Sunday, 25 November 2007

a serious giving of thanks

One of the nicest things

Proving that good things indeed do come to those who wait.

And I can't imagine better people to shepherd a person into the world than Mary & David.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007



My second cold in 2 months! Darn offices and shared air and door handles and breathing. I have nice Chris Craig here too and I feel crap.  Am test piloting Vick's First Defense stuff you squirt up yer nose which is supposed to kill the germs up there in the recesses. 

That coupled with the Jacklyn Smith Made For TV movie, the couch, my cozy clothes, squishy Kleenex and the early work exit ought to kick its ass right quick. 

Good night. 

Monday, 12 November 2007

Huge buckets of gratitude

Meanwhile, things in our lives are amazing. Huge buckets of gratitude overflow.

All we have been working so hard for and cosmic ordering and musing about and hoping for and hand wringing and dreaming of is happening.

Happy recap:
  • Mark successfully finished his MBA (Graduation next week!) Totally worked his arse off. Learned about himself. Got a chance to swing out and try things out of his comfort zone. Learn about things he wanted to know. Round out his skills. Hone his talents. Get called into a Bigger Place in himself.
  • Mark got an excellent job he is excited about. Validating this MBA year from a personal growth and a career-building scope. Pride swells.
  • We don't have to move. Now. You cannot underestimate how giant that is. We have cumulatively moved 6 times in 7.5 years, including 3 countries.
  • We get to stay in Scotland. Which may seem like a bad thing to my US people. But we are consistently rewarded here with friendliness and fun and easiness and affordability of life here. We won't be here forever. A 3-5 year plan is in the works.
  • We get to stay in Edinburgh (unless Glasgow calls to us in April after this test run commuting phase). We love the lack of crowds. The undiscovered jewel of the UK. Pretty, small, laid back. Friends, workmates, restaurants, handlers, doctors. Sorted.
  • I get to quit my (beloved people but not my dream) day job. It has been a good run. Standard Life has re-installed my faith in the corporate world a bit. It ain't perfect. But it gave me what I needed for these 14 months. A place to work. Money. A sense of belonging. Great welcoming friends. Funny and fun colleagues. Using my brain. Feeling smart.
  • I get to focus on coaching! Get a niche. Get more clients. Learn more. Do more. Be more. I've managed to keep the practice afloat this whole while, but barely. I know enough about myself that I need space and time to make things happen and working has had my attention. I am hungry for more.
  • I get to go to LEADERSHIP! Which I have been wanting since I started coaching in 2004. Starting in JANUARY! Over my 40th birthday! In CALIFORNIA! Lead by the CTI founders Karen Kimsey-House and Henry Kimsey-House. Big and scary and exciting. I can honesty not think of a better way to ring in my 4th decade than by taking this time to invest in me and my inner leader.
  • We get to start moving towards the future. The one we have been talking about since 2000. Dogs and possible offspring and houses and regularity.
In sum this feels wonderful and hopeful and deeply deeply satisfying and a giant relief. It is the end of one long marathon. One we ran and ran and ran and didn't always believe we would finish. But dang it, we are on the other side, looking back in awe and elation knowing we did it.

As I pause to celebrate, I know we are starting another journey. But instead of a marathon, I am going to look at it as an exhilarating walk in a new neighborhood. One that you've been wanting to look around in. Curious. Discover what's there. Forward. With intent. Strong. One that makes you feel alive. But also fun. And not an emergency.

This feels too nice to run through.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

saying goodbye to Olof

What a exhausting 32 hours.

To Amsterdam and Leiden and back and as many as 10 different modes of transport once it was said and done. But mostly in saying good bye to Olof.

I'd never been to a cremation ceremony before, especially one in Dutch. Some parts were translated, but most of it was not, which actually made it easier. What we did understand were the Queen songs Olof had chosen for this day, Olof's favourite blue and purple flowers surrounding his casket, and the enlarged framed photo of Olof is his backwards baseball cap and camera strewn around his neck, grinning sweetly.

These things made it real. And ghastly.

It is hard to see someone young die. It is even harder to see the closest people caught in mid-stream who will need to continue on with the giant hole of loss.

Also hard to see my Mark lose someone who shared a huge amount of joint memories with him and who he thought was a given and a staple in his future. Boys don't make lots of new friends. They hang on to the old ones forever.

It was sad. And good. And important. And lovely to meet the people in his and Evelyn's life.

And we hope to remember Olof each year at this time.

Toast to him with his classically overly sugared tea. Eat meat on a stick. Or just take some time to think of him.

It is sad. And good. And important.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

dark morning

It really never is good news when the phone rings at 5:30 in the morning. And on this morning, Mark was already out the door. On the bus to the airport for an early London meeting. I assumed the call was from him. Forget something?

No. The call was from Evelyn. Olof's new wife.

Olof being Mark's good friend from back in early telecom days when they were both freshfaced and new. Olof of Amsterdam. Olof with the gentle eyes and sweet nature who quietly has been in Mark's life as long as I have known him and in Mark's for much longer. Olof who at my first meeting of him got me so drunk on margaritas at Cactus Cantina in 2000 that I called in sick the next day. Olof who showed us the miles and miles of tulips in the countryside of the Netherlands on my first trip over. Olof who charmed and dated my friend Laurie and took who pictures at our Cambridge wedding. Olof who spend last New Years Eve with us in Edinburgh. Olof who has been sick -- far sicker than any of us have known.

Evelyn called to tell us that Olof died this morning. I think he was 40.

He had cancer. Bad. All over. And in 11 months it took over his body.

Mark spoke to him on Sunday. He was hard to understand, but Mark got to connect. Didn't know it was for the last time.

Nothing more to say just now.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

6 weeks notice

Shortly, sweetly and hung over-ly, I am happy to report I gave my notice to resign, making my last day the day of our team's holiday party.

Not that I am happy to leave my daily people and my sense of belonging and feelings of being part of a super team. But I am happy that this day has (dare I say finally) come for me to get the chance to catch my breath and refocus. Get closer to what my heart feels really good about. And to get on the bus to Next Thing.

After seemingly thousands of glasses of wine last night with the team, and hearing their hearty and sincere congratulatory words, I feel so lucky. Most of which is for the support of Mark. And the kind universe if doing a fair share too.