Unloading the Primary Parent

My friends:

These are the alarms I get to silence as we go on spring break.

There will be much movement and stress while traveling in the coming week. I must call forth every skill for self-awareness, self-regulation, and effective communication I have ever learned. Oh and some self-compassion and good humor will also help.

But at least I can put down the phone for longer intervals, and enjoy some quality time with the family.

I’ve downloaded some new romance audiobooks and packed lots of pretty paper and colored pens. I will sleep in every day if possible. I’m ready!!

Wishing you all a beautiful, peaceful, and connecting start of spring. See you on the other side of jet lag!

The Prosperous Heartbeat Bank

Okay friends, this is a fun post with some lighthearted existential philosophy. It also talks about sex, so consider yourself warned.

I really do wish everybody peace, love, and health (usually joy, also). People who receive emails, texts, and snail mail from me will all tell you. I also love a cheeky, irreverent expression sometimes, and this one showed up before the New Year:

From The Fuckit List page on Facebook

I shared it immediately with all my friends who would appreciate it, including a brilliant and pragmatic cardiologist. I added ‘etOH [ethanol] and weed in moderation, and the rest–yeah!’

The ensuing email thread between us:

Friend: 😂😆 no orgasms in moderation?!?!

Me: Some things you just cannot get too much of.  No risk.  😉😆

Friend: i’ve never heard a physician say “no risk” – only “low” “moderate” “high” risk. so i’m happy to go with no risk!!!!

Me: Teeheehee / It just occurred to me—YOU are the cardiologist!! IS there a risk?? 😱 / I cannot lead people astray here… / I suppose MI [myocardial infarction–heart attack] during sex does occur, right? / So shit, there is a risk! 😣

Friend: i suppose as a cardiologist, it’s always a risk-benefit ratio. risk is very very low. benefit is likely there every time. plus there’s the added cardiac benefit of ischemic pre-conditioning [training the heart with exercise] in those with significant CAD [coronary artery disesae] wherein you can develop angiogenesis [growth of new blood vessels] and collateral formation [bypass blood flow around blocked arteries] in the context of regular sexual/exercise activity. so it’s a big yes to orgasms!!!!

Me: Omg YYYAAAAAAAYYYYY!!! 💃🏻🎉🥳❤️ / And ENDORPHINS, yes? 😄

Friend: ah, yes, sympathetics. you know there is a hypothesis (totally unproven) that you are born with a certain # of heartbeats and once you use them, your life is over. if that is the case, endorphins, sympathetics and (eek) orgasms are probably no good for us. but again, that hypothesis is totally unproven and the more “exercise” you do, the slower the resting heart rate and the longer (observationally) the life. so probably, all in all, better to stick with the orgasms than to avoid them!!!

Me: Ooooo, fascinating!!  I bet there is some vague, partial and flexible truth to that theory?  Like yes, any given heart has a finite number of future beats left at any given time.  

AND, there are likely many things we can do throughout our lives that give it more or fewer remaining beats—like a bank account that we deposit to and withdraw from… 😜 OH I just LOVE this idea!!


Diet: fiber, healthy fats, lean protein, moderate naturally occurring sugars (Food Rules by Michael Pollan: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants)

Movement: full body, cardio/strength/mobility


Stress: wise mind, radical acceptance, inner peace; and FUN!!

Relationships (I would bet anything this is proportionally the DENSEST, highest value heartbeat reserve elevator): love, meaning, connection… 

Of course withdrawls are the opposites of these… I wonder whether bad sleep or toxic relationships are the greatest heartbeat extinguishers?  My money’s on relationships—maybe not even toxic ones—rather the lack of them altogether.  It makes total and complete sense to me that loneliness is a better predictor of mortality than smoking (I think it’s actually phrased that it’s a bigger mortality risk than smoking but I bet it’s a better predictor, too—if you look at the data a certain way?)…

OMG this totally aligns with my framework of the 5 reciprocal domains of health!! 😄 ❤️ ❤️

Ok so my mom told me that her dad told her that we are each born with a finite amount of prosperity in life.  So the idea is to be frugal with spending, consumption, partying etc in your youth, so you have enough to spread out over a longer lifetime.  I do like that idea.  It feels akin to humility and generosity to me…  So I wonder if there can be a pooling effect among one’s tribe—that we all spend/consume/share over a lifetime and extend/improve all of our lives?? 

