“Even if you never met me, I thank you for today.”

For obvious reasons, the last week’s been rough, filled with countless emotions:  fear, confusion, anger, disbelief.   I’ve written countless drafts of new blog posts and nothing, absolutely nothing seemed to feel right.  But today, in line with my last two posts on just how much one person can change the world,  something caught my eye.

Yesterday Andrew J Parker, a well-regarded  Toronto film critic, posted what others are calling a  “suicide note” on his blog.  Pieces of his posts appeared on his Twitter feed as well, sending the internet into a frenzy.   What happened next is heartwarming. Concerned followers started tweeting others asking for his whereabouts, immediately alerted the authorities and got him help. Thank God.

Later, he tweeted back : “Even if you never met me, I thank you for today. Thanks for proving to me that the world isn’t a cold and broken place.” So here’s what is rambling around in my head. Rather than the deluge of insults that people so carelessly toss out to each other over the internet, isn’t this what it’s supposed to all be about ? People helping people? Sharing knowledge, exhibiting compassion, solving problems, expressing love?  In his blog, Andrew wrote:

It’s not that I don’t want to try to fix things. It’s that I need help fixing them. I need encouragement, and that’s something that I can’t get right now. There are things that I can’t admit to myself. I need to hit a complete reset button. I need to tear it all down, but I don’t know if I can build it back up.”

Well Andrew, your words are beautiful and you just educated the world profoundly on depression.  Look how very brave you are and how much knowledge you possess:

  • Depression is  not about weakness or cowards. It’s a disease and nothing to be ashamed of ;
  • We can have what others perceive as “all” and still experience depression.  By the way, it’s not about having it all anyway;
  • Money doesn’t fix it;
  • Help is out there (see below) ;
  • Experiencing clinical depression is SCARY beyond measure. If it does go away, thanks to our limbic systems, we are terrified it will return. That makes the whole thing worse; and
  • It’s the darkest place you can imagine, please don’t shy away  or judge those experiencing it–HELP  & ENCOURAGE others.

So I challenge you today peeps. Who can you reach out today and help? What resources can you share? Who can you love? And if so moved, please encourage Andrew and send him a virtual hug  @andrewjparker. We could all use a little more of that.

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With Love,

Patty Comeford Adams, JD

 Ps. Two great resources for online depression support are:

1. The Blurt Foundation. They can be found on Twitter @blurtalerts and on Facebook.

2. Theresa Borchard’s amazing blog found here.

Other helpful resources are :

1.The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, suicidepreventionlifeline.org ;

2. The American Federation Suicide Prevention.

 We welcome any and all other suggestions below. Thank you for spreading the word! 

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A life well LIVED. #RememberLisa

As much as writing is often “therapy” , for obvious reasons the last couple days  have found me at a loss for words. Now emerging a bit, a couple of observations:

Much has been written about social media and the demise of our society. In fact, my last blog post on what I am calling the #CurtShillingMovement touched on both the bad and the good of social media. The last few days however have re-affirmed for me the good. Case in point: the social media outpouring of love about the life, tweets and writings of my husband’s daughter in law, Lisa Bonchek Adams, under the hashtag #rememberLisa.

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After reading many of those tweets Saturday,  I tweeted  @youreneverstuck:

 “So much evidence today that 1 person can change the world’ 

citing  just one of her many  legacies–the  metastatic breast cancer research fund she set up here:

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1590&pxfid=2747.

And what a force of change she was! Who will ever look at breast cancer pink ribbons, flowers, corgis, peanut butter, Sarah Oliver Handbags, Easton Designs, books, MBC, Franklin & Marshall, Gail Dosik’s cookies, Sloan Kettering and not think of her? While it’s easy to get discouraged with how rotten our world can be at times,  she showed us all of us just how much one person can affect change. In the poignant words of son Clarke, “She was extraordinary in every way”.

While I do not speak for the family in any way, one of her legacies  in our own home was the love she showed my husband after his late wife Barbara died.  Few people know that  after my husband was released from an extended hospital stay, Lisa flew across the country to Arizona and literally nursed him back to health.   Just recently, I found the health binder she so expertly put together for him.  It was everything you would expect from Lisa: organized, thorough and clever. After finding it, we texted her in thanks that day asking if we could come & help. Her response? That all was running smoothly at home (indeed it was), that it had been her honor to take care of “Clarke the father” and how happy she was to see him living such a full and healthy life. What astounding grace.

