Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Sept 11 is a day that I consider a rebirth every year. It’s like my new year’s resolution day. I always vow to do something for the better on that day because it’s the one day that changed me forever. I got lucky that day and I’m extremely grateful for that. It was a Tuesday and it was one of the most beautiful days you can possibly imagine, crystal clear blue skies, sun shining, a bite of autumn in the air but not enough to wear a jacket. I remember walking outside at 8 o’clock in the morning on my way to work and saying out loud “hello gorgeous” to the sky, it was THAT perfect of a day. I can tell you I had on a black tee shirt, grey skirt and black loafers (that I still have, covered in 9/11 soot stored in a box in my garage). I remember the sound of my friend Leslie’s voice when she called me at my office while watching the news, inquiring of my whereabouts and distance to the World Trade Center. I remember calling Will to see if he was still at home and hearing the shock in his voice as he watched the horror unfold from our then apartment window 2 blocks south of the buildings. I remember talking to my cousin Jen and devising a plan to meet at her place because clearly going to mine was out of the question. I remember waiting to hear from my husband who had gone radio silent after the second tower fell and praying out loud for his safety. I remember him walking through the door of my office, covered in ash and who knows what else, my relief to see him was overwhelming. I remember walking to 86th St and stopping every time we saw a TV for an update. I remember sitting at the diner around the corner from my cousin’s apartment ordering cheeseburgers and not one of us eating, paralyzed by shock. I remember the fear in my parents voices, pleading with us to leave the city that we were locked into. It was horrible because I watched with my own eyes so many people’s lives change forever and there was nothing we could do about it. And yes, being in the city on that day was very different from watching it on TV, we couldn't turn it off.

Being a New Yorker is something I’m extremely proud of. A colleague once asked me if I could chose anywhere to live in the world where would it be and I remember looking at him quizzically and saying, I already live here. Living in NYC is an acquired taste without a doubt. It’s gritty and hard on the outside but it’s strong, unique and brilliant on in the inside. There is no place like it in the world and I don’t truly feel at home anywhere else. I learned a lot about myself on 9/11. My level of strength and resolve, my ability to not panic in extreme situations, my depth of love for a city and community, my optimism that it would get better with time, my commitment to my family magnified a million times over. I learned that I’m a fighter and that I’m not afraid of the unknown.

All of the above leads me to today. For as much as 9/11 changed me, it’s now 13 years later, the city is strong and the skyline is ever evolving. I have yet to go to the memorial, and now that I have some time on my hands I will probably go it alone on a day where I can have peace and quiet and time to reflect. It’s been 8 years since we lived in that neighborhood and I often wonder what has become of so many places and people. As they say, life goes on…yes it does. So this year my 9/11 resolution is to embrace change, for I've had a lot of it in the last few months. I’m walking around with a big question mark above my head these days but I’m certain that won’t be for too long. Change is good. Life is too.

Friday, May 9, 2014

For Mom's...

Mom – such a small word for such a big job.

On Sunday we celebrate mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friend moms, stepmoms, guardian moms, foster moms, honorary moms, expectant moms and all the moms in between. We wouldn’t be here without our Moms (literally and figuratively). Cheerleaders, warriors, boo-boo fixers, schedule keepers, meal makers, carpool drivers, playdate hosts, and secret confiders…just a few of the many hats we wear. Being a mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I look at my boys and I’m so grateful for them, even when they’re driving me crazy and I’m watching the clock until bed time (don’t judge, you all do it too!). I tuck them in every night, kiss them and tell them I love them and that I’m so thankful to be their mom.

This Mother’s Day I’m thinking of the Moms who don’t get to kiss their children goodnight. The ones who are helplessly waiting for word about their kidnapped daughters whereabouts in Nigeria. I’m thinking of the mothers who are sitting vigil by their childrens bedsides praying for a miracle that they get well so they can hold them in their arms instead of through a hospital bed. And I’m thinking of the ones who’ve had to say goodbye too soon. I’m praying for change, for peace, for no more suffering.

