Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dolce Vita!

So here we are in Italy. We spent 3 magnificant days in Rome. Private tour of the Vatican, The Spanish Steps, the shopping, dining and above all, the laughs and fun with Kelly (my sister) and Dean. This has been a trip of a lifetime for them. We are now in Florence, and when we checked into the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel they escorted Kelly and Dean to their lovely suite, with flowers, champagne, and chocolates. Happy Anniversary! I loved the look in their eyes. Seeing them enjoy this trip is worth the price of admission. They are thrilled. We had a lovely day going to Pisa and tomorrow a city tour of Florence. Then off to a Villa to rest up for our flight home.

It has always been said that it is better to give than receive and I have always been a giver, but this trip has been a gift to me as well. Although I miss having Lefty with us, we talk several times at the end of my day and text late into the night. I have been in charge of making this a great trip for my sister and Dean, and it is working.

We went to Mass at the Vatican and as I sat there listening to the service in Italian I felt so good - I knew pretty much everything they were saying and it was a special time to just sit back and reflect on this year. We are all so blessed and so many of us just go so fast we don't take time to just "chill." I have not laughed so hard and had so many great conversations with my sister in a long time. We are always focused on the kids, work or family. This was just about us and it was a great time to connect. Lefty stayed connected by our stories over Skype each night - he laughed right along with us.

So as we enter the festive season of Thanksgiving, reach out and let those you love know how thankful you are for them. It only takes a phone call, a card and even just an email. Life is short - you all know that, so take care of what matters now. Dolce Vita!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Road Keeps Winding

I have always been a big believer in making lemonade out of lemons and believe that I have helped hundreds of people through this rocky year stay on top. So now it is my turn. When you are the person who everyone turns to for motivation, it is hard to find motivation yourself. I read everything in sight, listen to speakers, talk to everyone I can to keep myself informed and yes, motivated. But the road continues to wind and with each curve there is always another curve ball.

Recently my travel schedule has been more hectic than usual, and for those of you who know me you may wonder how that could be. But, yet, I keep on trekking. One city to another - one country to another, all with a smile on my face and a positive attitude. Up to this point I have always tried to look at things through rose colored lenses, but recently I have met people who will do whatever they need to do to get ahead, put others down and not really care about assisting those around them. Playing politics has never been a game I get involved in, and I have been able to avoid being invited to that table. Well I have decided I am inviting myself and calling people out on their antics. This of course won't win me any friends, but it certainly is allowing me to stay authentic to who I am.

I am known as the radical mentor, people want to hear what I say until it is about how they need to change. Please know that I am a part of this too, I get feedback about my performance, attitude and team work daily. I accept when I get on someone's nerves and I try and change that behavior. Why in the world is it so hard for people to face facts - look in the mirror and take responsibility for what is expected of you.

I am getting ready for a trip to Italy - it is my sisters 50th birthday and she and her husband are also celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Lefty and I planned this trip a year ago as a gift to them. A fun time to get away and no speeches or workshops for Cindy. Well once again the road winds, and the curve ball is thrown.

On a 18 hour flight back from the Middle East Lefty developed 3 blood clots in his leg. Needless to say 2 weeks later getting on another transatlantic flight is not a good idea. So we pick up and keep going. I will take my sister and her husband on a fabulous trip. I will talk to Lefty every day and he will be a part of the trip. Just like we have done for 29 years. I wrote the book Living with no Balance and Loving it for a reason. If there were balance, we could have postponed this trip and waited for Lefty's leg to get better. But we don't live with balance - my schedule is so booked through 2010 that trying to find a new set of dates is crazy - so we move on.

Why is it so hard for people to be flexible. The restaurant that doesn't go out of their way for a guest, the hotel without a bar open to serve a busy lobby. The gift shop in a hotel that has nothing for any normal emergency you have while traveling and manager with an attitude. I have no more time for this and from now on I am speaking up. I always have been careful not to make anyone mad. Forget it - when I get mad no one even knows - so now it is time for me to share. Life is a great gift and I will never take it forgranted. Stop sitting back in your easy chair watching life go by - get out and participate with a great deal of passion!