Your One Thing

In one of my favorite movies, City Slickers, Mitch (Billy Crystal) sets out in search of the meaning of life. Mitch was in the midst of  what we called a midlife crisis in the nineties.  It was a thing.  Everybody was having them.  
So greenhorn Mitch embarks on a cattle drive to contemplate the meaning of life.

 Desperate for answers, Mitch turns to Curly (Jack Palance)  a hard-core cowboy to see if he can shed some light on the true meaning of life. 

A man of few words, Curly holds up one finger.  And says, “This.”  

“Your Finger?” Mitch gasps.“One thing.  Just one thing.  You stick to that and the rest don’t mean XXXX.”  
“But what is the “one thing?”  Mitch implores. 
“That’s what you have to find out.” Curly replies.

Shortly after imparting his wisdom, Curly dies.  Yep. Just like that.  Curly up and dies leaving Mitch to continue his quest for the meaning of his life.  His quest for his One Thing.  

May 2024 be your year to focus on Your One Thing.  

It’s Curly’s law.   


New Vision

My left eye is preparing for surgery this afternoon.  Not on its own, of course.  I am cooperating.   
As a long time glaucoma patient, I periodically have medical interventions to reduce the pressure on the optic nerve… to preserve my vision. And, today tiny stents will be inserted to relieve the pressure.    Ever so subtle, each intervention gives me  a sense of improved vision, a bit more clarity, a better perspective. Without these kinds of interventions, I might continue to drive over the mini boulders randomly placed in my neighborhood for landscaping ambiance.  
As I prepare for today, I am reminded of the need to examine the lens through which we view life and everything pertaining.  Like my eyes, our vision can become cloudy, unclear.  Then every decision and action becomes a bit trickier. 
We can change the lens through which we view anything and everything by making a simple choice.  How we choose to view events and circumstances has everything to do with how we lead our own life.    A simple choice will do it.  It’s as simple as choosing chocolate or vanilla.  Not kidding.  Choose to lead your life boldly.  It is your life, afterall.  
We are so grateful to just keep growing at
love, jeanne 

Gratitude Gratitude Gratitude

Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude 

The myths and lore around Thanksgiving are as plentiful as the number of side dishes we serve up.  Said to be based on colonial Pilgrims’ 1621 harvest meal, we stop everything and gather for a day of feasting, football, and family.  
We express gratitude for the abundance we experience every other day of the year.  Just In case we forgot to be grateful throughout the year, Thanksgiving Day is meant to cover us.   The day after Thanksgiving comes an equally hallowed tradition.  Black Friday.  A day we designate to scurry about looking for deals.  A day of panic and pressure.  What if we miss the sale?  What if there won’t be enough of those things we need to fulfill the heart’s desire of our loved ones? 
So much to do.  So little time.  So many acquisitions to make.   
Awwwwww, the run up to Christmas.  Deep Sigh.  We snap right back into a survival and scarcity mode.  What were we even thinking, letting our guard down, being so grateful and all? 
Do we really ever feel sufficient?  Do we feel up to the challenges of the changing seasons in our life?   It’s easy to default into the not-enough trap.    
Why do we keep falling into this abyss of never enough?  Life provides lots of practice.  But…i

t’s not a life sentence, you know.  You can lift yourself out of this conundrum. 
First step is to notice.  Second step is to knock it off.  And the third step is to dedicate yourself to a more fun and fulfilling habit.  
It goes something like this.  Wake up. 
Wake up each morning appreciating your strengths and capabilities.  Name and appreciate all that’s going right in your life.  Be specific.  Be grateful.  Helps to write it all down.  Counting your blessings, one by one.  
Wind down each day by acknowledging the enoughness and sufficiency as it shows up.   

The more you practice this, the less stress you experience.  

Don’t worry.  Be grateful.  

Thanksgiving Blessings. We’re so thankful that we just keep growing at www.   

 Please consider joining us.  

Things Change

Things change. Frequently. 

Things change. Continuously. 

Things change. Again. And again. 
We don’t have a choice about that.  But we do have a choice about how we will respond to the infinite number of changes before us.

Eva recently decided it was time to make a move.  She’s nearly 93 and fit as a fiddle, by most standards. 
Eva… I call her Mom… 

decided she was ready for a new lifestyle in an assisted living facility. Why? Because she wanted to.  

Her children and grandchildren followed her lead, each playing a critical role in helping to execute her plan.  
Change is not easy.   We either manage change or it will manage us.  
As the leader of our own life, we can choose to mobilize our resources and create change. We can choose to be at cause, rather than effect.  We can choose to change things. 

Be like Eva.  Lead your life boldly.  
We just keep growing at  
love, jeanne

Could it Be More Magical?

Could it Be More Magical?

