June 28, 2004

The Cyborgs Among Us

Cyborgs are among us and they are not who you think. Granted there are geeks like Gareth Branwyn, an editor of Boing-Boing , who underwent a total hip replacement to relieve the pain of severe degenerative arthritis and wrote this funny account Borg Like Me

But the people who have the greatest understanding of their relationship with technical augmentation, who understand and appreciate the miraculous technology some of us have in our bodies are

the severely handicapped and the elderly.

While recuperating, Gareth found many fellow implantees on their second, third or fourth replacement in order to live longer and better. His roommate, a man in his 70s, in for a knee replacement called it a "tune-up before we hit the road" or, in his case a trip around the world with his wife, after a host of medical problems (quadruple bypass, ovarian cancer and arthritis)

Read the comments to see what others say and how Gareth is doing. (He now boasts 'that part of me was manufactured by DePuy Industries of Warsaw, Indiana'.)

Four years later, with the perspective of distance and of living with the successful results, I'm here to tell you, it could have been two or three times more painful, challenging, and intense, and it still would have been worth it.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:28 PM | Permalink

June 27, 2004

When Just Enough Is All You Need.

What can you say about a man, who having sold his software business for $19 million, was ashamed to tell his peers he hadn't made more?

You'd think he's nuts and so does Laura Nash. in Sunday's NYT. Laura, a senior lecturer in business ethics as the Harvard Business School, has just written a book with Howard Stevenson called "Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Your Life" (John Wiley & Sons, 2004).
In it they write about the 4 "spheres of life" - happiness, achievement, significance and legacy and say that having just enough in each sphere is more fulfilling than having way too much in one of them.

Claudia Deutsch in Sunday's NYT's interviews Laura in Grab the Brass Ring, or Just Enjoy the Ride
Some lessons the authors have gleaned from their hundreds of interviews can be found in the NYT article:

    1/ Recognize that superstardom often carries the baggage of lapsed ethics, alienated spouses or children, substance abuse and a lack of plain, ordinary fun.
    2/ If you cannot be a high achiever, switch to the significance sphere of your life.
    3/ Remember that the significance of your job does not rest on its impact on the world.
    4/ Apply "just enough" to what you give as well as to what you attain.
    5/ Remember that it is better to be very good at many important things than to be a superstar at just one.

    No amount of success in one area will buy you satisfaction in the others

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:14 AM | Permalink

June 21, 2004

Have Sex, Get More Sleep, Happiness Isn't Money says Major Bank

The news article reprinted below in its entirety is not from The Onion, but from Reuters' Oddly Enough

LONDON (Reuters) - June 18, 2004 A major investment bank is advising clients to have sex, get more sleep and stop equating happiness with money -- turning the industry image of hard-nosed dealmakers on its head.

German-owned Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein offers the advice in a note to clients by its strategist James Montier.

"I thought it was time that I reminded people there was more to life than watching screens every day," he told Reuters.

The note recommends clients have sex, ideally with someone they love, reflect on the good things in life, give their bodies enough sleep and exercise regularly.

But they shouldn't get too carried away.

"I still need a little bit of money just to keep me happy," said Montier.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:43 PM | Permalink

June 19, 2004

Ladies Home Journal vs. Runner's World

Health related magazines, particularly those aimed at men, rate the lowest scores for their accuracy in nutrition writing according to a recent survey by the American Council on Science and Health. Here's how they ranked:

Here's how they ranked in terms of factual information, objectivity and sound recommendations:
• Cooking Light
• Parents
• Ladies' Home Journal
• Better Homes and Gardens
• Good Housekeeping
• Consumer Reports
• Reader's Digest
• Redbook
• Woman's Day
• Glamour
• Self
• Health
• Runner's World
• Prevention
• Shape
• Fitness

With Americans turning more than ever to magazines as a source of nutrition information, the survey's conclusion that most (4/5ths) of today's consumer magazines are providing their readers with scientifically sound articles about nutrition. Only 1/5th were rated poor and they were aimed at men.

