Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow Day

I didn't grow up seeing the seasons change. It was always sunny. Always green. Always the same 350-355 days of the year. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I moved my family 2800 miles and two zones away from SoCal and the extended family and lifelong friends. It was the most difficult decision I ever had to make up until that time of my life. But I had to do it, as the advertising business in Los Angeles was beginning to wither. Jobs were tough. And I was going to work for a world class advertising agency and with some extremely talented people.

When we landed in Northern Virginia, the kids were unusually quiet. And cold. They were wearing shorts and playing outside on Christmas only 5 days ago. I think they were in shock. I tried my best to point out how great this move was going to be. They weren't buying it. They were telling Teresa they just wanted to go back home. Teresa was trying her best, but she wanted to go back. I had been traveling the country for 16 months, freelancing to pay the mortgage. I also paid the price of not seeing my kids enough, as I would be gone 2 weeks at a time every now and then.

We had a little celebration at the hotel we were staying in, a suite that had a loft and a basketball court right outside our door. (We would have to stay here for a week before we could move into our house and all our stuff was still being driven across the country). Fred, Karol, Norman, Kris and Tara joined the 6 of us. I remember hearing my kids laugh, seeming to forget they had been dragged into another time zone. Teresa and Karol were having an adult beverage. We can do this.

It's the little things that change for you when you have and survive cancer. I know I keep posting that over and over again. But it's so amazingly true. The first smell of Spring. The cool night air of an early Fall night. (The only "season" smells of change were, unfortunately, fire season). The first snowfall, today. Ryan had a boyish grin and lilt in his voice. Kaity called and said how beautiful it is looking out her front room window. Teresa loved the picture I sent her via cell phone––we couldn't do that before we got here––and was somewhat jealous that she was missing 3-5 inches of snow. And she's in Los Angeles with Travis right now.

What a snow day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanks For The Time

Seems lately I've been abusing my time. Too much to do––most of it by me having a problem with saying "no"––and not enough wiggle room for errors, unexpected events and life in general.

I was talking to John Bell, Ogilvy 360 DI's Grand Pubah, about this very thing last night. John is all over the world, most of the time. So that means he criss-crosses many time zones. And for those of you who think traveling is glamorous and so much fun, think about having to travel at least once a week all year round. Which always makes me think of this––if you travel all the time, is you ideal vacation actually a staycation?

Anyway, Tuesday truly was Time Day. It took 20 minutes to get my car out of the parking garage. I sat in a 30 minute meeting that should have taken 10 minutes. I left the office @ 7:20 pm and got home at 8:46 pm. Plus I had my usual time discussion with my Dad, who always thinks time goes by too fast especially when I remind him I've lived away from Los Angeles for 15 years now.

So when Thanksgiving came and went and I was getting my game face on for Monday morning, I stopped and went outside for 5 minutes. I looked at the million leaves still in my backyard. I laid down on my hammock for a minute or two. I petted my dogs. I thanked my higher power for allowing me to be here, at that moment, to enjoy the simple things in life we take for granted and never take the time to savor. I thanked God for giving me the strength to beat cancer. It's been 2 years since my last treatment. Two very special years. An extension on life.

I'll take that any time.