Wasteful humans that we are, Rene and I still receive the print edition of the Wall Street Journal Monday through Saturday. I refuse to let go of the smell and feel of inky newsprint in my hands as I dine on a lunchtime salad either at the office or take advantage of a rare opportunity to steal away to a restaurant for some solo sanity time.
Eight times a year, the Journal publishes a lifestyle magazine with its Saturday edition. Here is the magazine’s description from the Journal’s website:
“WSJ. Magazine is a luxury glossy news and lifestyle monthly magazine by the publishers of The Wall Street Journal.”
Interpretation: Forty pages of full-page color ads followed by a one-page teaser about the magazine’s three articles and two columns, followed by 20 more full-page ads, followed by a one-page article…and so on. The first 40 pages of ads are the creepy Salvador Dali-esque ads from clothing or jewelry designers like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Tiffany, Gucci, Givenchy and Versace. You know the ads, where reedy models walk across desert sand wearing not much besides stiletto heels, or they wade barefoot in a faded plastic baby pool wearing a ball gown and diamonds. The surrealistic images twist innocent imaginations and curve tradition’s norms.
I briskly flip through the glossy periodical to ponder the images, pausing only to read a recurring feature that’s essentially a detailed inventory of a day in the life of someone significant, usually an escalating business icon. Important stuff like what time they woke up, what they did before breakfast, where they got their daily news, who they teleconferenced with and why, what apps are on their phone, who they lunched with, how much time they spent on email, how many business deals they negotiated and closed, and so on.
Mindless, boring mush. But I devour the 24-hour breakdown because I am intrigued by what effective, successful, impactful people accomplish in a day. Me, I stick to a rigid routine because the system works. Since I have always wanted to try it, I tracked everything I did on Friday, April 23, 2021. Here is a selection of the highlights. Hope you enjoy the mush…
4:44 a.m. Wake-up — it’s Fri-yay!
5:04 a.m. Fill my coffee cup with decaf and head downstairs to my office to check email. A company I invested in years ago, Bye Aerospace, is where I work as an Executive VP, plus I serve on the board of directors. Yesterday, the company announced plans to develop an 8-seat all-electric airplane called the eFlyer 800. Since I manage media relations, my email inbox is full again with questions from reporters and bloggers. My six-year-old laptop freezes up before I read through all the requests.
5:16 a.m. Hit reboot on my computer, then head to the exercise room to start a condensed yoga workout.
5:33 a.m. After finishing up with arm bands, sit back down to finish email responses.
5:40 a.m. Get distracted by a Chico’s email about a cardigan and matching tank top sale. Color options are Kermit green, cheetah, moss green paisley and one that looks like remnants of a deconstructed pink pelican. Yikes! Pass.
6 a.m. Run upstairs for morning face cleansing, moisturizing and makeup routine. Ponder what to do with Day 5 hair while getting dressed.
6:20 a.m. Rene fixes me an apple and peanut butter for breakfast.
6:45 a.m. Go back down to my office to record a podcast with Helen Fospero, a delightful British journalist who connected with me to learn more about Bye Aerospace, then learned about my breast cancer experience and COPE, read The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer, and wanted to interview me for her Convex Conversations podcast that you can listen to here.
8:03 a.m. Helen and I finish recording, then I leave for the office.
11:25 a.m. Pack up and leave the office to work from home for the rest of the day while I try to remember why I needed to go to the office in the first place. Whatever the reason was, I completely forgot it.
11:55 a.m. Arrive home for lunch with Rene, then head back downstairs for an afternoon of Bye Aerospace remote work.
3:05 p.m. Walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes while I watch Season 2 of Stranger Things on Netflix. I’m not a sci-fan, but this show intrigues me by the way it captures early 1980s essence through hairstyles, clothes, language, music…even Tupperware containers and Corelle dishware in the kitchen scenes. Did every household besides ours in 1983 have a dark tan plastic Tupperware pitcher with a white top?
Speaking of Corelle, you can still purchase these dishes! I am proud to say I have eaten off plates with each of these patterns, and mom had both the light and dark blue patterns of Corelleware.
3:30 p.m. Venture up to the kitchen to begin weekly food prep where I cook a couple meals, cut up fruits and veggies and decompress from a hectic week.
5:30 p.m. Dinner time! Rene cracks his first beer of the weekend.
6:10 p.m. Bath and Sauvignon Blanc time. Ahhhh……
7:15 p.m. Watch the last episode from Ozark Season 1.
9:13 p.m. Lights out.
There. Extremely lame and not-at-all glamourous, but hopefully I did a bit of good in the world.
I shared in my January blog how Molly Rosado, a student athlete and junior clinical psych major at Robert Morris University near Pittsburgh, has decided to pursue a career in psycho-oncology. She was inspired to do so after learning about the Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence (COPE) specialty I founded at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology five years ago. Molly is volunteering at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and recently donated 12 inches of her beautiful hair to the center.
Thank you, Molly, for sharing your inspiration and caring concern. Bright beacons of light like you recognize that some cancer survivors are unable to move forward until they are heard, understood and cognitively equipped for a new trajectory.
I received a delightful email this week from Dr. Hannah Katz, another bright beacon of light who was in the first cohort of COPE students and is now a clinical cancer psychologist. Here’s an excerpt:
“I wanted to take this time to first say thank you so much again for all you did to start COPE. The experience I gained through COPE allowed me to develop excellent skills and land my dream job! I am now a clinical assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center and work as a cancer psychologist in the Hematological Malignancies and Cellular Therapies Division.”
Hannah then shared the great news that her hospital nominated her to be a Leukemia and Lymphoma Woman of the Year candidate — a philanthropic competition to support blood cancer research in communities across the country. The campaign is sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which provides research, advocacy, and patient support for many of the patients Hannah directly serves in the Kansas City area. She asked me to pass along that she would be honored to have you join me in financially supporting her Woman of the Year campaign. More info here: https://pages.lls.org/mwoy/mid/kc21/hkatzo
And Now, Another Word from Our Sponsor
After responding to several requests for personalized coaching services, I added a link to my website for everything from help with self-publishing questions to self-promotion to career mentoring. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please point them to https://www.dianemsimard.com/coaching-services/.
Before I go, please keep our dear friends, Jim and Judy Freshwater, and their son, Nick, in your thoughts and prayers. Jim is recuperating after having a brain tumor removed last week. Jim, Judy and Rene were in the logistics plans career field during their time in the Air Force, and Jim and Rene first worked together in 1992 at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Thank you!
I close with these words:
We chat across the miles,
And we pray.
We lift each other up and offer support to those who need it more than we do today.
Just another average day in a not-so-ordinary life.