother’s womb were two babies.One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?”The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”
The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”
The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”
The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”
The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”
“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”
The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”
The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”
Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”
To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Day 1

"We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”

Unsure of the author, but will try to find out and update.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

National Blog Post Month

Came across this and seems like the challenge I need to get back on the horse here.  30 days, a post a day.  A post a day for 30 days --- ready, go! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

6 months

It's been six months since my job change.   I'm a highly introspective person who really cannot settle until I find answers to my own questions.

Most recently, I'm realizing how much this change was needed to help me peel back a layer of myself and dig deeper.  I knew, professionally, my role had become stagnant.  What I'm not sure I fully knew at the time, or at least consciously, was that my understanding of self had stalled too.

Being in a new environment, developing new relationships, asking new questions, seeing new interactions, and executing new strategies has been exhilarating.  Once again, I feel challenged, valued and curious.   I'm able to see the past with a fresh perspective.  At times I have felt "homesick" for my old team --- I have never regretted my move --- but have felt a longing for the comfort and familiarity of those relationships.  The ease of them.  The very same ease that filled me with boredom, on the best of days, and panic, on the worst.

But that nostalgia fades as time passes.  More and more, it's easy to wrap my conscious mind around what, I believe, my unconscious mind already knew.   It wasn't that I had a losing hand -- very far from it.  In fact, I possessed a winning hand. Was I throwing away the aces?  No.  Unequivocally no. I was desperate to start anew.  peace was only going to be found in that new beginning.  in this new beginning.  I needed to believe in myself again.  it worked.

This is a passage about divorce.  But insert whatever change you feel appropriate.

Many divorces are not really the result of irreparable injury but involve, instead, a desire on the part of the man or woman to shatter the setup, start out from scratch alone, and make life work for them all over again. They want the risk of disaster, want to touch bottom, see where bottom is, and, coming up, to breathe the air with relief and relish again. - Edward Hoagland

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Poetry on a rainy Wednesday

I have refused to live
Locked in the orderly house of
    Reasons and proofs.
The world I live in and believe in
Is wider than that.  And anyway,
   What’s wrong with Maybe

You wouldn’t believe what once or
Twice I have seen, I’ll just
    Tell you this:
Only if there are angels in your head will you
Ever, possibly, see one.

Mary Oliver

Thursday, October 8, 2015

What you're doing

Pausing to take a moment to capture the SWEETNESS that is you, J.    Oh, little one --- how you fill us with so many laughs and so much love.   You're fully in the school-year groove.  This week you sang on the way to school "All the way to Jo-Jo's school" in this little tune that you sing when we're going to Grammy's house.   You run up the stairs, into the classroom and then as I open the door to see myself out, I hear a little voice - "bye mama!"  .....and my heart melts.

Today when we got there your friends all greet you at the door.  According to the teacher, they had been waiting for you.   "Where's Joe?"   I guess the classroom isn't the same without you!

The ride to school is particularly fun since the town is bustling and we see lots of construction vehicles, school buses, fire trucks -- all getting ready for the day ahead.   You notice everything and make sure I do too.  "Yellow delivery truck, mama.  Did you see."

You continue to teach us so much.  Presence, joy, wonder.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Self Accountability

"There is no happiness without self-accountability" - Liz Gilbert.

I've been letting that one marinate for a few months.  The truth of the statement only seems to grow with time.   Not only is there no happiness, there's no growth, no change, no forward movement without honest self-accountability.   This statement is NOT expecting perfection.  It's just reinforcing the need to reflect and hold yourself responsible for the energy you bring to your life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Polar Caves

Though a born New Englander, it's exciting to me that there remains so much of the place we call home that I have never experienced.  Looking for something that would appeal to all - two adults, a teenager, and a toddler and oversleeping the cut-off for the beach, we headed to the Polar Caves in NH - about 90 minutes north.

A really cool day was had by all!   The caves held everyone's attention and definitely presented a level of difficulty harder than I imagined.   We found our way through the 9 caves - Fat Man's Misery, King Tut's Tomb, The Lemon Squeeze - even J tagged along.  At the top, are some stunning views.

It was a day trip I'd highly recommend and fun for all ages (no kids required!).

Monday, August 31, 2015

Thumbs up, summer.

The kids go to school this week.  A mid-week start, I guess to ease everyone into it.  So this past weekend, we wrapped up a really nice season with an al fresco lunch in Portsmouth NH, followed by a little browsing in some beachside gift shops and ice cream cones for all.   It was a really nice ending, to a really nice summer.  

A successful summer, to me, is easy.  We made sure there was plenty of time outside, a few trips to the beach, lots of swimming, cooking on the grill, cards at night, friends, adventures, naps.

Time moves fast as we enter another season of our life.  Proud that we did this one right.

Friday, August 28, 2015

10 minutes

Rather than use these dog-days of summer to procrastinate and aimlessly waste time on the internet, I focused on creating a social media post every day for my husband's business.  Although it seems redundant, it is free marketing and a strong social media presence is really important to small businesses and a way to drive client inflow and customer retention.   And really, tackling it for a few minutes a day just isn't that hard.  

