Friday, May 30, 2008


Last year around this time we had a stressful time at work: late hours, overnight phone coverage, people working weekends, etc. A co-worker and friend was one of the hardest workers, despite the cancer that was quietly but surely killing him.

When he died this winter we all said the usual things that never seem sufficient. So young. Really puts things in perspective. Makes you think.

But the thing he gave me, and I never told him this, was my first real glimpse of how important balance is. Because he loved to work; somehow drew energy from it even as his body failed, and we knew that not being able to work was a cruel aspect of his illness.

Often we talk about tossing it all and sitting on a beach / in a forest / at the Grand Canyon / in Paris -- to get back in touch with what's "really" important. But I don't think that means throwing everything else away. It's a question of balance. Tom's last day at work was devastating for us because we knew how much it meant to him to come in to the office, and I don't know that he ever would have wanted to throw all that away completely.

So on the day he died I wrote "Balance" on my notecard easel. Thanks, Tom.

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