Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is your learning curve going up?

I was working a crossword puzzle today and came across this clue: “Graphic representation of progress.” The answer: “learning curve.”

Which way is yours pointing these days? Up? Sideways? Not down, I hope!

Here’s a link to my personal learning curve story on the RebootYou website: I realized some years ago that I’m happiest when I’m learning – when the curve is pointed up.

I know many people feel the same way. If you need some encouragement to dive back into learning, spend some time on the website ( I think you’ll find lots of inspiration there, including both resources and the stories of people who have reinvented themselves.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Being of (ultra)sound mind and body...

Today I had an ultrasound test to check my carotid arteries. My doctor ordered the test because an earlier CT scan, designed to look only at the brain, had shown an “incidental finding” of “dense calcification” in those very important vessels. He had ordered the CT scan because of some recent incidents of my forgetfulness and a close family member who suffered from dementia.

Although I had shown no symptoms of atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries --my doctor prudently ordered the ultrasound check to get a closer look than the CT scan provided. The carotid artery is not to be taken lightly. It travels up each side of the neck and branches into smaller vessels that supply blood to the brain. The carotid arteries are a common location for hardening of the artery wall to occur.

Atherosclerosis occurs when fat (cholesterol) and calcium build up in the inner lining of the arteries, forming a substance called plaque. Over time, the fat and calcium buildup narrows the artery and blocks blood flow through it. When atherosclerosis affects the arteries that supply blood to the brain, it may cause a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.

For some reason, between the time the doctor discussed the CT scan with me and the scheduling of the ultrasound a few days later, I did not become super-worried about the possibility that I would be diagnosed with hardening of the arteries. I realized that this could happen, but somehow it didn’t make me a nervous wreck. Denial? Maybe. Overoptimism? I hoped not.

It wasn’t until the test was under way that I got worried about the possibilities. All of a sudden I realized this could be serious. At one point I could see the images on the screen that the technologist – a sonographer – was monitoring. I’d never seen such images before, but it was clearly some kind of fluid, in some kind of pulsating flow, in some kind of tube. Guess what. My blood, my arteries, being pumped by my heart. O-kaaaaaaay.

Fortunately, the test showed nothing out of the ordinary. I was relieved, of course. But the major reminder for me was that every day we wake up in reasonably good health is a blessing. Every day that blood is pulsing through those arteries the way it is supposed to is a gift. And we should never take a single one of those days, or our health, for granted.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Walking the Walk

A longtime friend of mine, currently a business executive, has an employee who is facing retirement after 20 years with their company. This individual is unsure of what she might do after leaving, and is anxious about her future. My friend wanted to help make the employee’s transition as smooth as possible, and at the same time provide her with more than a pat on the back and a “thanks for your two decades of service.”

He asked me to meet with her and offer her some advice and suggestions, based on my experience to date with His request was gratifying, but it also made me a little nervous. Dispensing advice from the comfort of an arm’s-length website is one thing. Meeting face to face with someone at the “retire/reboot” crossroads, and offering personal counsel, is something else altogether.

The meeting is coming up in about a week. I’ve prepared some thoughts on what I might say, and printed out some pages from the website. I have a book and some other resources that I’m going to give her.

This will be a test for me. I’ve talked the talk for a few months, and now I have to walk the walk. I hope I can provide value for this woman. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Time for a mega-resolution!

I was at the gym on Jan. 5 and the place was packed with hard-working exercisers. Almost every treadmill, elliptical trainer and stationary bike was in use. The free weight section was so crowded it was hard to find any open space.

“All the New Year’s resolutions people are here,” said my trainer. “Next week the crowd will be much smaller and by the end of the month it’ll be back to normal.”

Whether or not you keep those resolutions you make every year, it’s a good time to think about a mega-resolution: reinventing yourself. January is a time of renewal, and there is no better time to kick off a new career than right now.

Our website,, has all the resources and inspirational reinvention stories you need to restart your engines. So take a look, take the plunge and discover the many benefits of rebooting yourself.

And who knows? Along the way, you may be able to check off some of those “got to lose a few pounds this year” items on your resolution list!