The house was eerily quiet this morning. After sitting on the porch for my usual early morning cup of coffee, I came back in and noticed the utter silence of the house—an empty, hollow feeling, like all the molecules of energy had been sucked out. Yesterday, my hubby Bill and I became empty nesters after we dropped our youngest off at college. I didn’t know our house could sound so quiet. Typically, I love silence. In our family, I’m known as the noise Nazi, especially when it comes to the … [Read more...] about Empty Nesters
What a difference a question makes. I woke up this morning and immediately started in on my current litany of worry-wart woes. You’ve been there, right? Maybe it’s your kids or money or too much to do. But this morning as my stomach tightened with anxiety, I suddenly remembered two questions I had written down in the front of the book I was reading yesterday: “What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” And there it was--the answer in those questions. I felt … [Read more...] about What Are You Willing To Struggle For?
As I looked out my bedroom window this morning, I was struck by the lovely jonquils "fluttering and dancing in the breeze." It reminded me of my freshman year of college when I fell in love with Wordsworth. It was my poetry class that Friday before Labor Day weekend. On the train ride back home for a brief Labor Day visit, I pulled out my Norton Anthology, flipped open to Wordsworth's section and started to memorize "I wandered lonely as a cloud/That floats on high o'er vales and hills,/When all … [Read more...] about Why I Memorize Poetry
A week ago today, I was standing at the head of the table in the conference room at the National Fair Housing Alliance in D.C. doing a 3 hour public speaking training for their staff. Straightaway I told them that out of everything I could share with them about communicating effectively the most important thing was to be themselves--to be authentic. Authenticity is the foundation for everything else. When I first started teaching high school English, I wanted to be just like my dad. He was … [Read more...] about Authenticity: Find YOUR Voice
Yesterday was a day of mistakes. First, I was at my gig at Wheaton Library performing my show Pets at the White House that I do with my friend and colleague, Elizabeth Doyle. Our Pets show is completely innocuous, politically speaking. We sing and share fun and interesting anecdotes about the roles pets have played in the lives of the First Families, everything from the fact that Thomas Jefferson had a pet mockingbird who sat on his shoulder while he worked to George and Barbara Bush walking the … [Read more...] about A Day of Mistakes: Adele and Me