Category Archives: Friendship

Chicken Brain

We have a new chicken. It’s complicated being the new chicken. We had a flock of five happy chickens until a raccoon came for a visit one evening. I arrived just in time to see my favorite brown hen, a smart, spry girl, disappear over the back fence in a raccoon’s mouth. I guess she wasn’t smart or spry enough. ...

Riding the STP

I signed up for the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. And I don’t have a bicycle. Which poses a problem. This idea started last summer when I helped a friend with her fear of driving. I thought about what I’m afraid of. What fears keep me small? With some embarrassment, I’ll admit I’m afraid of balloons. Their potential for a loud, ...

Highway Fear

I have a friend who is afraid of highways. She loses sleep if she knows she is going to have to drive on one. Loses weight. Organizes her life to avoid them. I respect deep-seated fears and don’t tend to mess with them. I did wonder, though, how this fear was making her life smaller. So we came up with ...

Frosting

Caution: this is a story about female sexuality so please stop reading if you are offended by such things and are likely to flame me. It’s my birthday today and I don’t want to be flamed. At a lovely wedding recently, after several glasses of Indiana wine, the topic turned to sex. I told the story of a friend (protecting ...

Wedding Toast

This is the toast I gave to Jeff and Jill at their wedding in Bloomington, Indiana this weekend. Jeff asked me to share it here. Hi, my name is Kathryn. I’ve known Jeff since the first day of business school, and he was the second person to hold each of my children after they arrived — so hopefully that establishes ...

Loaded Question

I read a blog post recently about asking whether there are weapons in the home before sending your child over on a playdate. (For those of you not in Seattle, two children were killed and one injured by guns in the hands of other children in the last couple of weeks.) I asked my 8-year-old son what he would do if ...

The Running Group

I had a random idea awhile back. What if I started a running group and invited people who had never run before to come with me? Running is all well and good, but I only do it for that clear, calm, washed clean feeling afterwards. There’s a lot of spaciousness in that feeling. A lot of power. What if I ...

It’s Not About You

A favorite coaching client recently received a troubling performance review. He feels paranoid: his colleagues seem to be distancing themselves, as if they somehow know. He described a coworker who used to be friendly. Now she never stops to chat. “Does she know something I don’t?” he wondered. I challenged him to ask her. That way he’d know. The next ...

Name Neurosis

I never remember names. I can know people for years and not have a clue what their name is. This has developed into a pretty rich neurosis, where I won’t say someone’s name even if I’m sure what it is, because what if it’s wrong? This is ridiculous. It inhibits my ability to connect with people. I’m distracted by an ...

Flinch

I flinched. I went blonde again. It all started when I was talking to a nice couple at the playground. The guy looked vaguely familiar. We eventually figured out that we’d gone to business school together. Graduated in the same class. He didn’t recognize me. That’s a bit of a hit: I like to think I make more of an ...

Gremlin vs Friend

I got a compliment the other day and a gremlin fell off my shoulder. In coaching language, gremlins are the little negative voices that whisper in your ear and remind you that you’re not good enough – smart enough – that you don’t have anything worth saying so you’d better keep quiet – that you better not risk it because ...

The Problem with Smart Friends

A friend of mine used the word “provenance” at a dinner party last weekend. It’s bugged me ever since. One of the kids had placed a pink foam crown on my partner’s head and my friend asked whether it was a birthday crown or a princess crown. So far so good. And then she quietly wondered about the “provenance of the crown.” ...

Green Triangles

I made a bunch of new friends yesterday.  They’re 6 or 7 years old. They call me Ms. Kathryn. I’ve started volunteering in their kindergarten classroom. I worked with pairs of students on letter recognition and numbers. I discovered that I LOVE working on letter recognition and numbers with kindergarteners! Over the course of the morning we developed a game ...