February 2014


Saturday morning. Ahh. There is definitely something special about a Saturday morning.

Our nest is empty (has always been empty, really), and work is a fluid, flexible thing. But Saturday morning still brings a special feeling about it.

It represents the end of a productive week. It seldom has appointments or specific time slots on the calendar. It gives us plenty of breathing room.

If I could construct a perfect Saturday morning, it would look something like this…

Sunrise

First of all, it would be in the summer, because it would include waking up early, with the sun. The first cup of coffee would be down by the pool, breathing in the fragrance of the roses outlining the deck.

This lovely prelude to the day would last as long as our Corgi dear could postpone his morning walk. But the walk itself would be refreshing, and we would return to another cup of coffee and some breakfast on the deck. The view of our garden and pool would be rivaled only by the horses in the neighboring yard.

Dylan by the Pool

There would be some reading involved. Some magazines, newspapers, emails, etc. But mostly, it would be the time that the three of us would hang out before going about our day – however that played out for each of us.

Grasses against the clouds

The best thing about this perfect Saturday morning? It is very close to my every morning. Whether it be summer of winter, the relaxed feel of morning routine is quite a luxury!

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Good Friday…

I love this post in the Harvard Business Review:  Why Is it So Hard to Be Kind?  Bill Taylor tells a story about what makes business great.

Every so often, you have a small experience in business that teaches big lessons about what really separates winners from losers. I had one of those experiences a few weeks ago, and I think the story is worth telling, not because it is so exciting or dramatic, but because it is so true to how the world really works — and because it underscores how those of us who think about business often make things more complicated than they are.

But if you read beyond the customer service aspect of the article, you quickly see how it can be applied to life.

Why is it that a quick, witty response often escapes our lips before a kinder, more considered one?

After 18 months away from corporate life, I finally really experienced what it means to be ‘unleashed’.

This past year, I’ve done some independent work out of my home. Enough to satisfy my interest in new things. Enough to provide the opportunity to share with others. But not enough to tie me down.

But I didn’t really realize the beauty of that until this past December. We were fortunate to have a very mild winter in 2012. But this year, during the first week of December, it became apparent that 2013 would be very different. We were going to be affected by the same severe storms that 98% of the country were going to be experiencing.

We woke up 24 hours before the predicted storm was to hit, and we looked at each other and realized that there was no reason we needed to stay at home and endure this abomination.  A road trip was in order!

Dylan loves a road trip

Tom got online and did a little mapping and researching (of dog friendly hotels, of course). I cleaned out the fridge, wrapped up some immediate work and put together doggie meals. We both threw some clothes in a suitcase, and by the next morning, we were out of here.

Sunny and warm in southern Florida

Initially, we planned only as far as getting us to Florida, which appeared to be the only state that wouldn’t be snowed in. This was a drive of 2-3 days. In route, we heard from Terry and Mike that their home in a Fort Myers Beach would be empty while they were vacationing elsewhere and they encouraged us to stay there.

A tropical setting

So, we planted ourselves in these new and cozy surroundings. I did the same kind of work that I would have done here. But breakfast was outside under a palm tree instead on inside by the fire.

Dylan and me on the beach

In the evening we strolled the beach, instead of bundled up against the cold to walk Dylan. The climate made all the difference.

Mantees in Crystal River, FL

A leisurely route back home even took us to Crystal River and its protected reserve for the endangered manatees.  What amazing creatures they are.  And what a memorable experience it is to have them swim right up to your kayak.

Sunset behind the palms

In the end, we were away from home for for more than three weeks.  It was a lovely, warm, time… exploring new areas and seeing old friends.

And most importantly, realizing the potential of being unleashed… And opening our minds to all sorts of new adventures!