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  • Writer's pictureSue Schleifer

Everything Is Always Changing

I’m looking out the window of my office/guest room at the overgrown magnolia tree in our front yard, and if I stand, I see a distant view of the San Francisco Bay. This morning it is covered in fog, but it will most likely be clear by this afternoon. I’m wearing a sweater. While I am sitting at the same desk from which I wrote my newsletters over the past twelve years in Louisiana, my view and perspective are different.

I am a planner. I had to-do lists and spreadsheets to help us navigate our move from Lafayette, LA back to our house in Oakland, CA. Some of the items I had checked off, like selling our kayaks, winnowing some of our belongings, and having a yard sale. I’d traced a couple of possible routes that my husband and I could choose from to drive our Prius from Lafayette to Oakland. I had researched and decided how we were going to move our belongings, and we’d put our house up for sale and sold it. We had a month to finish packing and move out by June 4.

On May 10, I couldn’t sleep and had a fever. I was in bed for days on end with no energy and intermittent fever. I finally went to the doctor and was promptly told to go to the emergency room. I ended up spending five miserable nights in the hospital, finally being diagnosed with viral bronchitis. Once home again, I recuperated in bed to try and get my strength and energy back. I lost ten pounds.

What I know and experienced the past couple of months is that everything is always changing. I had no idea that I would get sick and have to throw away a lot of the plans I had made. We didn’t celebrate Mark’s May birthday, our May anniversary, or his retirement from the University. And, I am fully aware that our life is so easy compared to many.

I gave up control and let our awesome friends pack up our kitchen and other belongings. I know I wouldn’t be sitting at my desk in Oakland right now if it hadn’t been for the friends who generously helped us in so many ways. We are grateful for their help and kindness.

I am happy to report that I have regained my strength and am walking the hills near our house. While I still huff and puff, I am almost back to “normal.” We all learned from two plus years navigating Covid-19 that we may need to re-think normal. And as the world experiences war, extremes in weather, political and social upheavals, and so many other challenges, remembering that everything is always changing and how to navigate change with grace and equanimity becomes even more important. Learning how to do this is a lifelong project.

May your summer be filled with love and light,


Back In the Saddle

I took a break from coaching while I was sick, and I am now accepting new clients. I am looking forward to getting back in the saddle as a life and career coach. So, please feel free to refer me to your friends and colleagues, and if you have been considering working with a coach, do give me a call. As I coach via telephone, I am able to work with people coast to coast.


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