Insanely beautiful views and serious altitude. We’re just back from a
European adventure winding down in historic Lucerne, where we feasted
on the wild, beautiful scenery of the Swiss Alps and indulged in bubbling
raclette, a delish Swiss dish, which we chased with a bit of Swiss chocolate.

Gratitude, gratitude to our dear friends, Hannes and Anni. Together we
packed a lot of vertical adventure into our short stay. The magnificent
snow-capped mountains. Stunning. Majestic blue lakes and lush meadows.
Breathtaking. The visual intensity and profound serenity leave me without
words. Just a lovely, peaceful feeling. No words.

Our hosts took us on a leisurely night time stroll through Old Lucerne. And
then a rainy-day hike through tiny mountain villages where we sipped a cup
of hot soup with friendly farmers and villagers. Trekking through tiny
villages with centuries-old buildings, ancient castles, churches, and bridges,
we had surely been dropped into our very own fairy tale. Once upon a
time…and happily ever after. Still pinching myself.

Oh, and did I mention Swiss chocolate? Chocolate is an essential part of
the daily Swiss diet. German, French, Italian, Romansch. These are the
languages spoken in Switzerland. So, I practiced saying “chocolate please”
in all four languages.

And yes, I plan to take yodeling lessons before returning.
Could it be more magical? I think not. RIP Matthew Perry.
Love, jeanne @

Your Clothes Dryer & Your Brain

You’re chatting with someone, writing a letter, or simply having a lovely
conversation with yourself. You’re about to make a killer point. Ready.
Aim. Oops. That brilliant thought of yours. Gone. Again. Evaporating
into the mist of your mighty fine mind.

A moment, please. Trying not to panic, you start with the clues.
Sounds like, rhymes with. Nothing. Your neuro train derails, leaving
you stranded. Again.

Because your brain has a short little span of attention and joy to the
fishes in the deep blue sea, you move on. On to a new brain train.
Destination? Dunno.

Enroute to Destination Dunno, you relax a bit. Take a deep breath.
Enjoy the scenery. Let go of needing to know. And suddenly a new
thought pops up. You like it. A lot. You vow never to lose it. Never to
let it go. From madness to gladness in a mere 30 seconds.

I have noticed that our brain operates a bit like the lint trap in our clothes dryer. What happens when you fail to clean your lint trap?

Best case, the dryer’s motor wears out. Worst case, the motor catches fire.

And, I know you would never risk that.
You clean out that trap as if your family’s life depends on it. Don’t you?

As humans, our assumptions, thought patterns, our go-to solutions and
habits accumulate allowing us to function. Predictably. And, that’s a
good thing. But, what happens when we fail to question our habitual
thoughts, our old paradigms, our favorite solutions?

Best case. Our thinking jams up. Our performance suffers. Worst Case.
Our brains break or catch on fire. Metaphorically, of course.
I make it a daily practice to surface and eliminate obsolete thought
patterns, paradigms, and general B.S. As I clear out the mental lint, I
tend to look at old situations in new ways. I make better decisions,
experience better outcomes. I practice letting go of old stuff on
purpose. Stuff that when allowed to accumulate, slows down my brain,
or worse, burns down my barn.

What’s in your lint trap?

No need to analyze. Just let it go. And clear the way for what wants to
happen next. A great way to Just Keep Growing.

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When Right is Wrong

I am decidedly decisive. I lean toward the Just Do It approach.

1 Decide Something.
2 Do Something.
3 Learn Something.
4 Re-do Something.
5 Repeat.

As one of my favorite T-Shirts says, Bad Decisions Make Good Stories. I do seem to generate a lot of material, come to think of it.
Being the ready, fire, aim sort generally works for me, except when it comes to left and right. When I must decide between left or right, I choose wrong. Every. Single. Time.

My brain has scrambled left and right for my entire life. My brain thinks “left” and I veer “right.” Without hesitation. Without question. And with great determination. Never thinking that I might be wrong…again. My internal GPS is not to be trusted. Ever.

I head the wrong direction, chin up, with great enthusiasm at warp speed. Building up momentum, I am rudely surprised, shocked even, when it dawns on me that I might just have made another mistake. I descend into denial. “I surely couldn’t be wrong this time.” Could I?”

Depending upon who is with me or who is watching me, this can be very funny stuff. Or it can be annoying. Or a little bit of both. Like the time I got lost in Central Park on a rented bicycle without my phone. Or my credit card. Or cash. After claiming a park bench and planting myself on it, I was saved by the kindest, cutest rickshaw driver.

Is there a point to my little confession?

Why, yes. There is.
What happens when right isn’t right for you?
When you discover that you’re once again heading off in the wrong
Do you keep going, build up momentum, and hope for the best? Or, do you recalibrate? How natural, how easy, is it for you to pivot? To change directions?
What does GPS have to teach us about re-grouping? About returning to or getting on the right path?

