Archive for November, 2010

She No Longer Knew Who He Was


“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

Thornton Wilder



It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80’s, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 AM. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I inquired as to her health; he told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?” He smiled as he patted my hand and said, “She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.”


“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Meister Eckhart


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

and remember . . .


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”



Thank you to my friend, Brenda Wiechmann for this lovely story

Read Full Post »

Channel Fever


“Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: ‘It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.” 



Channel Fever



When my ex-husband was an officer in the Navy, he spent a great deal of time on nuclear submarines. He made several patrols in Polaris subs with over 100 men who closely lived and worked  in very tight quarters for 90 days without surfacing.

Potential members of the crew were vigorously screened not only for their intelligence and skills, but also for their temperament. It was critical that they be able to manage their emotional reactions and be steady and dependable under some extremely tense situations.

They were a well-oiled team and were ever conscious of the fact that they were all in the boat together and that everyone’s safety was dependent on every man on board doing their job well. They each played a critical role and knew they would literally sink or swim as one.  These conditions demanded that they be self-disciplined, controlled, responsible, and accountable.

All went relatively well until they were in the channel nearing home port, and then long held annoyances surfaced and fights broke out.  Anxious to surface and get home, some of the submariners let their frustrations and irritations get the best of them.  If they could, at this point some might have even jumped ship. Psychologists called it Channel Fever.

I thought of this recently because I am about to move out of a small apartment at the back of my house where I have been living while the rest of my home is being completely rebuilt.  For all the time I have been in these tight quarters, I have been accepting and patient and have tolerated the extreme simplification of my life with relative ease. Now that my home is nearly complete and I will soon be moving out of 650 sq. ft. into 4,300 sq. ft. I find myself getting quite irritated with some of the simplest inconveniences. I must remind myself of Channel Fever.

Perhaps, you, too have found yourself in adversarial situations where you have had to tolerate less than ideal conditions when the breakthrough to another level of ease was imminent but not yet here. No doubt, you, too felt the tensions rise. At times like this, the pressure to stay centered and calm and accepting is on us like never before. More is expected from us, yet we still must maintain our cool. If we want a smooth transition, we cannot afford the luxury or the self-indulgence of letting our emotions get the best of us. 

Perhaps you have been working on a project at work for a long time and the end is in sight, or perhaps you have been waiting for a loved one to return from a long time away and he/she is returning soon, or perhaps you have known your partner would be leaving on a long business trip and the day is here, or you’re waiting for a baby to be born or for an acceptance letter to a job . . .

“Patience is waiting.  Not passively waiting.  That is laziness.  But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”


Simply being aware of this phenomena and understanding it can help us get through it. So if you’re feeling frustrated and tired, just know it’s normal. Yet as world class performers we cannot let these feelings overtake or stop us.  It’s very easy to be committed and calm when everything is running smoothly.  But true commitment takes a willingness to hang in there when the going gets tense. This is when we need to draw on the reserves that reside within us all and tap into the champions we all can be.

Just like the marathon runner who “hits the wall”, so must we, too push through any and all of our resistances or impatience to reach the finish line. In every endeavor, it is how people manage themselves through this stage that makes the difference. This is the time that challenges everyone.  This is the time that creates champions. This is the time commitment matters.

Stay steady. Stay the course. Remember you are not alone in this situation. Your actions and reactions have an influence on others and an impact on yourself. Stay focused until the end. You will surface soon!

Read Full Post »


“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.”

George Jean Nathan


Hundreds of thousands of men and women have sacrificed their lives for the past 260+ years so that you and I can have the right to choose our government and influence the direction of our great country.

Some people say it is un-American to not agree with the policies or the party they support and this is something I find quite disturbing.

I say it is every American’s right to think and believe the way they want and to express that view openly.

It is American’s right and privilege to vote in accordance with that view.

This is a critical year.


Read Full Post »