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The Coaching Corner with Michael Riegel: Making Memories

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Stop and Smell the Roses

For many of you, like me, summer rolls around and we make big plans.  Perhaps you are planning to work a little less so you can enjoy the longer days.  Maybe you have had an eye on a new restaurant that recently opened.  Your kids may be out of school and demanding more of your attention.  If you are thinking even bigger, you may have a trip or family vacation (they are not always the same) coming up.  My point is that we all need some time to slow down and enjoy what we have built.

My kids are both recent college graduates with relocations in the works.  That adds some work for their dad who seems to be the one who project manages them through the process.  Lots of paperwork, definitive timelines, discrete activities, and a giant milestone of getting them into new apartments in two different cities.  Please do not take this as a complaint.  I am proud of them and use this as a teaching opportunity for them to become more adult and more self-sufficient.  I also need to take my own advice. 

In addition to taking the time to incorporate a little more pleasure and relaxation, even in the face of the busy construction season and the other challenges/opportunities being presented, I am often reminded of the sage advice I was given earlier in my life and career – make memories!  They are gifts that can’t be taken back and hopefully bring you a warm feeling, interesting insight, or help you through difficult times.  Some of you may have a similar approach.  As a young kid, my parents took us across the country and to the National Parks.  That memory of three kids and a dog in a station wagon hitting the road every July 1st is embedded in my mind.

Fast forward 30 years and my wife and I do the same for our kids, albeit on a smaller scale and with better accommodations.  There is a warmth that rises knowing that we can do what was done for us – making lasting memories of grand adventures, awe-inspiring landscapes, new cities and people, and the quiet moments of conversations just about anywhere we go.  We indeed consider ourselves fortunate.

Paul Tsongas, US Senator from Massachusetts, decided not to run for re-election after a cancer diagnosis to spend more time with family.  In his memoir, he says: No one on their death bed ever says, “I wish I had spent more time on my business.”  Should we commit to doing a good job, providing value to our employers and clients, helping support our colleagues?  For sure. Hopefully that does not come at the expense of making lasting memories.

I am going to be in Portland for the NAWIC Annual Conference (work) and will be including hiking at Multnomah Falls, perusing the shelves of Powell Books, and hitting up the food pods (making memories).

As always, you can reach me at

Michael Riegel



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