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Somewhere Between Rome and Paris— A Story About Finding Balance Through LifeScaling

This picture was taken somewhere between Rome and Paris. I was lucky to make this flight. A story from April, 2018. Behind the scenes of developing LifeSCALE: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life. 

The car was to pick me up in Rome at 4:30 a.m. for a 6:40 flight to Paris. There, I would eventually connect to San Francisco. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I knew I could sleep over the Atlantic.

I was in Rome for only a day-and-a-half but it seemed like so much longer. Time stood still. I spent my last evening with new friends enjoying a wonderful dinner, live jazz, and nearby sites. No one wanted it to end. Alas, I arrived at my hotel very late (or early depending how you want to look at it). In what seemed like a good idea at the time, I dozed off for a bit to rest before the pickup. Then, I was startled by the blaring ring of the loudest phone ever. I jumped up to answer it in what I thought was first ring.

“Your driver is waiting,” said the front desk.

“Please tell him, I’ll be down in 15,” I politely responded while thinking “oh no!”

I raced to get ready. Thankfully I had packed the evening before.

As I sat down to get situated and fasten my seatbelt, I looked at my phone and the time said 5:30 a.m. “Wait…what!?” My pickup was 4:30, here it is 5:30 and I have a flight that takes off at 6:40. Mamma mia! Where did that hour go?

I now realize that the call (first ring) were most likely continous calls in the attempt to wake me up. I overslept. I made someone unecessarily wait at a very early hour.

I was lucky to make that flight.

When I landed in San Francisco, I immediately texted two of my dear friends and asked them to dinner. I shouldn’t have made it home at that time and I wanted to enjoy champagne, great conversation and even better company to close the chapter on that experience.

Life all too often flies by. I struggle with it, the balance, the hustle and “busy” of it all.

I wrestle with the why and to what extent of all of this and their relationship to how I’m supposed to measure happiness and success. A mentor long ago once asked me, “if you had a choice, would you want to be rich or famous?” The young me quipped, “why can’t I have both?”

I now realize that she meant something different. “Rich” isn’t just about wealth. And “fame” isn’t just about status. Happiness and love, real happiness and love, are more important than we appreciate. But understanding them will open our hearts and minds to see and live the world in a much more productive, gratifying and aspirational way.

I’m starting to learn to unlearn.

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