Cheers to a productive week.   Looking forward to a friend's "Firepit Friday" tonight.  Summer's end is definitely in the air.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Quick tip on saving money

I've been using the slow August days to catch up a bit on my personal finance.  Simple little tweaks can make a difference.   As I reviewed my annual car insurance bill, I noticed that I'm charged a $5/month surcharge to use my debit card.  By changing to direct withdrawal from my checking account, essentially no different, I eliminate that charge and save myself $60/year.  A series of small changes can make a difference. Check the details of your policies, there may be easy ways to save.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Worlds Collide

I kid you not, if I took a screen shot of my open windows right now one of the tabs would be NPR's critique of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brain and another tab is the article that spurred the book, Is Google Making us Stupid (written in 2008, clearly not "hot off the press").  So when I tuned into an interview with meditation expert, Tara Brach, yesterday on my commute and she referenced the book - it felt a bit serendipitous.  I have this yearning to dig into what the internet, text messaging, social media etc. or more generally, the insane pace at which information is available to us, is doing to our thoughts and psychological health.

Can we relate the rising cases of anxiety to the incessant flow of information?   Are attention deficit problems a result of plugging-in?    I want to explore...

Ironically, the tab to the Atlantic article on Is Google Making us Stupid is still open because quiet simply, I don't have the attention span to finish it!   Even being conscious of it, I find myself clicking out of the article to check email, to read something else, or just generally distract myself with nothing of importance 5-10 times in a single article (!!).  That is really frightening to me.    

I've been using the past two weeks to prepare for September.  More to come, but I'm using September and the "back to school" feeling to kick my productivity into a next gear,  Rather than dive right in, I've used these two weeks to start to flush off the cobwebs and get things in line.  Among other things I hope to achieve, is a less internet addicted self.  I plan to unplug with more time reading books and being outside.  

Monday, August 24, 2015


Over the weekend, the Fenix team gathered for another Summer Boston Open.  This is the big tournament of the year - 54 competitors represented the team where they took 2nd place in a nail biting finish.

Year in and year out, the day never ceases to amaze me.   Hundreds of athletes compete in an incredibly tough sport - 1:1.  Just them vs. their opponent and a gymnasium full of teammates, coaches, rivals and strangers cheering them on.

This one was special, as it was Lucca's first competition.  The son of the coach.  The son of a very competitive coach...   And friends, he killed it.  In BJJ language, he submitted both opponents. That's the equivalent of the best win you can get.  He looked cool, calm, and composed on the mat - though he says he was a wreck - but you'd never know.  I think he has his father's icy veins and composure under pressure - a great trait that I envy.

The smiles from that day are everything.  They capture the joy and the pride that was felt.  Father and son shared that win.  I like to think the smiles represent the year they've spent together.  Like the fight, it hasn't been easy.  The obstacles have been many but the victory is proof that the hardwork and sacrifice pays off.  A lesson transferable in so many ways.   Congratulations Lucca - you earned it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Maria Popova

Devouring everything Maria Popova, the woman behind Brain Pickings, has to say.  A long time fan of the site, but not knowing much about who was behind it - I heard a Q&A she did on Tim Ferriss's podcast.  Her answers were a delightful blend of brilliant insight and simple truth.   I loved her thoughts on personal evolution and betterment.  Her ideas to write for 1 person (yourself).  Her insistence that consistency is the trait that links the greats, irregardless of their genre.

I'm hoping her words serve as inspiration for some new routines in the tireless quest to the best lived life.  

"Life is a continual process of arrival into who we are." - Maria Popova. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What I'm Reading: Triple Package

A few weeks ago I finished The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits predict the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America.   The authors used the thesis that superiority in conjunction with inferiority and impulse control can explain the success of minority cultures in the US.   They highlight Cuban Americans, Mormons, American Jews and Iranian Americans and other groups.

The book was filled with interesting statistics.  Jewish people make up less than 1% of the total world population and have won more than 30% of Nobel prizes.  There are 14 Mormon senior executives on the list of Fortune 500 companies, a disproportionately high number and so on.  Rubenfeld and Chua theorize that personal traits, not IQ, genetics, inheritance or other calculable factors determine success.

Interestingly, they also theorize the very things that make "Americans" are in direct contrast to the Triple Package traits thus explaining why groups tend to be less successful as they assimilate into main stream American culture; case in point: the decline of White AngloSaxon Protestants.

The book had an interesting and well-done, socio-scientific thesis, but I never fully "bought into" the Triple Package traits being the answer.   I think there were overlooked factors - how does a person's risk tolerance factor into their success.  What role does necessity play?   The superiority/inferiority seemed like a stretch and while they never disproved it, they were not successful in thoroughly convincing me either.

The book did make a strong case for the continued need of America's pro-immigrant culture. Statistics throughout the book back that many of our most successful Americans are first and second generation immigrants.  I strongly believe that in order to keep America as the one of the greatest nations, we have to continue to support a culture of immigration and be willing to suffer with the negative consequences as an offset to the tremendous positive effects.  

