The Last Lost Days of August

Suicide prevention and awareness

September 2nd is approaching; the anniversary of my father’s suicide.

It’s been nineteen years—yes, nineteen— and I still never know how that day will arrive. Some years the sorrow of loss starts gathering early. It might appear days, even weeks, beforehand, and is persistent like the dense fog that clings to these late August mornings—heavy and opaque.

Other years the date, though permanently circled on the calendar in invisible red ink, passes undetected by my emotional radar and I awake on September 3rd surprised by a guilt-tinged realization that I didn’t think of September 2nd at all. But those years are rare.

But today, August 21st,  marks a different anniversary from that same year that I rarely talk about. It’s the anniversary of the day my father wrote his suicide notes.

Continue reading “The Last Lost Days of August”

What’s Wrong with You? | The ZIZOZU 8

This week’s eight things that are worth sharing with friends

Issue #4: What’s Wrong With Me?  

Nothing. Nothing is wrong. It was a week of learning about how folks handle their self-doubts, perceived flaws and spectacular failures. Next time you’re feeling down about yourself remember: you’re not alone. Figuratively or literally.
  1. MILLENNIAL. Maybe you’re one of them and according to Simon Sinek, here’s the way to handle it.
  2. GRIEF BRAIN. It’s a thing. But it’s temporary. And you’re not alone, many XIZOZU customers wear at least one medal honoring a lost loved one as a place to direct their love or a place to find strength and comfort.
  3. YOU’RE OUT OF BREATH. You’re doing it wrong. Or I was. Here’s how to breathe specifically to relax, quiet anxiety, and even fall back to sleep.
  4. IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD. The traveling exhibit Mindful – exploring mental health through art will be at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts through April 2018.
  5. THE BLUES. We all get ’em. Make the most of it with this worth-your-time music documentary: Blues America: Part 1 and Part 2
  6. OH BURGERS! I’m a vegetarian, except for those days when I eat meat. Try this simple approach for a healthier you and planet.
  7. YAY! YOU’VE BEEN A FAILURE. Successful entrepreneurs, authors, comedians, top YouTube creators, and more share trues stories about their complete mess ups in the What’s Wrong with You Podcast.
  8. WRONG vs. RIGHT Can science determine human values? Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape is next up on my nonfiction reading list. What’s next up on yours?

A customer's keychain with XIZOZU medals of honor—reminders of what's important.CUSTOMER LOVE NOTES:
“I locked the door and saw my XIZOZU. Started the car and there they were. It’s like mini meditations all day long!” —L. (USA)

The new XIZOZU™ keychains are super popular with the non-necklace wearers.


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Information worth sharing with friends

custom intention jewelry

Aaaah Grasshopper.

How mentoring pays off.After the phone call ended I sat on the steps of my back deck thinking about all the topics we’d just covered: internet commerce, SEO, website design, form & function; then art and making stuff; and finally, and just briefly: relationships, motherhood, and divorce.

Ultimately I steered my thoughts back to the first part of our conversation—the intended part and purpose of the call. I replayed the ideas we brainstormed to workout production bottlenecks. I re-heard the parts where we discussed platforms and approaches; matrices and wireframes. Out-sourcing versus hiring. Avenues for growth.

Then it struck me.

The voice on the other end of the line wasn’t the voice of that sixteen-year old who had repeatedly knocked on my design studio door begging—no really—badgering me for an internship all those years ago. It wasn’t the voice of the young woman who later worked for me during web design’s most excruciating yet exhilarating years. Those voices, while still hers, were only faint whispers in my memory. Hers was the unmistakable voice of a peer—offering solid, energized and implementable ideas.

A warm smile spread across my face as I put my phone in my pocket and headed toward a flower garden that I’d been neglecting all summer.

The day your mentee mentors you, is a very #XIZOZUDAY.

Same Road, Different Journey.

I was reminded over the weekend that even when we share a path with others, be it a partner or a tribe, we each experience it differently. We bring to it our personal collection of memories and expectations, and we take from it the elements we choose.

This is wonderful.

And this is troublesome.

Or at least it felt that way until I realized the differences are just the nature of being.

Then it was wonderful again.Inspirational quote about inclusion and diversity