On the Passing of a Friend I’ve Never Met

2 Aug
Life Coach and Writer, Heather Williams, of Wangaretta, Victoria, Australia

Life Coach and Writer Heather Williams of Wangaretta, Victoria, Australia                        Photo credit Maggie Currie

This morning I learned of the passing of a friend, a friend I’ve never met. Some would say I’ve no right to these feelings of loss and sadness. My connection with writer and life coach Heather Williams was purely an online friendship, through Maia Berens’ Life Coaching site “You University”.

The story of Heather’s upbringing is different from my own in every way, not simply because she lived her life in Australia and I in the sleepy suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Having survived an extremely difficult upbringing and more than one bout of cancer, Heather made the decision to share her narrative on You University, complete the program, and become a coach for others. She shared her story openly and without regret in Maia’s online community, and in that sharing was her gift: I felt the pain and suffering of a young girl who, as an adult, learned to love herself and practice forgiveness for past injustice.

Heather loved with her whole heart, and felt very strongly that she could influence others by her honesty. Words mattered to Heather and she chose them thoughtfully to convey peace, harmony and love.

My life is richer for having known Heather, however brief and hampered by geographical distance our connection. Heather, I will forever be grateful for your kind words and positive, loving interaction, even in the face of grave illness. Your example of a life filled with purpose and love will remain in my heart…..



Walking It Off

2 Apr

ImageAs the sun lowers in the late afternoon sky I resist the urge to close the computer, turn off the desk lamp, put on my walking shoes and get outside for a quick stroll. Why such resistance? In my head, I know that a brisk 25 minutes outdoors will fuel me for a couple more hours of work after dinner. Everything I read about exercise and nutrition tells me it is so. A lifetime of experience has proven it to be true. Yet I resist. Is it laziness? Perhaps I need a nap, although I’m not much of a napper. Maybe a snack will give me the boost I need? I’m not hungry.

All day I told myself I’d walk this afternoon….going to get it done and rid myself of the desk-sitting, computer-gazing cobwebs in my head.


What we all need to plant this year…

2 Apr

Garden for Life

This is such a lovely article by my insurance broker Lois, that I had to share it. As the days grow longer, I’ve been pondering my gardens and how they will look this year. Lois takes it a step further, reminding us that life is a garden that must be tended with care…

What we all need to plant this year » South Shore MA Insurance News & Information | Lois Drukman.

What will you do?

What’s to Love About Teenage Boys?

8 Feb

Gawky Teenage Duckling“My Feet Are Killing Me from Kicking So Much Ass!” The 15-year-old kid wearing this two-color full-front silk-screened imprint (yes, I once sold ad specialties) didn’t appear to be an actual ass-kicker, just a regular, smallish, bespectacled high-schooler training for the upcoming track season. I smiled to myself as he worked up a sweat doing wind sprints on the indoor track, wearing that ass-kicking t-shirt, while I fast-walked on the treadmill in time with the Umphrey’s McGee in my headphones.

Teenage boys have all manner of reasons, real and imagined, to feel insecure, inadequate, odd-man-out, or just plain weird. And if you don’t know any teenage boys personally, you might find them a bit scary – there was a time when I would cross the street rather than share a sidewalk with such strange, often boisterous, beings.

Having since raised a couple of boys, though, I find their oddities, humor, awkward goofiness and general sense of being uncomfortable in their own skin quite endearing. It’s a phase, of course, and beneath the goofy grins and loud inappropriate jokiness, they’re sweet and kind and really, mostly, want to do the right thing, if they can just figure out what that is. That’s the charm of teenage boys, and when they gradually begin to understand their strengths – how they fit into the world – what a miraculous transformation it is to witness.

The next time you pass one (or a passel) of those awkward kids in the mall or on the street or at the gym, look beyond the teenage ugly duckling gawkiness and you’ll get a glimpse of the wonderful man that kid will soon (so very soon) be.

Speaking of teenage athletes, here’s a great story about a young and gawky Dick Fosbury who later became an Olympic high jump champion and changed that sport forever.

Google Privacy – the Shift Has Hit the Fan

30 Jan
Sidewalk Chalk Art from Blog of Francesco Mugnai

Sidewalk Chalk Art from Blog of Francesco Mugnai

The lines between safety, privacy, and access are blurring like that chalk hopscotch board the kids drew on your sidewalk on a sweltering day in July. Google tells me that their privacy rules are changing, all the better for me to share across multiple platforms and so on. Since Facebook already tracks my friends and interests, and it’s become clear that Google Earth knows where I live and that I don’t even have a sidewalk for chalk drawings (you know the satellite can see your house, right?), what difference could it possibly make?

But wait. Then I read Josh Bernoff’s Empowered post: Five Stages in Dealing with Google’s Control of Your Data and I began to worry. Does Google really need to know everything about me? If Google is telling me it’s okay, should I assume the opposite? My life is quite ordinary and I’ve nothing to hide, but shouldn’t it be my choice to share or not share? Apparently by using Google and joining online communities like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, I’ve made that choice, carefree of the consequences. There’s no undoing it now.

Our private business is increasingly public. With that in mind, I recommend you treat your online connections as politely and considerately and with as much aforethought as you would in person. Keep your parental and spousal grievances, drunken rants, mean-spirited text messages and other dirty laundry off the internet. Facebook, Twitter, and Google are forever.

Sidewalk Chalk Art photo credit: Blog of Francesco Mugnai

Important Legal Materials Enclosed

23 Jan

My little red Honda CR-VIt looks like junk mail, but the bold-face type below the return address (unfamiliar to me, I should note) exclaims: “IMPORTANT LEGAL MATERIALS ENCLOSED”. The fact that it’s addressed to “Resident” does nothing to add to its importance, but I cannot resist opening ……… and very disappointing….

It’s from United States District Court District of New Jersey, containing a Civil Action Proposed Class Action Settlement for problems with air-conditioning and compressor units of *certain older (2007 and prior) Honda vehicles. These lawyers have apparently identified me as a Honda owner (I owned a Honda CRV once), but for some reason cannot recall my name. The law requires that I be notified, but I know I don’t meet the requirements for joining in the Class Action Settlement fun. That little red CR-V was one of the most trouble-free cars I’ve ever owned. 

Honda gets credit for offering to “partially reimburse any out-of-pocket expenses incurred”, even if it did take them 10 years to find me….

If you are or were a Honda owner and need help filing a claim, go to http://www.AlinLitigation.com for more information.

* Honda Odyssey, model year 2005 – 2007, Honda CR-V, model year 2002-2004, Acura TSX, model year 2004


Honda CR-V

23 Jan

Honda CR-V

My little red CR-V

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