As such and with the utmost gratitude,  Clarke & I share the following from her website,wwwLisabadams.com , with you:

IN MEMORIUM – 6 MARCH 

The thousands upon thousands who knew and loved Lisa Bonchek Adams; whether in person or via Facebook, Twitter, or her website and blog read around the world; whether up close or from afar; will find it hard to believe that her steely will and indomitable spirit were finally overcome by the disease she had lived with for so many years.

Lisa died at home around 9:45 pm on Friday, March 06, 2015, surrounded by her entire family.

Lisa was cared for to the end by her beloved Dr. Chau Dang of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Lisa specifically asked that anyone who wishes to honor her memory do so with a contribution to her fund for breast cancer research at MSKCC.

The Adams and Bonchek families send a heartfelt thank you to all for your love and support. We know that Lisa will always be a part of your lives, as she will be a part of ours.

Services consistent with her wishes will be arranged and announced here.

In keeping with Lisa’s wishes, this web site will be maintained as a resource of Lisa’s writings about metastatic breast cancer, grief and loss, life, and family.

“Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere.”

 

*Should her writings touch your heart, we  hope you will join the many others who have donated to her Metastatic Breast Cancer Research fund: http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1590&pxfid=27471

With Love and her most beautiful  5 bits of beauty ,

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Patty Comeford Adams & Clarke Adams

 

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Curt Schilling: Everyone’s (reluctant) hero

As it’s a busy week at the “Adams Ranch” preparing for an event at our home for our favorite charity, Children’s Hospital & Clinics of Minnesota (www.childrensmn.org), this blog post will be brief.  Frankly, this particular post was unplanned…until I woke up yesterday and read fellow blogger Curt Schilling’s post on the bullying and despicable behavior experienced by his daughter. My blood has been boiling ever since!

In case you missed it, Curt Schilling is a well-regarded baseball pitcher, a proud American and a man of faith.  He writes a blog called 38 Pitches at  http://www. 38pitches.wordpress.com.  Innocently enough and like any proud parent, he recently tweeted about his daughter’s acceptance to college and upcoming pitching career.  The barrage of utterly vulgar and beyond inappropriate tweets in response to his innocent post stopped him in his tracks and he went on the offensive. And, if it hasn’t already, it should stop you in your tracks as well.  The story did make its way to Good Morning America and a few other outlets. You can also read a G-rated synopsis of it all here in People Magazine:

http://www.people.com/article/curt-schilling-defends-daughter-against-cyber-bullies?xid=socialflow_twitter_peoplemag

That said, a big question looms. What are we doing as society, as parents, aunts, uncles,  grandparents , citizens to cultivate such behavior?  We can’t sit by and blame the other guy,  that bad parent, the government, the media. That’s a cop-out. If that’s our response, it will never change and it simply must change. Getting off social media isn’t the answer either; it’s here to stay and does its own good in many cases. (Think: #ALS Ice Bucket Challenge)

So what can we do?

Well for starters, you can all read Curt’s blog and share your outrage on social media. One of these young men was fired at his part-time job at the Yankees for  his despicable tweet; others’ accounts (but not all) were suspended. That’s a start but many were involved and they need to be called out.

Secondly, much like the hateful Tweets/Posts to Robin William’s daughter after her father’s death , we can keep the pressure on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites to disable bullies’ accounts. In my view, it should be a one strike and you’re out. After all, it’s our internet too and it’s time to take it back from these thugs.

Lastly, while many employers already review applicants’ and employees’ social media postings, we can bring such reprehensible behavior to employers’ attention and encourage them to change their policy manuals to ensure firing for cause in such cases. Just think ~ if someone knew they were going to lose their job, would they do this? Sure maybe a few knuckleheads  would; but loss of a job is often a powerful motivator. We need more of that motivation apparently .

Yes, so in my book, Curt Schilling (most likely reluctantly)  is everyone’s hero. Let’s get the internet unstuck and give Curt and his beautiful daughter the gift of action. It’s way more important than what color #thedress is!

