Friday, June 26, 2015


I cannot be blind to the momentous history happening today - the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the recognition of gay marriage throughout the United States.

Watching the coverage of the celebration in DC, Jim Obergefell spoke with the President and mentioned that his husband was not with him. That's the whole point of the case, actually; his husband died 20 months ago and Obergefell wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on the death certificate.

Many people have been told no at a government office before - getting a driver's license, applying for a housing permit or trying to get a license for a small business - for a host of reasons, which include controversial topics. That's not my point today, though.

Instead, it's the perseverance of the denied. Lots of people would try once or twice and give up, assuming continued failure. My husband reminded my daughter and me of that which separated the ordinary from the extraordinary - the invention of the lightbulb.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
Thomas A. Edison

My small inspiration was this morning during spin class. The regular instructor was interviewing a prospective teacher by having her do the first half of the hour class. Every teacher has a different style, playlist and drills.

I liked this one - she played Paradise City by Guns'n'Roses for one of the drills. It was a set of quick in-and-out-of-the-saddle intervals that were incredibly tough for me. When it ended, I was huffing and puffing. Since it was her last song of the "interview," she got down and started the mid-class water refill.

When she got to me, she said "You were awesome." I demurred, "I'm terrible at this." "No, you were doing really well and I could see that I was connecting with you and inspiring you. And I needed that, so that I could go on."

The smallest acts of perseverance can mean a lot, not just for you. Believe me, I'm not equating me challenging myself during spin class to solving societal problems. I am trying to use my little success to overcome that voice in my head saying I'm too weak and I won't make it, though.

When you want to give up, try once more. Whether you make a difference for one, or for many, like Jim Obergefell, a grieving widower, try just a little harder. You could make somebody's day, their week, or their lifetime.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Type A- Traveler

That dash is a minus.

I am pretty laidback when it comes to traveling. Ask my stepfather. When I traveled for business, domestically, I'd arrive an hour before the parking lot. International, maybe an hour and a half?

I'd be lying if I said there'd never been a freakout moment of being late. The time we left our garment bag on the parking lot shuttle...I was standing in the security line while Luke chased it down. Lil was a toddler - maybe 3? I envisioned myself flying to Puerto Rico all alone with my daughter (BWI only had one flight per day) and getting on a seven day cruise, playing the slots with one hand and holding Lil's hand with the other. (Joking - kids, not allowed in casinos. Serious  - real problem on ships that depart Puerto Rico.) Alas, Luke jumped into the airplane as they were closing the door.

"You made it! Where's the garment bag?"

"Couldn't get it."


"K, you're looking at this the wrong way. When we get to Puerto Rico, we'll go shopping. I'll rent a tux on board the ship. This is an opportunity."

Hmm. We went to Macy's, I had coupons and I found cheap, but pretty new dresses. Score!

Three weeks ago, I was not that placid. For a few hours, I was in a plane flying to Seattle, Luke was in New York and Lil was at school. In the aftermath of the Amtrak tragedy, as we discussed plans for backup, he was very relaxed.

"If I'm late or there's a problem, I'll call your parents. We'll let them know it's a possibility."

"Great idea. Except that I'm going to be WITH my parents on the PLANE."

"Oh, right."

I relived this today when I ran into a friend at the gym and she asked how everything had went.

"Kinda badly, but he didn't tell me until we met for lunch in Vancouver before getting on the ship."

Their puddle jumper got pulled for maintenance AFTER going from Baltimore to Newark and they had seconds to spare at Toronto for the connection and went to the wrong hotel. I am SO glad I did not know any of this.

But they made it and we had an awesome Alaskan cruise...partly because of the odd weather they're having...but that's another discussion. :)