Liz Wolfe | Liz Wolfe
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I ended 2013 uncharacteristically grumpy. I felt on the brink of tears or anger for much of the last couple of weeks of the year, without really being able to identify why. I found it depressing to look back at the year, knowing I didn’t accomplish all I wanted to, finding small solace in the few milestones that I could recollect. I’m not quite sure where I think I should be by now, but my feeling of dissatisfaction lingered and made me an unpleasant person to be around.

I don’t know when time started to speed up, but in the past few years I’ve noticed that once school begins in September, the events start coming fast and furious. Just as we finally get settled into a routine for school, it’s time to start thinking about what costumes my kids want to wear for Halloween. And if Halloween is here, well then Thanksgiving and Christmas can’t be far behind.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with lymphoma. In that moment when I heard the doctor say “You have a malignant, aggressive cancer” I felt as though my whole beingness collapsed in upon itself. The coming weeks were filled with tears, visits to doctors, and a tremendous sense of fear until the day I heard my oncologist say: “You will be cured.” As it turned out, he was right, and six years later I am as healthy as I was before I got diagnosed.

Last week, while my sister and I were having breakfast at my country house, a bear walked across my lawn. The movement in the bushes initially caught my eye, and at first I thought it was a deer. Then it stepped boldly and assuredly onto the open lawn, where it traipsed along seemingly without concern towards the woods on the other side. “Oh my God!” I breathed to Ruth Anne, “That’s a bear!” I jumped up and grabbed my camera, pulling off the lens cap and dropping it all in one motion. As the lens cap hit the wooden floor with a “chink,” the bear, which was at least 100 feet away, looked up in our direction. Yikes! Then, deciding he was in no immediate danger, he continued on his journey towards the woods. With a racing heart, I took a series of photos from the relative safety of our screened in porch.

When you think about your vision, do you think about what your life will look like in the future? Do you envision big houses, fancy cars, leisure time, committed relationships? Perhaps it’s a bestselling book, notoriety in a professional field, or a bank account constantly flowing with money that swims in your imagination. If your idea of your future is more low key, do you see yourself sitting around drinking coffee with your family and laughing? Going to school or learning to do something you always wanted to do?

A hot topic in the news these days is why the “1%” have such a disproportionately large amount of accumulated wealth in comparison to other 99%. Perhaps you’ve seen the video that went viral (almost 7 million views to date) that demonstrates this with impressive graphics and mind-boggling statistics.

My daughter had a “publishing” party at her school recently, and so, instead of driving her as I usually do, we took public transportation. This consists of hopping on the subway near our house, and then getting off at 110th street to catch a bus across the top of the park. As we emerge from the subway station, there is a tense moment where we scan the traffic circle between the two bus stops to see if a bus is coming. If one is stopped at the light, we have just enough time to run from the stairwell to catch it. If the light has already turned green, it’s quite a hustle to make it there in time, but there are usually enough people waiting at the stop or also running alongside us to hold the bus. Renting an california limousine is convenient especially when going into a party since you'll save time, energy, and effort. Even if you're stuck in the traffic, you can just sit back and relax and arrive in the grandest style.

An old friend and her husband have a six year old son who was diagnosed with “moderate to severe” ADHD. Recently I was sharing with them my experience with my own children’s development. We commiserated over the notion that as far as attention spans are concerned, they can always seem to find the will to focus on something that they want to be doing, but if their interest isn’t already piqued, then they won’t stay motivated enough to complete a task.

Years ago in New York, it was common to see people handing out flyers in the subway. En route to work each morning, I would often see one particular group who offered commuters bright orange flyers. The evangelists would scatter themselves along the corridors in groups of twos and threes, such that I would have to weave in between them to avoid their outstretched hands. I had my approach down to a science – a slightly lowered gaze, tightly gripped purse, along with a short, terse shake of the head – to indicate that I was not interested. Still, the next person down the line would insistently shove the paper toward me, forcing me to repeat the same gesture until I was out of the minefield.

I have a friend whose daughter goes to a competitive middle school on the UWS. Since her daughter and my son are in the same grade, we sometimes commiserate about our experiences with our children, school and homework. Yesterday she came to me especially frustrated by her daughter, who has ADHD, and their homework situation. She had no way of knowing what the homework was because her daughter doesn’t know, and my friend is not allowed to email the teachers to ask – in fact she doesn’t even have access to their email addresses.