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Tag: Susan Koenig

Susan Koenig

Why Wait

“I just want it over,” he said. I remember he’d been insistent he get the earliest available appointment. When asked whether he had been referred to a specific attorney he said, “Yes. But just get me in. I need someone now.” There were no allegations of intimate partner abuse, of bank accounts being emptied or credit cards being maxed out. No dispute about who would remain in the marital home. No children. Unlike most who consult about divorce, Jason wasn’t interested in sharing his story of his fifteen year marriage or why its end appeared imminent. He’d barely taken his
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Expectations or Expectancy

Expectations have set me up for more than a little suffering in life. This week I decided to give expectancy of good a try instead. When I predict things will go badly, expectations leave me feeling blue in anticipation. When I predict events will unfold precisely as I’d planned, expectations inevitably leave me feeling disappointed. I decided to set aside my Valentine’s Day expectations of happy or sad, of good or bad, and instead hold the expectancy of a good day. I used my analytical mind to protect my thin-skinned heart.  I retrieved a favorite well-worn tool, list-making, and gathered
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Winter Warmup

As a coach, I love to see people excited and inspired to launch into their goals for the year ahead. Getting back to the gym, planning their vacation to the lake, or signing up for that budgeting 101 class. But even with the promise of a new year, many of us find it hard to drag ourselves out of bed, in the winter wind chill. After the flu has made its rounds, the credit card bills come in, and the numbers on the scale that started rising with Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and climbed to a peak with bowl game cheese
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Part 2: Not the Only One

During days of hiking in the wilderness with her son, Susan made discoveries about her child, herself, and the challenges of any great journey. She reflects on her lessons in this three part series. By the afternoon of the second day on the John Muir Trail we had hiked with our packs to over 11,000 feet and over two mountain passes. The sweat from struggling (I was struggling; Jack seemed to be sailing) up the steep ascent of granite combined with the increasing altitude demanded we double our drinking. Jack landed us a campsite surrounded by tall pines and overlooking
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I am a Firewalker… Really

Within a matter of hours, I would take a step I once thought impossible. The master firewalker was about to prepare me and a roomful of other courageous and anxious souls to walk across a bed of hot coals on our bare feet. “What are the fears that have held you back?”  She asked. Now I was not only going to have to worry about a trip to the emergency room, I should think about a lifetime of fears?  I reflected on a huge host of insecurities that had blocked me from taking that first, or that next step, or
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Waking Up About Sleep

When I was a girl, I’d sometimes go to bed in my clothes just so I wouldn’t waste any time getting a start on the next day. For much of my life, a shortage of sleep silently signified I was half as hardworking as my German mother of eight. As a young mom of two under two, stressed by building my fledgling law practice and struggling in my marriage, sleep took a back seat to my beliefs about survival and success. Out of touch with both my body and my burnout, I pushed through my days oblivious to my exhaustion
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Shame washed over me as quickly as my thought arrived, disturbing my relaxing read of the morning paper. The headline that Elizabeth Gilbert was getting divorced struck me with a sudden dash of vindication. The award winning author was separating from the man whom her million plus readers of Eat, Pray, Love knew as Felipe. After twelve years, which included publication of Gilbert’s other best seller, Committed: A Love Story, it was over. Why would I possibly feel any hint of satisfaction at the heartbreak of another? Did I dislike her? Had I become a cynic of marriage after decades
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Orlando on My Heart

I awoke in paradise but the news was a nightmare. As the waves crashed against the shore outside my window and the children slept, I read the reports of the Saturday night slaughter of 49 in an Orlando gay night club. Together for the first time since Christmas, my two sons, my stepdaughter and I were full of anticipation about our helicopter ride over the luscious landscape of Kauai, a hike along the Napali coast, and simply being together. “Did you hear about Orlando?” was my good morning from my youngest. “I did,” I replied. We then fell silent about
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Sunny Detox

My head encased in a flurry of bright yellow yarn and wearing a giant yellow dress retrieved from the prop box, I stepped onto the platform as the emcee for talent night. As “Sunny”, I held the toy microphone and appeared a cross between adorable and absurd. Unable to discern any talent of my own, I had volunteered as the master of ceremonies to celebrate concluding a week of an intense cleanse of mind and body. Since our arrival, we had eaten small plates of raw vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the exception of three days when we
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Trek Up the Tower

I was sweating. I clung to the handrail, lugging each leg up the next step. My head down, my chest heaving as I struggled to breathe, I heard someone shout “Only 7 more flights!” I wanted to cry. In the midst of an exuberant office holiday party I had I declared “I’m in” with more enthusiasm than thoughtful consideration when our paralegal Wendi invited me to trek up the tower. Saying yes without asking a single question was my first mistake. I thought I was signing up to climb 27 flights of stairs. I neglected to notice that the tallest
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