I had five minutes to myself Sunday morning. The dog wasn’t awake yet and my two teenagers were still snoring. I sat down to read the newspaper. It was pure pleasure. I feel like the only person on the planet who still reads a physical newspaper. The digital versions always leave me wondering if I’ve read all the day’s news. I spread the paper out flat, just the way I remember my dad reading it when I was a preschooler. He read the paper on the living room floor amidst all our toys and games. This morning I never got past the headline. It reminded me of one of the most important assets we each possess, our voices. Continue reading
Tag Archives: job loss
“How do you do it?” Claire asked through exhausted eyes. Her usual all-put-together self, the spirited one that donned mini-dresses and fringe halter tops, was absent. Missing too was her energetic smile, her hopeful demeanor. In its place sat a woman who was perched in a chair at what looked like an uncomfortable angle. She asked me to sit close to her. I held her hand. Yes, I would be the one who got to go home that day. She would stay in this place, wondering. Continue reading
The best presents do not come in boxes. My picture with Gloria Steinem is testament to this very statement. This holiday nothing in a box or with a fancy ribbon will compare to the moment captured in the photo. For nearly forty-years I have admired Steinem’s work for its ability to shape a meaningful public conversation. I even use her journey as a model for my own work.
She was more gracious than I expected. And kind. She embraced me strongly as if her own force could encourage me to continue my efforts. It was a tremendous gift, a gift borne out of a choice I made several years ago. With the holiday season upon us, I want to encourage us to think about our choices and the gifts we receive as a result. Continue reading
It struck me this morning as I reviewed my shopping list for tomorrow’s feast that I’ve learned a thing or two about Thanksgiving. It isn’t hidden in my special recipe for Bourbon Sweet Potatoes. Nor is it found in the holiday meal preparation guide that I’ve read and re-read in the Food Section of the New York Times. It is found in the work that I do everyday, work that more and more looks and feels like a ‘how to’ guide for navigating the emotions our lives.
Tomorrow when you reach across the table to pass the cranberry sauce, I hope you keep in mind two important perspectives from our work together in transition. Continue reading
I’ve learned over the past four years that the word, ‘transition,’ is a loaded term. We use it to describe everything from the vital first efforts of a new presidential administration, a.k.a. a transition team, to the heavily scrutinized transition of celeb, actress and athlete Caitlyn Jenner. What does transition mean for you?
“Thank you for being honest,” said a woman who introduced herself to me Thursday after a speaking event I did with Women Unlimited. What struck me in our quick conversation was our agreement – both hers and mine – of how unusual it is for any of us to be so transparent. She sought me out after a story I told about a moment that I remember vividly. I was sitting in my boss’s staff meeting, an all-day affair attended by the top brass of a Fortune 500. I had worked tirelessly for decades for a seat at this table. This moment is so memorable and bracing because I recall sitting there saying to myself, “you’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve worked this hard…for this?!!? There must be something more.” Continue reading
It has been a long time since I fought back tears to get through a day. Have you ever had one of those days? Or weeks? It seems as if I am holding on by my finger nails of late. What could possibly be going on? And more importantly, why is this happening now?
“You are an ever-moving mark,” said Jessica Donohue at the Girl Scouts of Eastern MA’s Leading Women Awards last week. Ms. Donohue, who was recognized for her achievements as EVP of State Street, stood out from among the other awardees for her honesty and humility. She talked about a label ascribed to her as a young person, ADHD. While it has traveled with her, her vitality is outside of it. She was clear in her thinking about labels or the expectations that go along with them. “Don’t box me in. Encourage me to be more. Learn more. Resist naming – everywhere.” Continue reading
“Can I finally start?” It was a question that popped into my head unwittingly as I sat in my office last week. I was trying to shake off the exhaustion from the holidays and begin an avalanche of work that I’d queued up for the New Year. Start what? In acknowledging the question, I felt as if I was on the edge of tears. It took only an instant for this feeling to pass. Even so I realized I’d crossed an important milestone for my transition, one that makes me think about New Year’s Resolutions and new beginnings a little differently. Continue reading
“Push off into the middle of the river,” intones a line from a poem featured in Hopi Elder Speaks. A friend sent it to me. She is a powerful force whom I’ve met through my work with women and transition. An octogenarian, she leads a global not-for-profit, participates in several wisdom networks and is in a constant state of organizational prep for events, issues and causes that are important to her. I met with her to gain some knowledge about how to architect what today looks like an impossible task. My quest? I’d like to educate women everywhere about the importance of transitioning. My new friend gave me volumes of contacts and helpful specifics. But she also gave me something more important. The courage to keep going. Continue reading