Hat tip to Heath Row

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:48 PM | Permalink

June 18, 2004

Combining Money and Meaning

From the Occupational Adventure, you'll find all sorts of tips in you're engaged in combining passion and career or want to be, Combining Money and Meaning
Cliff Hakim, author of We Are All Self-Employed shares five tips for combining money and meaning in your career (more details on each in the article).

1. Work from the inside out -- figure out your commitment...The only sustainable work comes from your heart.

2. Ask yourself how much is enough?

3. Give yourself permission and an opening to explore.

4. Persevere/flex, persevere/flex, persevere/flex.

5. Work darn hard.

But what I liked best

were the lessons from a successful career change
Lesson #1:
Have an unstoppable belief system and the commitment to make it work.

From personal experience, I've found that this comes from tapping into who you are at the core. My belief and commitment in what I'm doing now with my Passion Catalyst work are degrees of magnitude greater than in my old marketing career.

Lesson #2: Many heads are better than one. Network and build a strategic alliance of mentors, coaches, teachers and motivating friends

Lesson #3:
Luck is a residue of design. You find your own luck through the opportunities you seek and act upon.

Action begets action, pure and simple. Often the result is a complete surprise (for example, you meet someone that opens up a door you never even realized was there), but it would never happen without taking steps.

Lesson #4:
Set big, crazy or even unrealistic goals to stretch yourself.

I have to admit I can find this one challenging. Every time I turn my attention to creating the huuuuuuge goals, I find myself tempering it to make it more achievable. The really big goals can seem so out of reach. But they're really just another real possibility on the spectrum of potential futures. So why not aim for them?

Lesson #5:
When you do what you love and make a difference in people’s lives, you will never have to go to work ever again

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:17 PM | Permalink

She went home, walked the dog and then tried to kill herself

It used to be that I depended upon fiction to give me glimpses of lives and experiences that I would never have. When I was much younger, one boyfriend called me "literary" because I absorbed some of these experiences so deeply that they were almost my mine own and I called upon them to explain what was happening in my life and with my friends.

Today, I read blogs to see how different people are living their lives. Blogs have created an amazing public space where people can speak about deeply intimate and personal things. When You Break is why Everyday Stranger started her blog. In one year, she lost her job, her marriage, tried to kill herself, cut off all her hair, found a new love, a dream job and the house of her dreams. She calls herself an ordinary girl living in extraordinary circumstances.

This blog represents my brain, my heart, and my angst. It has saved me and it has caused me problems. It has given me more support than I could have dreamed, and I have met the kindest people. If you open up the web browser on Everyday Stranger, you will find my feelings wrapped around every paragraph and every post. It's all real, and always has been.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:34 PM | Permalink

June 16, 2004

Splendid Omega

Maybe it's because I used to sell salmon, splendid salmon, that I've become a real proponent of omega 3 fatty acids. You don't have to eat salmon, there's other fatty fish like mackerel, flaxseed oil you might have on hand, that old stand-by cod-liver oil or you can give in, save time and take fish oil capsules. They're great for your skin and I think brain functioning, raising HDL (the good cholesterol), promoting heart health, boosting fetal growth and maybe even treating schizophrenia

Omega 3 fattty acids are essential fatty acids, necessary from conception through pregnancy and infancy and undoubtedly through all of life. Essential because they are fats the body can not manufacture yet are essential for building cell membranes An inadequacy of essential fatty acids is one of the most widespread nutritional deficiencies among modern humans.

Dr. Joseph Mercola rates Omega 3 thusly
The following is a partial list of diseases that may be prevented or ameliorated with omega-3 fatty acids, in descending order of the strength of the available evidence as perceived by this reviewer:
Coronary heart disease and stroke;
Essential fatty acid deficiency in infancy (retinal and brain development);
Autoimmune disorders (e.g., lupus and nephropathy);
Crohn disease;
Cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate;
Mild hypertension; and
Rheumatoid arthritis.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:34 PM | Permalink

June 14, 2004


When I was younger, I was a classic type A personality. A young female lawyer at a Wall Street firm, I was in a hurry for everything and impatient if things didn't happen fast enough.

