On Bringing the Darkness into the Light

“Todd: Sit down for this. (Her 12-year old son) tried to kill himself on Wed. night by taking a bunch of pills. I found out about it because he posted a suicide letter on Instagram and thankfully someone told their parents.” That’s the start of the email I received from my friend over the weekend. …

On Gratitude, Friends and Faith in Humanity

A leading inspirational Facebook page, one that I regularly check out, recently posted a link with a headline of something like “26 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity.” And even though the picture associated with the link looked uplifting, I didn’t click on it. Why? Because I don’t need my faith in humanity …

On 2014: The Year of Trusting Myself

I started writing annual mission statements for myself a couple of years ago. 2011 was “The Year of Letting Go,” 2012: “The Year of the Experience” and last year was dedicated to “The Year of One Thing.” I’ve been pretty good about my 2013 and 2012 intentions and because we all know that “letting go” …

On the Sea of Cortez

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. William G.T. Shedd I’ve failed to write about my experiences with Swim Cortez for several days. I’ve watched the cursor blink. I’ve even counted the number of blinks per second—a residual effect of counting swim strokes hour after hour. It should be …

On Art, Fear, the Sea of Cortez and A Day Well Lived

I have a friend who is involved in the independent art world. Over the years he has supported many self-described “starving artists” whose dedication to their dreams has inspired him to write checks, host fundraisers and promote their craft. When I told him that I was going to sponsor “some guy’s attempt to swim across …

On Obituaries, Finding Purpose and Letting Go

Quite a few of the books I’ve read about “finding purpose” suggest writing your obituary. The thinking is that obits capture the very best of what we’d want said about ourselves. They showcase the highlights of a life well lived and the elements that make up that life: family, career, travel, charity work, whatever. So, …

On the Danger of Technology and Future-Tripping Conversations

On Monday afternoon, while sitting in a hotel room on the second leg of a nearly weeklong business trip, I received a phone call. I won’t go into details about whom it was from or what it was about, but suffice to say the news wasn’t good. In fact, it was the kind of call …

On Reflection and the Seemingly Unbearable Being of Happiness

Best-selling author, AJ Jacobs, once wrote that he was Jewish the same way Olive Garden is Italian. In other words, there might be hints of the traditions, but the ingredients for the old world depth and history were missing. Olive Garden is “spiritually” Italian. And, like AJ, I consider myself a spiritual Jew. And while …

On Zirkel’s Redemption, Give or Take

As I waited for Jeff to pick me up outside baggage claim at the Denver airport, I imagined my reaction to seeing his lifted, cardinal Toyota 4Runner was similar to what my dog feels when I grab the leash: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy we’re going on an adventure! With one big difference: Jeff’s …

On the Prelude to a Backcountry Trek

(NOTE: My thoughts on my trek through the Zirkel Wilderness are coming, but I wrote this post on the plane to Colorado.)   I’ve never started the review of my now annual backcountry trek before the actual trek, but here I am on the plane to Colorado, severely hopped up on coffee following my usual …