Big Question

We often ask ourselves, “Why are we doing this?”  Whether it is long distance running, doctoral studies, volunteering at a food pantry, ect.  We are all curious creatures seeking the next best thing to learn, accomplish, and pass on.

Researchers have studied the effects of questioning on human nature, personality and disposition.  Saga Briggs has written several articles relating to questioning techniques, learning strategies, Edtech Integration.  She states: “Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked WHY.”

A “growth mindset,” as Dweck called it, is a tendency to believe that you can grow.  In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she explains how a growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure “not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

I recently watched “THE WHY / Running 100 Miles” by Billy Yang of Runner’s World.  It is a 30 minute documentary on why anyone would want to run 100 miles?  The Leadville Trail 100 Run is an ultra long distance run that tests your mental and physical strength and duration.  Billy Yang seeks an answer to the most exclusive question in ultra running.  WHY?  I encourage you to take 30 minutes for yourself to view this link:

Yang offers some powerful lessons embedded in the documentary.  The outcome is far from the given task at hand.  Gratitude is a powerful emotion.  Stay present, feel good, and push through when times get tough.  These are some of the thoughts presented in the documentary.  Life is best when it is shared with family and friends.  Team Work!




Veg Options Now Cool on LI!

So True!!

Patty DeMartino

Chain restaurants offering plant-based meals have been around for a long time…just not on Long Island.  Why must it take a YEARS before we get to enjoy?  Well, no doubt you’ve noticed, things are changing.

Purple Elephant, Tula Kitchen, and Plant Wise offer incredible veg dishes!  Unique places, so grateful for their creative menus!  Welcome CoreLife Eatery (a must when up in Binghamton), Vitality Bowls, Chopt, and The Little Beet!  Thank you to Newsday for helping to spread the word about the new veg scene that offers something for everyone.

How exciting when a place advertises tofu dishes and vegan meals!  OBSERVATION…why is it assumed, as in Newsday’s article, that people are drawn to these establishments because they are looking for high protein/low carb meals?  I believe patrons are thrilled to eat fresh vegetables, grains & fruits, satisfying flavor combinations, and (naturally) huge portions.  This is feel-good food.

While eating…

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Where does the time go?  We often ask ourselves this question.  Whether we are at work, on vacation, with family and friends.  I find myself amazed at how we move through each day.  As I mature through life, I find myself playing a game with “time” to see how much I can get done, move ahead, check off the list, ect., you get the idea.

Seek Moments of Solitude

“I am sure of this, that by going much alone, a man will get more of a noble courage in thought and word than from all the wisdom that is in books.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882  American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher

Researchers have studied solitude and it’s effects on the human state of mind for generations.  What is Solitude?  Many confuse it with loneliness.  Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation.  Solitude, on the other hand, is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness.  We all need periods of solitude, although temperamentally we probably differ in the amount of solitude we need.  Some solitude is essential; It gives us time to explore and know ourselves.  Solitude gives us a chance to regain perspective.  It renews us for the challenges of life.  It allows us to get (back) into the position of driving our own lives, rather than having them run by schedules and demands from without.

Solitude restores body and mind; Loneliness depletes them.

So….in shooting for the moon, seek some Solitude!

“You live most of your life inside of your head. Make sure it’s a nice place to be.”







My daughter Maggie recently completed her very first NYC Marathon!  Although we planned on running it together, injuries got in the way, and she muscled through this tremendous feat independently!  Completing six marathons of my own, I treasured the perspective of watching the marathon “live” from a spectators curbside view.  What a wonderful day indeed for family and friends who ventured onto the streets from Brooklyn to Manhattan to support all the runners.  Congratulations to my daughter Maggie O’Callaghan Fachini and all the athletes who learned something significant about themselves during the marathon experience – besides completing a run that just happened to be 26.2 miles.

Way to go!!!!

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” –Chinese proverb


Moments In Time

My husband and I recently celebrated my daughter’s wedding along with her two sisters, extended family and friends.  A beautiful occasion with much anticipation and joy.  A Friday afternoon wedding that poured into the weekend and ended Monday morning after that last guest returned home.  Back to the rituals of life, we continue to hold on to the “moments in time” that bring us such joy and remind us to live an authentic life.

“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”  Vincent van Gogh




IMG_1492As the month of March comes to an end and college kids (including mine) are home for Spring break,  I realize that rules in life are necessary.  Some rules remind us of our youth and bring a smile to our face.  Some rules are completely ridiculous and make us giggle endlessly.

Here are a set of rules I keep posted on my refrigerator door from an email I received from a friend on 10/11/2008.  Please share with a young adult, print and post!

Rule 1: Life is not Fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of college. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parent’s fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were.  So before you save the rain forest from parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.








The ABCs of Love

Abandon doubt   Be mine   Call if your late   Dance at weddings   Eat dessert first   Flirt   Gamble on forever   Harbor a crush   Initiate romance   Just say “yes”   Kiss like you mean it   Love my dog   Make out more   Not in public   Open your heart   Pretend it’s prom night   Quote poetry   Reciprocate   Share your toys   Trust   Uncork champagne   Value fidelity   Write love letters   eXpect honesty   Yield to chocolate   rendeZvous…                                                            R. Stewart 2005IMG_0490


image1Raising daughters…

I was determined to carefully craft a constant reminder to each one of my daughters to be independent, strong, mindful individuals that were driven with life goals!  On my refrigerator, are positive affirmations to be “the best YOU can be!”  I am always silently pleased when I observe one of my daughters reading the inspirational messages that are strategically displayed on the refrigerator door or on the kitchen blackboard.  At times, I will receive a message back on the blackboard from an anonymous writer and I know that the message has been received.  My daughters, all grown up (ages 25, 22, 18), are beautiful, strong women who continue to read and share the messages.  Here is a family favorite…


“You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.

You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.

You have to give more than you get in return right away.

You have to care more about others than they care about you.

You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.

You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.

You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.

You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.

You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.

You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.

You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.

You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts”.

You have to try and fail and try again.

You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.

You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.

You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.

You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.

You have to do the hard things.

The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.

Those are the things that define you.  Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.

The hard things are the easiest things to avoid.  To excuse away.  To pretend like they don’t apply to you.

The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage – or desperation – to do.

Do the hard things.  You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.”





Best Friends for Life

We recently lost one of our very best friends – Riley – a 6 year old Golden Retriever.  She was well loved by all, especially by her canine companions.  Whether you are a “dog lover” or “cat person” our pets are family.  They teach us empathy, companionship, loyalty, compassion and unconditional love!  Our pets become our best friends, whether we want to admit it or not, who see us and love us for everything we are!


“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours.  Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart.  He taught me to appreciate the simple things- a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight.  And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity.  Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”  John Grogan, “Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog.”





Running has taught me many things about life but most importantly it has taught me about PATIENCE.  I began running in eighth grade and haven’t stopped.  Running has been a constant friend through many of life’s struggles, challenges, and joyous times.  What is it all about?  Running trains the mind to focus on the present.  Often utilizing breathing exercises, awareness of practices, contemplations, and visualization techniques, running allows the mind and body to more directly communicate for an improved life style.  It has been a steady companion through the hills and valleys of life’s rough terrain.  Some careful definitions clearly explain this statement – patience: endurance of pain or provocation without complaint, the power to wait calmly, perseverance.  Running has been a bewildering, terrifying race against alzheimer’s, breast cancer, epilepsy and autism.  Running has always been a courageous friend that continues to teach me to find my inner “WILD”.