How to Achieve Your Goals in 2017: A Step-by-Step Guide to a VISION QUEST

I had the good fortune to take a walk recently with my friend Abbie Schiller, CEO and co-Founder of The Mother Company. We walked along the beach path, the vast ocean our soundtrack.

We talked about what sparked her to create The Mother Company — her passionate desire for quality children’s entertainment that would support parents’ efforts to raise kind, well-adjusted kids. She and a partner envisioned it, planned it, worked hard, and created it.

Then we talked about the how. She told me about her “Vision Quest” practice, a way of dreaming and planning that she credits for helping get control of her life. The idea: Plan a mini-retreat with a trusted friend, bring a paper and pen, dream of what you would like to achieve, and write down concrete deadlines and goals for how you’re going to do it. She wrote about her 2016 process here, with helpful step-by-step instructions. This past year her goals ranged from making new friends to winning an Emmy for The Mother Company’s “Ruby’s Studio” TV show. Guess what? Both accomplished.

The close of one year and birth of new one is the perfect time to try a Vision Quest. I have resolved to set aside time for it after the kids go back to school. I’m already mulling possible goals — complete my second novel, or perhaps even sell it? Travel more? Connect with friends more often, in person or on the telephone, instead of texting or not at all?

I’m so grateful that Abbie and I had that walk, and I’m very happy to share Abbie’s Vision Quest article with you. My new year’s wish for you: May you make all your dreams come true. 




News from The “Will Wonders Never Cease?” Department (aka How to Make Jewish Grandmas Kvell)

This just in from The “Will Wonders Never Cease?!” Department.

1. Not only did I not get to “milk” the taking-my-son-to-the-orthodontist-AFTER-recess moment, but it backfired. He had to finish what he’d missed at lunchtime. (It was two minutes of lunchtime, but on principle it felt like hours.)

2. Same week, he went to Week 1 of Hebrew School, without much griping, and LIKED it.

Let me say, for a kid who lives for unstructured everything, I was certain Hebrew School on a Monday afternoon would be a non-starter. Imagine my shock when he came home reporting:

(a) I made a new friend!

(b) Teacher Lauren is awesome because she lets us talk and is “loose” [um, the good kind, I’m thinking]!

(c) When I guessed the Hebrew letters spelled “pizza” I got to dance and celebrate!

Could we ask for more in a school day?

3. And last, the spittake moment, the following declaration issued from my son’s mouth after Week 2 of Hebrew School:

“Sophie is so lucky. She always gets to hold the Torah.”

Lucky little Jews.


I don’t know what they put in his Challah, but that, my friends, is how we roll these days. Happy New Year, and all good things.


Unexpected Gifts

I sat at the car wash, wondering how much longer it would take, wishing I’d postponed this deviation from my tightly wrought schedule. My son had begged me to get it washed, something new for him, so there I was. It could have waited until I had finished my day’s work and chores and ambitions. But those never get finished. I may as well have a clean car to go along with unmet goals.

I readied a big tip (mindful of the myriad ways Carwasheros are shorted by employers), when a “hello how are you” acquaintance sat near me. For years, we have said hello, exchanged smiles as we pass in or out of the elementary school, but our kids are different ages, she has girls and I have boys, and we have never had occasion to go beyond pleasantries.

Except today she carried a book in her hand. A hardback book, I’m saying. Not a Kindle. A short story collection in hardback. Not an Oprah’s choice. We talked.

She said how with three little girls short stories are her only hope. That naturally led me to plug Aimee Bender, local girl made extraordinary, and eventually a sheepish admission to me being a writer and mentioning I’d published a book.

“What’s it called?”

Deliver Me: True Confessions of Motherhood.”


“I have that. I pick it up all the time.”

“No, you don’t. You have something else that sounds like it.” How could someone not my mother or my best friend have my book on her shelf, and turn to it all the time?

She was certain. “Did they sell it at Village Books?”

“Yes, I did a reading there.” She found my book when searching for inspiration on the shelves of an independent book store, now empty and locked, after the birth of her youngest daughter. My book lives on her shelf with Mothers Who Think, and Brain, Child, two books that inspired my own.

I give thanks for the unexpected gifts a chance decision to run an errand may bring: That every “hello how are you” acquaintance has a unique story and sometimes we are privileged to meet each other in a deeper way if we’re open to it. That my writing has a life beyond my imagination, which may sustain people I have never met. And that a book (even when held in your hand) has the power to break through the mundane to make meaningful connections.

(Deliver Me: True Confessions of Motherhood is available in paperback and, yes, even Kindle.)

Deliver Me for Kindle