Reflections from a blizzard on a bus

Hello Friends!

Well, it’s an adventure! I am just over 7 hours in to a 2.5 hour trip from Albany to NYC (pretty much parked in Mahwah for the last 2+ hours) thru the wacky winter storm of November 15th. If this isn’t a time to do a little reflecting, I sure don’t know what it is!

I find myself turning back to my theme of “thanksgiving & lists” – and here are the two at the top of my mind, as we slog our way thru a wild, winter scene creeping along Rt 17  – just in New Jersey (formatting a little tough on the phone, sorry):

1. Gratitude List for the million little  – this is the daily list of tiny moments when I find myself saying “thank you” to whatever power makes things unfold, every day, as they do. Whether we call it God, the Universe, or magical unicorns, I totally believe that there is something that makes it all happen – and I feel compelled to express my appreciation for each and every little detail that makes my day brighter, happier, more fun, fulfilling, productive, beautiful, memorable, joyful, meaningful or just more!

A sample of today’s list –

* my super comfy, warm, winter-ready, fuzzy-lines, super grippy new slip on shoes – arrived just in time for this crazy weather, thanks to a random Facebook ad.

* choosing comfortable clothes for this marathon bus trip

* getting my window seat, a good seat mate, a (so far) calm set of fellow passengers, and a super competent, confident & chill bus driver on a day he will never forget

* the good news that Meg & Addie landed safely at LGA after a super early start & looong day of travel

* the good news that my friend Jennifer had a good meeting with her surgeon & now has a positive plan to repair & recover from her Breeders Cup injury

* the good news that my friend, Kim, had an easy 3rd chemo treatment, 1/4 of the way done & rocking her awesome lavender hair.

* knowing that two of my besties, Kendra & Rebecca, were together on a snowy day in Old Town – hoping they might have enjoyed a beautiful Misha’s latte

* ok, I won’t bore you with more, but I wholeheartedly encourage the practice of making this list – constantly – in your head and simply uttering the word “thank you” for each little gift of goodness. It’s amazing how quickly they add up!


2. The ways in which people, in my opinion, fall into one of two “types” or at least at clear sides of normative curve. This is an excercise I find fun, fascinating and endlessly interesting to undertake. I guess it’s my “Kim’s take on sociology” and I find this little matrix incredibly helpful in a world made of relationships among an extraordinarily diverse humans. (I’ll come back & add to this for a long time – and would love to hear other filters you find helpful & telling!)

When I find myself talking to younger folks, this is one of my favorite perspectives to impart – that figuring out where someone falls on the spectrum of these characteristics can provide a roadmap to navigating & working with (and living with) lots of colorful characters more harmoniously.

And, of course, the underscore to all of this is to firstly “know thyself” – and just because you land on one side, does not make that the “right” side. 🙂 But, then again, I am totally a “see everyone’s point of view person”. It’s a little easier for me to say this.

* Black & White (Maven) or Shades of Grey (Magpie)

* Timely or No Sense of Time

* Phone or Email/text

* Scheduled or Unscheduled – especially with phone calls, good to figure out with friends & colleagues

* Text or Email – although really, who likes email at all any more?

* Homebody or Adventurer

* Hate to wait or Hate to rush – the airport test (some people can’t bear to waste an extra moment at the airport and feel that getting there early is a waste of time, others – Magpie – hate the stress of rushing and are happy as a clam with time at the gate to chill before boarding)

* Need to drive (Maven!) or Prefer to be the passenger (Magpie)

* Planner of events or Always glad to jump in

* First reply to doing/going/meeting/eating something new: Yes! Or Let’s investigate

* Early Bird or Night Owl – true test, is a sunrise worth getting up for

* Coffee or No Coffee

* Always eat order the same thing at restaurant or Always try something new

* Beer or Wine

* Coke products or Pepsi products

* Bubbles or No Bubbles

* Stinky cheese or Not stinky – yes, I am kind of hungry 🙂

* Travel preference – exploit or explore

* Spicy/weird food or Traditional faves

* It takes a village or I am a lone wolf

* Games (card, Board etc) or Not Games

* Individual sport or Team sport

* Camper or Not Camper

* Chocolate or Fruity (candy, desserts)

* Ok, just because I am kind of trapped, does not mean I have to bore you all to pieces with this one list, but it is a pretty fun way to distill all those people lessons we’ve all learned through our various trips around the sun.  Please share yours!

