Black, White and Shades of Gray

I always thought…used to think?…was conditioned to think?… (I’ll get back to that). At some point, and for a very long time, I was a black and white kind of person and had a fear of confusion that came with areas of gray so I made every effort to avoid it. Personally, professionally, emotionally, cognitively…

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Vacation Victory and Remembrance

A little over a week ago my family and I returned from a family trip to the Caribbean. These kinds of trips are always incredibly special to me. I have memories of spring vacations from when I was growing up so nostalgia is part of it, but it’s also been a while since the four of us have been able to go away together. So this trip felt special in a few ways–almost like a victory for our family.

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April Roller Coaster Recap – 6 A-Ha Moments

It’s hard to believe it’s practically May and I haven’t written a post in almost a month. April was a bit of a roller coaster for me–emotions and decisions, new opportunities and (my personal favorite) change. Any and all of this could reasonably account for my loss of time and lack of word count–but if I’m being totally honest, there was also some recreational time packed in there for relaxing and enjoying a week off with my family (more on that later).

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Giving Forgiveness, Finding Empathy

Forgiveness is tricky. It’s very difficult to get from a place of anger and resentment to forgiveness. The best way I know how to forgive is to try to find empathy for the respective person or people–attempting to put myself in their shoes and see the world from their point-of-view. This is, of course, a process and it takes time, patience and fortitude (and the amount of time is commensurate with the level of resentment), but it’s usually worked for me.

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For St Patrick’s Day – Getting Grateful, Feeling Fortunate, Giving Luck

It’s mid-March and I am finding quotes, cards and info-graphics about luck and good fortune popping up in my newsfeeds and inboxes almost daily. All understandable with St. Patricks Day imminently approaching, but it made me stop and think about the meaning of luck–or rather, it’s meaning to me. Some believe we make our own luck, others believe it’s being at the right place at the right time. The Roman philosopher Seneca said that luck was a combination of preparation and opportunity. I think it’s a bit different–although who am I to argue with a philosopher–I think luck has two primary vectors to those that believe in it:
1. How we view ourselves
2. How we view the world around us

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When You Can’t Give Stuff: Perspective On Giving

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. I have two or three posts almost complete but for one reason or another I just have not felt ready to publish. I’d like to go into the details of my absence, but I can’t say too-too much except that I’ve had some personal / family-related things come up that needed to be addressed and so pretty much everything in my life went on hold except this situation and the bare essentials: work, kids, some sleep and if I do feed myself it’s erratic at best (I’m still noshing at midnight). I will say it’s not my husband or kids–they are all fine, knock wood–but it did give me time to think and reflect on what is truly important, especially in the spirit of “giving,” which is the context of this blog.

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If Only: The Life Lessons I Wish My Kids Didn’t Have To Learn

I ran into an old friend on the subway the other day. He and his partner have a two-year-old little girl, and we started talking about the different types of parenting challenges we face at different stages. As we continued to chat from 96th Street to Times Square, we both agreed how much easier life would have been if only someone had clued us in to a few things before high school.
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Subway Riding: Gratitude and Joy

Only two days into 2014, and I was already feeling anxious.
For the last five years, January always starts with a business trip: CES in Las Vegas.
The new variable: this is the first year that I am playing a pretty serious chess match with a virus of some sort. This freaks me out to no end because one of my major travel anxieties is being feverish and shivering on check-out morning with an impending flight to catch–this anxiety increases exponentially when we’re talking business travel.

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Forget Resolutions, I’m Setting 2014 New Years Goals

Resolutions are so overrated. They are fraught with emotional booby-traps begging to be broken. If I’m being fair and totally honest, some have worked out well for me–this blog was part of a resolution a couple years ago…well, actually it was the sibling of this blog, but that’s a whole other story–but most resolutions don’t end as well intentioned as they began, which defeats the whole point of a resolution.

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Holiday Hangover and 2014’s Grateful Resolve

I was torn about writing this post. As this blog would suggest, I love shopping and gift-giving but I need to elaborate about what that actually means. I see shopping as an activity, a spectator sport of sorts.  I can spend a day “shopping” and not buy a single thing. I am passionate about gift-giving because of how great it feels when you show a recipient that you know who they are and what is important to them, but I also believe you can give things like your time and attention or your talents and skills. Generosity, creativity and thought when put altogether can be incredibly powerful.

I started this Black Friday doing what I normally do, tweeting Black Friday sales from my @Gift_Whisperer account and checking out what other bloggers and retailers were doing.  Then I saw something horribly disturbing.  But I’ll get to that…

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