With love,

Patty Comeford Adams

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10 seconds to Your BEST FACE Ever (Really)

Okay peeps,

This might be my best beauty tip everrrrr. Seriously……!

I hate foundation. Always have; always will. In addition, I think women have a tendency to over apply it or misapply it.  I also think women who use it typically look—well…OLD! ( I can hear that collective shudder)

Bounce on over to BB CREME my lovelies! It’s the Bomb (But please don’t say that out loud on an airplane).

It’s fast. It’s easy. It takes 10 seconds and makes you look maaaarvelous !

I think I have tried ever BB creme on the market and be assured that not all are created equal. The absolute best is Hydra Life by Christian Dior.

IMG_2464 It has an SPF of 30 and it seriously will make your skin GLOW.  It effortlessly covers sun damage, red hues and brown spots. Just put a dime size amount on your finger tips, rub them together to warm it a bit and spread evenly. That’s it. Vous etes fini! (That’s French for you are finished).

I’ve bought it at various places  but the best place to buy is Amazon! Just click here and it’s at your door:

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=youreneverstu-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B007FAOHW0&asins=B007FAOHW0&linkId=UHYIVGMVM3BL5QZG&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

See? Even your skin is never stuck!

Love,

Patty Comeford Adams

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What’s Your Rub?

We recently visited Chicago for our grand-daughter Gwyneth’s 3rd birthday.

The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl

Aside from being utterly delicious, she’s a wise one. She’s turned inside and found a way to calm herself when need be and connect with others. Our family calls it: The Ear Rub (#TheEarRub).  From time to time, she’ll stop and give herself a little break and rub her own ear or that of someone she loves.

#TheEarRub w/ her Pops

#TheEarRub w/ her Pops

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#TheEarRub with Gampers

#TheEarRub by Gwyenth

#TheEarRub by Gwyenth

 

Psychologists tell us that the stress response is a natural part of our survival instincts. The amygdala is the part of our brain that processes basic feelings; it plays a big role in sounding an alert for threatening situations. It also triggers fight or flight behaviors. This works well as long as there is a threat that you need to run away from or defend yourself against. For many of  us however,  our body  suffers from being on high alert continuously. It often shows up as high cortisol or as a continual state of anxiety.  Anxiety affects over 40 million people over the age of 18 and cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year.  It’s estimated that 1 in 8 children suffer from anxiety and it’s climbing at an alarming rate!

Hence, the importance of engaging in self-soothing behaviors!

How do I self -soothe?   I’ve tried the breathing thing to no avail; I know it works for many but I just get  frustrated. Pilates & yoga, reading  work well for me. Prayer is my absolute favorite. But my secret self-soothe?  As the infamous May West so aptly said: When in doubt, take a BATH.

What’s your #TheEarRub? Please share below, we’d love to know!

And always remember, You’re Never Stuck.

Love,

Patty Comeford Adams

ps. A few more rubs and her best buddy, sister Everleigh. IMG_2286IMG_2323IMG_1998

 

 

 

 

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Heh Lady–What’s your handicap?

Hello Dear Ones. Welcome back and it’s so wonderful to be back! After much prompting, my New Year’s Resolution was to reignite and significantly expand the blog  to include all things for the 50+ woman in helping you get unstuck:

Life, Career & Business, Home, Fashion, Style & Travel

( Yes, people get stuck in Travel too).

We are also excited to share that we’ve already had great interest from advertisers and sponsors and welcome any additional ideas you might have! And please feel free to message me or comment on where you get stuck, we’d love to help! So while the web designers do their thaaaaang, I thought I’d bring you up to speed on this end.  Buckle your seat belts folks, ’cause what hasn’t changed is more like it!  

Re -Charged:   Okay, so it started off as 1 year off and then morphed into 5+ years . It has been a wonderful learning experience for me to just “be” and uncover that I am not my business, not my degrees, and not the state I live in. Truth be told, while having my company acquired by a public company was an extraordinary  (and sometimes painful more on that later) life event, it happened so fast that that the ground quaked. And in perfect “Patty” fashion, I decided I would sell my house, move to a warmer climate Arizona, leave my friends and family and  well….change everything. And change it was. When I moved to Arizona, often the first question  from others was:

What’s your handicap?

