Six years ago I had a breakthrough in learning how to stop getting stuck in overwhelm by doing the next best thing.
I was working on HUGE client project which involved interviewing seventy plus people over the course of a month and a half, evaluating the data and drafting a report which was due to the client the beginning of October. Not a problem. I’m a planner and I love laying out a project step by step. I don’t even mind deadlines. I’m one of those weirdos who always had her undergrad term papers done a week early. And I majored in English AND history, so there were a lot of papers.
My best friend, Brandie Kajino, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the previous spring, was just beginning to feel like herself again thanks to an aggressive chemotherapy regimen. So we decided to make a day of it and drive to Hood River to drive the Fruit Loop and enjoy the fall colors. We picked a Friday in early October, and Cory agreed took a vacation day to chauffeur us and participate in the merriment. Continue reading
Tonight I had the privilege of basking in the presence of “a good woman to know,” storyteller Michaela Murphy. These are the points that stood out to me:
- Sometimes you have to wait 31 years for a story to resolve.
- Stories are interactive. The more you avail yourself to your audience and what they are telling you, the better the story will be.
- If you don’t know where to start, try this one of these: Start with yourself. What scares you? What’s something you don’t understand about yourself?
- Relax. Enjoy. Don’t worry. Worry is like a chew toy in your mind that you use to distract yourself.
How can you use Michaela’s wisdom to better present your story?
My love affair with books and an engrossing story can be traced directly to my mother who began reading to me in utero. She continued reading, everything from The Sneetches to Black Beauty, to the Bible. She even taped herself reading–first on the old reel-to-reel with a mic, then onto cassettes–so that we could listen to her as we played during the day or drifted to sleep at night. Continue reading
The final straw came when she couldn’t find my cervix. That’s right. You know the position: tail scooted all the way down to the end of the examination table, heels in stirrups, knees “relaxed” open. Meanwhile Dr. S. is spending an inordinate amount of time squinting into my vagina as she used the speculum to hunt for my elusive lady part.
I have a secret. I haven’t even told my husband or my best friend. But I’ve decided to tell you. A year and a half ago I had my first Botox treatment. And I liked it. Continue reading
My father-in-law, Bill Rarick, with my husband, leaning against their boat before a fishing trip. Circa 1991
I was once at a conference where the attendees were asked to turn to a stranger sitting next to them and tell them a story that’s told and retold in their family about a family member. I turned to Lisa Watson and told her the following story.
Before heading into surgery for testicular cancer my father-in-law said to the nurse, “I sure wish I would have bought that boat.”
“What boat’s that?” the nurse asked politely. Continue reading
Why is it that when I leave the house in the morning my chin is smooth as silk and stubble free, but by the time I get to, say, the Sellwood Bridge on my way to a meeting, a lone prickly chin hair makes a midday appearance when no tweezers are in sight? How can this be? Could this solitary sprout have experienced a growth spurt in the matter of a few hours? Continue reading
The most meaningful conversations take place effortlessly as we move through our busy lives. My son was nearly seven when he accompanied me as I carpooled his sister and her friend to an early morning band class.
Jesse: “Mom, did you know what you were going to name me when I was born?”
Me: “I sure did.” Continue reading
The only two uncluttered surfaces in her dimly-lit room were the single bed in the far left corner and the half of the couch nearest the door. Stacks of dust-laden hat boxes covered a wooden rocking chair; some had even migrated to the floor at the base of the chair, serving as a kind of fortress. Cigar boxes from Stadler’s with cheap “spickled” jewelry and larger shoe boxes with still more costume jewelry were stacked behind and as high as the couch, each supporting the other in a kind of symbiotic relationship. Continue reading