Showing posts from May, 2017


It was a season of “lasts:” the last budget preparation at year-end; the last 1.1 with each of her direct reports; the last meeting of each of the many groups and committees of which she had been part for so many years--the last this—the last that. She had loved her job these many years, and she had wanted to finish well, had worked hard at leaving everything in perfect shape for her successor. She was dutiful, committed, loyal and hardworking, no one could say otherwise, but now, as she sat at her desk one morning when the finish line was in sight, suddenly she felt an unfamiliar stirring  within her, a sort of reckless abandonment that was as intriguing as it was terrifying. She glanced at the clock hanging above her desk and realized that she had completely lost track of time while working to finish a project before leaving for another of those “last” meetings.   With a gasped, “Oh my goodness!” she quickly reigned in her thoughts, shut her laptop with a bang, and gathered her

The Air We Breathed

We know that each generation influences the next with its physical DNA, passing on predictors of appearance; health; gifts; interests and propensities. But there are other things less tangible that invisibly and strongly, guide the actions and attitudes of the next generation. It's almost as if it's the air we breathed. I considered this recently as I went through the clothes in my cluttered clothes closet. I thought about my mother's clothes closet, which stands in my mind as a symbol of something about her, and about me.  Firstly it was not a closet really, but a wardrobe. In England, where I grew up, we did not have bedroom closets but wooden wardrobes. My parents had a 1950's, shiny, walnut veneer wardrobe, from which wafted the faint smell of moth balls. It had two sides, each with a curved door, ornately patterned metal handles, and locks that held keys, but were never locked.  The top of the wardrobe held all sorts of things that had nowhere else to be sto