Monthly Archives: June 2011

Volume Control

I am becoming more aware everyday of how important it is to not speak at number 10. This started when I was in Europe a couple of years ago with friends. We were sitting in an outdoor cafe and one friend is particularly loud, and I felt very self-conscious about our group as being tagged as the loud and vulgar Americans.

Volume is important, both vocally and visually. Whenever I receive an email that is written in all capital letters it feels like someone is screaming at me. I grew up in a family that was very loud and thought nothing of breaking the sound barrier to get their points across. If I were dating now, I would be very turned-off by someone who was not able to modulate their tone and volume. Of course, I am hard-wired for this tendency and have to monitor myself carefully to make sure that I don’t come off as a shrill and snarling bitch whenever I get impatient and frustrated (which is often). I have a friend who has the opposite impulse: the angrier she gets the quieter her she becomes. Over time, I have come to really ppreciate people who are able to be present; who don’t speak loudly or excessively.

I am a fan of the grounded whisper and softly expressed bullet points. So be courteous and remember that we don’t have to loudly express every single thought that wafts across our brains.



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It has been over a month since I have posted anything and every day that I am not posting creates a knot. One that starts in my stomach and travels up to my brain, sighing, groaning, and bleating until it heaves itself against my resistance.

Actually, I do have a couple of really valid reasons for the lag. The first being that I am in the last throes of completing the book, and it is incredibly consuming task to publish on different platforms (print and electronic). This requires a patient and generous book designer who is not ruffled by the endless tweaks and re-reviewing of copy to make sure that nothing has dropped out or shifted. Oh, and they all need to be ready at the same time for when the book launches.

The second thing is that, along with my business partners, I run a company which is sort of like being a parent to a child who never gets out of the crib. As I often say, “the baby monitor is always on.”

The third thing is the three milestone events that have occupied my full atteniton: planning for my husband’s surprise 50th birthday trip to Berlin, our daughter’s college graduation, and my father-in-law’s 80th birthday– all occurring in the month of May. We’ve been travelling a lot in the last few months: Las Vegas, San Francisco, Tuluum, Mexico, Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam. The travelling has been great, but disruptive. However, I can’t wait to get back to Berlin the neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg that feels so much like home.

Oh, there is a fourth thing that I anticipate will be an impediment: attending to our house and its landscaping and maintenance needs and getting one of our cats shaved for the summer. She totally freaks out when you try to groom her and it costs about $700 to have the vet do it because she anesthetizes her. So I have to figure out how I can do it at home without getting scratched-up and frustrated.  There is even more to the cat story, but I’ll save that for another time.

I welcome any/all suggestions on the above.

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