Mother’s Day is about appreciating what we have in common as mothers. It’s about the miracle of our children and the joy they bring to our lives. Motherhood is not a perfect job, sometimes it’s a thankless one but most of the time it’s the most rewarding one you’ll ever have. This day is about thanking our own mothers for doing the best they could, the same way we are. So thank you Mom. Thank you for being my biggest fan, for always being supportive even when you didn’t agree, for teaching me compassion and kindness, for encouraging independence and for loving me unconditionally.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Be Nice

I've been reading tidbits of quotes, posts on FB and some tributes that the media has out there today in honor of Martin Luther King and while there are many quotable quotes from him, one of my favorites is “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

It doesn't matter the size of the gesture or even what the gesture is, it matters that you're doing something. Pay it forward, smile at a stranger, give someone a compliment. You'll probably brighten a day and not even know it. A few weeks ago I was at the grocery store and the guy in front of me was short $3 bucks.  As he stood there trying to decide which items to give back I handed the cashier the money and told him not to worry about it.  He was shocked and couldn't be more appreciative.  We've all been there...a few bucks short without our wallets for backup and I bet some of us wished the guy behind us would step up and offer to help. 

So today in honor of the man who gave his life to help change the world for the better, go do something nice for someone and have a great day!   

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Did you see the video that went viral of the woman who chronicled her first 100 days at the gym?  It was a great short that took courage and honesty and I loved it!  It’s so inspiring to see someone with a big goal making strides toward life changing events. 
Which brings me to this post. 

First of all it’s making me get off my butt and start this blog up again, which I have missed greatly and look forward to keeping up with.  I have been starting, stopping and ignoring it over the last many months and I miss it. 

So...the title 100 represents the countdown of the number of days I have left until I’m officially without a job.  WHAT??  Hey, that’s corporate America for you, in the end you’re just a number and I’m OK with that. Companies reorganize all the time, I witness that first hand multiple times a year and it’s never easy.  But at least in my case there was a plan that was laid out and a timeline being followed.  I’ve had a good run, I’ve been paid well, I have medical benefits and retirement funds and too many vacation days to take in a year.  I have met some of the best people where I work, and I’m privileged to call them friends.  There have been good days and bad days (as I’m sure you can all relate) but to be honest the good has outweighed the bad.

Today is the day I’m going to start to explore the question “what do I want to be when I grow up?” My answer to that is “I HAVE NO IDEA!!”  So I’m looking for help…help with getting back in the saddle after a very long run in my current company.  Suggestions on where to start, how to get organized, what tools to use for research, (just to start somewhere), would be great. I have visions of lists upon lists and the thought is frightening me! I have so many questions; I mean…I haven’t been on an interview in more than 15 years!  I realize I’m an unusual case as most people have changed jobs throughout their careers, yet I’ve moved around within my organization not outside of it.  

I’m calling today “Ready, Set, Go!”….let the brainstorming begin! 

(of course this all has to be done on my own personal time as I’m technically still an employee with a full time day job and a million other things going on too!)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Shut Down - Shut Up! Enough Already!

Holy crap!  I'm amazed by the stupidity of our government.  The pure childishness that is happening is appalling and disgusting.  Every single day words like "work it out", "do the right thing", and "be considerate of others" (just to quote a few) come out of my mouth to my children. We strive to do all of these things and yet the people who are supposed to be doing it for us aren't.  We expect our government to keep us safe via our military, provide services for us like Medicare and Social Security and sign bills into law that will HELP the population as a whole, not shut it down because they can't play nice in the sandbox.  Now I get that there will be some opposition to the Affordable Healthcare Act, not everyone is going to be happy all of the time but as a friend of mine said, majority rules, right? The mere thought of grown adults throwing logic out the window and blatantly refusing to work together is exactly what NOT to do.  Listen up...the majority of the people in this country are all trying to make a living, raise families and do the right thing day in and day out. A lot of them do it one day at a time, not always knowing how they're going to make it until the next paycheck, but somehow they do. What's fundamentally wrong with this situation is that there are people in Congress who actually voiced their opposition solely based on the idea that no matter what bill the President signed into law they would oppose him.  It doesn't matter if it was "the most perfect, everyone is going to be happy bill", he would still get opposition because he is who he is.  To me that's complete racism, totally wrong and against the core value system of this country.

I'm ashamed of the people who represent this country, each and every one of you should be fired. There should be term limits imposed on your jobs and your salaries are way too high for the lack of work and production you have to show for it. You're screwing with people's lives and it seems as if you just don't care. Disgusting. You're hurting others BY CHOICE. Horrible. I don't care if some of you are claiming to be giving your salaries to charity or are requesting to not get paid while this shut down is happening, that doesn't make me feel better.  You should each be fined 1 year's salary for every day this shut down continues.

