Falling In Love & Starting Over

Everyone I’ve ever loved, I have loved instantly from the moment I met them. Even several of my closest friends came with that moment of clarity where time stood still, and the predominant thought was, “finally, there you are.”

This was true of my husband, who watched me sit at the pool below his balcony, then left a post-it note on my front door inviting me to dinner. Or my first fiancée, who smiled at me in the 7-11 in Woodburn, Oregon, as I walked out and he walked in.

I knew immediately from the moment my husband opened the door that I would marry him. It was the first thought that popped in my head as I crossed the threshold of his apartment. 

I remember, he was wearing penny loafers and when he told me he was from Texas, I thought it a contradiction in terms, but he had many opposing sides to him which made him from the very beginning, interesting to date, and over time fascinating to know. 

The same is true for my friend Tom, I knew instantly that he would have an impact on my life, and he did. He taught me to sail, and it completely changed the tragectory of my future.

Now, I’m meeting new people, and people I’ve known in the past are reentering my life. I’ve had some interesting offers already, but as they say in the sailing world, I’m staying the course. I’m honoring the commitments made to my children, and my business, and my classes at UC Berkeley.  

We never know exactly what the future holds, but it’s going to be interesting, that much is clear already. 

 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 mans 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. 

The Inner Circle

When I was a little girl, my mother would routinely forget to pick me up from school or leave me waiting for an hour or more in the parking lot with my furious girl scout leaders.

So, when friends let me down or family left me at the airport, Toronto, Vancouver B.C., or Oakland, all was quickly forgiven, as this was not unusual in my world.

Yet, these were offenses that would, for most people, have earned a line through your name, in the words of my friend’s mother, you would be crossed off the list.

It causes chaos to be surrounded by unreliable people.  I’ve learned it takes a lot of energy to wonder if your relatives are going to show up for you or not.

Overtime, I learned to manage with or without them, and found ways to protect myself from the disipointment of birthdays left unacknowledged or milestones unattended.

In my family of origin, I became a good giver, but not a receiver, thus blocking the natural and healthy flow required in good relationships, both core components for deepening trust and love.

Even, in my marriage, my husband was very reliable, but most of my circle was not. Leaving me with a very skewed sense of where to put my energies and loyalties.

Now that I have a fully reliable inner circle, at the very least it is luxurious to have friends to remember my birthday, or make my children homemade ice cream when we visit, or never leave me stranded at an airport, but having people to count on is necessary for a secure, happy and productive life.

When I met my friend Jeff, he came to my house to cook me dinner, and then he cleaned out my refidgerator. When he returned to LA, he sent me an entire set of pots and pans, because, in his opinion, someone who has written a cookbook should own better cookware. And, he’s picked me up from the airport on time, plenty of times.

Additionally, I spend a lot of time with my business partner and our circle of sailing friends, and they are the same way, they are reliable, not just sometimes, but all the time.

Of course, in sailing and in life, there are times when you must show up for each other. After all, if you miss castoff you will be left behind.

Stable and predictable relationships make the hard work and time consuming efforts of following your dreams that much easier, and once achieved, that much sweeter.

Love and blessings to all.

The Many Forms of Love

Over the last days, I’ve been thinking about what I want to write about moving forward. 

Yesterday, after one year of grieving, I put my husband to rest, and it is very much time for me to move on. I believe to dwell on anything is unhealthy, and this sad chapter is especially so. 

I know I want to write about building my company, Ocean SF with my team, and the work our nonprofit The Trident Project will do, but I woke this morning, thinking I would like to write about love.

Love comes in many forms, and over this past year, no one has been the recipient of more love then myself, and my family. 

Thank you to my dear friends Debra, Rosalee, Gina, Christina, Denise, Susan, Melissa, Tonya, Maureen, Kim and Sue for supporting me through this difficult year. 

Thank you to my husband’s best friends Dan, Chris, and Jeff for being there for the girls every step of the way.  

