Jan 2023


Picture it. The sun is hovering over the horizon, lighting up the sky with color as it slowly sinks below the plane of the earth’s surface. For some minutes, the sky turns shades of red and pink, purple and blue, and after it dips below the horizon, the heavens echo for a while longer with changing colors and patterns.

Where were you when you saw the most beautiful sunset ever?

Tanzania and Kauai are tied for first place on my “best sunsets ever” list.

Most of us remember those moments because they take us back to a fabulous vacation or a moment of pause. We might remember the color, the light or even a brief flash of green that is almost as elusive as seeing a cheetah on a safari. We might remember those moments as calming closures, time for memories or insightful observations.

For many of us, sunsets not only mark the end of day or frame an exceptional experience. They provide important moments of reflection. It was at sunset when I realized that I needed friends to watch the sky with me (and to talk about life). The insight gained at sunset led me to create Parlay House.

But this letter isn’t really about sunsets. It’s about sunrises.

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I’ve always loved sunsets but rarely paid attention to the dawn of a new day.

When I was a single, working mom, I saw a lot of sunrises as I high-tailed it from suburban New Jersey into NYC to get to the gym and then get to work. Sure the sun rose, as it always does, but I couldn’t clearly focus on it because I was too caught up in the “doing” to be able to see, feel and appreciate what was right in front of me. In those days, while the sun rose, I was simultaneously driving, shoveling snow, making kids’ lunches or trying to get the dog to walk before I had to leave the house.

Fast forward to 22,241 sunrises and sunsets later.

I’m in a new chapter of life now, more aware of the passing of days. Sunsets have become a bit melancholy for me: I associate them with what has ended or what’s passing all too quickly.

To move beyond that “mood,” I’m dialing in on sunrises. Each day, seeing the rising sun feels like a small but meaningful opening, beginning, or new chapter.

I’ve been spending time in a house that faces east, and from my bed (which I now have the luxury of lingering in long enough to see the sunrise without thinking about making school lunches), I’ve found myself exhilarated by the hope and promise of the glow of daybreak streaming through my window.

A new day is filled with opportunities.

Sunrise is my reminder that I have yet another chance to rise and shine. Literally.

Rising is the way to start living, one day at a time.

I may succeed in those hours on my quest(s), deepening a relationship, creating a new piece of clothing, hitting a personal best at the gym or supporting someone who needs help.

In those same hours, I may fail while trying to do something that I haven’t yet mastered. But at least I have the opportunity to try, and then to try again tomorrow.

Of course, it’s all a matter of perspective, of life stage, and of mindset.

When I was in full-blown working parent mode, sunsets meant I’d made it through another day. That was worth celebrating.

And now, with fewer days left ahead, sunrises are my chance to celebrate that I’m still here, with opportunities for connections, creations and the feel of potential still ahead: potential in the small moments framed by the rising and setting of the sun.

I am learning how to appreciate this new part of me – feeling connected with shorter moments of joy and awe, and choosing to be in the moment.

I’m being present as much as I can.

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Share it Small: Have you found a way to reframe your life by being more present? Your focus on the moment will undoubtedly be appreciated by the people in your life who you are fully present for!

Share it Big: Do your times of reflection result in a growing appreciation of the people around you? Take a moment to spread the love by letting them know.

Share it with Me: We all learn from each other. If you have had a revelation, a breakthrough, an insight, or a triumph, we can learn from you so please tell me about it here! I’m collecting stories of these cascades of good for ongoing community building and to track The Parlay Effect in action. I would love nothing better than to hear how you lifted, were lifted, or observed something in others that made you feel good and recognize your power.