Change/The 20 Year Cycle

Change can be difficult even if it is for the better. We are genetically predisposed to like the status quo – it’s safer. Because we dislike or even fear change we may even avoid something that may be fun, or beneficial. With that said it is my observation at least with my life that change whether we like it or not happens every twenty something years.

This may be just the normal life cycle, maturation out in the world at 20 something. The forty somethings can bring about a sense of is this all there is? Sometimes called a midlife crisis. Mine involved leaving a career and opening a martial art studio. The sixties have brought about a different kind of change, loss of loved one’s and friends. A need to be or find more meaning or to tick off the empty boxes on the bucket list. At least that’s what it’s been for me.

I’m finding I need to reconnect with old friends, and family that we unintentionally lost close touch with. I need more than a Christmas card or a quick chat at a gathering (usually a wake or funeral).

I also want to get back to doing things I once enjoyed that I put to the side because life got too busy. More traveling, cycling, writing, photography, being out in nature, going to the theater, being involved with causes I believe in rather than just writing a check. I guess I chose the correct word for my word of the year purpose, I want to live more purposefully .

I feel a change coming on…

I wish you smooth transitions,




Somedays are appointments we write down in our imaginary calendars. Someday I will go there, do that, be this, feel how? The problem is somedays don’t exist. It’s always today! So until we/you/I decide to live in the present moment, be present and aware enough to look within ourselves to ask what do I want? We won’t arrive, do, achieve, know our heart’s desire.


You know you’re getting old when…

Things I’ve noticed since I’ve turned sixty-something; My refrigerator magnets once used to display race bibs are now used to hold appointment cards. 9 to 5 is no longer a work day or a song, it’s bed time and wake up time. Award shows start becoming irrelevant, because you no longer recognize anyone except those depicted in the memoriam. The age where someone is considered old keeps moving forward. Doctors appointments have greater odds of you losing than Vegas. You start to watch what you eat not so much for the health benefits or calories, but will it dislodge dental work or give you reflux? You meet someone from your past and think to yourself wow they got old — By the way they’re thinking the same thing. You only recognize where you live by what was there twenty years ago. If you work with kids you end up knowing two or three generations of one family. You no longer complain about the geezer doing the speed limit, because it’s you. People are impressed when you participate in road races even though you’re barely in front of the support wagon and volunteers picking up the cones. A pizza you once consumed on your own has become at least two meals.

This all may see a bit daunting but it is really a privilege to go through this stage, so many haven’t had the opportunity. So walk with your head held high even if it’s on a body 2inches shorter than it once was! Embrace your age whatever it is because it is the youngest you’ll ever be again!

Smile, and be kind,


Celebrating The Middle Way

Sunday’s I hit the road and bike path, for a weekly long run. Admittedly these past couple of years my long runs have gotten shorter. I’m running about five miles, a far cry from the eight to ten I’d do when training for half marathons. It is a good distance to clear the cobwebs of the week, gain a bit of perspective for the week ahead and to enjoy the sights and sounds of early morning along the route.

In someways this is my church. I feel close to God and the universe out on the road. I see the ever changing topography and wild life. Baby rabbits were in abundance today, along with multiple varieties of birds and waterfowl. The air was filled with the scents of brine, from the bay and the Kickemuit river, wild flowers perfumed the bike path where you could occasionally catch a whiff of breakfast from a nearby home.

I love how I feel when I get into a slogging (I’m a sloth who jogs hence slogging) rhythm. Pushing my body to do what it was built for MOVING. The exercise is a cleansing of my sins; banana muffins, pop chips, almond joy bars, sitting for two hours bingeing Grace and Frankie, or a cooking competition on TV. My mental health improves as well I feel less burdened by ruminating thoughts. With my mind/body refreshed I’m better able to prepare for the week ahead.

I’m often asked how do you stay so fit? First and foremost I make it a priority. What I put into, my mind and body equates to how I feel. Eat poorly and unhealthy feel that way, don’t move or exercise your body and like the Tin Man you’ll seize up. The best advice and you will read this again and again, is moderation. Follow the middle way! You see what happens when we over indulge, you have seen or read what can happen if we restrict our diet or over work out. When anything is out of balance our bodies will be too.

The same advice is true for fill in the blank_____________________.

Take time for self care, start small one change,

All the best,


Less is more…

Since the summer of 2019 I’ve been as busy as a one armed paper hanger! I was executrix for two estates one which was very complex. The world shut down, my business was in scary waters, my personal losses were numerous and painful and yes there was a little thing called Covid we all had to navigate.