And to Austin Clark and the Clark family, and the families of my daughter’s friends, particularly the Melohn and the Hoover families who have helped in so many ways and taken such good care of my children. 

Thank you to my Ocean SF team, Andrew, Mike, Craig, and Seth for helping to lay the foundation for our company over the last year and a half. And to Tom Dryjax who shared his passion for the sea with me, and taught me to sail, and introduced me to Andrew. 

Thank you to my Auntie Pat and Auntie Deb for sharing their wisdom and always being a phone call away.

Thank you to my community, neighbors and friends of many years who are always there for me Julie, Kim and Sandy. And especially, Tina, David, and, Toes and Eden, the dogs I walk twice a week. 

Thank you to Jeff Withoft who held my hand through everything, but has now flown off to foreign lands to find his treasure like the protagonist in the Alchemist.

Thank you to anyone I might have missed, and to all of the people who read my words and comment and message me. I am so appreciative of your prayers, good wishes, and support.

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.

 

 

 

 

Dark Moments

San Francisco from the Black Pearl February, 2016


I’ve been writing about my journey after the sudden loss of my husband in July, I try to write things that will help others and that are inspiring, however, I will tell you, I have had some dark moments.  

Last week I had a series of nightmares.  I have never been one to have nightmares making this particularly traumatizing for me.  I would then wake at 4 a.m. and be unable to go back to sleep, so I was then quickly sleep deprived. 

I am someone who needs my sleep, and getting four hours of sleep has an adverse effect on my busy and productive life. 

At the same time, I was dealing with the betrayal of a woman who pretended to love me, but did not, and those who should have loved me, but did not.   I spent a good deal of time trying to understand how we can love people who harm us, and I came to no real conclusion, only that because people are family doesn’t mean they are exempt from common decency, and the most basic rules of respect and kindness.

Finally, I took matters into my own hands, and kissed the kids goodnight and went to bed in my pink striped cotton P.J.’s at 8:00 p.m. and took a dramamine.  I love dramamine for sleep and take it the night before a sailboat race if I know the winds are high.  I took it when I was training for my BK license because we had 35k of wind and I was very sea sick the first few days.  Although, I have many sleep aid choices, I like dramamine because it knocks me out for 10 hours with the only side effect being a sense of calm the next day.   On this night, I prayed for sweet dreams and drifted off to sleep.  I awoke the next morning feeling rested and have been fine ever since.  Thank goodness.

As many who have been married 20 plus years know, there are ups and downs in long term marriages.  I’ve spent the last two months playing and replaying all of the memories of those years with my husband, 25 years to be exact.  A quarter of a century.  Most of them were wonderful and I am grateful for them, some of them were not, but they taught me so much about myself, love and forgiveness that I wouldn’t change a single moment. 

The word forgive in Aramaic means to untie.  So I untie myself from the past and move now into my future.  In the sailing world this is called casting off.

at-sunset-sf

San Francisco Bay April, 2016

 

 

 

Sailing Enthusiasts, UC Berkeley and the Trident Project

Sailing Enthusiasts, UC Berkeley and the Trident Project

I’ve been teaching Entrepreneurial Marketing at UC Berkeley in their International Certificate Program for the past year, and I have to say, it is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things I have ever done professionally.  Not only am I able to share my knowledge, but I am fortunate to meet people from all around the world.  Last week my fellow sailing enthusiast and friend Andrew Lacenere was kind enough to come and speak to my class about his company Albatross Designs.  I’ve spent time with Andrew on the water sailing of course, but I’ve never seen him with a Power Point Presentation, however, as suspected, he did not disappoint and he left my class inspired and me with a sense of urgency in saving our oceans from the current path of destruction.

After vowing to never again sit on another Board of Directors, I’ve agreed to sit on the Board of the Trident Project and be part of the team that works to address ocean acidification issues by creating research partnerships with some of California’s finest marine research organizations.   As a mother, sailing enthusiast, and a concerned human being, I am looking forward to this next chapter of my career and lending my time and expertise to such a worthy cause.

Sailing the British Virgin Islands

 

Trident Project