Category Archives: Living Well

Thorn bushes have roses

When I was a kid, my Dad spent every weekend in the garden and his 45 rose bushes were his pride and joy – right after the dichondra lawn. I didn’t seem to notice the thorns as I cut flowers for my Mom or deadheaded old roses per my Dad’s instructions. >

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While driving home from Pilates this morning, we passed the caravan returning the fallen firefighter, Cory Iverson, to his home in San Diego from the Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. It is so devastating to lose a life. 8300 firefighters have been deployed.18,000 structures are threatened.This fire is now the largest we have seen in California. How can we help? >

If you could take your Dad anywhere, where would you take him?

Many of us have complex relationships with our Fathers and mixed emotions about holidays like Father’s Day. So facing right into the situation, I want to know where you would go if you could take your Dad anywhere.

My Dad was in the navy during WWII. He served stateside, but was always interested in world affairs in a way that everyone in that generation was. It was personal, and they had earned their viewpoints with their service and their sacrifice. Like many after the war, he was able to create a business and have a family. He would not take on debt and and saved up to pay with cash.

He got the opportunity to travel to Western Europe and never forgave our leaders for letting the Russians have Eastern Europe where his parents were born. When the wall came down in the fall of 1989, I cried that my Dad had died 4 months earlier and did not live to see this day.

If I could take my Dad anywhere, I would take him to Berlin.

Asking people this question, I heard all sorts of wonderful stories about my friends’ fathers. Then again, maybe your Father was absent, so you would take him to something he chose not to attend. In any event, honor yourself today, as well as the Dad you had. You get to choose how you carry these memories and how they affect you from now on.

What is the point of Mother’s Day?

My Mother hated Mother’s Day. Yet, even as adults with children of our own, we would all make sure to take her to dinner together, and bought her a gift she didn’t need but we all hoped she would like. >

Are you becoming more wise?

The news feeds, especially on my Facebook page are distressing. In the midst of all the snarky discourse and name calling, there has to be a center of peace and communication-that is, if we want to bridge the gap. >

Does the new California gas tax annoy you, too?

Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic super majority legislature have swept through a new gas tax of 12 cents a gallon to be effective November 1st. Argh! Every time the price of gas went down in the last few years, I threw a little party in my car and spent that extra $1.20 I got back toasting the oil companies for the gift. >

Are you passionate about your work?

You hear it, I hear it, we all hear that we should find work about which we are passionate. If we do, we will be wildly successful. And yes, we all do know some people who are passionate about their work. It fits them perfectly, and they are super successful. Then, there are the rest of us.

Many of us get to do much that we like to do every day. We may be relatively successful, and we might not want to jump off a bridge when the alarm goes off on Monday morning.That would be most Mondays.We feel a little guilty when we hear about all this passion and might be a little wistful about those who have a perfect fit. Mostly, we change the subject when the topic comes up.

I’ve just starting reading a book by a couple of Stanford Professors called Designing your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived,Joyful Life. They make this marvelous point right at the beginning. “Most people are passionate about many different things, and the only way to know what they want to do is to prototype some potential lives, try them out, and see what really resonates with them.We are serious about this: you don’t need to know your passion in order to design a life you love.Once you know how to prototype your way forward, you are on a path to discovering the things you truly love, passion or not.”

What a relief. Try something, if it doesn’t work,fail forward. Start with an assessment of where you are in work, play, love and health. If one seems behind the others, maybe that is the place to start. Follow a process and assess your progress. My guess is once you see the steps, it will be an organized process to move forward to a happier life. I’ll keep you posted as I read the book.Maybe, you want to read it, too.



Have you played hooky lately?

We all live by our calendar, right? It keeps us mercifully on track and makes us the ultra-productive human beings we aspire to be. Thus, when reviewing my calendar last Tuesday evening, I was shocked to discover a hole, actually a miraculously large hole from Thursday at 9 am until Friday at noon.

The desert bloom at Anza Borrego east of San Diego had been in the news for days. It was coming close to the peak. The weekend would be jammed with people and all the hotels would be booked. Could we sneak out mid week? Assuming a “no” answer from my hardworking attorney spouse, I meekly put the suggestion forth. He looked at me with a very long pause. hmm, I thought, this is a definite no. “Well, work is a little slow, I may be able to do that…..”

“Yes,” I shouted, pummeling the sky with my fist. “I will find a hotel.”

So, delighted, I went through every hotel in the Borrego Springs area. Nothing. On to Julian, where I found a B & B and we were going!

Next morning I shared with my Vistage group that we were sneaking away. Oh, how delicious it feels.

In the middle of the speaker presentation, I got a text from my hardworking attorney spouse that he had to go to a hearing Thursday morning and we couldn’t leave until 11. Argh!!! He suggested that I see if I could reschedule my noon meeting on Friday. Oh, it is a matter of deep integrity to me to keep my commitments. I struggled with that for 3 hours. i finally decided to put it to the duo I was to meet on Friday. They gave me the pass I was hoping for.

Finally, we were off on Thursday at 11. It was almost 4 hours to the flowers and worth every second. We noodled around taking pictures in the 96 degree heat. Never have I seen so many wildflowers. We went back on Friday and spent another 2 hours strolling through cactus fields and flower fields.

Totally refreshed, we came home to work on our taxes all weekend. It wasn’t easy to get away, but it was worth it. Whether playing hooky is one day, one week, or one hour, fitting one in may really refresh your soul.


Photo by hardworking attorney spouse aka Paul Dye – Henderson Canyon Road in Borrego Springs