I lean more towards Paul Tough's hypothesis of grit and familiarity with failure as being better indicators of success.  It's undeniable that the culture groups highlighted in the book are statistically outperforming the norm; I just doubt the Triple Package is the reason.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

On Adulthood

An excerpt from Toni Morrison's commencement speech at Wellesley.
I've written before about my feelings on nostalgia.  I think it's human nature to remember the past as being better than it was.  I remember vividly chatting late at night with high school friends about what our lives would eventually be like.  And here I am.  I like to think that I have consciously lived into that dream.  I try to pause when I catch a moment of my beautiful son.  When my husband makes me laugh.  When I pull up to the house that we so proudly purchased.  These were all dreams of that teenager.  I can say that I reject the notion that the best days have gone...   Adulthood is a lot of work. When compared to the work of childhood: crawling -> walking -> running; speaking -> making friends ->forming relationships - maybe it's less daunting but unlike childhood the work of adulthood is really a very personal journey.  There is no formula to follow.  But a commitment to the work of your own pursuit of a life you dream of, yields a really rewarding gift.

"I’m sure you have been told that this is the best time of your life. It may be. But if it’s true that this is the best time of your life, if you have already lived or are now living at this age the best years, or if the next few turn out to be the best, then you have my condolences. Because you’ll want to remain here, stuck in these so-called best years, never maturing, wanting only to look, to feel and be the adolescent that whole industries are devoted to forcing you to remain.
One more flawless article of clothing, one more elaborate toy, the truly perfect diet, the harmless but necessary drug, the almost final elective surgery, the ultimate cosmetic-all designed to maintain hunger for stasis. While children are being eroticized into adults, adults are being exoticized into eternal juvenilia. I know that happiness has been the real, if covert, target of your labors here, your choices of companions, of the profession that you will enter. You deserve it and I want you to gain it, everybody should. But if that’s all you have on your mind, then you do have my sympathy, and if these are indeed the best years of your life, you do have my condolences because there is nothing, believe me, more satisfying, more gratifying than true adulthood. The adulthood that is the span of life before you. The process of becoming one is not inevitable. Its achievement is a difficult beauty, an intensely hard won glory, which commercial forces and cultural vapidity should not be permitted to deprive you of."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer days

Now you talk in sentences!  You say "mama, can you get my milk.  I stay here cuddling with daddy" - no joke, those words were spoken this morning.  Your cars and trucks are still the highlight of your day and you usually start and end the day talking about them - "did you see the steam roller." "we saw TWO mailtrucks" "yellow tractor goes fast!!"    You zip cars and trucks around the house, the yard and every ride we take is an adventure since we never know what we'll see!  White van! Minibus! Bulldozer! 

You want to do more things on your own.  You like to tell me "no. Jojo help you mama."  You like to pick out your clothes, your shoes, buckle your seatbelt by yourself and always, always, hold your own ice cream cone.  "jojo hold it!!!"  

We've been having a great summer. You swim and play and explore.  The world is yours, my boy.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What I'm Reading: Being Mortal

I recently finished Atul Gawande's Being Mortal.  There are some fantastic snipits and insights, but in general I found the book to be more of a study on elder-care than I really anticipated.   It struck me as a book backed by an interesting thesis but trying to fill pages.

That said, I wouldn't classify it as time wasted and here are some thoughts to ponder:

“In fact, he argued, human beings need loyalty. It does not necessarily produce happiness, and can even be painful, but we all require devotion to something more than ourselves for our lives to be endurable. Without it, we have only our desires to guide us, and they are fleeting, capricious, and insatiable. They provide, ultimately, only torment.” 

“In the end, people don't view their life as merely the average of all its moments—which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people's minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life maybe empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves.” 

“Death is the enemy. But the enemy has superior forces. Eventually, it wins. And in a war that you cannot win, you don’t want a general who fights to the point of total annihilation. You don’t want Custer. You want Robert E. Lee, someone who knows how to fight for territory that can be won and how to surrender it when it can’t, someone who understands that the damage is greatest if all you do is battle to the bitter end.” 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I've started and stopped so many posts.  My brain is full of thoughts I'd like to articulate here but cannot find the words.  Or rather the perfect words ...and that stops me cold in my tracks.

So today we're getting a ramble - a free flowing mixup of what I'm trying to say with hopes that it can undo some of the blockages in my head.  In advance, bear with me or just skip this one!

I've got an insatiable desire to understand human motivation.  What drives people - if you can understand that, I think problems can be avoided or solved.  As a kid, I often processed the math problem from back to front.  I guess it's the same thing here - start with the answer "the end goal" and work your way forward to the solution.

It's like a knot in my head that i desperately want to detangle.  I guess it started with my career shift.  Having worked in finance my entire life, motivation was somewhat easy - money.  It motivated everyone.  It motivated the deals that were made (how probable was getting 3x with the least amount of work and the least amount of time) and it motivated employee relations.  It was always money - job well done - better bonus.  Think you're doing more than your share - negotiate for a raise.  It was the language we all spoke.  It was how people said thank you, good job, keep it up, stick with us.

