Americans don't know
if they have enough for retirement."
~ John Hancock Insurance commercial
Yesterday, our office
had the first of our quarterly meetings for 2002. It was not only
worth holding and attending, seeing everyone in attendance was
great! (Our last two all-office gatherings have had a person or two
Since participation in
the retirement fund is strictly voluntary, benefiting the
participants while costing the office, a requirement for its
participation is voluntary attendance at the quarterly
meetings. No presence, no participation. Simple as
It appears from the
perfect attendance, that none of us want to be BABOONS (baby boomers
with no savings), bag ladies or men, or forever SITCOMS (single
income, two (or more) children, oppressive
Cia, our mighty and wise
office manager, was in charge of the meeting, and everything went smoothly
and on a timely fashion.
The agenda included four
Maximizing office efficiency and opportunities for growth, as
well general office concerns.
Compliance with standards.
Me: Working as
a team to afford and maintain a successfully funded retirement
Jenn, Lar, Jus and
Me: Reviewing our individual client education, Q&A,
Now that may all sound
pretty boring, but believe it or not, it wasn't. I was very
interested to hear the different presentations, as well as listen to
the expressed cohesiveness of our ideas on ethical issues and the
importance of client education.
After the meeting, Jenn
poked her head into my office, saying: ""I know you
haven't had lunch, so I won't take up any of your time, I just
wanted to say thank you for what you're doing for me and to say
"Hi." I know you haven't had a chance to have lunch
yet, and there's not
much time left for you to get one, so may I arrange to get together
during one of your administrative hours?"
"Sure, and I can't
wait to see you, again," I said, and meant it with all my
I have dearly missed
working with Jenn as we once did. Since her
boys' arrivals, we've been working different days. While
she was busy tending to her newborn, we were greatly missing her.
Now that she's back, we appreciate her, more than ever.
Absence, in this case,
made our hearts grow fonder.
I miss Jenn's humble,
gentle ways, her innate sweetness and softness, and the times we'd
spend together problem-solving, and consulting with each
other. I miss her professionalism, our camaraderie, and our
When in Jenn's calming
presence, I feel at ease and comfortable. She
possesses a grateful heart, and she is a generously giving
person. She doesn't have "edges," nor is she mopey
or moody. Easygoing and with a happy disposition, Jenn is easy to
be with, as there is no tension, undercurrents, mixed messages,
passive-aggressive comments and revealing body language. I do not
have to be on my guard.
Most of all, I
appreciate that she is considerate enough not to subject me to monku-ing.
She knows I get enough of that, as it is the nature of my job to put
out fires, smooth ruffled feathers, bail the "greenies"
out of trouble, and deal with the most difficult cases. These
"duties" come with seniority. Considerate, she doesn't
give me guff, nor does she dump reactive thoughts on my lap.
As it was, a
black-and-white, high contrast situation presented itself the moment
she left, and I barely managed to get lunch, downing only half my
sandwich and a cup of coffee before running off to meet the next
I am reminded of every
smart person's need to comply with basic rules:
yourself with good, positive people."
Like attracts like.
'Tis not wise to
kill the goose who lays the golden egg or bite the hand that
In reflection, I believe
this situation became a turning point, and I am grateful for it, as
I feel like I am seeing the situation with clarity and I am ready to
love to be taken by the lapel and told,
"I'm with you, kid. Let's go."
~ Maya Angelou
Someone once asked me if
I miss having kids. I had to honestly say,
"No." Over the last 18 years, many of the
"kids" that come to our office have become in many, many
ways, "my kids."
I am completely
satisfied. "My kids" have done well in life, and
after all these years, we have regularly visited, building
"forever, happy heart" bonds.
One of them came in
today. I've known Kary* since she was a kid, and I am so proud
of her. Like me, she is the middle child. And like me, the
middle daughter of three daughters. That birth position is a
challenging one, but it has ultimately benefited her.
She is now Dr. Kary.
And these days, she takes care of "her kids."
The best surprise is
that she is going to be married this August to John. They
worked together at the hospital, and she feels that they were
brought together by an angel friend, a mutual friend who died from a
rare immune-deficiency disease.
Kary asked if we, DH and
I, would give the blessing. I was so taken by surprise, I
sputtered, "Of course, we would be so honored to do so!"
Her face revealed total
elation, and she replied, "No, you truly honor us by being
Her entire family comes
to our office as friends and clients, including her parents, her
aunt (who is now a Reiki practitioner) and uncle, as well as her
brothers-in law. Her folks have Maui roots and know our
Lahaina relatives, the Morikawas. Our families go way back. She says
her wedding will a combination of Hawaiian, Japanese and Western
traditions, so we know this is going to be great fun.
She made sure that I
knew that Darrell* would be there. Darrell is her cousin, also
with Maui roots, who, years ago, came to talk to me about my
professional field. He is now Dr. Darrell.
"His parents have
since moved back to Hawai`i, so he's up there all by
himself." Well, Darrell must be very loved by his
extended family down here, as every time any of them comes in, they
network on his behalf and I am told a little bit more about
Just last week, Kary's
sister, Kirstie* made sure to tell me, "Darrell wants you to
know he still wants to work here, even if he's in Seattle. You're
This visit, Kary went in
great depth how special Darrell is. His parents, she said, are
"cool" parents. She said, "They sat Darrell and his
sister down and told them they were each given a nest egg of X funds
for their college education. It would be up to them to make
their decisions and manage their nest egg as they saw
Darrell got into the top
schools and chose Berkeley, because after one year, he was paying
in-state tuition, thus conserving his nest egg funds. Instead of
blowing his money on a new car, he bought a used car, restored it
and maintains it himself, keeping it in tip-top shape.
After eight years of college, he had conserved and managed his nest egg
so well, that he was able to graduate debt-free AND was able
to put a down payment on a house with what was left
As we say in Hawai`i, he
is very akamai (smart, savvy) with his money and (like DH and me)
have never had to ask his parents for an extra dime. He stands
on his own two feet.
Someone after my own
* Names have been
"Life is a Gift."
P.S. If you would
like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to
this journal entry, you may do it here.
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
| what | archives