Personal Energy

Where do you get your lunch? 

Mo, the proprietor of the sublime Sozo Sushi in Ft. Lauderdale, wants to know. 

We run down the street to Doris’ Market in Hollywood, I answer. They have a $5.00 lunch special. Sandwich, chips, and a soda.  

Doris’ is your classic old Italian market, less than a mile from my firm’s office, right on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Florida.  

Yes, there really is a Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

Lunch rush at Doris’ Market means you pull a number and wait your turn.

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Consider this the vacation issue.

 I just spent a couple of days in Amsterdam.

 A room in the magnificent Hotel Pulitzer, window looking out over The Prinsengracht, a superb feast of Turkish meze in the Jordaan, richly stimulating conversations with my friends Melanie and James Roche.

Amsterdam perfection.

And yet, I’m not one of those people who crave a vacation.

What makes our spirits soar? A change of scenery?

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It wasn’t a happy travel day.

I arrive at my airline departure gate, no service agent in sight, no sign of my flight. Once I find the large electronic board in the terminal that lists all departures for the airport, there it is, no longer any doubt. FLIGHT CANCELLED.

No, I will not tell you a travel-war-story. This is a story of happy pain.

I see a little elderly lady standing at the gate, looking lost, another displaced soul from this flight.

I am going to the other terminal and find a rebooking counter, I say to her. I hesitate, and then I figure I should ask. 

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I saw my dentist this week.

A simple crown adjustment. A minor visit.

Dr. Fishner wasn’t there, so Dr. Schwartz took care of me.

Both are fine dentists. Both are likeable human beings.

And I liked Dr. Schwartz better.

I knew it within seconds. I was startled by this insight because Dr. Fishner is my regular dentist, and I like Dr. Fishner a lot.

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It is so simple. It is always available to us. 

And we forget.

The shift from our clever-thinking-mind back into the body.

The move forward through our body.

When a business conversation suddenly gets stuck. When we start playing verbal ping pong with another person and are determined to win the point. When we want to shut up and simply don’t know how.

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I am hooked on World Cup soccer. 

Utterly totally hooked. 

The insane energy in a soccer stadium. The ferocious spirit of the fans. The rapid pace of the game. The pyrotechnics of the well-executed goal. Close-ups of the coaches emoting on the sidelines. Outbursts of extravagant joy seconds after a goal. Post-game reflections from soccer super-stars on ESPN. 

The ultimate thrill is the drama of the penalty kicks. 

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There’s jetlag. And there’s Shanghai jetlag.

I just spent 5 days in this city I love.

A 12-hour-flip from the Miami time of my home.

5 days of dislocation.

Getting sleepy at inopportune times. In bed and tired as hell and wide awake. Riding taxis through miles of high-rise canyons blurred by rain. The gasped horror of the swimming-pool attendant as I slide into the water without a bathing cap.

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Hopped into my car last Wednesday and headed across Alligator Alley to Naples, on the West Coast of Florida.

6 of us gathered to break bread and kick around some ideas. Ted Coine, Suzanne Daigle, Shawn Murphy, Susan Mazza, Mark Babbitt. And me. Cherished business colleagues. Becoming friends.

This is the important part.

We came together because we wanted to. No other reason.

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Over lunch on Thursday, Leandra Campbell said to me: I use the Pomodoro Technique.

Leandra has worked in my firm for two years now. I had never heard her speak of the Pomodoro Technique. I was intrigued. Leandra explained:

In the Pomodoro Technique, you work in 25-minute intervals. These intervals are called pomodori. After one pomodori, you take a 5-minute break. After 4 pomodori, you give yourself a longer break of 15-30 minutes.

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I spent the entire last week in Cuba. Stories to tell.

I enjoyed many things – but none more, perhaps, than the spirit of the Cuban people I encountered.

The docent at the Ambos Mundos Hotel in Havana Vieja whose comments illumined the artifacts in Hemingway’s room at the hotel.

The old female singer at the Hotel Nacional who performed with members of The Buena Vista Social Club, her passion palpable and yet instantly ironic as she wiggled and writhed in her slinky black dress.

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