Everyday Celebrations

One of my favorite things to do is toast and clink glasses. A simple “cheers” makes every gathering with friends feel like a celebration.

During a time when finances are tight and jobs may be scarce, look celebrating seems harder to come by, which is why I get excited when I see others reveling in simple traditions or routines.

This weekend, college degrees were awarded all across the city. At the Pfister, one law school graduate and her family (a group of 14 in all) gathered in the lobby bar in twos and threes and when all were present and the honoree had arrived, diagnosis glasses were raised (and a baby bottle too, if I recall) and a rousing “Here’s to Kate” echoed throughout the holiday décor.

Who couldn’t help but cheer her on? The room turned and smiled, all of us proud at both the accomplishment and the spirit of the family celebrating this achievement. Next to me, Sophie, Grace and their mother and grandmother were also celebrating…just being together.

The ladies have a holiday tradition of coming to the Pfister after seeing a show at First Stage Children’s Theater. After one of their first visits, Grace, awestruck in the grand foyer of the hotel, mentioned to her mother, “We should come here more often.”

The celebration is this: The girls go out to the theater, leaving a little brother at home, and then come to the Pfister to be fancy and elegant while eating a delicious cheese pizza at their regular table (sadly occupied on this day) in the lobby. Their mother let me know that the tradition was extending this year to taking the girls to tea on the day after the holiday. Both Sophie and Grace nodded energetically at the prospect of tea after my long-winded description of how fantastic the experience was for me and my girlfriends just a few weeks ago.

What I admired about the girls was the ease with which they made the day a celebration. They were simply happy to be there, happy to be a part of something they remember from last year, and happy to chatter on about what they’ve been learning in school, how they liked the play and, to quote the oldest daughter, recognize that “this pizza is intimidating!” (It was beautiful in its cheesiness, I must confess).

The group stayed long after the food was gone, took many a picture near the holiday tree and perused the art collection.

My celebration was the opportunity to sit with Kate on my left, a newly minted law degree awaiting her and Sophie and Grace on my right, reciting an amazing array of facts about the Statue of Liberty that they learned in their elementary schools, perhaps on their way to a degree in a few years as well. Sophie proclaimed with joy, while getting her coat, “Wow, we’ve been out all day long! It was morning when we left!” It’s that spirit of making every moment an adventure that I hope people bring to each clink of their glass when they mutter “cheers!”

Seating for One

There are so many corners to lose yourself in at the Pfister Hotel. Just when I think I’ve found the perfect nook, doctor I realize, there’s already a soft chair or couch there waiting for me—a clear demonstration that the staff at the Pfister know that cozy corners are a commodity.

The thing is, as part of my role, I am often at the Pfister alone. Many women may tell you they rarely go out alone. Maybe we go shopping, generic where it’s expected, or to a movie, where once the lights are down, it’s harder for people to see that you’re alone.

Male friends have laughed when I have said I wouldn’t stop in a bar for a drink alone. Women friends simply nod knowingly. So when at the Pfister, occasionally it’s nice to slide into a comfy cushion in an obscure corner and simply take in my surroundings.

I hope I don’t betray an entire group of people here, but occasionally, women deploy little tricks to ensure that they don’t get bothered, hit on or intruded upon when they’re cultivating their solitude in a glass of red wine at a bar.

First, I must recognize (and applaud) those who bravely venture out to fulfill their own relaxation or winding down techniques, whether friends have agreed to join them or not. And second, I need to let you know it happens far more often than you think.

I sat down in the lobby bar next to a couple who easily engaged me and we had a great time together. One of the stories the gentleman wanted to share was of the young woman who had warmed my chair not thirty minutes prior. The man said he’d offered her a drink and she said, clutching her wine, “No, I’m waiting for someone, thank you.”

After the wine was gone, the woman left. The gentleman’s wife returned and he said, as she sat, “Huh, poor girl, her friend stood her up.” The wife questioned his details and laughed. “Oh, she didn’t have a friend coming.”

Confused, the husband was then schooled (and then again by me after his retelling of the event) in woman-alone-at-the-bar logic. We tell lies like that to make ourselves feel comfortable, to ward off unwelcome advances and to feel socially secure in our aloneness.

Since that lesson, I’ve paid special attention to all the single ladies in the house at the Pfister and I must say—there are a great many of us. Just the other night, during those immediate post-work hours at Blu, I spotted a woman enjoying a glass of wine and clearly winding down. Oblivious to those around her, she faced her chair outward toward the city and calmly enjoyed her surroundings. There were a number of men seated alone as well, perhaps parts of conferences or folks traveling for work, but not a one of them approached her or disrupted her serenity. It could have been because most of them had their chairs facing the skyline as well and as the sun set  it was a pretty irresistible view, easily one that no pick-up line could compete with.

