In Sarasota, Florida for tennis camp! I come here every year with two great girlfriends for a week of tennis, biking, stone crabs, and the beach. The week is all about health and friends, though of course I have to do some work as well while here. But all is good in balance!
The trip was much needed as the past few weeks have flown by in a whirlwind of work travel and meetings; playing catch-up on bills and projects and just getting over a terrible cold. When I was leaving Ghana last, I was missing Health. And I still didn’t have much of a chance to get back on track once I got back to the U.S. since I got hit with a repeat of the bad cold I had in January. No Bar Method, no spin, no nothing. So coming to Florida was a much needed kickstart on Health. Continue reading →
On route back to the U.S. Things ended well in Ghana, once I learned to let go of my own expectations. I found that when I started each morning with a “let’s just see what happens” attitude, I was always pleasantly surprised.
Case in point.
I found myself chatting with the Vice President of Ghana for a good bit about my ideas for partnering U.S. hospitals with African countries. Never planned on that …
Me with Ghana’s Vice President H.E. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur at the American Chamber of Commerce 2014 Summit, Accra – Ghana.
I also realized that even though I was super busy, balancing highs and low, I had pockets of down time/quiet time and during those moments and realized I had ennui. My life for the past few weeks has been completely focused on Work and excluded almost everything else, but most importantly, Heart and Health.
I’m looking forward to getting back to the U.S. to refocus a bit and re-balance. Continue reading →
Days here in Ghana tend to see-saw, one day can be a super high and the next a super low. It could just be that coming off a high day is never going to give way to another great day, but I hit a low day on Friday.
I’d been looking forward to seeing this organic fruit farm, but when we got there after an hour and a half drive, it was a disappointing meeting. The guys running the place were uninspiring and seemed standoffish – not interested in showing us around. Of course, if you don’t feel welcome somewhere, instinct is to back-peddle right out. We salvaged some of the meeting/trip, but overall it was hot, dusty experience for naught.
Then everything became a challenge for the rest of the day. Every meeting we tried to confirm became questionable. Every call me made was met with silence. It just turned into “one of those days”… Continue reading →
So I have a driver that I use when I’m in Accra. He’s great because he’s always on time and knows all the shortcuts so we avoid lots of traffic which is a huge thing in Ghana. Today he picked me up to take me to a meeting with someone who works for the Ministry of Health. An 11:30 departure turned into 12:00 when the person I was going with arrived late. Then, instead of heading to the Ministries which was a mere 10 minute drive away, we headed to the highway and out to a place called Adenta or Abraka or something like that – but basically, nowhere, Ghana. An hour later, when we got to where this MOH consultant was supposed to meet us, he wasn’t there. No idea how such miscommunication happened, but we were then supposed to meet him back at the Ministries instead. Sigh. So another hour back to where we started …
When we go to the office, we proceeded to wait a solid two hours. Yes, it took everything in me not to jump up after the first 10 minutes and head back to the hotel. But I thought, “Be chill. Take the high road. It’s Africa. Nothing is ever what it’s supposed to be…” Eventually, he showed and we had a 20 minute meeting. Who knows, maybe it will amount to something (for a future post). Continue reading →
I’ve been sick this entire past week, starting with the sneezing and runny nose and culminating yesterday by losing my voice and then coughing all night. The problem is that I’m in the Congo, Kinshasa to be exact. Though it’s a capital city, I’m not highly confident on the cough and cold medicines they offer. Plus, my French is nowhere near good enough to make my way around town and ask for what I need. Wait, I’m a little surprised that I just wrote that. I’m much more adventurous than this. I can figure out how to ask for the medicine I need in French, and certainly how to ask where the pharmacy is “Ou est le pharmacie?” Not so tough and I know I have a good French accent.
But here I am.
