Tag Archives: Smith College

JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 8 – DAY 25 :: for the joy of it

25 Jan
{don’t stop}

I received this in the mail from Smith College. It’s a little token of thanks for the recent webinar where I shared my story and everything I have learned over this promise (in its 8th year!).

The magnet couldn’t be more perfect. I haven’t stopped blogging since the day I started. Mostly because it continues to propel me forward, teach me more than I ever could have imagined, and surprise me every single year.

The bottom line is…it brings me joy.

There is joy in that — even in the everyday slog, the days where I have nothing to say and the moments where it feels like I have nothing to share. Mostly because those days add up to weeks and then months, and then seasons. And each season has a lesson. Each year has a reason. But I wouldn’t see it if I didn’t show up – every single day.

Want to find your joy? As a little magnet I know says…
Don’t stop working for it. 

More tomorrow…



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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 174 :: reaching the summitt

28 Jun

Day 174: Winning.

“I met her once.”

That’s what’s been in my head all day as I have watched the memorials pour out over the internet and social media for Pat Head Summitt.

She was a pioneer. The winningest coach ever. Intensely successful.

I was a pioneer when I met her. A Smith College Pioneer. Pat was to accept an award on the Smith Campus. I was the student picked to introduce her at the faculty luncheon in the private faculty building overlooking Paradise Pond.

I wasn’t picked because of my game scoring records (I barely had one) or my presence on the college court (more like the bench). I was picked because I was in the right place at the right time. And I intensely loved basketball and women’s sports.

Which was why was I was scared shitless. Of her. THE one and only Pat Summitt. A living legend then, almost twenty years ago. I was also scared of messing up. In front of HER. The living legend who was gracing the Smith College campus.

I practiced and practiced and practiced my speech. I probably worked harder on that speech than any term paper that semester. And on the day of the big introduction of Pat Head Summitt it all went by in a nanosecond. A blur. I didn’t mess up. It went without a hitch. Then I shook her hand. I SHOOK HER HAND!!! And, in an instant, it was over.

It’s an amazing legacy she leaves. One of strength and elegance. Determination and grace. Winningest path paved. Inspiration for a generation of little girls and a lifetime of women’s sports. She has now reached the ultimate summit. But leaves in her absence an incredible presence. And in my mind, an incredible gift.

I met her once.
And in that instance she made me do great.
Even if it was for a nanosecond.

I suppose that’s a practice she would be proud of. Making every nanosecond count. Whether it’s in life, work, school, on the court (or in the yoga studio).

Thank you, Pat.
For your life, your presence, your work, your mission.
Your inspiration.

More tomorrow.

{reaching the summitt}

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JAMIE’S BLOG – DAY 319 :: blissful eating

19 Nov

Today’s bliss…cooking… and eating.

I don’t do it often, but tonight I did…. cook that is.
Because it was Julia Child Day at my alma mater of course!

“For students, the highlights of Julia Child Day are house dinners. Entrees this year include brie en croute, pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce, beef bourguignon and poached local fish with citrus beurre blanc.”

I’m not sure I can pronounce most of that, but it sounds lovely doesn’t it?

And that is so NOT what I prepared in my kitchen tonight. My creation was more of a cross between a burrito and a potato plus some spinach. Julia is shaking her head and a vat of butter somewhere at that I’m sure (but I promise it tasted good).

Tonight, as I was cooking (or sautéing, really) I reflected on The French Chef. It’s a tale of Pride and Pressure. I’m so proud of Julia Child and relish the thought that we walked down the same aisle at the library, maybe even picked up the same dusty forgotten book on a shelf. Or possibly sat gazing out a window, inspired by the same tree’s leaves falling, decorating Paradise Pond.

And then there is that pressure point. The one that comes rearing it’s big ugly head at the thought of sharing the same book, gazing at the same tree, and realizing there is so much to live UP to in this long line of amazing women traveling through the halls of Smith College. The pressure is real.

But that brings me to another “P” word, the one that I have to say over and over to myself to remain grateful and not overwhelmed with pressure. Privilege.

All women deserve the attention, detail, education, and exponentially expanding experience that comes from an amazing college education, no matter how it is packaged up or where/which campus it occurs.

So thank you, Smith College. I may always feel the pressure to live up to your good name, but I will never forget the privilege that comes with it.

And to that, I raise a block of brie and chocolate croissant.
Pure. Bliss.

More tomorrow. 

