Tracy “Spontaneous” A

I was driving west yesterday along a very scenic and familiar road. There are a few brown tourist signs that I have seen but never bothered to check out…one is for the cold spring harbor whaling museum and another for cold spring harbor laboratory and the third is for sagamore hill.

Finally I made an unconscious decision to make a quick right and follow the signs. It turned out to be a long winding road and I went through a series of thoughts that I was either lost or that it would be a broken down cabin or something equally disappointing but no it was lovely! The big main house was closed for repairs so I will have to go back to get a view from the front porch out over the bay but the museum was open and there is a nature 3It was all free so it will be easy to go back again to walk the trails…it is on a hill and there are lovely apple and oak trees and I assume views of the bay at some point?

I went through the museum and was amused by this little piece of jewelry

photo 4Apparently Teddy Roosevelt’s wife wore it during WW1. I sent this photo to my former colleagues saying maybe they/we would be a little more intimidating if we wore this!

It felt good to try something new~all by myself



monday mantra

i wish i was feeling this right now~~

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
Jack Layton (1950-2011);

Canadian politician

but all i am feeling is a lot of anger and a fair amount of fear and despair….

maybe an hour on the treadmill will help? if i keep saying it over and over long enough things are bound to change

go ahead grab your quote for today!!

the plane i didn’t take

i saw this plane at manchester airport when i was waiting to board my flight-there is no way i would have gotten on that!!

 things have taken on an interesting twist~i used to love to fly, then the air force and some incidents took away the fun and excitment~many years passed and the fear of flying crept in.

 miraculously this trip has virtually cured that. the flight to chicago was long anticipated and had so much potential to it that the first flight was fine except for a moment of nausea at take off-by which i mean exactly at the moment that the front wheels leave the pavement…

the return flight didn’t have a whole lot of fun attached but i actually enjoyed the take off, it was a bright sunny afternoon and i managed to watch out the window as the plane ascended over chicago, out over the lake.

maybe all the beautiful new visions i have of the city i come from have chased away some of the terrible old memories~nightmares even….

so in a few short weeks when i head to barcelona, no doubt i will be nervous. now i have another fear to conquer ~ the fear of public speaking. 10 minutes in front a totally unfamiliar crowd, there could be 10 people or 110… at a scientific conference. can’t think of anything more daunting… 

i won’t be scared of the flight though.

be careful what you wish for~

i was excited to submit an abstract of a poster about the research project i am working on~~

i was even more excited when i was told it was accepted~~

i was stunned when i got this email yeterday…

Dear Tracy A,

We are pleased to inform you that your abstract has been selected as oral presentation by the Congress Scientific Committee. Congratulations!

Your abstract above has been assigned the new reference number 0018 for the following oral presentation session:

Session Title:          Safety & quality in the ICU
Session Date:           11 October 2010
Session Time:           10.10 – 10.25
Session Room:   Stockholm

The duration of your presentation is 10 minutes, followed by 5 additional minutes of Q&A (questions from the audience and/or from the chairpersons). Please make sure you are in the session room 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the session and do not exceed your presentation time.

what have i gotten myself into??*breaking out in a sweat* this will be the ultimate challenge to my fear of public speaking…the only saving grace is that i think most people will have other things to do at 10am on the first day of the conference~~~maybe i can throw in some of my best high school spanish??

a false start

yesterday on the way back from london, things all added up for me,  i had a motivational moment where i decided that today i would head to my local leisure centre and actually work out…instead of just stand at the bus stop in front of it.

some of factors in the equation were:

  •  thinking back to the recent past. only 5 years ago i was really fit and working out regularly. i was not young in fact i was over 45 even at that time. i bumped into (literally) a nurse who i worked with in swindon when i first moved to england. we recoginzed each other but it was clear she couldn’t place me. i had to say remember when i worked there? and the last card was “the american?” it clicked when she saw my surname…but maybe it was because i’ve started to go downhill a little.
  • staying in hotels, with their too many mirrors in a small space also does not allow me to escape my shape. at home i have a mirror to check my face for stray hairs and extremely bad hair days and sort of a full length mirror leaning against a wall to have a quick look and reassure myself that my clothes don’t fall into the “laughing stock” category. hotel room mirrors fall one step below a changing room…shudder…in the list of things midle aged women fear most!
  • my old best friend from high school that i recently found on facebook sent me some pics from her son’s wedding last week. she is my age, in fact she is about 5 months older than me…she looks really good, her job involves heavy lifting so she has strong arms. i had to ask if she has any grey hair…. her response??? only a few here and there!!! shhhhhit!

soooo, on the train, where i do most of my thinking these days, i thought about my options. i could just ignore the whole problem and write it off to aging…that’s not really me…i’ve always been in pretty good shape and there are loads of women my age in good shape.

i have several options for actually working out, i joined the hospital gym/pool but it doesn’t open til 10am…i could just power walk but the rain and weather may make it too easy to skip….or i could go to my local council leisure centre…a short bus ride away and they have recently started FREE access for locals..BINGO!!!!

this morning i woke up to a full day off, determined to avoid my work email at all costs….still motivated!!! i managed to overcome some minor obstacles…water bottle, bus fare….lack of music device and actually landed at the leisure centre!! first step to my new stong, firm body!!

unfortunately, i have to wait til monday to have a tour of the facility….that gives me the weekend to sort out a music listening device.

i don’t really care about losing weight i just want to regain some muscle tone and self confidence~~~


yesterday, we had the 7th? maybe 8th training day. these “events” have evolved quite a bit since the beginning and my participation has expanded and improved 10 fold from this day back in january

reading back through those posts and thinking about how scared and nervous i was…not to mention plain old naive, this last day was relaxed and easy.

not only did i lead (as much as i can when my boss is there) the first workshop, sarah and i did the second one (60 mins each) completely on our own.

i thought the night before that i really should be practicing a little but i’ve done it so many times now that it’s not a problem. i got up in front of 30+ people (one of which was the chief exec from my trust!!) completely free of nervousness and presented some technical material and led the discussion!

i suppose if i had to present some new material i might be a bit nervous again but i think i can officially say that i have conquered my fear!



we went to a pub for a (very quick, for me) drink afterwards, my boss, of course paid for everyone’s drinks and also got a bottle of english bubbly!!

it was fun…but on the walk over i made a face at sarah and said we were bordering on a bit too much togetherness…kind of like a family gathering. you are obligated to spend time with people and you really look forward to seeing some people but you really wish others won’t show up or at least just sit there and shut up….but you know they will be loud and obnoxious and insist on being the centre of attention…

the creativity consultant (s) will no longer be working with us, *picture me doing a happy dance*~~~ the woman, who is one of the attention seekers, slim, pretty, full of herself, overpaid and a creativity control freak ~~~ the man, spent all of yesterday doing nothing….well, actually that’s unfair, he did spend 7 hours playing on his new ipad…. obviously overpaid, my son could have done that for free!!!

just one last update, the public agency i work for has been hard hit by the election and subsequent budget cuts in short the labour gravy train has come off the rails~~~~they say they are no longer able to fund my trip to barcelona to present the poster that represents the project…my boss rolled his eyes at that news and told me not to worry, he has some money for that…

i’m trying to get mr a to come with me on the train and make an adventure out of it because~~~~

 we really need an adventure!!!!!