When I walked away from the higher salary for a better life balance, I thought I knew what I was doing.  I never anticipated it would brew such a complex feelings for me.  On one hand, compensation is an easy, and universally accepted, way to measure professional value.  At least in finance.  There's an underlying understanding - money = worth.   But in other industries, the line is blurred.  Is a fantastic social worker, slaving her days away  in a rundown office of less worth than the accountant?   Of course not - but if we're not deriving value from more than a paycheck, the answer really is yes.  Is it on her/him to just be so self-aware that she can look beyond what our society thinks and say "I know what I do matters and that's all that counts."   Or, I'm happy regardless of my neighbor's big house and nice car.  I'm following my heart.

I guess part of my examination should include my own relationship to money - what do I really think it means and why?  For a long time, I sat in the comfort of my luxurious office with every perk imaginable and thought - I don't need this.   But is that true?   I'm not saying it is or it isn't....I'm just asking myself the harder questions.   More later.....

Friday, June 5, 2015

What if this is true?

If you believed these words from Martin Luther King Jr. would you live differently?

“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.

Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”

Thursday, June 4, 2015


I once heard Anthony Bourdain say that when he finds something he loves, he becomes evangelic and needs to tell everyone he knows.  I can relate!   I've been listening to some amazing TED talks and Podcasts these days and thought I'd share.  Happy Listening!

Pamela Ronald: The Case for Engineering our Food.  TED talk
Esther Perel: The Secret to Desire in Long Term Relationships.  TED talk
Longform interview with Cheryl Strayed.  Podcast

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday thoughts....

I'm not able to get to this space as much as I used to be - but it's never far from my mind.  I have so many concepts I want to explore and things I want to share.  Right now, I don't have the bandwidth I need to fully dive in, but I'm still here in both body and spirit and will just do the best I can, when I can.

As you've probably gathered about me, I'm a seeker.  I constantly am looking for ways to improve - improve my skillsets, my happiness, my relationships, etc.  That seeking has served me at times, and I'm grateful for my inner drive for improvement and has also frustrated me as I often have a hard time being fully present and still - not anticipating the next possible obstacle or area in need of improvement.

Perhaps that's why this post from Elizabeth Gilbert rang so true.   I will leave you all with it as we wrap up to enjoy the long weekend.   Enjoy!

"Richard knew that I had a lot of trouble processing failure — my own failures, other people's failures, the failure of life to turn out sometimes the way you want it to. He always tried to work with me on that issue. Richard knew why failure was so hard for me, too — it's because I'm a ceaseless striver. It's because I have unreasonable expectations for myself, for others, and for life itself. It's because I think life is some kind of code that we should be able to crack — and I mistakenly believe that if I do crack the code of life, then there will be no more suffering or confusion or strife (for me, or for anyone around me). It's because I'm somebody who STILL labors under the delusion that there is always a right way to do things, and that I should always be able find that right way to do things...and also: I should always be able fix everything and control the outcome of everything — if only I work a little harder, and learn from my mistakes, and try a little more!
It's madness. But God knows, I try.
But controlling the outcome of everything is impossible. It's just as impossible as fixing everything...which is just as impossible as always being able to handle your own weirdness...which is just as impossible as always knowing how to cope with the holy sacred madness of other people...which is just as crazy as the idea that there is one right way to do things — or that we are MEANT to know how to do everything right, or that the word "right" even means anything...which is just as crazy as thinking that you were ever appointed manager of the whole freaking carnivals in the first place.
But I still try. I never fail to try to never fail.
So when I do fail — or perceive that I have failed — it cuts me deeply.
RIchard used to say that I walked through life with a giant letter "F'" stitched to my chest, in memory of all my failures. He called it my "Red Badge of Shame". He used to say that, unless I learned how to stop carrying that shame-badge around everywhere, I would make myself sick, and I would ruin the beautiful gift of my life...and wouldn't that be a pity and a waste?
He used to tell me all the time: "Let it go."
Now, there are some people who say, "Hey, just let it go!" and you want to slap them, because they say it so lightly. They say "Let it go" as if this act is simple — perhaps even fun. But whenever Richard said to me, "Let it go, Groceries," I only ever wanted to weep in beautiful surrender.
Because this was a man who really understood what "Let it go" means.
This was a man who'd had to learn how to "let go" of decades of the mistakes and disasters that come from having been a drug addict and alcoholic. This was a man who had to let bankruptcies go. This was a man who'd had to let his history of arrests go. This was a man who had to let go of all the times he'd betrayed people, or lied to them in order to feed his addictions. This was a man who had to let go a long string of wrecked relationships. This was a man who had to let go of the sad fact that he hadn't been a responsible father to his boys when they were young — and that, no matter how close they all were now, he could never get those lost years back.
This was a man who'd failed so big-time that after a while there was no place left to put all his failures, nowhere to hide from them, no possible way to fix them, no vessel big enough to contain them...and finally he had no recourse left but to hand it all over to God. As he explained to me, "It was either that, or die of shame."
And when Richard finally did let it all go — whoosh! — the universe indeed came rushing in, and yes, filled him with more love and light than he could contain. Luckily, some of that extra love and light spilled out onto me. Which made him one of the most life-changing and holy people I've ever met.
Richard understood that the only place you can safely release an infinite amount of sorrow and shame is out into the infinite source of creation itself. Only the infinite can absorb the infinite, after all."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Words : Perfection

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it's often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”  - Brene Brown

"The key to balance is being unafraid of the fall.  Falling (in yoga or life) is simply learning without attachment to perfection." - Kathryn Budig


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Article Club - May

Tonight we'll be discussing David Brook's Moral Bucket List. A great read if you have not already come across it.