Life is full of dead ends, abysses, and glorious adventures.

You make up your mind. You take off. Then things get murky and messed up. Do you stay the course, letting your need to be right send you careening into the abyss? Or, do you lighten up a bit, remember your intended destination and hit refresh?

Can we learn to make peace with our infallibility? What if recognizing & owning our imperfection opens up a whole new field of possibility?

Discuss amongst yourself. Go!

Growing through Grief

Posted on 9/20/2023

Our sweet cat, Gabby, died a couple of weeks ago. My head knows it is for the best. My heart begs to differ.

Gabby came to us 13 years ago as an abandoned, terrified, kitten. We shared our space with her and she shared her grace with us.

Along with her allure and regal presence, she was a drama queen. Any time Ralphie, the companion cat, looked at her the wrong way, she would melt down. Howl loudly and mournfully. To be fair, Ralphie made it a point to look at her the wrong way at least once a day.

Never thought I would miss the cat drama, but I do. I miss everything about her.

I tell myself to be grateful.
Grateful that we are not grieving the loss of a human family member or friend.
Grateful that we got to hang out with her for all those years.
Grateful that she did not seem to mind that she was slipping away.
But sad is sad. And, I am feeling sad.

Several friends and family members are grieving the loss of a loved one.
And, I am not comparing my loss to theirs, by any means. I am grateful for
all that they are teaching me about grief. Because of their grace and generosity, I find myself asking questions like “how might we grow through grief?”

Here’s what I’ve figured out so far:
Grieving is not an event. Grief does not have a start date or an end date.
There are no boxes to check.
There are just endings.
And beginnings.
And, somehow, some way we just keep going. We Just Keep Growing.

Shanah Tovah, Happy New Year

Posted on 9/13/2023

My husband, Hank, is 99.9% percent Jewish according to his DNA results. That’s
pretty darned Jewish, I’d say. This fact means that we get to observe several
Jewish holidays throughout the year, in addition to the Christian holidays.
Rosh Hashana (The Jewish New Year, 5783) comes this week, just as summer gives
way to fall. Back to school. Back to work. Back to whatever. Whatever is normal
for us.
Rosh Hashana begins on Friday, September 15, at sunset. It’s a time for new
beginnings, for wiping the slate clean and starting over from scratch. Jews say
prayers and listen to readings that celebrate the creation of the world and of
human life.
Rosh Hashanah is about atoning and completing the past year. It is about
preparing for the coming year. It’s a time of intense reflection & taking stock.
What does Rosh Hashana have to teach us about Just Keep Growing?
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the pre-eminent Biblical & Talmudic scholar & former Chief
Rabbi of the UK, challenges us to use this time of contemplation to uncover and
acknowledge our flaws, our faults, our failings. To grow through our weaknesses
and to grow from them. To use our flaws as a platform, a jumping off place to
connect with our gifts rather than being overwhelmed by our shortcomings
I don’t know about you but I have more than a few faults and failings to account
for. Acknowledging and owning my shortcomings and disappointments rather
than allowing them to define me will keep me busy for the next few days.

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Rabbi Sacks reminds us that we are each capable of great good. He challenges us
to “do the good that we must, that we should, and that we can.”
May you have the courage to break the patterns in your life that are no longer
serving you & move in a direction that allows you to use your gifts to contribute to
your family, your community, & potentially all of humanity.
Shana Tova. A good, safe, healthy and sweet New Year to you and your family and
to the Jewish people throughout the world.
Love, Jeanne

Endings, Beginnings, Good Job

Labor Day marks the end of one season and the beginning of another. The transition from summer to fall. The holiday’s origin stems from the late 1800s when labor activists wanted a federal holiday to recognize workers’ contributions to the country.
So, Labor Day was meant as a day of gratitude. A bit like Thanksgiving, but different. A day to appreciate and to thank those whose jobs and contributions we depend upon to keep us
going…keep us growing.
My Dad was tuned in to the smallest of actions and attitudes from people who worked for him or with him. He made it a point to let them know that he noticed. That he appreciated their efforts. This applied to his family, as well. I was raised on generous helpings of “Good Job. Jeanne. Nice work.”
A couple of days before Dad passed, my folks’ car broke down on their way home from one of his life sustaining, diabolical dialysis treatments.
My folks were rescued from an unbearable August heatwave by the local police. Safe at home, Dad insisted they write the police department a proper thank- you letter. And, that’s exactly what Mom did a few days after his funeral.
Labor Day reminds us that we are surrounded and supported by workers who make it possible for us to “live long and prosper.”

Labor Day means more than just the end of another summer. It reminds us to be thankful for all workers and all service providers. Be on the look out for folks to appreciate. They will appreciate being appreciated. And, we will all “just keep growing” toward the light of specific and sincere gratitude.