So, rather than break WordPress with this megapost (I probably have plenty of time to write another!), I will sign off for now with a really exciting photos from my “night on the bus”.

I know I’ll get to my destination in the Big Apple eventually, hopefully before the sun comes up, and tomorrow will be an awesomely super fun day in the Big City with Meg & Addie – with stories to tell! Wooo hooo!!



View from the bus…Sloatsburg





The Season for Thanksgiving – and lists!

Hello Friends!

In a flash, the leaves have changed, Autumn has come and (nearly) gone, and our first flakes of Winter have fallen (and melted). See photos below – all taken within an 24 hour period on Friday into Saturday. Wow.  Winter is coming!

Refraining from the recap of what we’ve been up to, I’d point the interested follower to #mavenandmagpie and @ThoroughbredRetirement on instagram for the highlights of our somewhat epic horse-filled journey to the Bluegrass Commonwealth (one of 5 in our United States… can you name them all?).  Instead,  tonight, I’m intent on a bit of introspection as the season of giving thanks is upon us and we, the Maven & the Magpie, have an extraordinary list of things to be thankful for.  Handily enough, it’s also a great season for lists!

I love lists! 

In order to jump-start a bit more frequent posting over the next few weeks, I’m going to just share one of my favorite lists with this post, in hopes that it might be interesting for folks out there in blog-land to consider. My intent is to share a few others over the days ahead. We’ll see.. I might need to make a list of lists. 🙂

One of my absolute favorite lists is the list of every person who has made an impact on my life… starting from the very beginning, like the first people who visited me in the hospital, that kind of beginning.  Yep, it’s a biggie. This is one which I call upon regularly when I’m in my jogging routine (which I call shogging = jogging just enough to make everything shake), I don’t write this down – I write the list in my head, as a sort of meditation crossed with a memory exercise.  Do not fear, I promise that I won’t go through the exercise now… but I have to tell you, it’s an awesome project if you want to engage your brain for a significant amount of time.  It’s one that will easily  make the minutes tick by while you’re out there huffing & puffing and/or otherwise trying to keep your mind off your woes.

I find it a fascinating to track the mind’s patterns. Sort of like HQ, it starts easy and then suddenly becomes pretty hard. I always start chronologically and it’s pretty easy when you’re working from your 0-8ish year old days, as there just weren’t that many people you remember.  However, as you get to a certain age… for me it’s about 11, it’s like your life just expontentially expands – in terms of peers you remember and adults who began to influence you, far beyond the family & friends of your parents.

I find there are three main challenges (which keep it interesting):

  • staying with a certain branch of the “thought tree” before jumping to another branch (always afraid I’m going to forget someone you have to sort of “stick a pin in them” to hold them, while staying on your branch);
  • acknowledging that you’re not really trying to list every single person you have met, but focusing on those who made an impact on you (often proven by remaining in your life, but not always);
  • making silent apologies to those folks you’ve remembered, but not added to the list, because – quite simply, they didn’t help you become who you are.

The good news is that this isn’t homework you have to turn in, so no one will know when you’ve momentarily forgotten someone super important. It totally happens! However, it seems to me that once you set this train rolling in your brain, those people will pop back into your mind, along with their words, their stories, the places you spent time together, meals you ate, adventures you shared… even if it’s long after you have had to cut short the exercise (for me usually, my watch tells me I can stop the shogging).

Throughout the whole exercise, I find myself saying a heartfelt “thank you”.  Thank you for making me the person I am today. Without you entering my life at that time, in that place, with that lesson… I would be a different person.  It’s amazing what malleable clay we are, so molded by the hands of those we’ve spent time with – sometimes by design, but so much more often by sheer “accident of the universe”.  It’s simply amazing.

At this time of Thanksgiving, I’m humbly and profoundly thankful for each and every person who has given me the gift of their presence in my life – for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime.

Including each of you!



Mookie’s doppleganger spotted on my way to work on Friday.
Spectacular red tree on Friday AM
My artistic take on red leaves
Same day, 5:30pm – winter has arrived (briefly)
A preview of our Christmas card – on Nov 9th.
Back to Fall on Saturday AM – walking to Farmer’s market
We’ll miss all this color when it’s gone!