My takeaways: "Character is built on a confrontation with your own weaknesses." 
In one of my very favorite yoga classes,  the teacher asked us to say thank you to our flaws - thank you my sadness, thank you my anger, thank you my hiding, thank you my secrets.... By doing this, by acknowledging, not repelling, our weakness - we can hold it and release it. How many times do we see a person overcompensate... they hide their lack of true confidence by boasting. They wish away their anger with passive aggressive criticism. Never really accepting and owning their weakness and therefore never learning the real tools to manage it.

"Their lives often follow a pattern of defeat, recognition, redemption. They have moments of pain and suffering. But they turn those moments into occasions of radical self-understanding — by keeping a journal or making art. As Paul Tillich put it, suffering introduces you to yourself and reminds you that you are not the person you thought you were.   .....The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be"

 I stopped subscribing to the "how to be happy" club a few years ago. I've learned that happiness is fleeting. That's not to say I don't experience moments of true happiness. Times when my body feels light and my thoughts are free of worry and angst. But those moments are temporary. As are the moments of sadness, frustration, doubt. It's all temporary - they come and they go as the wind, a wave, a season. It's all passing; constant fluidity. Instead of the fruitless search for "happiness" - I search for ways to balance my sad days and revel in my good ones. Year after year, I try to be more calm than I was, approach difficult situations with more maturity, embrace good moments with presence. I don't always succeed but I am proud that my trajectory seems to be toward improvement.

We'll have pizza and wine, too.  And the night will hopefully be another success.  A moment of connection, shared wisdom and joy. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I sit here, coffee in hand, from my sunny suburban town.  I dropped J off at school - Note: for a boy who cried on his first days in January he now RUNS up the stairs, says hi to his friends and digs right into whatever activity is going on.  I love dropping him off and chatting with the teacher - but also love that there is no separation anxiety whatsoever and that baby boy is happy as a clam to be solo for a few hours.

After that, I was able to do a few errands and pop myself into the library for some focused work hours.  Perhaps it doesn't sound like much to many, but to me - this is it!  I have longed for this day for so long --- To do good high-level work, but have flexibility and independence so that I can balance it with the rest of my life.   Sitting in dreadful rush hour traffic for 15 - 20 hours a week (!) was maddeningly inefficient and was slowly sucking the life out of me.

The insistence to continually improve, grow, adapt, change is pivotal to a life well lived.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Undermining yourself with words....

This is such an important read (via GOOP)

Q: What are the holes that you see women falling into most frequently when they speak?

A: I love talking about this topic because it brings about so many “aha!” moments when I speak to women: So many have no idea they do all sorts of self-sabotaging things in speech and writing.
It’s pretty amazing to suddenly see your unconscious habits and then be able to let go of them.
Here are some of the “little things” women do in speech and writing that aren’t really “little.” In fact, they have a huge impact in causing us to come across as less competent and confident:
  1. Inserting just: “I just want to check in and see…” “I just think…” Just tends to make us sound a little apologetic and defensive about what we’re saying. Think about the difference between the sound of “I just want to check in and see…” and “I want to check in and see…” or the difference between “I just think” and “I think…”
  2. Inserting actually: “I actually disagree…” “I actually have a question.” It actually makes us sound surprised that we disagree or have a question—not good!
  3. Using qualifiers: “I’m no expert in this, but…” or “I know you all have been researching this for a long time, but…” undermines your position before you’ve even stated your opinion.
  4. Asking, “Does that make sense?” or “Am I making sense?”: I used to do this all the time. We do it with good intentions: We want to check in with the other people in the conversation and make sure we’ve been clear. The problem is, “does that make sense” comes across either as condescending (like your audience can’t understand) or it implies you feel you’ve been incoherent.
    A better way to close is something like “I look forward to hearing your thoughts.” You can leave it up to the other party to let you know if they are confused about something, rather than implying that you “didn’t make sense.”
I get so many emails from women who are excited to share with me how people responded to them differently once they 1) stopped using the undermining phrases in their speech and writing and 2) communicated warmth in a more positive way (a friendly greeting and closing, for example).
Many women—especially more junior women—share that when they took all the qualifiers out of their emails, they started getting much quicker and more substantive responses to their requests.

Q: In Playing Big, you also write about apologizing for things when there’s no need to apologize—can you elaborate?

A: It’s an unconscious habit many women have: To apologize before asking a question, to apologize because they are standing at the milk and sugar station at the café while someone else is waiting for their turn, to apologize in all kinds of situations where an apology is not warranted! We apologize simply for taking up space.
This was humorously and very vividly parodied in the Pantene “Not Sorry” commercial last year, and clearly a lot of women recognized themselves in it, and the video went viral.
A couple friends of mine who lived together in graduate school each noticed how much the other one apologized when there was no good reason to—and it started to drive them crazy! They set up a jar in the house—they each committed to put in a dollar whenever they unnecessarily said sorry—and they held each other to it. They had fun with it and they stopped the habit.