{favorite recipe?}

JAMIE’S BLOG – DAY 252 :: back to school bliss

15 Sep

I loved back to school time. The new books, markers, paper, binders. SUPPLIES! I loved the back to school shopping. New clothes, shoes, dresses, jackets. Must have items of the fall. It was like a New Year all wrapped into the a countdown to the best holidays too.

So today I smiled when I read this from my alma mater:


Smith College
If you could go back to Smith this fall, what would you do?
Is there a course you would take? House you would live in? Place you would visit?


Oh la la! I’m glad you asked…..
Beyond the school shopping and supplies (that’s a given) I would….

  • Take my scores less seriously
  • Learn for the sake of learning
  • Spend more time reading outside
  • Finally take art history (which I skipped) to earn the final credit for an Art Minor

If you could back to college this fall, what would you do?

More tomorrow.
 {ready for fall?}

2014 BLOG – DAY 84 :: happy birthday, GLORIA!

25 Mar

Today is an amazing day. Gloria Steinem turns eighty. All I can say is wow – I hope I look this good at 80!

Of course, what I really mean to say is what an amazing life. What an amazing woman. What an amazing leader, visionary, do-er and dreamer.

While I can’t get the song Gloria out of my mind, I also can’t help but wonder if she knows how many lives she has touched over 80 years.

Here’s to you, Gloria. Thank you for the wisdom and inspiration.
Happy Birthday.

Singing Gloria!

More tomorrow.

{who inspires you?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 139 :: 30 days of love: Arianna Huffington’s secret to success, sleep your way to the top

19 May

It’s DAY 9 over here of the 30 Days of Love. We’ve already had two yummy recipes and a week-long Giveaway, some treats, a sneeze, and now, some very wise words.Today, my love to share with you is the wise words of Arianna Huffington spoken at the graduation ceremony today of my alma mater, Smith College.

Listening to Arianna today brought me back to my own graduation. As she called out to the Class of 2013 to “Redefine Success” I was reminded of my graduation day and the Class of 1996.

Back then, our commencement speaker was Anna Quindlen and she rallied the crowd by saying, “Men and women need to meet in the middle.”

Spoken like a true wise woman. And such a sign of the times — sixteen years later women and men are literally meeting in the middle, sharing work and home duties as never before. My own home life is proof of this evolution – we share the cooking, laundry, bills and business duties.

But it doesn’t mean “we are there” yet as a society.

Today, Arianna broke it down for the women of Smith in a new way. 

“What I urge you to do is to lead the third women’s revolution.” 

She was referring to our current cultural definition of success — the fixed equation of money + power. Arianna’s call was for a third metric, one founded on: 

  • Wellbeing
  • Wonder
  • Wisdom
  • Empathy
“Money and power by themselves are a two-legged stool — you can balance on them for a while but eventually you’re going to topple over. And more and more people, very successful people, are toppling over.”As she described our female plight, Arianna highlighted the fact that “success the way we have defined it is no longer sustainable, for human beings or the planet,” citing that:- women have had a 40% increased risk in heart disease
– self reported stress rates have gone up by 18%

Then, she unleashed the showstopper. 

“You don’t get to the top by marrying someone, a much simpler way is to sleep your way to the top.”

Arianna was talking about the literal “SLEEP” to prevent deprivation and burnout. It was her call to action for these young women – and it should be for all of us. 

Her message and challenge for the graduating class of 2013 is to find room for WELLBEING in the definition of success. 

“So find your place to stand, you place of wisdom and strength. And from that place lead the women’s third revolution and remake the world in your own image, according to your definition of success, so that all of us, women and men, can live our lives with more grace, more joy, more empathy, more gratitude and yes, more love. So Class of 2013, congratulations. Onward, upward and inward!”

Well said, Ms. Huffington. I couldn’t agree more.  LOVE more.

More tomorrow,
Lovemore (fearless),

{Share you wisdom in the comments section below}

Day 266: falling into the equinox

23 Sep

It occurs to me that today is a point of balance.

The fall equinox, the point at which the day and night are once again equal.

As I return from Omega Institute, and a weekend of Women+Power, I hear these words echo through my mind.


And the words of another woman follow:

“Men and women need to come together, they need to meet in the middle.”

Those were the words of Anna Quindlen at my Smith College graduation. That was more than fifteen years ago, and Anna’s message on feminism stuck in my head like glue. I have never forgot that directive.

And, this weekend, from all the speakers and leaders and visionaries I heard the sound of another equinox, another balance forming.

It seems there is a calling to the world, a cry for action, a new vision forming that is bigger than us all.

