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Jan 28

My midlife crisis began with a book.  


The book, “Turn Right At Machu Picchu:  Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time,” was written by Mark Adams and chosen for discussion by Susan, a member of my monthly book club.  In travelogue style, Adams chronicles Hiram Bingham’s path through Bolivia and Peru when he discovered the Lost City of the Incas, also known as Machu Picchu. 


At the beginning of our book club discussion, Susan explained she chose the book because she and her husband hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to celebrate her 50th birthday.  In his book, Adams describes the physical challenges of the hike—the altitude sickness, the unevenness of the path, the blisters on his feet, the stomach bugs, sore muscles, swarms of mosquitos, lots of sweat and the dramatic variations in temperature throughout the climb.   As someone who considers the only viable vacation to be sitting with my toes dug down deep in the sand while reading a book, I considered Susan’s choice to “rough it,” well, a strange way to celebrate

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Jun 26

I knew I had hit middle age when, during a meeting, a male business owner never troubled himself to move his body or his computer so he could see, much less make eye contact with me.  And because he didn't move, I sat craned at an awkward 90-degree angle for over 40 minutes, desperately trying to make eye contact.   


I thought his behavior was a tad strange, but when I relayed the entire scene to my oldest sister, she said, matter-of-factly, “Welcome to Menopause.”  


I guess that's how it begins.  First, men ignore you in one-on-one meetings; then they ignore you altogether.  You’re persona non grata to women even five years your junior in the same room.  Age discrimination begins to creep in with expressions like, “Ma’am” and, “You look good for your age,” and the nex

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Jun 04

I remember as a young mother reading Virginia Woolf’s words that noted for a woman to write, she needed a room of her own and freedom from interruption and thinking to myself, “I could really use that.”  So I set up a room of my own—an office to work and write—and warned my sons that they could only disturb me if the house was on fire or they were bleeding. 

 

But as the years went by and my sons grew along with my career, a room of my own was no longer enough.  Because as long as my husband or my kids were in the house, my instinct as a wife and mother to please and be available to others made me switch from anticipating inspiration to wanting to meet everyone’s needs.     

 

Lately, I must confess, I’ve been feeling a bit lost, tired and sort of disconnected from o

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May 22

I saved my youngest son’s life this week. 
 
My youngest son, Robby started choking at dinner earlier this week.  As soon as I realized he wasn’t kidding around, I walked over to him, told him I was going to put some pressure on his stomach and asked him to stay calm. 
 
“I’ll get it out, bud, I promise,” I told him.  But as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I started praying I remembered how to do the Heimlich maneuver.   He was no longer making any noise. 
 
It was 1986 when I took a CPR class, held in the dingy basement of a church down the street from where I lived in Hawaii.  At the time, I remember wishing I never had to use most of what I was learning and if I did, that I would be able to recall half of it.     
 
My first test came when I had to dislodge a large piece of meat out of the throat of my oldest son, Sean, when he was 3.  Thankfully, it all came back to me then.  But that was 20 years ago. 
 
I took my place behind Robby, put my left hand on his abdomen (just above his belly button) and my right hand

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May 22

I saved my youngest son’s life this week. 
 
My youngest son, Robby started choking at dinner earlier this week.  As soon as I realized he wasn’t kidding around, I walked over to him, told him I was going to put some pressure on his stomach and asked him to stay calm. 
 
“I’ll get it out, bud, I promise,” I told him.  But as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I started praying I remembered how to do the Heimlich maneuver.   He was no longer making any noise. 
 
It was 1986 when I took a CPR class, held in the dingy basement of a church down the street from where I lived in Hawaii.  At the time, I remember wishing I never had to use most of what I was learning and if I did, that I would be able to recall half of it.     
 
My first test came when I had to dislodge a large piece of meat out of the throat of my oldest son, Sean, when he was 3.  Thankfully, it all came back to me then.  But that was 20 years ago. 
 
I took my place behind Robby, put my left hand on his abdomen (just above his belly button) and my right hand

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]
May 07

The Centers for Disease Control’s most recent data shows that an average of one in 110 children land somewhere on the Autism Spectrum, hitting about one percent of children born today.

These stats are no surprise to the parents I had the privilege to meet at the Marcus Autism Center here in Atlanta, while working on this week’s segment.  

Like most parents when they first hear the word, “Autism” as a diagnosis for their child, the parents I met turned to the Internet for answers.  The question is always, "Where do you begin?"  

Here are five We

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Apr 23


Cynthia and I didn’t hit if off immediately when we met a ten years ago.  Although, at the time, I thought it was her fault. 


She’s glamorous—always so well put together, with her shoes matching her purse and something funky always added to make her outfit different, unusual, so Cynthia.  She’s articulate and passionately opinionated, punctuating her points of view with sweeping gestures and a marvelous throaty laugh that starts low, like an engine revving, and ends with her head thrown back, fourth gear engaged.  She challenges me.  She stimulates me.  She makes me laugh. 


She is also black.  Not negro, not colored, not Afro-American and not African-American.  She’s just black, she tells me.  She hates all that politically correct stuff.  Our friendship has been slow going.  Cynthia does hand out the title “friend” easily, or to many.  If you’re white, like I am, she immediately puts you on the back burner to simmer.  Trust

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Mar 26

Every year, as the grass begins to peak through the snow and the days gradually get longer, it’s hard for me to not think of her.  When we were introduced, Lisa was recouping from brain surgery to remove the first, of what would turn out to be four tumors, while I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other after the death of my mom.  It was March, 17 years ago.  She was so filled with peace, despite her illness.  I didn’t understand her, but I loved hanging out with her, secretly hoping some of her serenity would rub off on me.  All the time I thought I was the one nobly helping her—driving her to and from doctors’ appointments, watching her kids, running to pick up prescriptions or bringing her family dinner—I had no idea, I was the one actually being helped.

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Mar 12

Lately, I feel as though I've been surrounded by bad news:  the sputtering economy; people I love continue to struggle with mental illness and addiction; a number of close friends’ children in dire situations, as well as other friends wrestling with personal and financial crises.  Add to that my own business deadlines, too much work and too little time, plus all the low points that come with being an entrepreneur, and well, let’s just say that some days it feels as if the weight of the world is sitting on my chest making it hard to breathe. 

 

But instead of feeling paralyzed or letting myself go into a funk, I sit here watching a very cute YouTube video a friend posted on Facebook that features a 6

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Feb 02

I swear they heard us coming, those grocery store employees, and felt helpless to protect themselves against the onslaught of “hungry-family-of-six-passing-through-on-way-home-from-church.”  We had trouble written all over us, and we didn’t disappoint.


I just wanted to pick up a few things for lunch, really.  A little of this, a little of that.  A quick stop, I promised my four boys.  They respond with the cacophony of loud, whiny protestations that echo in the grocery store’s foyer, making us the center of attention before we’re officially in the store.


After wrestling my 2-year old into the grocery cart seat, I’m so thankful for the belt that will keep him in one place, legally.

...... [ Read the rest of this story ]

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