My Year as a Minimalist

Walking into my apartment, exhausted after a long day of negotiations on my recent listing in Los Altos, I stopped and looked around at the tiny space I called home.  Just a year ago, I sold my beautiful five-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot home—filled with memories and pictures of my four kids on every wall—and downsized to what felt like a 780-square-foot closet. My first thought was I should be crying over this change. Instead, I smiled.

Not long ago, I was a marketer’s dream. I found myself […]

A Work of Heart

At the sound of a text at 4:00 a.m., I jumped out of bed ready to run out the door. I’d only gotten five hours of sleep, but this was one event I refused to be late for.

“Oh my God!” my daughter Jenni mumbled, waking up in the bed next to mine. “Not only did you sleep in your clothes, but you still have your makeup and earrings on.”

“I wanted to be ready,” I replied, in eager anticipation. “You just never know when these […]

No Longer that Girl

As I practiced the words that scrolled down the teleprompter, my voice began to tremble with each screwup. “Ugh! Why can’t I get this right?” I moaned. Painful memories from my youth flooded my mind and I broke into tears.

When I was young, I grappled with a learning disability that went undiagnosed. Back in the 1950s, why a child’s brain struggled with academics had yet to be discovered. Instead, you were labeled slow—or worse, stupid. Fortunately, I developed tricks along the way to help […]

My Final Responsibility

 

Going through massive amounts of paperwork, my brother Dave and I cringed. How could our father, a brilliant and organized man, leave such a mess with his estate? What Dad thought were simple instructions would take a year, several attorneys, extra money, and a judge’s ruling to clear up his intent. Wasn’t losing him suffering enough? The paperwork became pure torture.

In the Madden family, my parent’s finances were never discussed with their kids. Watching them age became frightening because we didn’t know where anything […]

What do I know: Letting go of expectations

All I Needed

 

 

In an effort to leave our family’s digital history organized and in one place, I spent hours learning how to turn the old VHS videos into DVDs. Being technologically challenged, this was no easy feat. But, in the Universe’s Divine planning, I was granted an intercession by the techie gods above, and soon the transfer from the archaic mode of entertainment to the current would begin.

First, I organized the volume of dusty tapes into chronological order. Then, by activity, dance recitals, and athletic events. […]