It is a cry for help for some. A battle cry for others. And a good old fashioned painful gut wrenching cry for some.

But this time it felt different. I am left with the feeling that it is time for the magic to take hold. It is time for healing to happen. All around the world. For the world.

It seems we are in a new season. Might it be the point at which the day and night are once again equal?

To be fearless without instilling force. To do what is right and necessary. All around the world. For the world. 

Or, maybe, I was just dreaming.

This morning as I looked out on the forests, trees, and water sitting on the face of the earth and the grounds of Omega, it occurred to me that the natural order of things always knows what to do. 

A tree doesn’t contemplate where to grow.
It just grows.

Whether you are a masculine or feminine, here or there, near or far, it seems the natural thing, the next step, the necessary action is for all of us to grow.

Through every season.

Day 263: recharge your battery. skip class. just jump. mountain day.

20 Sep

What a day.

Just when I had everything planned out precisely …the car battery dies.

It took two cars and two sets of jumpers (Justin and the neighbor!) to boot the battery back up.

As I sat in the car waiting for the engine to turn over, crackling and churning without any charge, I couldn’t help but think it was such a visual, living analogy for when my own life battery runs weak.

Ironically, today was Mountain Day at my alma mater Smith College. Mountain Day is a special day reserved specifically for rejuvenation in the beautiful fall air.

The best part? It’s a surprise.

I remember when I first entered Smith and upperclass(wo)men explained Mountain Day to me. They promised that one morning, early in the morning, the college bells would ring and that meant we could skip class for the day.

“Really, we get to skip class?” I asked in disbelief with big nerdy-school-girl eyes wondering if it was really a hoax or some sort of hazing trick for all the new students, just to mess with us.

I soon found out it was not a trick. It was the real deal. MOUNTAIN DAY exists.

And, today, on this Mountain Day of 2012, while I sat in my car waiting for the battery to charge, it occurred to me that it always take more time and more resources to refill and recharge — and, really, don’t we need more Mountain Days?

To skip out and seek a surprise break from it all.

Good thing I am headed to OMEGA tomorrow with Debbie Phillips! I think that will more than recharge my batteries.

Speaking of renewable energy…
I LOVE the photos Susan from Dawgma Gallery posted today of our little pups.

This was Brady’s first photo shoot.

How Susan got him to crawl up on this boat (with AMERICAN FLAG waving in the background) I do not know. She’s a pro.

And, while Pup is also a pro at photo shoots by now, he still showed up with supercharged charm — even at ten years old.

They make a cute pair.

But, boy, do I wish I could BOTTLE THAT ENERGY.

Doesn’t it make you want to jump?

Starting tomorrow and over this weekend, I will be reporting from OMEGA and will share any insights I gain on supercharging our batteries. Until then, maybe we should all think about taking a break, a day off, or totally skipping out on something?

That is … if you didn’t already today.

Happy Mountain Day. 


Day 239: lovemore monday :: hunting for a friend in a graveyard

27 Aug

It’s Lovemore Monday and I did something totally new and different.

I went on a hunt. In a cemetery. 

I know, not my usual course of activity while out running errands. But I was motivated while filling out a questionnaire, specifically answering this question: What three women have most inspired you throughout your lifetime?

Let me count the ways.

There are actually too many inspiring women to fill the allotted three spots, so I went with my younger-self answers, since I can clearly see who led me then, being on this side of thirty (and closing in on forty!) now.

The first woman, of course, is my dear Mama Sling. I cannot imagine my life without her, even though she left way too young, she remains a ferocious force of positivity and a daily influence in my adult life. I could write a book about her incredible strength, love and laughter through all of life’s challenges — and, maybe I will!

The second woman is my high school basketball coach. Coach Kohring was an example of stick-to-itiveness as she, at 9-months pregnant, coached us on the court at summer basketball camp and then drove a van full of teenagers the entire eight-hour drive home, before she finally dropped herself off at the hospital to give birth. She was back on the court less than a week later and has always been a shining light for showing up. Her mantra still rings in my head today, “Practice Makes Permanent.”

The third woman is someone I never met. 

I know all about her life because I studied her papers for my Senior Project at Smith College. She is a Smithie and was the first female television sports producer. She won Emmy’s for her work, she was a part of ABC’s Wide World of Sports and she pretty much set every record there was for breaking barriers in the television sports production field – everything from the Olympics to NFL games. As a woman. Back then.

Her name is Eleanor Sanger.

And, today, as I reflected on all the ways she inspired me, I also felt crushed that I lost The Paper I wrote chronicling her life.

