Gift of Time


There is something to be said for down time. It’s not often a person is handed the gift of time. I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning eating ice cream, red vines, and peanut butter cups while watching Pirates of the Caribbean with my daughter.

I’m typically productivity minded. The only time I relax is with friends at dinner, or at the Yacht Club, or on boats. It’s difficult to multitask on a boat. When I’m home, I time phone calls with chores. I have a set schedule. I feel I have no time to waste. Somewhere along the way, I learned not to relax. 

These last days, while caring for my daughter, I’ve trimmed my roses, weeded my flower beds, cleaned out cabinets, finished my taxes, and reorganized my coffee cups, and cooked and cooked. 

But for hours and hours, I’ve spent time with my daughter. I’ve also spent a good deal of time with Jeff, Dan and Chris, my neighbors and late husband’s golf foursome, who have been a constant in our lives. 

Last night, Jeff brought us dinner, and Chris stopped by, earlier Dan was here with donuts, and his daughter. 

I love my neighborhood, and the kind and supportive people who live around us. Guardian angels all. 

Love and blessings. 

Fear Is The Killer of Love

Fear is the killer of love. I’ve known this for a long time, although staying open to love without fear feels like playing the goalie in a game of ice hockey without any protective gear.

The same is true in business. I’ve been working very hard to bring Ocean SF to fruition. I’ve invested my time, money and heart. Along the way, I’ve tapped some of the best players from my past and have put together a remarkable team.  

We are making some beautiful things, not just for our product line, but from an environmental and socially responsible standpoint, we truly are building something very unique, and creating value not simply in what we produce and sell, but in driving our vision for environmentally conscious businesses in general. 

Our sustainable mission and love for the ocean is part of  everything we do and represent. It is the reason why we do what we do. 

Now that we are long past the point of no return, I am aware of my fear of letting go and allowing the changes that are necessary for a business to thrive and grow. 

A direction must be chosen and committed to, and faith and trust in the unknown is no longer simply an ideal, but a necessity. 

Yesterday, I had back to back meetings, I am hiring people to lay the financial future of the company, as we get in position to take money from investors. Andrew and I can no longer alone, do all of the work required, in every aspect of the business. 

To grow the business we need help, and this means trusting other people, committing to a course and executing regardless of our reservations. We understand that we can endlessly weigh the consequences of each decision, but ultimately we must decide, and each decision at this point, has enormous potential to influence our success and future.

During my morning meeting, as I was listening to my financial adviser talk about venture capital, I was nervously tipping the legs of my chair. My mother always warned me that one day, I would break the chair, but it’s a bad habit of mine, that I’ve not been able to break. Predictably, the chair gave way, and I literally fell onto the floor.  This is not something I’ll soon forget. 

I was unharmed, but afterward, I spent time contemplating the significance of this event. 

In the end, I decided to be fearless. I’ll stay calm, make wise choices, trust myself, and other people. I will remain open to change and be willing to take the risks inherent in moving toward my goals and dreams. This is of course, an evolution of sorts, to find my courage and consistently and confidently act on it. 

Sometimes, our fear is what hurts us the most.  

Lesson learned. 

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 Rich Full Life

Many people wouldn’t think of me as lucky from the outside looking in, but every single morning before I get out of bed, I count my blessings. And it doesn’t take very long for me to feel grateful for the many good things in my life. 

First of all, I’m in excellent health. On most days, if I’ve not burned the candle at both ends, which I often do, I feel fantastic. Then, I have my wonderful family, and in particular my spectacular daughters. Then, I have the most hilarious golden-doodle, named Polly, and her two side kicks the black and white cats, Dash and Jam. 

Next, I have friends galore. And make more everyday. I have been spending time with my sailing friends this week. Especially, my business partner, and my sailing instructor Tom. There is nothing like a common interest to connect and deepen ties with people.

But, I especially love my neighbors and my beautiful neighborhood. I have so much love and support here that I feel blessed everyday. My neighbor Sandy, who brought Paris’ bedding to her college dorm in LA after we forgot it, my dear friends Craig and Denise who help me with everything I do, including building Ocean SF. My husband’s three best friends, and their families, that are always here for us. And, my neighbor Alecia, who made me the beautiful pearl and rose quartz necklace I’m wearing above. And Barb, who I met when our daughters were two, who took me to the polo tournament where the above photo was taken a few weekends ago. 

Recently, one of my neighbors sent me the following note. It was so generous and kind it brought tears to my eyes. 

