Everybody has a hero or two in their lives. I remember one of my first heroes was Curly from The Three Stooges. My standards were not quite high back then, but I thought he was a big little boy who was having the best time when Moe was not clumping him over the head. He’d brush himself off and then went about having a life that was filled with adventures and bleached blondes that made him weak in the knees. He was living the life and in black and white!

My Zen Man
I remember Walter Anderson. He was one of the advertising production managers that I worked with in Manhattan. Walter had a Zen-like persona and he never became unraveled. Not even with the ridiculous deadlines that we had. He took on the role of being big brother to all of us newbies and taught us much about the advertising field. “Take a deep breath,” Walter would say. But, we were all too busy working on our careers and finding a relationship that would do for now. I think if Walter could have caught me in the middle of the insanity called my life, I might have taken the time to really listen to his life’s philosophies more. He had it right. We had it wrong.

Walter kept his illness to himself. He went for treatments at lunch and was back in the office and none of us were ever the wiser. This was a man who loved the life he was given. Walter died a few years later. I had moved onto another job at another agency, but it took my breath anyway none the less. I used to catch him looking out his window that faced Madison Avenue at the end of a long day and I felt his calmness even if it was only for a nanosecond. Walter’s message was enormous. Keep it simple and slow down enough to enjoy it. And take a deep breath.

Clever as a Fox
Michael J. Fox is the reason I never had children. When his show, “Family Ties” was on the air, he played Alex Keaton, a rather conservative son to a very liberal parents. I did not think I could be as brave as Steven and Elyse Keaton. Something to do with the Karma my mother was sending me. It was a funny show and he was brilliant in playing Alex (maybe a little too convincing for me). He went on to have a great acting career along with a strong marriage and four children. Then it was made public that Michael had been dealing with Parkinson’s Disease.

I believe Michael J. Fox brings a quiet dignity to what life threw his way. And again it is all about how we handle what life deems fit to put on our plate. Sometimes it is the smallest (no pun intended, Mr. Fox) of annoyances that can cause us to have a meltdown on the LIE or in front of our friends and families. And sometimes it is all about stepping forward and becoming a champion for the plight of others. I would say Michael’s greatest role is that of “Lucky Man.” (his first memoir about being diagnosed with Parkinson’s). He got the memo about life and is doing the living…one simple step at a time.

Four Legged Heroes
Not all pillars of simplicity walk on two feet. Doris sleeps most of the day, spends hours looking out the window and eats out of food bowls that are in the basement. And yet she is very happy. Even with being very ill.

Doris’ kidneys started to fail a week after being given a clean bill of health. We were heartbroken and had to make a decision that would affect the rest of her life. Our vet advised that we put her down and yet something told me that Doris was not ready to go to the big litter box in the sky. I followed her lead and we started “kitty dialysis” three times a week. Sixteen months later, I look at my cat and I don’t see sickness. I see her chasing her cat siblings around the house, getting stupid on cat nip and sleeping by my feet. I feel that Doris, my four-legged pillar of simplicity, is simply living off another one of her nine lives.

Author's Bio: 

Certified Life and Intuitive Coach, elizabeth cassidy, started Branching Out Life Coaching with the belief that there are creative solutions for today’s challenges.

Her clients are midlife women who learn to give themselves permission to become fearless, fabulous as they fall in love with the lives they know they want to be living.
As a client’s advocate, elizabeth will be there to offer support, motivation and accountability along with chocolate when needed.

Embrace change and not fear. Change your perspective and change your life.

Branching Out Life Coaching – a safe haven for women and their dreams.