Sunday, August 24, 2008

I wouldn't change a thing

Most of what I do is in some way related to my work. (By way of example, I'm married to a guy I've worked with for ten years).

This is why I make an effort to keep work completely separate from this blog: it's my non-work related space.

Today I want to make an exception to this rule to say I love what I do. Most of the time, maybe 85% of it, I can't believe I actually get paid to do it. (The other 15% I have deep, existential conversations with myself along the lines of "what exactly was I put on Earth to do?")

To put it another way, if I won the lottery I would still show up at the office every day.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm here!

One of our closest friends was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is young and gorgeous, a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, friend and one of the best hosts I've ever met - you should be lucky enough to be invited to her house for dinner!

The news affected us deeply for all the reasons you would expect, compounded by the fact that she is an ocean away.

Our first reaction was to go out and buy some books we felt she and her family might find useful. As a result, I’ve been reading “Crazy, Sexy Cancer Tips” by Kris Carr. It’s such a treasure - joyful and inspiring and visual. It looks like someone’s journal (well, someone brilliant and very creative.) It includes many invaluable tips (from the importance of decorating the hospital room with things you love, to always getting multiple medical opinions, to finding yourself a patient advocate to help you navigate through doctors, treatments, medical insurance, etc.).

A few pages into it, it occurred to me that I (and everyone I know) should be following the advice in this book, with or without cancer.

It's not just that we could all use a support group or the creation of a sacred place or that we should be making lists of things we want to do before we die. It's that the minutia of our day blurs what we all know to be true. So here is a reminder: life is precarious and precious. We should be celebrating it more often.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I never travel without disinfecting wipes.

After walking in my socks across the filthy floor of the airport security line, I wipe the soles of my feet before putting my shoes back on.

On the plane, I wipe the arm rests, the tray table, and any other place frequently touched by gross, dirty fingers – remember, among other things I’d rather not mention here, people cough and sneeze into their hands - such as the seatbelt, the headrest, the buttons that control the flight entertainment, the one you press to push the seat back, the window and the wall around it, where I am likely to rest my head (which, truth be told, I’ve grown quite fond of.)

In the rental car, I wipe the steering wheel, the keys and the stick shift.

In the hotel room, I wipe all the phones (think how your sweet lips press gently against the same spot hundreds of other saliva laden lips have brushed against in the past few days.) Then, I wipe the door handles, the light switches, the remote control and the toilet handle.

I’m sure that the cleaning service of your hotel of choice changes the sheets and towels (or, am I?). But do you think the remote control ever gets a cleaning, the mouthpiece of the phone people drool into when they respond to their wake up calls before their teeth have been brushed?

(While I’m on the subject of hotel rooms, if the window doesn’t open, I sit down on the bed, take short, deep breaths, and try not to think about it. I’ll save the matter of circulated air for another entry.)

I’m convinced this wiping habit has prevented me from catching many a cold, and who knows how many other nasty, germy bugs I’d rather not dwell on.

Your turn. What won’t you travel without?