So I continue to applaud the brave women who, by whatever means necessary, whether it’s an amazing view, stellar confidence or a little white lie, secure for themselves a cozy nook to enjoy some time to themselves. I may notice you when I’m there, but I promise, I will not disturb.

Be a Part of History: Volunteer!

Milwaukee may be known as the City of Festivals, but they don’t just happen by themselves; many dedicated residents and volunteers preserve our culture and promote the heritage of the city annually. The Pfister Hotel hosted the United Ethnic Festivals board holiday party and the volunteer organizers of each of our summer festivals gathered to celebrate the season.

Early in the evening, I met the vice president of German Fest and his wife and while we talked, the celebration of heritage became more important than simply celebrating. The couple (Mr. and Mrs. Rudi Wolf) started to express their concern over how these traditions would carry on.

As the couple remembered concerts and shows they’d seen at the Pfister in the past and compared those stylings to today’s music and the bands they recruit for German Fest, they talked as much about the music as our interest in it…who will continue to appreciate such specific genres? Mrs. Wolf noted, “We hope the young people will come, but…” she ended with a shrug of her shoulders.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard these concerns from long-standing local organizations. Though the Pfister carries with it a rich history, passed on through tenured staff members, other groups and volunteer organizations in the area carry a similar historic burden. Yet, with volunteerism and resources both on the decline, some of the traditions that have supported Milwaukee’s unique “Little Big Town” feel could be at risk.

Wolf talked of the Austrian club her family is a part of and the routines she established for her children—gently keeping them tied to the group through events and duties, hoping they’ll carry on a dedication to these organizations. Though she was concerned for who will contribute these all-important cultural histories to our city when the current volunteers have moved on, I am curious if she realizes just what a success she has already been. She told of her youngest daughter, the one who learned to yodel at a young age (through the association with the club, of course) and continues to do so. Or, if the tales of her four grandsons, who each participate in German Fest and the Austrian club impacted her as much as they did me—all of these young men are clearly an invested part of the heritage and value their role in it.

It made me wonder if it’s just natural to worry about how you pass on traditions to later generations, how you give up power and control in hope of keeping histories alive. And where is the line between ensuring that we keep even the smallest of organizations pulsing through our city—known for its variety of festivals and cultures—and pushing too hard to sustain the traditions of the old at the expense of the potential of the new?  German Fest’s website, clearly a vestige of the new, asks visitors to “BE A VOLUNTEER, help keep German traditions alive and introduce a whole new generation to the German culture of today and traditions of yester year.” Perhaps this technological mingling of spaces young leaders inhabit and ideas and traditions historic families seek to preserve is one step in bridging the gap.

Some of my questions were answered when I returned to look in on the gathering later that night and saw the incredible intergenerational mix that had assembled. Young professionals mingled among seasoned veterans of the city and it was clear that leadership and trust was being passed along, and more importantly, it was clear that worries about “the next generation” having the same passions for tradition may be unfounded as so many gathered on a Monday night to keep the past very much in the present.

Learning From Tea Time

Let me make your weekend plans for you. One way or another, they should include a reservation for Victorian Tea at the Pfister. I’ve been to London a couple of times, but the last visit included an endless hunt for the perfect “high tea” with a friend. The hijinks that ensued made it a memorable experience and of course we ate all our little cakes, but it wasn’t the full, austere, formal experience we had always thought tea to be.

Making up for it, two friends and I recently had tea at the Pfister. My anglophile companions and I were moved from the moment we walked into Blu and met Juan, the tea butler. Admittedly, walking into Blu with its amazing panoramic view of the city is a breathtaking gesture in the first place, but the rigor and grace of a perfect British tea only added to the atmosphere.

The selection process.

After being seated, we were presented with a worldly selection of teas and their history, vibrancy, scents and stories. Each was uncapped from its jar, passed delicately around the table for smelling and returned again to its station on the silver serving tray. It’s worth noting, Lipton ain’t got nothin’ on Juan. It wasn’t just his knowledge of the teas that made his service impeccable. Nor was it his honest assessment of our choices of fruit and spice infusions to be added to the teas. What we each noticed about the presentation was the time and care in every gesture, every description and every piece of the event. And it was an event, which is exactly what afternoon tea should be. Though the teas were indescribably delicious and the sweet and savory trays so scrumptious that they were too few, in the humble opinion of we omnivores, the process of the afternoon is what moved us.

All of the delicious offerings.

Each piece of the event was a part of the experience. John, also helping with our table, and Juan moved slowly and deliberately. They spoke carefully to us and saw to our every request. The delicacies weren’t just the food bites on the table, but also the treatments and services bestowed upon us as we sat there.

I constantly joke with friends that Prince William made the wrong choice in proposing to Kate Middleton, not me. Sitting at tea, with close friends, watching the sun set on the city and being treated as a royal, however, more than satisfied my need to elope with a prince.