Slowly things became more manageable. I survived probate hell. My newly adopted cat and my inherited cat (mom’s) were hissing their way through sharing me and my tiny condo. My brother and his wife moved into and bought my mother’s house. The yard sales, dumpsters and junk removal companies are all in the rearview. Lawyers, accountants and debts are paid off. We are back to teaching in person at the karate school where we weathered state inspections, disinfecting anything and everything. Not to mention social distance martial arts.

Two weeks ago we finally had the opportunity to celebrate mom and John’s life. So now What? I have plenty of responsibilities at the school, things I need to get done at home and personal goals to work toward (like getting back to writing). The best way I can describe the way I feel is I just took an off ramp from the highway of hell onto a slow country road. Things seem so slow there aren’t any huge fires (by the way there was one of those in Feb of 21) I digress. Now trying to manage a normal pace, sometimes gives me issues. I’m meditating, practicing yoga, reading, cycling and hopefully soon I will be kayaking. I pray these will help me adapt to a less insane pace.

My real hope is less will be more-having more free time to visit coffee shops, clear out my junk, read fun books, read things that make me think, write things that make us all think. Most importantly just BE.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s taken the off ramp, what are you doing or becoming?


Changing Lenses …

This past week I’ve had several different people share their feelings over an incident in which they felt slighted, angered or put out…

These issues are never going to go away. Why? Let me give you my view; First there are two opposing forces, our ego and lens don’t match up with their lens.

I’m using lens to describe different perspectives. If you’re familiar with cameras, you know changing lenses can afford a wide perspective for a nature scene, but say you want to look at a specific flower, then you’d need a close up lens. It is my belief that when we get our feelings hurt we have that close up lens on, and conversely the other person has a broader view or wide angle on. Sometimes we need to take a step back and ask yourself, “Am I being too sensitive?” Often we are, we look for ways in which to be offended or hurt, often without the other individual knowing what happened. Believe me there are times when the slight is intentional but that is for another day.

How do we roll with the punches? Before you start, ranting, crying or clamming up, ask yourself is this typical of this individual? If it is, then you need new friends. I’m guessing it wasn’t typical, in that case, let it go. If you can’t let it go ask the person to clarify your perspective. You may find out you were way off base, there was never any malice intended.

We need to stop guessing what other people intend with their words or actions, and listen and change lenses once in a while to give you a different perspective. We’d all be better off if instead of judging one another we listened to one another without the need to be right!

I wish you well,


Today I Remember Saying I Love You, and Goodbye.

This is a deeply personal blog post, I wasn’t going to write about this but there might be someone out there who may need to see something like this to know they are not alone. This may also be a reminder to make each encounter with loved ones count.

June 9th 2020, we were nearly three months into the pandemic. My mother’s beloved John had been gone exactly one month to the day. It was my routine since John’s passing to have coffee with mom every morning, because this was her ritual with John. Mom was having a tough time after John’s passing she’d never lived on her own before – I’d offered to move in with her but she didn’t want me changing my life because of her.

Our coffee chat included the typical what happened the evening before, and what the plans of the day were. I told mom about Evie (my newly adopted cat) and she told me my nephew had called the night prior and she was excited about their conversation. She was asking me about her car and if I thought she could drive it? I told her first she’d have to get it checked out as the check engine light was on, so she added calling her mechanic to her to do list. I headed out about 10am to get a few things done at home. I left saying as I always did “I love you”, she answered as she always did” I love you too sweetheart more than you’ll ever know”-“Be careful on the road.”

About two hours later my mother called me she wasn’t feeling well. I rushed to her house, called 911 because she was obviously not herself. Before the rescue cam we sat hand in hand with her head on my shoulder saying I love you, we both knew this would probably be the last moment we would spend together.

My mother suffered an inter cranial bleed. It would be another eight and a half days before she passed. I did get to see her hours before she passed. She knew who I was, and that this was the final goodbye. this time she said “I love you” and I said “I love you too, more than you ever know”.

I write about this because, that morning was like any other in the previous weeks. We don’t get a notice, we don’t have a visible expiration date. If these past two years have taught me anything, is to be present, not just there, but present with whom ever I’m with. Don’t just hear but listen. Pause before you answer especially if you don’t agree. Think to yourself is my opinion or belief more important than this relationship, this moment? We don’t get do overs, you get one chance per encounter. Make it one that if you have to remember even in the shit-hole of grief that you’re heart is still filled with love and not regret…

Peace, and kindness is all any soul wants,


Letting Go…

Today I came to the realization that my favorite piece of clothing shouldn’t be worn in public. My Columbia 100% cotton stone colored shorts are full of holes. The holes vary from pinholes to tears. I frantically have been searching for a replacement pair but these must be at least twelve years old. Nothing, zilch, non-existent, all the newer shorts are made of synthetic material that stretch and give when you move. WHY? I want my pants to feel natural I’m tired of everything having to stretch with me – why do we all need to be encased like a sausage? Is this what we’ve come to having expandable clothes for expandable waist lines?