 Not: What do you do for a living?

Coming from Minnesota, a highly professional community, that was well ~shocking.  And then the look—you mean you actually worrrrked???????  I’ve since learned that I am my biggest handicap at times and that questions like those are innocent enough. Nevertheless,  it was a great eye opener and reminder that yes, our job/business doesn’t define us. Neither does your handicap ,BTW!  

Re-Married: Met a  dashing fella in my neighborhood named Clarke (Clarke  with an “e;  more on how we met later) who was widowed with  6 amazingly kind and accomplished children  and  12 beautiful grandkids. We married after 2 years and like every newly blended family, we are all learning. While I would never attempt to be these children’s Mom (and no-one ever could duplicate the amazing woman that she was), my goal is to be the best role model I can be and love them all unconditionally. I have always prayed to have children and  it’s clear that the good Lord has blessed me  abundantly. And did I mention that the little ones call me Patty-Cakes???

Here we are at our surprise wedding ceremony. We changed into this get-up in  the dirtiest 4 X4 bathroom ever with the wonderful and talented stylist Scarlett Iaccino https://www.facebook.com/stephanieiaccino?fref=ts.  (Dress by http://www.ReemAcra.com)

Adams_184 Here are our 12 adorable Grandchildren: Paige, Ryan, Emily, Colin, Ben, Ellie, Tristan, Jackson, Owen, Everleigh, Gwyneth & Grace. Adams_398   Here are Clarke’s 6 beautiful children: Helen, Clarke, Sarah, Chris, David & Taylor: IMG_2560 And one more for good measure with grand-daughter Ellie (Dress by http://www.carolinaherrera.com) : Adams_383 Rescued: Thanks to The America Cavalier Rescue Foundation (https://cavalierrescuetrust.org) and his loving Foster Mom Holly, we adopted a senior doggy named Colonel Bailey. We call him #theC olonel  for short and, like any rescue owner will tell you, he has rescued his owners over and over again.  I keep asking myself why I didn’t get a dog sooner in life. ‘We registered him as  a service animal at http://www.nsarco.com/emotional-support-animal.html  and are take him everywhere with us in his little red service vest . He is quite the chic-magnet!

#Thecolonel hanging on the couch: IMG_1631 #TheColonel partaking in our wedding dinner: Adams_268 #TheColonel having a rough day walking but still on the go: IMG_2071   Re-engaged: As we all know, if you’re an adult and get sick one places on your shortlist to go for treatment is Minnesota. The same is true for children!

Thanks to my business mentor/client Kevin Roberg, I was elected to  the Board of Directors of a game changing pediatric hospital:  Children’s Hospital & Clinics of Minnesota, http://www.childrensmn.org. IMG_1902

If you’ve heard me speak before, I  often joke that after being a lawyer  and then spending 15+ years running my company that placed lawyers , I’m winning my soul back now !   In all seriousness, author Gordon Hinckley was right when he said: “The happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others. …. “.  

You’ll be hearing lots more on the blog about this game changing hospital. Currently Clarke & I are supporting 2 pet projects there:

1. The world’s first Pain & Palliative Care Clinic for Children featured here: http://mspmag.com/Out-And-About/Articles/Features/Horst-Rechelbacher-s-Legacy

http://www.childrensmn.org/blog/kidshealth/2015/01/childrens-pain-and-palliative-care-clinic-opens-new-doors/

2. The burgeoning Neurosciences Clinic recently featured on the TV show, The Doctors:

http://www.thedoctorstv.com/articles/1042-young-boy-battles-brain-tumor http://www.childrensmn.org/news-and-events/newsroom/latest-news/childrens-hospitals-and-clinics-of-minnesota-unveils-new-neuroscience-unit-for-epilepsy-and-neurosurgery-patients

Many folks get scared off by the word philanthropy thinking that they have to give millions. In the age of free social media, crowdfunding and the like, there is always so much you can do to help.  Not everyone is cut out for volunteering so I encourage you to  step back and look at your professional skills, and ask what you have to offer.

Thanks for indulging me in this update. And always remember…You’re Never Stuck!

With love, Patty Comeford Adams

 

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