Sunday, July 21, 2013

Making Mistakes Since 1964

This is the tagline of my dear friend, John Puglia. "Making Mistakes Since 1964." The first time he said that to me I laughed hysterically thinking that he had just made some witty comeback to my accusation of him missing something that I had provided to him earlier in the day. Turns out, it's his official sign off - and he had the rubber stamp to prove it. Really, he did.

John had a real liking for taglines apparently - he bestowed two upon me. The first one should be no surprise to anyone - "The Girl on the Grid." He teased me incessantly for living and dying by schedules, getting excited about well-created spreadsheet and matrices and being a machine in some cases. In fact, he would leave me notes on grid paper just to reinforce his theory and thereby validating the tagline. The second tagline he gave me was "Blonde Roots. Really." I had a picture of my Granddad and I sitting on my desk and I was about three years old - and blonde. John would often tease me for being book-smart and lacking common sense - and specifically having no navigational sense whatsoever. Despite my dark hair, he was convinced the blonde roots were still there.

Our friendship really took hold a year ago - during a 24-hour, round-the-clock, work frenzy known as CreateAThon. I was on John's team and we really got to know each other well and had some quality bonding time through that experience. Nothing says bonding like a 1:30am walk to The Interstate - a notoriously gay bar - in Akron. I suppose he thought it would be good to wake me up if the cold air in the wee hours in the morning didn't do it. He was right. This was the first of many experiences we would have and share for the next year.

He introduced me to a new realm of restaurants, drinks, live music venues, speak-easies and bands. He also instilled in me an appreciation for experiences. These should not be understated. He invited me into his world - knowing it would be completely different than what I was accustomed to. He lived life to the fullest - experiencing every moment and challenged me to do the same.

I lost John a week ago today. I did. His boys did. His parents did. Numerous other friends and family. We all lost John - and what a loss that is. I still have not fully comprehended his expedited departure despite the fact that I attended his funeral only days ago. It was too soon. Far too soon for a person so full of life, energy and amazing talent. He loved life and that passion was contagious. To say I will miss him is a gross understatement.

John and I - CreateAThon 2012

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mad Men Meets Pharmaceuticals

Nearly all of my professional career has been spent in the marketing and advertising world. Tomorrow it changes. Tomorrow I leave my comfort zone to move into a field that is relatively foreign to me. If someone would have told me that I would wind up in the healthcare(ish) industry one day I would have told them they were off their rocker. My Grandie always wished me to be a nurse while I was growing up and I politely disagreed - no thanks. No blood, bodily fluid or needles for this girl. While I will not be functioning as a healthcare provider, being in the industry is still a bit bizarre. But, it affords me what I need - time.

For far too long I have been running on fumes and while I have done a kick-ass job in my professional career, I have done a mediocre job as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, volunteer. This is not me being melodramatic or a martyr, this is me keeping it real. The Mad Men lifestyle has afforded me many opportunities, growth experiences, travel, new relationships, fun and yes, even cocktails at my desk and over lunch. But, not without a cost. The cost being at the expense of the people most important to me. What it really comes down to is the realization that life is about five-minutes long. Recognizing what's most important to me and how can I achieve more life becomes the goal. Not the career. Not a job. People and life - that's what matters to me.

"There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow; so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live."
- Dalai Lama