Q: Don’t men use these speech habits, too?

A: They do, but the research on this topic has found that lower-status groups in any culture use these kinds of speech habits more than high status groups, and that women use them more than men.
Second, and most importantly, the research shows that when men use these speech habits, it does not impact how authoritatively they come across. For women, these habits do have a negative consequence in terms of how we’re perceived.

“It’s an unconscious habit many women have: To apologize before asking a question, to apologize because they are standing at the milk and sugar station at the café while someone else is waiting for their turn, to apologize in all kinds of situations where an apology is not warranted! We apologize simply for taking up space.”

When women use these speech patterns, it evokes some negative stereotype images of women (that we don’t know what we are talking about, that we aren’t confident, that we are ditzy, etc.) but when men use the same speech patterns, there’s no negative stereotype evoked. The same language is “read” differently by the audience—whether that audience is male or female.

Q: Why do we use these speech habits?

A: That’s a great question. Some of it is simply habit. We hear other girls talking like this in our lives, and we absorb countless hours of women and girls talking like this in films and TV, and so we start doing the same.
There’s a deeper reason, too. Most women are unconsciously using these speech habits to soften our communications, to try to ensure we don’t get labeled—as women so often do—as bitchy, aggressive, or abrasive. We worry other people will perceive us that way, or we’ve got that internal monitor voice inside saying, “Don’t come across as bitchy!” We put in the actuallys, the justs, the “I’m not an expert but…” to make sure we seem humble, nice, likable, which interferes as we try to get our ideas across.
I also believe that it’s because for centuries, women did not have the political and human rights to protect our safety if we spoke up and threatened or angered those around us. Of course we learned to soften our communication! But now, we don’t need to keep all those old patterns with us.

Q: So how do we communicate powerfully but not come across as “bitchy?”
A: Honestly, I would first ask women to consider, am I okay with sometimes being considered bitchy by some people? Being seen that way doesn’t mean you are that way. In our culture, an outspoken, confident woman is probably not going to be liked by everyone all the time.

“Most women are unconsciously using these speech habits to soften our communications, to try to ensure we don’t get labeled—as women so often do—as bitchy, aggressive, or abrasive.”

And at the same time, of course, we need to be mindful of how we are coming across to those we want to influence, reach, and work with. The key big idea is this: Instead of using the self-diminishing qualifiers (just, actually, sorry but, I’m not sure but, etc.) so that you seem “nice,” communicate both your warmth and competence in a proactive, positive way. That’s very different than trading off how competently you come across, in order to be seen as more likable.

Q: Can you give us some examples?
A: First, notice what the culture is like in your company or industry. I used to have an assistant on my team who worked half-time for me and half-time for someone in tech. We often laughed about how different her writing voice was in each half of her job—the way of communicating warmth in the tech world was far more succinct and less effusive than it was in my world—personal growth and coaching. You want to find a style that’s authentic to you, while also being conscious of the industry or organizational culture you are operating within.

“In our culture, an outspoken, confident woman is probably not going to be liked by everyone all the time.”

Then, open and close with something warm and friendly, using that to bookend your communication and make sure your intended tone comes through. In the heart of the communication, focus on the substance of what you have to say.
Positive ways to communicate warmth include:
  • Warm greetings in your communications.
  • Simple positive statements that warm up the tone of communications like, “So looking forward to meeting with you next week and hearing your feedback.”
  • Light use of humor.
  • A bit of non-work conversation at opening or closing of work communications.

Q: How should we start communicating more powerfully?
A: Don’t try to change all your undermining speech habits all at once! Pick one (Just? Actually? Does that make sense?”) and focus on it for the week. The goal is not to completely eliminate the word or phrase—that would be unrealistic. Instead, aim to notice when you hear yourself using it, and to course correct in the moment. Slow down and skim your emails before you send, notice where the undermining qualifier shows up, and edit it out! Practice, and you’ll slowly change the habit. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Not that Kind of Girl - Lena Dunham

Just finished the audio version of this one.  I really enjoyed it!   True, it would not be everyone's cup of tea.  And I also couldn't deny anyone's criticism that she comes off as a hypochondriac, priveldged kid BUT I think that was just her attempt at honest.  She wasn't trying to portray herself as a girl without flaws or appease the masses with unoffensive, straight-lined writing.  That said, I did find her stories relatable, hysterical, and smart.   I laughed out loud through most of the book and appreciated that she didn't try to tie it all together into a neat package of triumph at the end.  It felt honest and worth my time.

“I have been envious of male characteristics, if not the men themselves. I'm jealous of the ease with which they seem to inhabit their professional pursuits: the lack of apologizing, of bending over backward to make sure the people around them are comfortable with what they're trying to do. The fact that they are so often free of the people-pleasing instincts I have considered to be a curse of my female existence.”  

“It made me feel silenced, lonely, and far away from myself, a feeling that I believe, next to extreme nausea sans vomiting, is the depth of human misery.” 

