If it could be said of Arthur Miller's failed salesman, Willy Loman, that there was more to him in the front stoop he built than in any sale he ever made, it could be said of my Dad that there was more to him in his character than in any of the discrete events of his life.
My mother was essentially a cheerful, optimistic person. When I was bored, sad or depressed, she would say: "Get yourself a project." So I decided my project would be to interview people about how they keep alive the memories of their loved ones.
As Baby Boomers, we get caught up in the daily strife of managing our own lives and often those of our children, grandchildren or parents. It often becomes all too easy to dwell on all the stress and not the joys and rewards that come our way.
The work you take on, the people you spend time with, the relationships that you enter -- do any or all of these further your personal story along, or are they a hinderance? Just because you can attract that hot, young pop-tart or start that new business doesn't mean you necessarily should.
Given the conclusive evidence that smoking imagery portrayed across entertainment media impacts youth and young adult smoking initiation, positive portrayals of tobacco use threaten to reverse the critical progress the U.S. has made over the past five decades in reducing smoking.
There's no mystery why I've saved so much stuff: to prove that I'm alive, that I'm someone, that my trail on this earth is worth preserving. My fear of letting go of those boxes is the fear of mortality, the fear of not having become worthy enough to investigate and document.
While they also lack much of the integrity that results from principle-driven lives, they have plenty of the steel-willed determination to unbendingly serve their own interests. They are as different from Nelson Mandela as black is from white.
Grams didn't have daughters of her own and now proudly watches me, her granddaughter, standing tall and doing what's right, making moves to pave the way for my own daughters. By doing this, I carry on her legacy while she watches and enjoys.
Take time to reflect and write about who you are and were, in earlier periods of your life. Divide the time in any way that fits your life and the stages you moved into and out of through your years and because of your unique experiences.
One of the most meaningful ways you can show gratitude to a special person in your life this holiday season isn't anything you can buy at the mall or online. It's actually very inexpensive -- it just requires your time, curiosity and attention.
Othala indicates that we are carrying a weight greater than a single life can bear. It's telling us that before we can seat into the role of elder in our lines, we must bless those who came before us. We must relieve them.
Why I share this personal dream: at this season, as we move every day toward more dark than light, we have the opportunity to dream more, to reflect on our interior lives, and to pay attention to our dreams.
I yelled at her, "You are crazy, trees take 10 years to grow, we'll be gone within 2-3 years, why are you doing this." Her answer, was so simple, "It's the right thing to do. Whether we are here or not, this is the right thing to do."
One of the common bonds that most parents share is the desire for their children to have a better life than their own -- or at least as good. I am concerned that this desire is becoming more of a dream than a certainty. How can we change that?
What the Olympics and other mega-events have shown is that the significant investment required to host an international games successfully has the power to transform a region, and even a nation. What they have also demonstrated, of course, is just how thorough the preparations need to be.