“Dear Sydney,

I have been thinking about you a lot over the last few weeks knowing that a year has passed since losing your husband. I have not seen you in years nor spoken, but I do want you to know that I have always admired the woman, and Mother that you are. You have been a true role model from the day I met you. My daughter, has always spoken of you with admiration and your unconditional kindness towards her made her love being in your presence. Both Siena and Paris are so fortunate to have a loving, attentive, involved, active and beautiful Mother who truly loves her children. I believe Paris must be heading off to a College, and that must be an exciting yet difficult transition after your past year. These next two years will be very special for you and Siena. Time is precious as you are aware, and it’s never too late to tell someone how wonderful they are. So before I turn in I wanted to let you know how much I admire you and if you ever need anything I’m here for you.”

People like this, and the precious town I live in, give me deep roots, and a priceless sense of security. 

Love and blessings to all. 

After The Ending, But Before The Beginning 

In SF on the boat Sanctuary
I feel like I’m at the ending of things, but before the beginning, dwelling in a peaceful and calm no man’s land.

The door behind me has shut, and the next door has yet to open.  It’s a wonderful place to be, and I can’t say I’m not enjoying it. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my friends lately, and just for the fun of it. And I’ve been sailing and that brings with it a sense of calm, peace, and joy as always.

My foundation is well laid now, my next major task is to get my daughter off to college in September, then I have two years with Siena to teach, write and run my business.

My past is now behind me, I did the best I could. I could not have tried harder than I did. And, now the hard work of that is over, I look forward to the growth of all the seeds that I’ve carefully planted and have worked so hard to cultivate. But that is for the future, for now all things are peaceful and after a year of constant upheaval, I am very grateful for that. 

Love and blessings to all. 

Passion, Determination and Philanthropy

Me and Siena, San Francisco Bay

Be determined, this is what I tell myself every morning.  In the face of much adversity, I have accomplished more than I could have dreamed possible.  And I am proud of myself.  I have never worked harder than I have in the last two years.  I have started a business, went back to school to get my adult teaching certification, have continued to teach, and create classes at UC Berkeley’s IDC (International Diploma Certification Program), consulted for some amazing companies AND co-founded a nonprofit called The Trident Project.  I’ve also lost my husband of 22 years to a sudden heart attack and have been raising my very busy, and more often then not mischievous, teenage daughters.

Needless to say, I am exhausted.

However, I am determined to not just endure, but to thrive.  I remember being so thankful that my daughter could drive, so I could work more, then she crashed and totalled her car after only nine weeks, and I was back to carpool duties.  I founded The Trident Project with Andrew, and my younger daughter Siena, last summer and weeks before our enormous fund raiser, my husband died, so it was cancelled.  Obstacles large and small have been in my path, but I have not allowed them to stop me from achieving my goals and dreams.  No matter what happens I remain determined.  My days are a whirlwind of activity as I lay a foundation for my future and work to support my family.

The Trident Project is my antidote to the constant philanthropy work I have done since I was a child.  I have never not been involved with charitable organizations.  From Girl Scouts to National Charity League.  However, this nonprofit speaks directly to my heart as it works to reduce pollution caused by plastics in our oceans and eradicate the commercial distribution of microfibers that pollute our drinking water.

I love everything about the ocean and knowing that in 20 years it will be full of more plastic than fish, is not something I can stand by and watch happen without taking action.  I will do anything to help our dying oceans because without healthy oceans nothing else I do matters.  Nothing.  I will not go into all of the research I have done and the studies I have read, but I will tell you, it is startling and the most urgent problem of our era.

When I was a girl I would spend at least part of every summer in Vancouver, British Columbia, and for a few years my uncles had a boat.  We would cruise around the beautiful waters and I would play backgammon on one of the many pristine beaches with my Uncle Basil.  Those summer days rank as possibly the high point of my childhood and early adulthood.  Later, I would spend most of my time in the snow, skiing Mt. Bachelor in college, and then Tahoe with my family, and more recently I’ve fallen in love with the melted snow and sailing in San Fransisco Bay.

Spending so many days of my life in the natural world, in melted or unmelted water, has made me the person I am today, strong, calm, and focused.  So, it is my mission to preserve this for myself, my children and their children, and it is what I will dedicate much of my life to in the future.

We are looking for members, board members and partners.  Please send a message through our website via our Contact Page by clicking here.

Love and blessings to all.