The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not


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Great advice from the keynote

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-12-12-19-pmThis morning I had the pleasure of going to the Durham Technical Community College 2016 Scholarship Breakfast. Sometimes it’s nice to be the only Sickles in town … I had a lovely breakfast, and got to sit with this year’s scholarship recipient and her mom.

All of the speakers were interesting, but Vinnay Khanna, the keynote speaker, was particularly extraordinary. He spoke of meeting the Dalai Lama as a child, and kicked off his conversation with thoughts on not letting others dissuade you from setting (or pursuing) lofty goals. He shared three substantive pieces of advice, and I want to pass them on. These work for short- and long-term goals.

  1. Have lofty goals.
  2. Work hard. Even if you’re the most gifted person in the world, why would you not work hard? “Set your goals so high that you have to fail. Don’t set them so low that you succeed.”
  3. Don’t worry about others. Don’t let other people discourage you from aiming high. Where you have been is not as important as where you are heading now.

So … what lofty goals do YOU have planned for today?


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So long, house!

acornIn 1997, my soul mate and I kicked off an adventure in a little town called Apex, in a beautiful little house on Acorn Hill Lane. Nineteen years, one son, three dogs and three cats later, we’re moving on to a new adventure half an hour down the road in a new little town. When we moved into this house, I was four months pregnant; I had breakfast one morning with my husband, went to work, and came home to a different house in a different town. Today, our son woke up and had breakfast with us, went to school, and will come home to a different house in a different town. I’ve passed the torch. I’m going to miss our house, where the most exciting (the birth of our son) and the saddest (the death of my father-in-law) events have occurred.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 5.07.40 PMBut we are nothing if not adventurers, we Sickles Three, and anticipate that our new house on two acres in the meadow will bring with it more of the good stuff, and likely more of the sad stuff … eventually. Either way, we face our new adventure head-on, where being together makes any house a home.

So, so long house … and thanks for all the fish!


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Most Exciting Voting Day Ever

Normally, this writer avoids anything mathematical like the plague. Seriously, when was the last time I needed the binomial theorem to calculate a restaurant tip? But the Fates have a funny way of intervening, and saw fit to deliver my son on Pi Day. Yesterday was his 18th birthday, which means that today he got to vote in the North Carolina Primaries.

voting dayHe was so excited to vote … clearly, growing up in an activist household hasn’t scarred him. The officials in our district announced “First-time voter!” and the whole place broke into applause. That’s how it’s done.

Go Democracy!


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21 and counting …

On any given day I’m happy to follow my flights of fancy to see where they’re going. I’m an optimist and an idealist, after all. And loathe though I am to admit, numbers can tell a story as good as words (had I not spent years as a technical writer and grant writer before turning to fiction, I never would’ve admitted it). Here are some numbers for you.

Today is my twenty-first anniversary with Matt.

21

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • At 42, I’ve now been married half of my life.
  • I’ve loved my partner over half that time.
  • The thing I’m most proud of is our son, Peyton, who’s been with us for 24.7% of my life (and 81% of our marriage).
  • And though nothing in life is certain, I am 100% sure that I have lived a happy, adventurous, challenging, fulfilling, hopeful life. And without the man at my side, things would have been quite boring.

So here’s to 21 x 21 to infinity more … I’d still stop the world and melt with him.


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Happy Father’s Day

1999As a child, Father’s Day was another day to thank my mother for the dual roles she filled in my life. But for the last sixteen, my husband has restored my faith in the Y chromosome by being the wonderful father he is to our son. He’s making waffles for us this morning, which we excitedly await.

He’s got a theory. On Mother’s Day, the dads take their kids for the day so the moms can have a break. And those same families send the kids with their dads on Father’s Day so they can spend time with their kids. We think it’s a plot from the Mommy’s Morning Out Union.

We’ll likely go for a hike or a bike ride later in the day, then enjoy a delicious meal on the back deck … together, because that’s what the Three Adventurers do. Together.

I hope you’re having a wonderful Father’s Day with whomever fills that role for you.