Monday, June 20, 2011


My dad...he is big man with a larger than life presence. He is set in his ways and does not like change..too much. I am so much like him. I never really thought about it much but we are so much alike.

I know Father's Day is about honoring dad and giving him gifts....but I thought about the many gifts he has given me...some better than others!

*A love and appreciation for great jazz music. I grew up thinking Dick Buckly was a family friend and looking forward to Sunday afternoons of sports and good music with my dad.
*An appreciation for classical music.
*A love of sports...Bears Football to be exact. Fall and Winter Sunday afternoons were spent listening to the sounds of jazz and curse words!
*A palate that knows good wine and Great Bar-B-Que. Nothing compares to my dad's ribs! No one other than my daughter is privy to his grilling secrets.
*the love of a good book. There is nothing like a comfy chair and a good book. No e-reader compares to the weight of a good book in your hands.
*coffee is the only way to start a day.
* technology is always fun!
*Photos - pictures are worth so much and having a good eye is a gift. Taking good photos takes time and effort...but the payoff is priceless.
*a love of the water and mountains. I love to be near or on the water or mountains. Growing up water skiing, snow skiing and boating created a love affair with nature.
*Family. It is not always pretty or fun but family is important. Being close to family is essential.
*The garden. My dad has a green thumb with the smallest of trees...bonsai. The craft of these trees allows people to see another, more gentle side of him. Allowing things to grow the way they wish yet supporting and guiding them along the way is an art.

There are so many other things I have learned from...or in spite dad. He is one amazing guy and I am thankful every day (some days more than others) that he is there for my family.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Dash

The Dash by Linda Ellis

There was a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash stands for all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars the house the cash
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

We'd be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
With your lifes actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Cos that dash stands for all the time
That you spent alive on earth
And only those who loved you
Know what that little line is worth

It matters not how much you own
The cars the house the cash
What matters is how you live and love
And how you spend your dash

What matters is how you live and love
And how you spend your dash.

How have you spent your dash today? When you die, what is the one think that you want to be remebered for/by? This has been om my mind a great deal lately.....

Saturday, February 12, 2011


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Mother Teresa

I don't get it. I know that I am supposed to trust God and His plan even if I don't understand the plan. I have learned that lesson countless times throughout my life. HOWEVER, it does not mean that I have to accept it right away without sadness, fear, anger and disappointment.

My look at her you would think that she is a strong, confident young woman. Her friends are the same. If you saw them, you would think that they had a solid direction and feet firmly planted on the ground. They are good at hiding things, those girls. They are afraid. They are unsure. They are sad. And they have every right to be. They have experienced so very much in their young lives. They have lost so many they love. They know how to mourn better than most adults. Two girls from this group have lost parents suddenly in the last 4 months. The group as a whole has lost too many parents to count since they were little. These kids have been to too many wakes and funerals. They live life wondering...... who is next.

It makes me sad to see these young people experience so much so early. They should be able to stay safe and be kids as long as possible. The loss effects the parents as well as we are left wondering how do we explain it all. How do we deal with it ourselves? How do we move on with the loss? How do we help?

One thing I have learned is that God has a plan. I never really like it much (unless it is good for me!) and I never seem to understand it at all but I have to trust. I have to trust that God does indeed have a plan and He knows what He is doing. I can get angry. I can get sad. I can be disappointed but there is still the hope and the prayer and the faith that God knows best.

Thus, I live my life doing things anyway. Doing things that make people happy, sad, inspired, frustrated....I live my life choosing my words and battles carefully. I live my life trying to make the world a better place for my children and the other children in my life. This way if anything ever happens to me I have no regrets.... I hope I will be remembered as one who did things anyway.....

Live every moment. Find joy. Every single breath you take is a second chance...a chance to do things anyway.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Author Unknown

We convince ourselves that life 
will be better after we get married, 
have a baby, then another. 
Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough 
and we'll be more content when they are.

After that we're frustrated that we 
have teenagers to deal with, 
we will certainly be happy 
when they are out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete 
when our spouse gets his or her act together, 
when we get a nicer car, 
are able to go on a nice vacation, 
when we retire. 
The truth is there's no better time 
to be happy than right now. 
If not now, when?

Your life will always be filled with challenges. 
It's best to admit this to yourself 
and decide to be happy anyway. 
One of my favorite quotes comes 
from Alfred D Souza.

He said, "For a long time it had seemed 
to me that life was about to begin -real life. 
But there was always some obstacle in the way, 
something to be gotten through first, 
some unfinished business, 
time still to be served, 
a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. 
At last it dawned on me that these 
obstacles were my life."

This perspective has helped me to see 
that there is no way to happiness. 
Happiness is the way, 
so, treasure every moment that you have. 
And treasure it more because you shared it 
with someone special, 
special enough to spend your time... 
and remember that time waits for no one.

So stop waiting until you finish school, 
until you go back to school, 
until you lose ten pounds, 
until you gain ten pounds, 
until you have kids, 
until your kids leave the house, 
until you start work, 
until you retire, 
until you get married, 
until you get divorced, 
until Friday night, 
until Sunday morning, 
until you get a new car or home, 
until your car or home is paid off, 
until spring, until summer, 
until fall, until winter, 
until you are off welfare, 
until the first or fifteenth, 
until your song comes on, 
until you've had a drink, 
until you've sobered up, 
until you die, until you are born again 
to decide that there is no better time 
than right now to be happy... 
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

So, work like you don't need money. 
Love like you've never been hurt and 
dance like no one's watching.

So a dance! Turn on the tunes and jam or dance to that private tune in your head only you can hear. Today is your day to dance.....just because it is today and you are alive!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gratitude is a Funny Thing

"I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you:

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good"
"For Good" Wicked

Gratitude is a funny thing. The more you give the more you receive. People thank me all the time for things and it makes me uncomfortable. I do the things I do because it fulfills me and makes me happy...not because I look for the 'thank you'. I do the things I do because I feel it is my duty to pay forward every kind deed ever done for me. I do the things I do to make the world a better place.

What I have come to realize is that these simple acts of kindness fill me up. I am the one that should be saying thank you to these people who have come into my life and allowed me to be a better, stronger human being. The girls I coach give me wonderful gifts each and every time we are together. I learn new things about them as well as myself. The students I teach...well...they teach me something new each and every day. I learn from them how to become a better teacher....a more compassionate, caring, flexible teacher. I run to support 2 charities and they are so grateful for the money raised...but it is me who should be grateful to them as the children they service give each and every footfall of my running new meaning and purpose. New runners ask me for advice and training assistance. While I feel totally unqualified to give any advice on running, I repeat advice I have been given. I learn some of the basics all over again just in repeating these words of wisdom. I stand on the shoulders of all the people that have helped me get to where I become the person I am....I did not get here alone.

There are people that come into our lives for a reason....For me that reason is to learn from them and then pay it forward. Gratitude is a funny thing....the more you give the more you get. So to all who have given to me I say thank you. You raise me up....

"You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.
You raise me up: To more than I can be."
"You Raise Me Up" Josh Groban