Are Toxic People Ruining Your Life?
Lessons from Tomato Worms

For years you’ve been quietly planting the seeds for your successful retirement. You’ve thought about what you want to do, organized your finances, and planned your exit strategy for work. For years you’ve regularly watered and fed your dreams. The more you downshift, the more you see things taking shape. It’s an effort, but you’re making progress. You feel good about yourself and what you’re doing.

One day something happens. You’re out to lunch with an old friend or having an innocent phone conversation when someone nibbles on your enthusiasm. They inch their way along the branches of your confidence. The hornworm may tell you stories of others who downshifted and had horrible experiences…they got sick, lost all their money in an economic downturn, fell and broke something…the horror stories can be endless.

Before you know it, you’re lying in bed at night and second guessing your downshifting plans... Read more (pdf)

Your Legacy in One Sentence a Day

One day, Sue, a long-time neighbor and I were talking. Sue’s in her early 70’s and has had quite a life. She has great stories and I love hearing them. Over a couple glasses of wine, we laughed about things going on in her life and in mine. Then, seemingly out of the blue, Sue said, “someday you’re going to look back and remember what an interesting life you’ve lived.” HUH?

I must have gotten a funny look on my face, maybe it was a puzzled look. I was recovering from a torn rotator cuff repair, still wearing a sling and still sleeping in a recliner. The night before the surgery, the clothes washer overflowed and flooded into the living room below. The walls and ceiling had been removed to prevent mold and hadn’t yet been replaced.

At the same time, I’d just met artist Jamie Wyeth, a long-time celebrity crush. Also, I’d recently interviewed Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island) along with many other interesting women.

Like most women – probably you too – I think of my life is just regular, with normal ups and downs... Read more (pdf)