What happened to denim, cotton shirts you had to iron, soft cotton sheets and towels? Remember the tag line “The Fabric Of Our Lives”? I guess cotton like the rotary phone, drive in theaters, tire swings are now relegated to a room in the Smithsonian.

Perhaps I get too attached to objects, looking through old photographs last week I happened upon a photo of me in my all time favorite shirt. I was almost as happy to see it as I was old friends. Now I wonder how wonderful it might have been if I could’ve worn that shirt with my shorts. It is probably for the best they had separate life times I don’t think I could have let them both go at the same time.

I know all this is very silly, but is it? We tend to get attached to things, people, beliefs almost anything in our lives. We have a hard time letting go, but here is a simple experiment; Go run the kitchen tap and try to grab the water, did you get any? If you did it was very little now run the tap, open and cup your hand. I imagine you were able to get more. You see when you let go and open up there is more room to receive .

In the mean time contact me if you know where I can find cotton hiking shorts?


Thank You and Recognition

Yesterday I got mail from the State Of Rhode Island-Yes my hands got sweaty! What the heck could this be my anxious mind wondering. Mental check list: taxes paid yes, corporate filing done yes, insurances paid -check. Finally I extract two sheets of paper one is a cover letter from the Secretary of State explaining the second document which is a citation celebrating the 25th anniversary of my incorporation of East Bay Martial Arts. Whew! that was certainly better than a bill!

My initial reaction, after the relief was gratitude. I was thankful for the opportunity to do something I love to do as work. For all those who supported my journey, my late mother, my instructor, all the amazing students who have trained at the school whether it was a week or twenty years it has been an honor to have gotten to know you and your amazing families. To my incredible staff which had many incarnations with the exception of one Adam Oliver. This school would not be the institution it is without his loyalty and dedication to the art and to the students.

I’d like to also thank the students and families who stuck it through the pandemic. Without your support and encouragement we would have been another casualty of small business. There are still many challenges ahead, in fact some are even more daunting-all the pandemic assist has dried up, so even though we got through the storm we are still on life support. Enough of being morose.

I’m looking forward to whatever lies ahead, at 65 the horizon seems a bit closer than it did 25 years ago, but I’m wiser and more centered. I will make the best of today and bask in the reverie of these last 25 years. “Take each day as it comes, Virginia”, my mother would say and that’s what I’m doing-After all nothing is promised…

Take time to shop local, support your local businesses they appreciate you more than you can possibly know.


Today I Went for a Walk

Most Monday’s you will find me on the bike path or at Colt State Park walking with a dear friend. Like most things nothing are exactly as they appear. Walking is good exercise, it is great getting out in the fresh air. The scenery and views where we walk are amazing. Yet the greatest benefit from these walks (for me) is making a connection, speaking of what is on the heart, exchanging ideas, fears, hopes and dreams.

Today I was reminiscing on my stepfather and his compulsion to save EVERYTHING! I was telling my friend it was a by product of most of his generation who grew up in the great depression. A fear of not having something or enough of something. I also wondered out loud what will be the scars from this pandemic. I know for sure it has been isolation, those who have anxiety, or physical restrictions. While many are going on where they left off some are still waiting to take their first steps into “normalcy”.

What can we do for those who are fearful or physically can’t be exposed? Kindness is always the answer. Be kind, patient and accepting of what their limitations are. Be patient with people who aren’t attending your event, who take up extra time in grocery lines because they’re still wiping items off. Find something they feel comfortable doing, walking outdoors, dining outdoors, for example if your level of comfort is greater than theirs allow them to choose the activity. Continue to check on your neighbors, help them if they need a hand. Surprise a friend with a gift for their fur babies, like mine did for me.

No matter what act of kindness you preform, you will also receive good vibes. It is the law of giving and receiving #Christmas Spirit! I definitely have a different point of view at 65 than I did at 25. There are potentially less tomorrows to put off to… So be kind today, we have no idea what another human is going through.

I wish you well along with beautiful walks where you can share what’s on your heart,