OH thank you for telling me about this, I will think more (and possibly write) on it!! 😄 xo …And maybe my gong-gong’s theory is also flexible like a bank account, too. 

I think we get to invent it, since it’s all made up to help us feel better about how we choose to live life anyway! 😄

THANK YOU for stimulating such fun thinking tonight! 😄

Ok more soon, big hugs!!! xo


All of these thoughts and ideas poured out between us from 4:44 to 7:22pm on 12/28/2022. I’m not sure more writing is required at this point? I thought about doing the math–for each episode of exercise, how many more beats, and does it even out with a resulting lower resting heart rate over a lifetime…? Nah. It was a fun and thought-provoking conversation between two friends which, for me at least, tightened connection and elevated joy. I am definitely heart-healthier for it.

Hope 2023 is off to a peaceful, loving, and healthy start for you all, my friends, if not a moderately buzzed and high, frequently orgasmic, and suddenly wealthy one. 😉

What Are We Doing?

On this day in 2013, Karl Pierson walked into my high school with a shotgun. When approached by classmate Claire Davis, who asked, “Oh my gosh, Karl, what are you doing?” he shot her. She died 8 days later.

At her memorial on New Year’s Day, 2014, her dad Michael Davis said:

“We can all realize Claire’s last words in our own lives by asking ourselves, in those times when we are less than loving, ‘Gosh, what am I doing?’ … Unchecked anger and rage can lead to hatred, and unchecked hatred can lead to tragedy, blindness and a loss of humanity. The last thing Desiree and I would want is to perpetuate this anger and rage and hatred in connection with Claire. Claire would also not want this.”

Follow the link to read about the light that was Claire, who shone for 17 short years, and how she brightened the lives she touched.

I ran around all day today, forgetting this anniversary. I got to see a friend for coffee and talk leadership, culture, and honest appreciation. I got to run errands, buy things, enjoy an excellent salad while finishing romance audiobook #62, pick up Daughter from school, cook dinner, and now sit at my laptop to reflect and share my thoughts. Claire will never get to do these things, the things I take for granted.

She will never again sit in traffic, hearing people honking loudly in frustrated powerlessness. She will never now witness people actually getting out of their cars to confront each other on the street when one of them makes a wrong turn. She is not here to see first hand the rapid demise of her fellow humans, sliding ever faster and forcefully into grief, rage, violence, and hatred.

Seriously, what are we doing? Is everybody just walking around with a giant can of gasoline, looking to douse random embers and light wildfires, just to watch them burn? What are we feeling that makes us behave like (believe?) everybody we meet is the enemy? I am convinced that people who lash out, even in the most violent ways, are not fundamentally evil. I think we generally treat one another pretty well when we feel good ourselves. For so many, though, whose reasons for feeling pretty terrible are cumulative and compounding right now, I can see how unregulated negative emotions explode at any provocation. I can validate the emotion without condoning destructive behavior, and hold folks accountable to natural consequences. And let’s be clear, all of us do this sometimes, to varying degrees, under stress. Hopefully we can recognize in time to repair, in most cases.

Better to prevent, though–illness, disease, relationship rupture, and social destruction alike.

For myself, I commit to practicing, however imperfectly, one deep breath at a time. Before speaking. Before honking. Before entering a patient room. Before replying to an email or social media post. Before snark. I will go to bed earlier, drink less coffee, eat more plants. I will move my body regularly. I will look for stories of people helping each other and share them generously. I will practice gratitude and presence, humility and curiosity. And I will connect deeply and unabashedly with the people who do the same, so we may hold one another up.

We can ask, and then act, when we answer the question, “What would LOVE do?”

And maybe let some music lift us, too. “Forever Young” by The Tenors helps me tonight.