It's not often you can pinpoint the time when you learned the importance of a classic virtue. I can remember when I learned patience. I was living on the upper West side, in a poorly remodeled apartment building and the elevator was so slow I couldn't stand it. I was going to be late! I would fidget, press the button again, I would tap, whistle, sigh, anything to make the elevator come faster. Of course, it never did. Then I had my little epiphany. It never would. I had to be patient.

Sharon Salzberg has a lovely piece in the June issue of Oprah on patience which she calls "The Cure for Craziness." There's only one way to save your sanity in this speeded-up, lunatic world. Patience...Having patience ...means being wholeheartedly engaged in the process that's unfolding, rather than yanking up our carrots, ripping open a budding flower, demanding a caterpillar hurry up and get that chrysalis stage over with. Patience isn't dour, and it isn't unhappy. It's a steady strength that we apply to each experience we face.

Patience is one of the Seven Contrary Virtues whose practice can protect one against the temptation toward the Seven Deadly Sins. The practice of patience can protect one against the sin of anger.

Come to think of it, since I've learned patience, I rarely get angry. Whadayouknow.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:14 PM | Permalink

June 13, 2004

66% of Midlife Divorces Initiated by Women

Maybe it's because we live longer and healthier lives that so many people in midlife get divorced. I probably shouldn't have been surprised that 66% of midlife divorces are initiated by women, but I was. Women do the walking. Men don't see it coming was the conclusion of the AARP survey of some 1147 men and women who divorced in their 40s, 50s, or 60s. Other surprising findings...

• 32% of divorced men in their 50s said they felt "feelings of resentment"
• More men than women stayed in marriages and postponed divorce because of the kids: 58% of men vs. 37% of women.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:54 PM | Permalink

June 12, 2004

More than $10B in Lost Pensions

There is no centralized system that tracks pension and 401(K) plan information.
According to Ellen Bruce, associate director of the Gerontology Institute at the University of Boston, the value of lost pensions runs "over $10B easily"

There are many reasons why so many are lost: increased mobility, non-portability, frequent corporate mergers and sloppy record keeping.

The June AARP Bulletin notes that Bruce and a colleague advocate creating a centralized registry to track pension information in the Spring issue of The John Marshall Law Review which has not yet posted online.

You know you should keep track of your past employers as well as your current ones. But that can be hard if you don't know if or when mergers have occurred or who is responsible for pensions.
If you think you have lost a pension to which you are entitled:

    First, search the Internet for your former employer.
    To find lost pensions, you can go to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, the federal agaency that oversees the solvency of pension plans. If you live in New England, you can contact the Pension Action Center, part of the UMass Gerontology Institute

    Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:08 PM | Permalink

June 10, 2004

Care and Feeding of Husbands

The most popular book on male-female relationships in years, selling to date over 800,000 copies is a book you probably never heard of.

The author says, "I was amazed at the reaction I have had from so many men about this book. So many of them are so unhappy. They feel emotionally abused by the women in their lives"

"Women have been told for so long that men are powerful and that women are always victims that they believe it. They expect men to be understanding of them, even when they are hostile, dismissive and undermining to the men in their lives. In truth men are fairly simple. They are born and raised by women. The acceptance and love of a woman is central to their whole lives. The woman, who knows that and is wise enough to use that power benevolently will have a happy life."

I learned about "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" by Laura Schlessinger in Blyth Spirit. Myrna Blyth was a long time editor of Ladies Home Journal and founding editor of More. Her book: "Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:56 AM | Permalink

June 4, 2004

Special Needs Children Outliving Their Parents

Parents of a disabled or special needs child realize their financial planning is more complicated than most. How to insure their child's quality of life after they die becomes a burning issue.

BusinessWeek in Disabled -- But Financially Secure reports on strategies to getting costs covered and on choosing the right financial planner as well as sites for getting online financial help.

Merrill Lynch is apparently the only major brokerage firm with a Special Needs Financial Services Group with over $1.5 billion in client assets and 700 trained financial advisors. Chris Sullivan, a deaf analyst who sparked the creation of the separate group, recommends a team approach with a financial advisor, an estate planning attorney and a social service representative or disability advocate so that all three areas can be addressed together.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:20 PM | Permalink