Fighting Procrastination: Walking Through Walls of Resistance

Every time I have a big project to do -- one that take thought and attention and care -- I've got to find a way to walk through a wall. Again and again, I walk right up to the wall of resistance and turn around to do something less stressful. Comfortable Procrastination Rituals I admire people who seem not to be plagued with walls of resistance. People like that (perhaps you are one of those lucky folks) know what they have to do and simply set about doing it. It's that … [Read more...]

What Values Do You and Your Community Live By?

Do you take the values you live by for granted? Do you ever discuss them? Or do you assume that you and the people you associate with agree? And who is your community, anyway?  Your family? Your neighbors? Your clubs or special interest groups? Your living community? In all likelihood, you have several communities. And the values that determine the way the people in each group function may be different from one of them to another. But I've come to think that we don't … [Read more...]

Avoiding Frustration: Scheduling a Meeting for a Large Group of People

I've been working on scheduling a meeting of a diverse group of a dozen people. It's my Condo Board and I'm the secretary. Super High Frustration The scheduling process of pinning down a meeting time for these 12 people has been super frustrating. I've been reminded how subtle things can make a huge difference. I must confess that for a while my frustration was so high that I just about resigned my thankless task thinking to myself, "If no one cares enough to respond, … [Read more...]

Don’t Do it Yourself – Ask for Help

You've probably heard the old saying: Want advice, ask for money. Want money, ask for advice. It's a phrase people often use in the fundraising world. A phrase so simple that it masks the profound power of that sentiment. Think of it this way... If you do everything by yourself, you're effectiveness is limited to your energy and knowledge and understanding and abilities. Don't get me wrong -- you may be tremendously capable and may, on your own, be able to … [Read more...]

One Good Deed Inspires Another

This morning I picked up the trash at St. Mary's Park, as I often do. One Good Deed... I bring some latex gloves with me when I go out the morning and spend the first 15 or 20 minutes of my time at the park walking around the track, looking from side to side for candy wrappers and fast-food packaging and bottles and bottle caps and plastic bags and all sorts of other litter. Piece by piece, I pick it up, put it in a plastic bag and into the often overflowing trash … [Read more...]

Fighting Trump’s Tyranny: Eye Contact and Small Talk

Shortly after the election of Donald Trump, I felt a compelling urge ... even a need ... to be visible with my disapproval of the outcome of the election. I created prototypes of black armbands and my husband and I wore them for a while. But they didn't have the reaction I had anticipated. In fact, most people simply ignored them. From Armbands to Buttons... The next effort was to create buttons. With the help of a friend, we designed a logo and I had 500 buttons … [Read more...]

Do a Little Composting Math and Help the Environment

Several weeks ago at the Tribeca Film Festival, I saw a movie called Wasted: The Story of Food Waste. By the time I walked out of the theater, I had decided to start composting our kitchen waste. When I got home, I ordered a little countertop composing bin and some compostable plastic liners. I asked neighbors where I could take my compost every day and found that a small community garden nearby accepts compost. And so I started composting. Indoor Composting to Dispose … [Read more...]

The Optimum Goal of Parenting: Benign Irrelevance

We have just returned from visiting our daughter, Rya, and her family. As we sat over dinner with Rya, her husband and their two teenagers, I sat quietly just let the conversation flow. I could feel the positive energy of the family and simply enjoy watching. I didn't feel responsible for the conversation or the dinner or, for that matter, the way their family functions. Our time for being responsible for our daughters has ended gradually over many years. And now we get … [Read more...]

Washing Away Unnecessary Anxiety and Unwarranted Blame

I tossed and turned much of last night worrying that an email I sent to someone had been too critical. You know the feeling that starts just after you press the send button and immediately wish you hadn't? But this morning I found a genuinely appreciative email from the guy, thanking me for my unvarnished opinion! Also this morning, I got an email from a colleague I had been trying to reach but who hadn't been responsive to my call of several days ago. I figured I must … [Read more...]

See Something, Say Something: Vigilance and Kindness

Have you seen any of the "See Something, Say Something" signs that have proliferated in public spaces since 9/11? These signs are posted in subway stops and train stations and a host of other public places. Reporting the BAD... I understand the MTA's request. If I see something that looks strange or puzzling and might be dangerous, I shouldn't just walk by and forget it. Instead, I should report it to 911 or tell an official nearby. 911?  Hello? I'm reporting a … [Read more...]