I was so tired this morning that I cancelled my one-hour walking tour of Kinshasa. I’ve been here a few times, but never really saw anything of the city. Now it is sweltering outside with the midday sun, so I suppose the tour will have to wait until I am back in June. At least there will be another time… Continue reading →
I did a final walk-through before walking out of my NYC apartment for the last time in my life this morning. Boxes everywhere. The bed still looked like mine, as did the blue couch and the dining table – though even the dining table was actually smaller than I normally kept it since my broker thought it showed better that way.
I know it’s time for me to go. My 9 years living in this particular apartment that truly was mine by ownership would now pass on to the next owners. And I suddenly had this sense, as if I could see through the dull, dead eyes of the walls of the apartment and the building, that it didn’t really care. It was fulfilling its purpose in this world, in this universe. Now I need to go and fulfill mine. But I still felt a sense of panic. I felt sad. I felt regret for the relationships that had lived and breathed with me surrounded by those walls, but had subsequently died.
I cried a little and still feel a bit like crying now. I was walking out of the apartment, but also walking out of NYC, a city I’d made my home for the past 18 years. I don’t have anything incredibly poignant to say about NYC – of course, I loved the biking and I learned a lot spending so much of my life navigating the city streets, but I’m also really happy to go. Maybe it’s the ongoing construction that plagues NYC and makes it nearly impossible to work from home in any sort of peaceful state of mind… Yes, that’s it. That will be the only bad thing I will say about my NYC, because one day, maybe I will come back.
1. Watch the past as it becomes the past. I could see the keys in my hand for the last and final time. Riding the elevator. The big heavy entryway door gliding shut behind me. There was such a sense of finality to each last action.
2. Look to the future. I’m about to board a 16 hour flight to South Africa and then catch a connection to the Congo. Is this my life? I’m so glad it is, because it is exciting. Truly. In Africa, I can feel change happening under my feet and beneath my fingers. I’m going to be a real part of things and I want to be present for every single moment.
It’s okay to say good-bye.
Last quick shot of the front of my now “old” building.
Theme for the past few days: self-expression. My friend Ali in Denver actually suggested the topic and it’s right on. Here’s a few of the inspiring images around me:
Recycled flip-flop bangles made by women in Mali, West Africa. I bought 5 of them in a store in Denver.
Not sure what’s going on here-actually a little creepy, but talk about freedom of self-expression!
Nature expressing itself – sunset in Denver.
Several years ago, after a very bad breakup, I signed up for a simple sketching class at Cooper Union. The school was right in my old neighborhood. So when I would find myself on Wednesday nights, immobile from sadness, I would walk the five minutes and settle onto my stool. I unpacked my supplies: sketchbook, charcoals, pastels, and pencils. Three hours passed by fluidly, as I intently sketched an apple-noticing how many colors there were besides the obvious red – purple, yellow, orange, green, even black. It may seem like a waste of time to many people, but for me it was three hours where my mind was completely quiet and still. I left the class more peaceful, more rested. Continue reading →
I’ve actually been having a hard time updating Got Ennui? since the new year started. I love GE? and how it allows me to document my personal and professional journey while keeping a focus on living life in balance. I always have ideas for what I want to write about, but it’s just having the time to do it. GE? needs to have a more fluid process and role in my life, especially as my days really shift to being on the road more often. Continue reading →
I started this New Year’s morning listening to a meditation. My friend Ali introduced them to me – these 20-minute Deepak Chopra meditations that I was skeptical about at first. But as part of an effort to be willing to try new things, I gave it a shot and actually found I enjoy them and that after even 20-minutes, I open my eyes, more focused.
When I was a little kid, growing up in Parsippany, New Jersey, my mom and I always went to Kmart. I remember walking in and seeing the flashing blue lights, not knowing what a Blue Light special was until I was much older. I watched my mom disappear into the store to do the shopping for our family.
I headed off in my own direction, towards the aisle that had a display of books. This is where I discovered Trixie Belden, the fictional young girl detective living and breathing somewhere in the state of New York. I sat on the linoleum floor and read as much as I could before my mom found me and ushered me home to our apartment on Baldwin Road across from the high school.
Now all 39 of the Trixie Belden books have been collected and saved in my parent’s basement.