Tag Archives: observations on transition

Reframing Our Decisions

This morning as I was walking our dog I found a painted rock by the side of the road. It had an inscription that read, Think Outside the Box.  The unexpected treasure is a part of our town’s kindness project. Up until this chance encounter I didn’t really ‘get’ the program. Now, I have a different opinion. I smiled brightly when I found the rock. The inscription felt as if it was meant only for me. Yes, outside the box is a place I inhabit comfortably. I’ve been amazed at the goodness I’ve met there. What awaits you outside of the box? Continue reading

How to Move Forward….II

One day I had two back-to-back interviews that ended with the interviewees asking me roughly the same question. It went something like, ‘I know where I’m at isn’t right, but I am not really sure what I want to do next.”  I found it incredibly interesting because the circumstances that brought these two women to the same question couldn’t have been more different. One was regrouping thanks to a harsh corporate experience and the other was challenged by an empty-nest. This coincidence got me thinking that their experiences didn’t differ all that much from my own.  After all, I arrived at transition with a deep belief that something more was possible for me. But what?  How do we move forward from moments like these? Continue reading

Giving Ourselves Permission

“I gave myself permission – thanks to being a part of this group ,” said Stephanie.  She was crediting a multi-session working group that I put together to help me develop a workbook, a companion to my book, Women & Transition.    Over the course of our sessions together we learned that Stephanie had been laid off a year earlier from her job as a research and development manager for a tech behemoth, a job that she’d held in some form or another for almost twenty years.  We also learned that our work together helped her dignify a small voice in her head that kept leading her away from R&D and tech.  She was excited and scared about her new path.  I was really struck by her words.  I felt as if she and I were in the same place.   How could this be?   My transition is farther down the garden path than hers.   Isn’t  it?   What was it about permission that spoke to me?

Continue reading

Failure to Act?

I don’t know if anyone caught the news last week.  On September 11 a textile factory fire in Karachi, Pakistan killed 289 workers.  The factory made jeans destined for Europe.  In reading about this tragedy and why it happened I was reminded of a quote in an investigative report on Apple and its Asian manufacturer Foxconn in the New York Times in January 2012.    The series focused on the too-often fatal working conditions for employees who polished aluminum iPad cases.  The quote by MIT professor, Nicholas Ashford, was, “If it were terribly difficult to deal with aluminum dust, I would understand. But do you know how easy dust is to control? It’s called ventilation. We solved this problem over a century ago.”   Jeans?  iPads?  A profoundly sad common denominator…these tragedies were avoidable. Continue reading

Conversations: A critical transition tool

I was reading the New Yorker this week and was struck by an article by Jonah Lehrer called, Groupthink: the brainstorming myth (The New Yorker, January 30, 2012 pg 22+).   The article was interesting in that it completely upended the notion of brainstorming as a productive tool for creative problem solving.   Brainstorming?  My kids, 1st and 2nd graders, even know the approach.  Continue reading

Voices of Transition #3: A transition journey….

“From now on you’ll be traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be,” said a letter addressed to Anne Hathaway in her role as Mia in the Princess Diaries, a 2001 movie that my 8-year-old daughter and I enjoyed over the holidays.   Hathaway went on to read more of the letter by saying, “the key is to allow yourself to make the journey. Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important that fear.”

I frantically jotted down this exchange.   It seemed more profound than the typical Disney “G” rated movie.   Maybe I’d had enough of turkey and relatives? Continue reading

What’s your Agenda?

” I wasted a lot of time,” confided a long-time friend as she described the years that she had not worked outside the home.  She and I were having a conversation about her decision to return to work.  At the time she had three high school aged children.  The dialogue stayed with me.

A recent conversation got me thinking about this ‘wasted time’ exchange.   A friend was out and about with a visible kick to her step. Continue reading

Summer Book Review #10: The Price of Motherhood

What a week!  It started with a minor hand injury that has left me with a few splinted fingers.   At the funeral of a dear family friend – also this week — I had to duck a few crushing hand shakes given that the blow was to my right hand.   My visiting mother-in-law queried me about how we plan to raise our children given that my husband and I hail from different faiths.  Caught a bee sting today while watching our two little stars at a ‘mock’ swim meet.  Did I mention that this was a family vacation week?

Amidst this swirl I read, Continue reading

Summer Book Review #8: Necessary Dreams

A dear friend from business school stopped by to see me one day at the office.  I knew something was up because she was in town from Colorado and REALLY wanted to get together.  It was one of those weeks where I had kid’s events, work commitments, or other stuff every night.   So, the only time we could pull off was lunch in my not-so-lovely office cafeteria.

Looking back – I am so happy that she stopped by.  At lunch she shared with me an experience that had deeply affected her.  Just days before she had attended a HBS event, a healthcare symposium, during which students and alumni get together to discuss emerging trends and career issues.   At the event’s luncheon she sat  with two soon-to-be graduating students who happened to be incredibly gifted ladies.  Prior to attending HBS one had been an industrial engineer, the other a NASA scientist.   Despite these credentials their conversation with my friend was astonishing. Continue reading


My greatest fear in entering a transition was isolation.  Now,  a few months into this, let me say that I had it all wrong.

I left a full-time role in Spring 2010.  My boss often joked in public, “you can work any 60 hours you’d like.”  He believed his approach was both enlightened and funny.

In the past year I’ve embarked on a transition to redefine my work-self.  I put myself in Bucket #5 in my post “Women’s Transitions: a process…” I have more non-negotiables this time.  My work-self has to be integrated into my parenting self.  I have children in first grade  and kindergarten.   It also has to adhere to my idealistic self:  I believe everyone can change the world.  I thrive on ideas and people…

So here is my 180 on isolation…. Continue reading