“When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself. You are not made up of compartments! You are one whole person! What gets said to you gets said to all of you, ditto what gets done. Being treated like shit is not an amusing game or a transgressive intellectual experiment. It’s something you accept, condone, and learn to believe you deserve. This is so simple. But I tried so hard to make it complicated.” 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Words

"Ask yourself what is really important and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around your answer."


Friday, April 24, 2015

Going on 2.5

Baby J is right about 2.5.   Two and a half.  How is it even possible??  He's grown up so much and is a full blown toddler.  He says so much - all of his animals sounds, counts to 10 (but omits 7.  He knows he skips it because he pauses before going on to 8....), sings the ABC's.  He loves buses and tractors and the mailman!  Will demand that you get "down" to play with him or go "ouside" but first he needs to put on his "shooooes".   Oh, his little words melt my heart.

But not all has changed.  He is still a wonderfully calm, affectionate little spirit.  He wants to hug everyone.  He gives his friend Emma at least 3 bearhugs every week in music class - class is only 45 minutes!   And if he's not hugging, he's holding hands.  He's got a kind heart.  He brings love and sweetness everywhere he goes.  We are so very, very, very lucky.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kids Today

My sixteen year old stepson has been living with us permanently since June.  To say he is a wonderful kid and a joy to have is an understatement.   It's also been interesting to me to watch and see how many of the negative associations the media presents about "kids today" are simply not true, at least not for everyone. Problematic, experimental, rebellious teenagers are no new phenomenon and like any generation, there are kids who push the limit and others who oblige.  Sure - social media and technology has made their experience different than mine, but my experience was different from my parents and theirs different from their parents and so on.   We like to think ours was "best" - I'm a little bored of the conversation "when I was a kid we went out and played and came back for dinner"...free-range vs. helicopter is becoming a discussion as boring as "can women have it all". There's no unanimous answer and kids, women, people, LIFE is not one-size-fits-all.  I wish people would be a little more assertive in pursuing what worked for them and their families rather than complaining about shifts in society and avoiding personal accountability.  

I wish there was more awareness of the disconnect between traits we desire in our children - leadership, creativity, risk-taking, or whatever desired qualities we seek - and our very own actions. If you want to raise independent children, give them space to fall ...and get back up.   If you want to raise kind people, exemplify graciousness in your daily interactions.   You want leaders, empower them to make decisions.  Don't simply surrender to the easy excuse of "kids today".   Parents are, and always have been, children's greatest teachers.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Finding Light

For years I desired a professional change.  If you look closely, you can probably find original posts (dating to 2011) on this blog where I reference making a change.  Overall, I tried to keep this space relatively positive so I wasn't constantly dwelling on my unmet needs, but it was always there.   Always a weight on my shoulders.

I incessantly read books (note: How to Find Fulfilling Work, despite it's literal title, was rather unimpressive), devoured internet posts, and basically anyone who knew me knew that I was unsatisfied with my career.   But stuck.  Stuck for so many reasons - money, benefits, familiarity, uncertainty about where to go... Recently, I realize I was living in a state of low-level career depression and one of the scariest components of depression is its ability to paralyze its sufferer.  The reason I know I had it, and no longer have it, is because I *feel* differently.   Not only is my mood lighter, but I feel the release of a certain physical pressure/weight that I always felt before.  The connection of the body to the mind is a limitless fascination to me.  

All of this to say, I want to dig deeper.   I am surrounded by so many wonderful, talented, smart, people are also suffering, knowingly and unknowingly.   How do we get people unstuck? How do we bring back light --- mental clarity and physical ease --- when it's been dormant for so long.   I'm not exactly sure but this is where I'd like to begin....


Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Words

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.  May your mountains rise into and above the clouds." - Edward Abbey.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Here I am....

Sitting at the desk in my home office, sunny - overlooking the pool (not opened yet but when it does.... watch out).   I took the dog for a nice walk on our trail this morning and really, I can't help but pinch myself.  This is it.  This is what I wanted.  This was my vision for this chapter of life.   More flexibility.  More time to enjoy my family...  but still be part of an effective organization with work that challenges and engages me.

Manifestation is a powerful concept that has long intrigued me.   Our ability to live into our desired life.  Is it through the Law of Attraction?   Or just deliberate planning coupled with some good fortune and preparedness?    In any case, here I am.  My heart feels quite full knowing at this very moment, all feels quite good.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Settling In

I haven't forgot about this space.  Far from it.  I'm just settling into my new gig and trying to figure out new schedules.   But I credit NTL for an enormous shift in my life; this space has really been useful in helping me create intention and sort through some of my "stuff", so I have full interest in keeping it going.....strong.

In that regard, how about a post about inspiring people?   To me, being in the presence of doers is critical to my mental health.  Personally, my husband is a constant inspiration.   He fearlessly goes after the life he wants and is action driven.   He says, "yes".   I find friends who live intentionally and actively seek solutions to their problems, to be the ones I most enjoy spending time with....   Professionally, I have had the privilege to work for some brilliant leaders.   Whether it's transference of energy or simple inspiration, I do my best work when I am under the leadership of someone who is connected to their mission and thinks big.   I am most excited about my new opportunity because I believe in the person leading our group.  I believe he can execute his vision and I am really motivated to be a part of it.

