Small Gestures of Appreciation Can Make a Big Difference

What a special holiday Thanksgiving is. It encourages us to notice and think about and give thanks for the good things in life. This Thanksgiving, I plan to go around our holiday table and tell each person that I appreciate them and explain why. In fact, I think I'll start my day tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day) by telling my husband that I appreciate him and what I appreciate about him. I suspect it will be good for both of us! Perhaps Thanksgiving isn't the only day … [Read more...]

The Guitar Teacher Who Took Advantage: Handling Sexual Harassment

The recent announcements of men taking advantage of young women has struck a chord with me. I know it has for many women. We've spent years burying experiences ... walling them off as though they never happened. But when Beverly Nelson tearfully described her encounter with Roy Moore when she was 16, I recalled a similar experience. My experience wasn't as devastating, but it left its mark. My First Story of a Man Taking Advantage When I was 16, I badgered my mother to … [Read more...]

When You Care Enough: The Secret of Asking for Help

You probably know that I've spent the past three decades giving people advice about fundraising. I guess my advice is reasonably good, because people keep coming back for more. But really, I don't think I have ever given people the biggest and most important piece of advice. It's quite simple, but it provides the underpinning for all great fundraising. Here's the REAL Secret of Asking You've got to care enough. When you do, asking gets easy! If you don't really care … [Read more...]

Small Changes Over Time Equal Big Results

Do you ever wake up wishing you were someone else?  Or at least wishing you could change yourself in some way or another? I often do. I wish I were more consistent, more thorough, more determined, more disciplined, more this or that and less that and this. I'm sure you get the idea. You probably have your fair share of days in which you wish you could change something about yourself too. But it's usually super frustrating to recreate yourself in a different mold. You … [Read more...]

Jumping Rope: Learning Something New Later in Life

I've decided to learn how to jump rope. My daughter Rya has sent me a new, state of the art jump rope -- the kind that boxers use. And I'm excited to try. Trying Something New at 72 To get ready, I did a bit of online research about jumping rope and this morning, when I went to Saint Mary's Park, I started jumping. I pretended I was spinning a jump rope and, on the balls of my feet, I started bouncing. 100 bounces at a time. Turns out that it's even fun to jump … [Read more...]

Remembering Sonia March Nevis

I learned this morning that my teacher and friend Sonia March Nevis passed away.  I've been enjoying my memories of that wonderful woman, calling back the ways in which she changed my life. A Kind Gesture Softened My Heart Sonia was the cofounder of the Gestalt International Study Center on Cape Cod. Some years ago, I participated in a leadership program at the Gestalt Institute. Over the course of several days, we were assigned to teams that then were given an extended, … [Read more...]

What Makes Your Life Significant as You Age?

In the first two quarters of life, the question of significance don't seem to matter much. What's Significant in Your Life, and When? Q1. In the first quarter -- 0 to 25, you are doing your best to become self-sufficient. You learn skills. You grow into and explore your body. You get an education. You go from being fully dependent to being somewhat independent. And grappling with those things is a full time job. You are still immersed in yourself. Q2. In the second … [Read more...]

7 Ways Women Get Better with Age

As I scanned the magazine racks in the Hudson bookstore at JFK on my way to Italy earlier this month I saw nothing -- absolutely nothing -- written for women over 50. Actually, that's not quite true. Allure had a cover story about "Hot Dame" Helen Mirren and an article on "7 Things That Get Better With Age." Curious about what the Allure magazine staff thinks gets better with age, I picked up a copy. As I read their version of what gets "better with age" I couldn't … [Read more...]

Traveling Through Life: Setting a Destination and Wandering

I just got back from 11 days in Milan, Italy. 11 days away from the U.S. news. 11 days away from my computer. 11 days just to wander in a new city. 11 days to clear my mind. Here is a lesson I learned over those eleven days that you may find helpful too. Set a Destination and Wander Wandering without a destination in mind feels aimless quickly. And feeling aimless soon leads to a sense of ennui. It's hard to maintain the excitement and curiosity when you … [Read more...]

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...]