A Universal Challenge: What If?

28 Feb

starsI know a lot of people who do good things in their work, and intentionally so. They choose the organization they work for solely based on the mission and I find that admirable. I wonder though, what are they doing beyond that in the rest of their lives for others? Please know, I don’t ask that question in judgment, but rather in curiosity.

You see, I think when we choose what we perceive to be an honorable line of work in an organization of which we truly admire the mission, we don’t just aspire to work there because of what it does; it’s a real benefit to us as well. We get to work somewhere that we can believe in and we are no doubt proud of ourselves on some level for making that choice. It’s kind of a win-win all around. We get to do good and feel good about it. But is it enough? Continue reading

How a Family Grows

22 Feb

Logan SmileyJust a month ago today, the dynamic of our family shifted ever so slightly as we welcomed a most darling little boy to our world. So few days really, when you consider the length of a month in what will be a lifetime of amazing moments, yet it has seemed as if he has been with us for much longer—and every moment thus far has been pretty darn special.

On January 22nd, my daughter gave birth to little Logan*, and while I knew she and her husband would be excellent parents, they somehow seemed to shift almost effortlessly into their new role. It’s hard to imagine that they haven’t done this for a very long time as well. And while just a month ago, this lovely child had barely been born, he easily became the central focus not only for his parents, but for two very excited immediate families, and a wealth of extended friends-like-family and beyond. Continue reading

Open to the Possibilities

5 Jan

256px-The_Path_through_the_IrisesThe new year is off and running, and I suspect at a faster speed than I am thus far. In spite of some of my best intentions with nearly two weeks off, far less was accomplished than I had hoped for and mostly because I ended up sick and with two additional days off from work as a result. At least I think I had two additional days off, but they passed in mostly sleep-induced blurs—I know there was a huge snowstorm and I even made a brief call-in for a meeting, but the rest seems far removed from any conscious activity. So here I am, four days into January, four doses of antibiotic in my body and starting to feel almost human once again. Almost.

I’m revving up for what I know will be a busy week ahead. You can’t be out of the office, even during the holiday season, for two weeks and not have a whirlwind of activity just waiting for you to step back into—and we have a new baby heading our way within the next two weeks, too. Everyone’s been sick in the family, including the mom-to-be, and my plan is to jump back into work, have everything ready to lend support to the new family in whatever way they need, and off we’ll go. . . Continue reading

A Not-So-Chance Encounter

22 Dec

heartfeltThere’s seldom a time when I am not aware of the blessings I have, and never more so than during the holiday season when the abundance of my own life seems overflowing in comparison to what so many others are experiencing.

Today was one of reflection as I started the day in a somber mood, remembering a dear friend who passed away unexpectedly seven years ago this very day. I had much to do early in the day, working on an end-of-term final paper and figuring out where I stood with my holiday preparations before heading off to Barnes & Noble to engage in volunteer gift-wrapping to benefit a nonprofit transitional housing program. In thinking about the day, I felt good to be doing something for others and at a place that my friend loved so much, too. It was the type of activity that she and I might have done together and most likely would have done many times over the years had she been here to still participate. Continue reading

Remembering a Day

18 Oct

FredMy father would have been 86 years old today, and to be honest, I can’t imagine what he would have been like at that advanced age. This is kind of funny given that my mom is 85 and pretty kick-ass in spite of her elder status—or maybe because of it. She has more energy than most people far younger, and more interest in the world at large than many people of any age. And she can throw back a shot like nobody’s business, too.

My dad died back in 2001, which seems like a lifetime ago now. I still miss him everyday and something brings him to mind several times each day. I wish he could see all of his grandkids now—he would be so very proud and pretty fascinated by their ‘adult’ selves.
Continue reading

Buzzing Through Each Day

25 Sep

256px-Busy_beeIn spite of my best intentions, it’s been nearly two months since I last blogged. There’s been lots going on that I would have liked to have written about, but for one reason or another, I’ve been immersed in so many things that I haven’t had a chance to. And it’s been all good, but I’m just engaged in more things than I can even begin to fit in a single day.

I was talking to a good friend about this a few days ago. She switched jobs last year, and in her former job we had a chance to interact almost daily. We both have a lot going on and seem to be operating on conflicting schedules, making it hard to find the time to catch up. During our brief conversation, we marveled at just how busy our lives seem to be and how there always seems to be a need to catch our breath and find a bit of balance. The truth is, though, we like everything we’re doing. Actually, it might be safe to say that we love what we’re involved in. So when it comes to culling an activity or two, neither of us seem capable at this point because we don’t want to give any of it up.
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Feeling the Warmth in a 100-Degree City

5 Aug

photo-147We pulled into Dallas on Friday afternoon and soon learned who from our organization would also be in town for a special event on Saturday. There’s a real sense of camaraderie when you’re out on the road. Put people who don’t necessarily interact regularly in a new circumstance away from everyone else, and very quickly there’s opportunity to get to know people on a level you might not otherwise.

One of the best things about this journey (beyond the student interaction) is the chance to get to know a lot of different people that I wouldn’t normally be working with or perhaps have reason to connect with. So community is being built internally as well as externally with this initiative—another added benefit of the journey that was not necessarily anticipated.

I have only been to Dallas once before, and really didn’t see much of anything beyond my hotel which was pretty nice and the Dallas markets where I was looking for sales reps. I remember thinking how much I’d love to see it again. And here I am, or I should say. . .there I was.
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