Category Archives: new chapters

Giving myself the gift of time

Today, I celebrated another year of living on this precious and increasingly imperiled beautiful blue planet we all call home.

I happened to glance at the clock at 11:11—the moment I made my debut 58 years ago. I love it when that happens, and appreciate the fact that my arrival time was so incredibly symmetrical, numerically speaking. I’ve heard and read about the power of being associated with 11:11. The band Film School wrote a song with it in the title. I also once went to a numerologist who remarked positively upon the power of it. (I’m not sure what the significance really is, but am delighted that it’s part of my life’s story—along with the fact that I was only lefty in a home with seven right-handed siblings and two-right-handed parents.)

I eased into the morning, had a delicious and satisfying lunch of pho and always-fulfilling conversation with my sister—and then headed downtown for happy hour with a few former colleagues on the waterfront of Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. All in all, a low-key but highly satisfying day.

I’ve just arrived back home after a rather long and crowded bus ride, alone in my quiet little house on my modest little street near the town of Woodinville, Washington. My phone has been dinging with notices of Facebook greetings and a few voicemail
messages. I’ve chosen to remain unplugged for the moment, but look forward to reading the wishes from friends and family near and afar. (It’s a definite positive on the social media front.)

On this June 2, 2017 birthday evening, I’m reflecting on the past, pondering the future—and feeling incredibly grateful for this life I’ve lived and all the love that surrounds me.

My birthday gift to me this month is time. I’m not going to rush into the next contract or pursue a position that doesn’t spark joy.

I’m going to take a break, regroup, renew, recharge, recover, return to the gym, write—and forge a new path for the next chapter in “The Life of Marcy O’Hara.”

It’s a gift that will pay dividends for the rest of my life—and the fact that I’ve realized that is making me feel older and wiser even as we speak.

(Happy birthday to me!)

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My minimalist “spice girl”


I loved the show “Bewitched” as a kid–and especially envied the instant room transformations Samantha managed to achieve with one twitch of her nose. Perhaps that magical power impressed me the most because the house I grew up was eternally messy.

The residence at 4571 Encino Avenue was a sprawling rambler in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. Graceful old oak trees provided a glorious canopy; shelter from the blazingly hot summer sun. It was home to eight kids, two parents and an ever-changing menagerie of pets.

It was also usually a mess. I remember being amazed at the homes of some of my friends and neighbors–clean, pristine, everything in its place.

I was reminded of Samantha the other day. I’d returned home after a day of work, and wandered into the kitchen to make a snack. I opened a cabinet to get some salt, fully expecting to have to sift through an unorganized mish mash of random spices.

I stared in amazement for several beats. Spices jars were neatly lined up in perfect rows, carefully arranged on a shelf that allowed for maximum visibility.

Then Bree emerged from her room, beaming. “Do you like it, Mom?”

Things are looking up in here in “Bree’s Company.” (Who needs Samantha when you have the help of two minimalist millennials?)

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The upsides of getting downsized

pool water

Yesterday unfolded beautifully. Enjoyed a chill afternoon hanging with one of my favorite people in the world. Leisurely conversation and coffee at our our go-to spot near the shores of Lake Washington. Then an evening spent bbq-ing old-school on my little Weber charcoal grill with the perfect soundtrack courtesy of Galaxy 500.

Today is Monday. For most of my working life, I’ve never been ready for Monday.

One of the upsides of getting downsized? I am looking forward to seeing what the day has in store. So far, swimming at the Y tops my list. Oh, and then maybe even spinning at 4:30 p.m. All within a few miles of my home.

(Happy Monday, indeed.)

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