Better Next Time & Eternal Reoccurrence 

As difficult as this period has been it is not without its gifts and merits. It has taught me how loved we really are, prior to this, I had no idea. It has also taught me how to love more fully, be truly grateful for what remains, and to be thankful for everything life has given me.  

It has also been a golden opportunity to strengthen my faith in God, and all things good.  And to believe that life is beautiful no matter what happens. 

This is the nucleus of the book, Night, written by Elie Wiesel about his experience in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945. 

I’ve not been to Auschwitz, but I have been to Dachau outside of Munich, it’s worth the trip, as it is something you will never forget. 

Human suffering is nothing new, but it is how we approach it that makes all the difference. 

As, I’ve written, I’ve had incidents, even recently, that would have tested my strength, leaving my daughter at college in LA, at one time would have been enough to level me, but now only serves to increase my faith and build a perpetual resolve to persevere regardless of outer circumstances.

I think this is the heart of eternal reoccurrence, the philosophy of Freidrick Nietzsche. If we do live the same set of circumstances over and over, chances are at some point, they no longer attract our frantic sense of injustice and we begin to transform our tragedies into blessings to strengthen us and learn from. 

This is not a new concept, it’s commonly related in every modern religion, but it is difficult to live, as many simple concepts are. 

In late 1880 Nietzsche writes: 

“In an infinite period of time, every possible combination would at some time be attained,” “The Will To Power” states, “The law of conservation of energy demands eternal recurrence.”

If I am required to live this life again, I would be honored, my only hope is that I would be able to live it better. 

Love and blessings to all. 

A Broken Heart Is a Blessing 

After a year or so, of heartbreaks, betrayal and loss. I can now see that my broken heart is a blessing. I have so much more compassion and empathy for other people. I can look into their eyes and feel their pain sometimes. I can sit with them without talking. Loss is an inevitable part of life. My losses came early, my father when I was nine and my mother at twenty-nine, my husband, right in the middle of our life, went to work one day and never returned.

Like most people, I’ve had other losses, situations, that were just not meant to be, as they didn’t hold seeds of greatness, but proved over time to be meaningless.

Why our lives are comprised of both the meaningless and miraculous, we can not understand. Our human brain is limited, and it’s not unlike trying to explain a telescope to a chimpanzee.

As I search for answers, I turn to the great philosophers, most recently, Friedrich Nietzsche, whose formula for human greatness is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not in the future, not in the past, not for all eternity. He also promoted the concept of eternal reoccurrence. Simply put, in his work he asserts that we live the same life over and over indefinitely.

To some this may be terrifying to contemplate, but to me I find it hopeful, that I can live each day with more love and understanding and acceptance, without question, and fully embrace each day to the fullest regardless of what it brings. 

Love and blessings to all.

Have Better Cards

The secret to winning at poker and at anything in life is to have better cards. Since, I’ve been left to my own devises unexpectedly to support my children and myself without warning, I think a great deal about things like increasing my market share, and making my adventure clothing company Ocean SF attractive to investors, while leveraging my assets, and managing my resources.  

The truth is the best way to win at any card game is to have better cards than the other players, this is of course a metaphor for what I am trying to do, and to me it means that I must have a better product than my competitors, and I’ve worked hard to make sure that I do, our technical mid layer jacket, is by far the best on the market.

My mother used to warn me to play my cards right. At the time, I didn’t really understand this, but now I do. 

Here are some tips for life and card games:

  • Come prepared 
  • Stay calm
  • Games are about taking risks, don’t take too many risks, but if you play too conservatively you will lose 
  • Other players can bluff, but the person with the better hand always wins

Love and blessings.

Delayed Reaction 

Yesterday was my late husband’s birthday, I met up with my college friends at the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival, we laughed in the way only old friends can, over nothing, like we were nineteen again. After, I came home and let Siena have friends over since she’s on crutches and I want her close. I made dinner, and watched a movie.

This morning, I woke up feeling a little depressed, so I went to church, then grocery shopping. I had that same lonely feeling I often had as a kid, but rarely feel now. 

I wondered around the grocery store like a ghost, and came home with ingredients for ten different dinners. Comfort food. Right now, I’m making chicken and wild rice soup, with fresh cream, bourbon and thyme from my garden.  I will move onto linguine and prawns in a lemon butter sauce next. After, I’m toasting rosemary focaccia with olive oil and fontina cheese.

Happy Sunday.

Love and blessings to all.

Birthdays & Milestones

It’s my late husband’s birthday today, if things were different, I would be having a party for him tonight and cooking ribs, BBQ chicken and smashed potatoes with bacon and cheddar cheese. He would have a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake with his name on it.

That was the past.

Yesterday, the men’s signature jacket prototype arrived for Ocean SF. Which after a year of development was quite a milestone. 

This is the future. 

I am on the advisory board for a new nonprofit my friend Nick Firestone started in partnership with Tesla. The organization will bring renewable energy to hurricane impacted communities.  So, yesterday I went to the Yacht Club to help with the filming of his video documentary, but on the way, I stopped by the sailing club to give my sailing instructor, Tom Dryja his jacket. 

Because Tom and Nick are also friends, Tom came along, and after filming, we had dinner with the video crew.  This is not the life I thought I would have, but it’s a very good life nonetheless. I’m grateful to have work I love, inspring people to spend my time with, and countless other blessings. 

Later, the girls and I will have a three way call to say a prayer for their father, as we will all be in different places this afternoon. 

Another first. One more milestone. 

Love and blessings. 

A State of Mind 

Often, I wish I could feel safe again, like I once did. Due to naïveté, for a long time I felt secure in my home, my marriage, and my life. I realize this is only a state of mind, because none of us are really ever completely safe, we just believe we are. 

In reality, anything can happen anytime to anyone. This also happens in reverse, these are the happy happenstances of life. I’ve spent time this year counting my blessings often, and in doing so, I see that among the losses and chaos, there are many miracles, both spectacular and mundane.

Because, I’m often home alone, and waiting up for the teenagers, I’ve enjoyed a good deal of time with my pets. They are minor miracles in themselves, and I can’t help but marvel at how beautifully made they are, and how intricate are their habits. 

The children are the same. Genetics alone are the subject of endless fascination. In addition to this, even their youthful confusion, is touching and endearing, and full of beauty and tenderness. 

Security is just a state of mind.  Love, beauty,  and tenderness, however, can be found all around us.  

Love and blessings to all. 

Making The Best of A Bad Situation 

John, Me & Buddy

After my husband died, I spent the following year healing my heart and soul. I kept a low profile, worked hard, and focused on my children.

Over the past few months, after spreading my husband’s ashes at the end of July, I’ve been out and about more, spending time with friends and meeting new people.

The time I spent alone was valuable and I will forever cherish those moments because without them I could not have become the woman I am today. However, it’s not healthy to spend too much time alone, and I am fortunate to have many friends and opportunities to meet new people.

It’s inspiring to meet people that are doing interesting things with their lives, and making a difference in the world. 

Recently, I met, Buddy Tatem, an entrepreneur with a fascinating business history and life story, and the very modest John Alagia, record producer for Dave Mathews and John Mayer.

What a difference a year makes. 

Love and blessings to all.