"Each person shines with his or her own light.  No two flames are alike.  There are big flames and little flames, flames of every color.   Some people's flames are so still they don't even flicker in the wind, while others have wild flames that fill the air with sparks.   Some foolish flames neither burn nor shed light, but others blaze with life so fiercely that you can't look at them without blinking, and if you approach you shine in the fire." - Eduardo Galeano. 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ego vs the soul

Via Elizabeth Gilbert.  

"Your ego is a wonderful servant.  But it's a terrible master - because the only thing your ego ever wants is reward, reward, and more reward.   Always remember this, you are not only an ego, you are also a soul.  The ego makes you feel hyper and famished; the other makes you feel calm and full."

Pure truth right there.   Wishing every single person who stops by and shares this space with me, the gift of feeling calm and full.   And when that feels impossible, I wish you the strength to keep fighting for it.  


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What I learned: in the kitchen

Two of the most profound nuggets of wisdom I will take away with me, were simply overheard in the office kitchen.  They weren't meant to be deep thoughts, they weren't agonized over - they were simply said in the morning shuffle of grabbing coffee and filling cereal bowls.....

1.  "She'll be happy there.  Because she wants to be happy there."   The context of this comment was someone's daughter being accepted into her first choice of college but when you think about it - there's such applicable universal truth to this simple statement.  Apply it to your college experience, your job, your relationships - when you *want* to be happy, it's so much easier to be happy.   

2.  "Things are never as good or as bad as they seem."  I actually forget the original context of this one.  And in the years since I've heard it, I've applied it to both the good situations and the bad.  To stay even, and avoid dizzying elation as well as temporary hopelessness is a valuable life skill.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Final Week: What I learned

So, this is it.  The final week.  What gets done will get done, and what is left behind will be left behind.   I will have tried my best and everyone will manage, the way we always have.

To keep myself from being too frustrated, I thought I would end this week with a What I learned segment - putting to practice the healing power of gratitude.  

Here is some of what I will take away that can be transferred, and hopefully helpful) to anyone, anywhere:

>  Humans possess an uncanny ability to rationalize.  The majority of the human population aren't born psychopaths and most of the time that people get themselves into trouble it isn't because of their intent to do malice.  Instead, their ability to rationalize gets the better of them.   (I learned this from an expert brought in to talk to us about insider trading but his message can be applied so far beyond finance).   Look for ways we all rationalize our behavior in relationships, as parents, as humans and stop yourself before it gets harmful.

>  Everyone possesses the potential to help you.  Do not limit your good deeds, your smiles, your "how are you?" to people that you deem "important".  Befriend the woman who cleans the office at the end of the day, the guy who manages the parking garage.   People have value and worth beyond their title.  You just might need a favor....like a held spot on the morning you're running late!

>  Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  If you're not satisfied with an outcome or a relationship, save yourself the aggravation of continuing to put the same strategies into place that have clearly not been working.  Attempt to solve the problem a different way, ask for help or listen to someone else's perspective, take a step away from it and revisit it with a clear mind, change the way you think about it and when all else fails - walk away.....


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Morning Pages

In The Artists Way, Julia Cameron emphasizes the work of "Morning Pages".  These three page, unedited journal entries, should be a way to cleanse the mind and eventually help make sense of your inner banter.   What continues to come up?  What can be resolved?  How do you feel and what are common triggers for feeling that way?

It's a brilliant exercise - not only for people trying to find their inner artist, but for everyone who is struggling to find more peace.   Looking back at some NTL entries, I realize that over the past 4 years they have been my "Morning Pages".   They have helped me immensely as I navigated some rocky pathways and eventually found my way.

Among the things I've learned, is the importance of intentional living.   Get quiet.  Find your intentions and then, and only then, can you create the opportunities for yourself to live them.   It may not be easy and it may not be quick, but make sure your trajectory is always heading closer to your intended life.


Monday, March 16, 2015

The Wind Down

Don't be surprised if the next few weeks are devoted to the topic of my career shift.   Last week I gave my employer my notice.   My last day will be Friday, March 27, 2015.

I joined this group in May, 2007.   We've spent 8 years together.  I came in as a newlywed.   I was in that sweet spot of about 3 years experience under my belt but still very much a novice.  I was joining one of the premier global hedge funds and was thrilled to have found the position.

We underwent considerable changes - the industry changed as regulation tightened and we experienced tremendous internal changes too.   I guess that's part of building a career.  Some things you plan for, many things you don't but if you're lucky, you live to tell about it and you learn a lot.

The way these past 8 years have influenced my life is undeniable.   I bought a house and financially achieved many goals.  I also learned that I needed more out of my career than a hefty paycheck.  I witnessed leaders in action who were patient, calm, brilliant and effective.  True role models.   I made amazing friends and was let down by people whom I thought I could trust.   I endured a high risk pregnancy, birthed a son and came back to my desk with a new identity as "working mom".  I saw how that made my perspective shift ...and how it didn't.

I have a much deeper understanding of myself and the world around me than I had when I started.  I have enjoyed myself and I have suffered - I grew.

Fifteen years ago, I used this quote in my highschool yearbook.   How true it still remains:

“This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. Today we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again.”  - Daphne du Maurier