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Showing posts from May, 2009

That Guy, You Know, uhhh, What's His Name?

This has probably happened to you at some point ... you know the voice on that radio commercial belongs to someone famous, but you can't remember his name.

The moment I heard his rich, elegant voice on the way home today, I knew it was, uhhh ... you know, that actor. I could picture him like he was sitting next to me as my brain struggled to access his name during my whole 50-minute ride home.

It's the guy, you know, who had a major role in Shawshank Redemption.

Memory aids rambled through my head ... and he played the lead in that movie about the inner city high school principal.

Orson Wells? No, this guy is still alive.

Denzel Washington? Right color, wrong age. This guy is older.

A lapse in recall can happen at any age, but it is more scary when you're over 50 because it conjures up images of growing old, of experiencing the poorly-named phenomenon called a 'senior moment,' or worse, Alzheimer's. Forgetting an actor's name, or where you put your keys, is …

Remembering Mom

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First thing – happy Mother’s Day! I hope you’re spending quality time with your mom and if you are a mom, I hope your kids are spending time with you.

My mother died almost four years ago, so I won’t be spending real time with her, but she is definitely in my heart and my head today.

She died, in part, because of that wicked woman Hurricane Katrina. She survived the storm, then the arduous post-storm temporary relocation from her nursing home in suburban New Orleans, which no longer had electricity, running water or food, to another nursing home a few hundred miles away. But she died the next day. We were unable to return her home for a funeral for another six weeks.

My sister and I regularly speak before groups of people as part of our jobs (I’m in media and she is a teacher and a Mary Kay consultant), but delivering a three-minute eulogy to our family and friends was a first for us. I did all the talking and I held it together till the last sentence.

This is part of what I said at her …

My Word

My friend Mary has an annual tradition similar to a New Year’s resolution. In January, she picks a word that will set the tone for the year.

I decided to try her strategy this year. My word is play.

If you know me in real life, you know I tend to be all work and no play. My time sheet is fiction; the job just can’t be done effectively in forty hours. Pile on the daily traffic bullshit of living in the DC suburbs and the increasingly time-consuming aspects of owning a thirty-year old house with a one acre yard, and there is no time left for anything else.

But Mary’s strategy is brilliant … one simple word to bring things into focus.

Play!

Items I’ve attached to play are things I want to do just for me that have nothing to do with work or chores; things I want to do just because I want to do them. No complicated goals or reasons, just activities that I think are fun.

Four specific things in my play bucket right now: a regular happy hour with friends who are much younger than me, working …