Perspective On The Year Ahead

17.0 and I just got home from the first real college tour – last year we did a one-off college visit to NYU in NY but that (at least in my mind) wasn’t a real tour.  This time we did two of the State University of New York (SUNY) schools that would realistically be college destinations.  While one is still in the running and one is out – my lesson was in perspective on the year ahead.

17.0 is going into her senior year of high school.  For the most part I can recall most of that year (despite it occurring more than 25 years ago.  I really don’t recall such a big focus on the college tour – but that’s a different story.

As we were walking the second SUNY school today, I asked 17.0 what she was looking for on these campuses.  I think I wanted to know what she was using as her yardstick to measure one school against another.

Her answer was interesting – she wanted to measure out the campuses (small, medium and large); find out about campus life and maybe a little about her major.

I would have thought she would be more focused on the school’s proximity to town and what living in a dorm would be like.

Just a differing perspective on the year ahead.

As we were driving home, she asked me for a reminder of when she can go for her senior portrait (tomorrow).  Then she was focused on her yearbook quote.  I can’t even recall mine.  To be honest, I can’t even recall if we had them.

My thought on them though is you need to think about your audience 10 years out.  After all once the school year ends, the yearbook is put away – and comes out right before the 10 year reunion.  I’d like to think experience gives me perspective on the year ahead – but I could be wrong.

I’m going to guess that this year will be eye-opening for me – going through a lot of changes for the first time.  It’s been a while since there was this much upheaval – the good news is, hopefully I learn something by the time 14.5 is ready for her senior year.

That’s my perspective on the year ahead.

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Pause for Life, Memories and Perspective

RIP Judy MartinSometimes it’s a bit cliché, but who ever they are say 50 is the new 30.  As I close in on 50, one of the things that still gets to me is when my contemporaries pass.  I got that news (again) today when I found out Judy Martin passed away.  Judy was a friend for more than 20 years and this is a moment that gives pause for life, memories and perspective.

The funny thing about my relationship with Judy over the years (and I think this applies to many who knew Judy), there were moments where our paths crossed and moments where we didn’t see each other – but then when we reconnected it was as if it was just a day ago.

Judy and I first crossed paths at News 12 Long Island – as she was leaving to begin a new chapter in her life and I was just getting there to start a new chapter in mine.  It was four or five  years later before life brought us together again, this time I was at CBS Radio and she was at NPR.  With a hug and a kiss we caught up and went about our work that day.

And that was kind of how Judy was.  Focused on her job, caring about the people she met.  For anyone who was in New  York for 9/11, you know the sense of change your life took.  That moment changed Judy (for the better) and those that she touched.  Judy’s brand was born.

By that time, I was back at News 12 Long Island helping to launch digital platforms and evangelize the conversion of a linear television network to embrace on-demand content.  Judy and I spent hours talking about what the future of news would look like and the future of the business we were in.

Beyond that, Judy was a great friend.  She was a great sounding board as I considered an offer to leave News 12 and begin a new challenge at CBS News.  She was also there in the weeks and months after Risa passed.  Listening and helping me re-focus my life and sharing lessons she had learned in building her brand so I could build my own.

I think anyone who ever met Judy would admit when she came into a room, her smile was infectious.  If you spent any time talking with her, you would understand how her spiritual outlook meshed with her passion of balancing work and life.

In the end, Judy is gone too young, but in the end I can say I am better today for having her as a friend.  So in this moment all of Judy’s friends can  take a pause for life, memories and perspective – and while we lost a good friend we share some great memories.

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Opinions, Perspectives and How We Carry It

OpinonsA couple of times over the past week I was struck by how we form opinions based on perspective and can even invoke those opinions simply based on how we decide to carry that moment.

In one case, a newly single mom I am friends with is struggling with the art of the juggle, those moments a single parent just has to roll with the changes and adjust on the fly.  It’s part skill, a lot of art and some luck mixed in.  It’s easy to sit outside the bubble and offer opinions.  To be meaningful I think (aside from being sought) they need the right perspective.


In another case, with the looming start of Passover at the top of the week I had to quickly juggle plans for night two seder at my house when an unexpected meeting popped up late in the afternoon on Tuesday.  Yeah, I can play the, “I can’t make it due to Jewish holiday card.”  But in this case, based on my perspective of the moment in time and how I want to carry it, I adjusted the seder.

One of the toughest things for me to do is pretend I am an expert, or even knowledgeable enough to share my opinion.  I struggle hard enough just to keep my house in order.  As I tell my friend, I’ve been at this a while, so while it may look easy it’s not.

But that’s just perspective.  Maybe I am a reluctant expert, or maybe my perspective lets me carry it that way.  I’m not really sure to be honest.  It maybe one of the reasons it took me more than two years to actually publish my book The Beginning of the Middle of the End of the Beginning, because who am I to offer up advice to anyone.

Well, I’m someone with opinions-a lot of them and some perspective on how I form my opinions.  Perhaps more importantly though, I know how I want to carry it and it helps me filter when I take in other opinions.

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