Get back to work, play nice in the sandbox, and try your hardest to win back the respect of the people you represent, oh, and be ready for the next election season because I truly hope 100% of you are replaced.  No one is indispensable.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just Plain Sad

So let me just start off this post with letting you all know that I have had the privilege of experiencing Nittany Lion Pride.  One of my best friends (to this day) attended Penn State University, and I also dated someone who went there at the same time, so I can say that I have spent a fair amount of time in Happy Valley, and I can tell you, there's nothing like it.  I will always be grateful for the time I got to spend there, lots of great memories for me.

That being said, the stories that have surfaced over the last week are disturbing, maddening and truly sad.  Sad for the entire PSU community, sad for the fans, sad for the people involved and especially sad for the victims.  However, this is NOT about football.  This is about doing the right thing, telling the truth no matter how hard it is, stepping up and possibly sacrificing everything but knowing it's the absolute right thing to do.  Because folks, here it is:  NO CHILD/MINOR SHOULD EVER BE EXPOSED TO SEXUAL ABUSE. PERIOD.  THAT is what this is about.  As the stories unfold over the next days, weeks, months, even years, I'm sure we will never come to know the full truth and I know we will all draw conclusions.  It's unfortunate that these incidents happened and it's unfortunate that most of the people involved did not do anything extreme to stop it when it was happening. 

For now, put the sports to the side and focus on the piece of this story that truly matters....the boys.  Joe Paterno will always be one of the most revered men that coached the game regardless of the outcome of this debacle, and PSU will always be one of the best places to play football....but what will happen to the victims?  What happens to the boys who had to endure the abuse?  As a parent, it's not hard to hypothetically put yourself in this situation...ask yourself, what would I do?  I would want to kill someone, and I wouldn't care who he is.  In a situation like this, no amount of wins, titles, or fans matter.  This is purely about doing the right thing.... 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years....

A friend and I were talking the other day about milestone anniversaries.  She was reminiscing about the loss of someone extremely significant in her life and it being 20 years since he passed and how for some reason, the milestone ones are harder to face.  It made me think, (especially with the anniversary of 9/11 looming), about anniversaries in general and the way we have come to celebrate or commemorate them. 

10 years ago, I was a newlywed, fresh off a 2 week honeymoon in Hawaii with a great new apartment in lower Manhattan, just a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center.  Of course I had experienced loss and tragedy to some degree up to that point in my life, but not the way I experienced it on Sept 11, 2001.  I've been thinking about this post for a few days and how I was going to approach it.  I can talk about the past, tell my story again, reminisce about that day, but no, I don't want to talk about that day I want to talk about the days that followed....the years that have passed since then, about moving on. 

Let me say this...NOT ONE DAY goes by that I am not reminded of Sept 11.  NOT ONE.  And not one day goes by that I am not thankful for the way Sept 11 turned out for me.  I am keenly aware of how different it could have turned out, but as luck or fate or whatever you want to call it would have it, all of the people I know who were supposed to be in those towers, weren't. 

We chose to continue to live in our neighborhood for 5 years after Sept 11, that was a good decision.  After we were able to move back home we were first hand observers of the activity that was happening at the site.  The things I remember most about the days, weeks, months and even years that followed are the workers, the volunteers, the smells, the sights, the sounds of rebuilding at all hours of the day and night, the tourists, the businesses reopening, the neighborhood coming back to life...of the feeling of solidarity that this city and our country would bounce back. It never even occurred  to us to leave. NEVER. We were moving on.

But as our family grew, so did our need for space and as luck (again) would have it, we moved to a new neighborhood with a beautiful view of lower Manhattan.  It's now 3,650 days later, and as I write this from my couch, the sun is coming up, and I am looking at one of the new structures that is rising from the ashes so to speak....Tower One is lit up and is getting taller by the day, and from the greatest city in the world it is a reminder for me of strength, resolve, and commitment.  I will celebrate that today while I remember those we have lost, the stories we have shared, and the images we have seen from Sept 11, 2001.  I wish you all a day filled with love, peace and celebration of your lives as we have all moved on in our own way always being cognizant of the past and hopeful for the future.  

10 years have passed and not a day goes by that I don't remember...NOT ONE DAY.