Marking Time: Steve Jobs

At 6:42, I read this:

“Apple announces Steve Jobs’ death.”

At 6:42, I searched this:

“Steve Jobs”


At 6:42, I saw this:


At 6:45, I saw this:



At 6:48, I said this:



At 6:53, I said this:


At 6:54, I saw this:

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

At 6:58, I left my computer and had dinner with my family.

At 7:28, I saw this:

So, in about 46 minutes I went from incredulous to stunned to saddened to grateful to reflective to mournful to connected to nourished to amused.

All is right with the world.

Thanks, Steve.

Celebrating the Second Self Care Day on the 6th

Self Care Day October 6

Okay, friends and neighbors, it’s that time again!

What time, Gina??

It’s time for Self Care Day!!

<insert applause>

What’s Self Care Day?

I’m glad you asked… it’s an officially official day each month when we’ll remind one another to take good care of ourselves. You know, perform your self-check (skin & molesbreasts, etc), make your dentist appointment you’ve been putting off, get a massage, take a nap, start a class, clean the slate, laugh, polish your nails, or whatever it is you do that nurtures you.

As a coach and friend, I’m often “giving permission” to people to take care of themselves. And yes, there is a roving band of narcissists out there who are all about taking care of themselves, but most folks are pretty giving.

Quite frankly, many folks are way over-giving.

(You know who you are. Stop apologizing for going to the bathroom, and keep reading.)

This super-giving segment of folks were taught that anything they do for themselves is immoral and selfish. They’ll drop everything to race across town at the slightest indication that someone neeeeeeds them, but they won’t walk across the room to meet their own needs.

(It’s okay… go to the bathroom. I’ll wait.)

<insert hold music>

(You’re back? Excellent… Did you grab yourself a cup of coffee/glass of milk/carafe of wine/jug of water on your way back? No? Well, I’ll hold your place.)

Well enough of that! Seriously, you aren’t helping anyone if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Who is going to save the world if you land yourself in the hospital from a nasty case of dehydration exacerbated by a bladder explosion?

(Okay, she will, but you’ll feel guilty you left it all on her. Will you poke her and give her “the look”. I don’t think she’s stopped helping in a week. Does she even sleep?)

As Joyce Rupp would say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” So, it’s high time you started refilling yours. And now there’s an official day to do it — the 6th of each month. Why the 6th? Because the idea came to be when we were talking about the facebook games about breast cancer, and I do my monthly self exams on the 6th (it’s Berns’ birthdate).

Last month — September for those of you who can’t pause to look up and see what day it is — when we officially launched the officially official Self Care Day on the 6th campaign, folks started sharing how they intended to use this day. One of the chicas who goaded me into this whole idea even took the whole day off. I know! Amazing.

(Will someone check on her? I think she’s fainted.)

So, what are you doing to take care of yourself today?

Me? I’m going to start dreaming about November 6 and mark it in my calendar as a Day Off, do my self exam, take a long bath with a magazine, and ask around for recommendations for healthcare providers. I’ve lived in Nashville for 4 years and still haven’t hired a local dentist, gynecologist, or rheumatologist. I know! There’s no excuse for it.

Pretty please take really good care of yourself. It is not selfish to keep yourself alive, healthy, and happy.

It’s your job.

(Yes… yours!)

Values: Connection

Chuck's Candle

Uncle Chuck's Green Candle

Last week I spent some time plotting out how I would go about making and keeping the commitment to myself to update my site with something new almost every day.

My thinking was something along these lines, “You want to do this and you need a deadline in order to do what you want to do. You manage to announce your every eye blink on Facebook. Surely you can pause long enough to connect with folks in a more meaningful way.”

Thus the plotting. I planned to offer a post on each of my core values on Mondays, a more practical “how to” post on transitions on Tuesdays, a book review on Wednesdays… I even created really neato-skeeto graphics for the Monday Motivation series over the weekend and sorted through my ideas for the one I wanted to write about.

And then I stared at the screen for about an hour.

Because my planned post isn’t what I’m thinking about and it just isn’t very me-like to fake a post. That wouldn’t be authentic. (See, there are those values now!)

What are you thinking about, Gina?

Well, to be quite frank, I’m thinking about my Uncle Chuck, who died about 10 hours ago after being in the hospital for three months in a city far away from his home and his family. I’m thinking about my Aunt and my Cousins and most especially my Mama E who is just starting the journey of grieving the loss of her brother and all of the specific sadnesses and joys they’ll each experience as we move through these days.