I wasn’t crushed just because I spent an entire year researching Eleanor’s life while at Smith. Or, because I had special access to the Sophia Smith Collection where Eleanor’s papers are kept, or even because I was mesmerized by the interviews I conducted with her family and co-workers.

No. I am crushed because there is very little documented about Eleanor’s life and times and the barriers she broke. And, I lost that damned Paper in my devastating divorce (among so many other things).

Even the Wikipedia page on her life is sparse pickings.

As I looked over that Wikipedia page today, remembering all the facts and details about her life, there was one that I totally forgot in all these years. And that line jumped off the page at me.

“Sanger and Riger are buried side by side in Village Cemetery, West Tisbury, Massachusetts on Martha’s Vineyard.”

It all came back to me. I remember interviewing her children and learning how Eleanor loved the Vineyard, how she came here all the time and how she wanted to die here. And, she did.

Then, I did something totally out of character.  I decided to do something I have only done for one other woman (Mama Sling) — I would walk the cemetery and find Eleanor’s grave. 

So, I set off without a map or any idea where to go, except I held the gut instinct that you can pretty much find anything on this island if you keep looking.

As I drove down State Road I scanned the fields for signs of gravestones and finally spotted a fence line marked with graves. I didn’t know if it was the Village Cemetery, there was no sign, but I turned down the road anyway.

I parked at the end of the dirt road inside the fenced cemetery, feeling like an intruder busting my way into the graveyard. Immediately, I felt sheepish for showing up without flowers or any offering in my hands.

In my head I held conversations with all the imaginary people that I might run into, as if catching me in the act while walking up and down row and rows of tombstones.

Just how do I explain what I am looking for? Do I say I am looking for an old friend? Doing research? Just out for a walk? Lost?

Luckily I didn’t run into a soul — not a living one. But, I didn’t see any sign of Eleanor either.

As I walked to the end of the road, after weaving in and out of rows of Mayhews, Daggits, Slocum’s, Davis’s and other recognizable Vineyard names, I determined my search was over. There was no Sanger.

Besides, I didn’t even know what I was looking for… A tombstone? A bench? A rock? A temple?

And then, just as I turned the final corner to walk back to my car, I saw her name.

Eleanor Sanger.  

“Eleanor!” I sang her name out loud as if finally meeting an old friend for the first time. “There you are!”

As I sat on the grass next to her gravesite, I apologized profusely for losing The Paper. It’s a good thing no living souls were around to see me talking to myself, but I have to say it felt freeing to apologize OUT LOUD and make my peace with this woman who will never know how much she inspired me.

I realized something else too.

I guess it’s okay that The Paper is lost and gone forever.
Because, in reality, she’s been right here with me on this island all along.

I have to say, Eleanor…
it was nice to finally meet you. 

And that’s why, on this Lovemore Monday…
I. Love. It.

Day 82: do what you love

23 Mar

It’s Day 82 and raining in New York City.
Also hailing.

I swear it was also snowing when we first touched down at JFK airport …nonetheless, it was an opportunity to bring out the rain boots and sport my new super warm and cozy hand-me-down Michigan rain coat from Mary Ellen Jones!

Tonight’s big event was seeing Ina Garten and Anna Quindlen on stage at the 92nd Y in New York City. (Thanks to you Debbie Phillips!)

There clearly was a lot of respect between Ina and Anna, and it kind of felt like a large dinner party hosted between the dynamic duo and a few hundred friends (without the homemade food of course).

And, what an amazing dynamic duo they are!
One a writer extraordinaire, one a cooking goddess.

The last time I saw Anna live on stage was at my Smith College graduation where she gave the commencement speech and I received a very important piece of paper (one that cost a lot of time and money, which ironically, I have since lost in many moves).

I remember being spellbound then.

That was fifteen years ago, and Anna’s message on feminism stuck in my head like glue. It was (paraphrasing): men and women need to come together, they need to meet in the middle.

I had the same warm-hearted feeling tonight, listening to Ina.

Ina shared the approach to creating her own brand of success:
She didn’t set out to be a brand, with a long-running TV show, bestselling cookbooks, and a whole culinary line of fabulous-ness.

She just did what she loved.
(with high standards!)

Thank you, Ina.
It is clearly proven advice.
I love it.

And, it makes me think:
The Promise 365 reminds me everyday that
Life should be lived from the inside out.

Tonight, Ina just added frosting to the cake.
Because when we all do what we love, we get to have our cake and eat it too!

How sweet that is.

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