On Sabbaticals, Self-Care, and Sanity


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting


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what happens nextHi, I’m Shonali and I’m the owner of this blog. If you’re scratching your head in bemusement, I wouldn’t blame you… because I haven’t been around these parts much lately. And that’s because my husband passed away very unexpectedly on March 4; shortly after I wrote my last “real” blog post this year, on why vulnerability is so essential in building community. (It’s ironic that that was my last post… or maybe it’s not… as I’m making myself pretty vulnerable to you right now.) As you can imagine, my life went from pretty crazy (as most of ours are) to completely surreal in the blink of an eye. When anyone you love passes away, it leaves a huge hole in your heart. And when it’s your partner/spouse of 20 years, and is unexpected, the hole is unlike any other. Unfortunately, when your world stops, the “business of life” doesn’t
🙂
Shonali Burke
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A Valentine’s Day Wish From Birdie & Me


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting


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You know how, when the holidays start to come around, you start to get completely stressed about getting your holiday cards out? Sometimes, so much so that they don’t go out at all?!

That happened to me several years ago. 

Happy New Year in 2014

But I really really wanted to send a greeting out, so we ended up sending out a New Year’s e-card.

It featured “Sonja” (a cartoon version of me), “Birdie” (that you see in the SBC branding) and imagery/language that captured my dominant theme for that year.

Which people LOVED, b/c they were so over the holidays (LOL!). So I started doing this every year.

This past year, what with a ton of work + personal stuff going on, not even the NY card got sent out.

But I really really wanted to send a greeting out… so this year, we decided to instead do a Valentine’s

Valentine's Day e-card from Shonali and the Birdie
Shonali Burke
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Inspiration Amid Holiday Insanity


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting


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If all has gone to plan, I am literally about 30K feet above you right now. Because today I’m flying home for the holidays.  And I’m looking forward to it despite the borderline insanity I’m likely to experience. I mean, there’s a reason holiday movies put “family drama” at the core of their plots… You see, it’s my high school’s 30th (gulp) reunion. Here’s a pic from the 25th (faces have been blurred to protect the innocent): inspiration Btw, if you’re past the 5-year reunion mark, have you noticed how the guys tend to generally be balding, paunchy and approaching decrepitude, while the women literally look the same, if not better, than when they were in high school? :p  The cool thing about reunions, though, is collectively celebrating what your classmates have done with their lives… so far.
Just in my graduating class alone, we have captains of industry,
Shonali Burke
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Thanksgiving Memories and Gratitude


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting


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thanksgivingWould you believe up until some years ago, I didn’t have any Thanksgiving memories? You see, I’d never celebrated Thanksgiving before I moved to the US.  After all, I didn’t grow up with it.  But since then, it’s become one of my favorite holidays, and I’ve celebrated it all sorts of ways. Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving memories: There was my first Thanksgiving ever (we were still in California), when my husband cooked the entire spread for his brother and family who were visiting, including a tofurkey for his vegan niece. There was the time we spent it in NYC and watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in the freezing rain (brr!!). There was the time we decided, on the spur of the moment, to spend it in Jamaica, which was AWESOME. There was the time we spent it in India, with roast
Shonali Burke
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Permission to Be Human


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting


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humanWhich moments in time are forever etched in your mind?  Can you recall exactly where you were, what you were wearing, how you felt, how it changed your life in perhaps some infinitesimal but incredibly impactful way? Here are some of mine: 1. The day Princess Di died (she was buried two decades ago yesterday). I was at a play rehearsal, a pall of gloom over us all. How could such an incredible spirit that touched SO many people all over the world be gone?? I don’t know about you, but I was in love with Princess Di. Made a scrapbook of the Royal Wedding and all. An older, wiser Shonali knows she was not exactly Goldilocks, but look at the power of connection she had. It was almost magical. 2. 9/11. Watching the AM news before heading into work (SF), befuddled that a plane could accidentally crash into the
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Why I’m Grateful to My Grandma on Father’s Day


This post is by Shonali Burke from Shonali Burke Consulting


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This is a pic of my dad & me when I was just a young ‘un, circa She’s Still Sucking Her Thumb: Shonali being held by dad as a baby
I’m the eldest in my family, born when my dad was just 23. That boggles my mind. Most people aren’t even “adulting” at 23, but my dad was … well, a dad!
Today isn’t just an opportunity to think about – and thank – my dad, though. Were my grandma (mom’s mom) still alive, it would also be her birthday.
And in a way, it’s thanks to my grandma that my dad became my dad. You see, back in the day, my mom and dad had a bit of a dramatic turn in their courtship. All was said and done w.r.t. their wedding … at least, so they thought. But while visiting with my mom’s parents to discuss the wedding arrangements, my paternal grandma suddenly announced
pic from Shonali's parents' wedding reception
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