I’m thinking about relationships and what makes us fond of one another. How do we determine who gets in and who stays over there? What ties us to someone enough to miss them when they are gone? How is it that you can feel connected to someone you haven’t seen in 20 years while barely taking note of the guy who serves you coffee every day?

One of the things I love most about Ned Andrew is that he connects with people. Not just the people who have letters after their names or hold some major sway in his day. He couldn’t care less whether you have a PhD or M&Ms in your pocket. He learns the names of everyone in his milieu — including the folks at the seafood counter. (Kim at Publix. Al at Kroger.) He greets people on the street. He calls people back. He connects.

I value that connection.

When I was in sales I was accused of taking too long on each customer in spite of leading the team in numbers. “Get ’em in! Get ’em sold! Next!” I suppose they thought if I could sell faster, I could sell even more. I tried to follow the scripts, but not only did it feel awful and awkward and phony, my sales plummeted too. It didn’t work because I’m not comfortable interacting with people that way. I’d rather slow down, ask questions, really listen to the answers, ask another question, call a colleague, research solutions, and actually find a way to help that person get to what they’re hoping to do/be/have. I’d rather treat people as, well, people deserving of my attention and respect and patience as they make their own choices. (Wow. There’s self-determination. Values everywhere.)



It is vital to my feeling like a whole, healthy, on purpose human being to create and sustain connections with other people in my life. I’m not interested in the analytics of our digital realities. Of course I love to see trends (I count my workouts!) but I’m not interested in doing integral calculus on my relationships. Because does it really matter how many followers I have? My reach? Clicks? Views? Pings? Trackbacks? if at the end of the day my only ROI is a cool graph showing more of… whatever those things attempt to count?

Honestly, I’d rather have one really amazing conversation with another fascinating individual over the course of months and months. I’d rather be in relationships that are rich enough that that the day after my death someone misses me enough to inspire people they know to pause, light a candle, and think about what matters.




Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. -- Helen KellerI’ve been “online” since sometime around 1992 when a tech savvy boyfriend gave me a 386 with a modem and BBS phone number. I chatted with folks about music and movies until I discovered a group that was dedicated to discussing interventions for a variety of health concerns. Nearly 20 years later, I’ve replaced about a dozen computers — the latest of which cost less than the 4 MB memory upgrade to that 386 did two decades ago — started several websites and blogs, watched service providers come and go, connected with folks on Twitter and reconnected with others on Facebook.

I’ve also gone through my share of changes. That boyfriend went on his way as did I. I married and divorced and married again. I’ve given birth to two kids — while losing three others — and earned two bonus daughters through my second marriage. I’ve moved more times that I’d like to count and have settled in my dream home with my soul mate just south of Nashville, TN.

I’ve gained weight and lost it and gained it back — sometimes because of those pregnancies and sometimes because of less specific causes.I blogged the largest of those losses on the MegaChallenge 200 about 5 years ago.

I’ve gone back to school … three times … taken courses in everything from coaching to statistics to history to leadership to rhetoric to psychology to training to management to marketing and back again. I discovered my passion — guiding folks through transitions using person-centered conversations and graphics — in 2001 at a PATH training offered by Dave and Faye Wetherow. I added some of the stuff from The Grove and Helen Sanderson and sundry other smart-thinking folks to my tool kit. I then found Christina Merkley’s SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching process and fell in love. Several years later, she trained and certified me to walk folks through her tried and true process of creating positive change. I added other tools and ideas along the way… and then practiced and tweaked and practiced some more.

I wanted a place where I could share what I know and hope to learn with folks. The “online” complement to my really real existence. A launching spot for my other projects and connections that aren’t limited by a catchy URL. What defines my online presence? Well, hopefully it’s my offline reality.

And that brings us to now.

With the help of Robert Owen — someone who has known me even longer than I’ve been online, amazing as that may seem, and who entered my life about the time I bought my first issue of Byte magazine (so… 1982ish) — I’m finally overcoming the “it’s conceited to have a website with your name on it” Golf Whispers and launching I’m me. This site is mine. It’ll contain things that I like or feel are important or can do. Whatever that happens to include.

So, what’s next?

Hopefully more growth, additional connections, and new insights — all while standing firmly on this foundation of purpose and joy that I’ve built across the first 40 years of my life.


If you’ve known me for most of those 40 years, you know that I’m all afire about positive and possible and pointing forward. If you’re just coming into my milieu now, you’ll find I’m a warm-hearted idealist who tends to get folks moving even if they didn’t mean to.

Let’s go!

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