Often, in our every day lives, we miss out on such treatments. When someone asks you “how are you?” we all take the question as a standard, uttered too quickly, with little intent and no desire for an answer. What the tea service made us all conscious of was how we do not deliberately use time. There are rules to how you use time. There’s a benefit to slow, thoughtful consideration of ideas in speaking, in sitting, even in steeping tea. But steep the tea too long, it becomes pungent and too strong.

The afternoon wasn’t just girlfriends chatting and cakes being eaten. It was a lesson exemplified in the process of tea. Time is your friend and careful use of it bestows many benefits; but the lesson isn’t to always slow down. Rather, thoughtful attention to details allows you to steep and become delicious, not overbearing.

Wedded Wisdom

Today’s network news ran a feature story about how Middle Americans have been losing faith in marriage. I had to laugh out loud as I thought of John and Kathy, treat an amazing couple who recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary at the Pfister. First of all, I think all wedding anniversaries are to be congratulated. Life is stressful enough, but to combine your energies with a partner and navigate tough financial terrain and cultural circumstances (in an age where another news story says we’ve increased our whining and complaining) can be as taxing as it is rewarding so, whenever I meet a couple with significant years of marriage under their belt, I pay close attention. There are lessons to be learned there.

I sat with the pair, who also surprised me by mentioning they’re from the Chicago suburbs. Before I could even finish “Why are you vacationing in Milwaukee…” Kathy said, “Yeah, our friends all think we’re nuts for coming up here instead of going to the city. This is so much better though. We keep bringing them up here too, to show them.”

I had to smile. Just two years ago I had the same argument with a friend who was excited to plan a family vacation in Chicago and I worked hard to convince her Milwaukee was the better choice. When I asked, “What’s so special about Chicago?” she replied knowingly, “Uh, the pizza, the Field Museum, Lake Michigan?” I said, “Yup, in Milwaukee we have pizza, Discovery World, Miller Park and the same lake…”

Kathy and John know this. But it’s not their savvy in weekend getaways that drew me to them. The chemistry from this couple who knows each other so well was magnetic. That’s why I sat near them. They were talking pleasantly when I came upon them and neither asked a thing about me when I approached, they simply motioned for me to sit down and join them. I learned of their work life travels (together, the relocated for John’s work eight times in his career), I learned of their retirement adventures (visiting friends across the country and watching their daughter successfully navigate a now 18-year marriage—clearly wedded longevity runs in the family) and I learned that you never get to know how the story ends.

See, Kathy and John, it was revealed to me late in our conversation, knew each other back in elementary school on Long Island, NY. She was in first grade, he in fourth. But they weren’t sweethearts or dated until after high school when they married. Now, 45 years later, they still talk with old classmates, remember the same school buildings and recognize names of families by whichever siblings were in their class. This couple has been all around the country, but little did they know, their marriage started in the same school on Long Island.

On this night, they were treating themselves to a drink at the Pfister to kick off their anniversary. John asked, “So what is a Narrator?” and as I told him, I asked him more questions about his work…which Kathy gladly answered. John threw his hands up in mock exasperation—a dance the pair has clearly perfected over their many years together. I leaned in and teased John, “Wow, she’s really the narrator, isn’t she?” He smiled, nodded and said “Well, that’s one word for it…”

This rhythm and banter was so natural between them, when they left, I thanked them for setting the example. I told Kathy, I like seeing it, I like seeing couples showing us how it’s done. She nodded, patted me on the knee and said “Oh, honey, you gotta kiss a lot of frogs, but it’s well worth it!”

Happy Hour as a Career High

Friday night happy hour is only an event because you were supposedly unhappy in the preceding hours at your work. Organizational theorists, business consulting gurus and all the Seth Godin’s of the world could supplement their next best seller with a happy hour at the Pfister.

Tonight’s crowd ran the gamut in examples of the intersection of work and life. John and Kathy (who you’ll meet again in another post) made a life together around job relocation. After I asked, “So you moved seven times for work?” Kathy eagerly reminded me, “Oh, no, honey, eight times!”

John and I wax philosophical on an issue I’ve been thinking about for some time. Contemporary workplaces no longer keep you for 35 years. John got lucky and built an entire career within one organization. Moving up through the ranks, moving with the company and seeing the country (Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York), John and his family proudly traveled for their kin—the company.

Now, John agrees, workplaces and the new generation of workers have to revision what it means to be loyal.

Just as John and Kathy head off to continue their anniversary celebration (45 years!), Dave and Julie take their seats and are the living, breathing example of just what John and I had been discussing. Both lawyers by trade, together they’ve moved from Seattle to Denver to Milwaukee with their careers, but not their company. And though regulars at the Pfister, they were in tonight to court an interviewee on her quest to be a part of a Milwaukee-based company. Potentially hiring in from Denver, their guest had already finished the stress of the day’s interview with Dave, but because she was spending the night in town, the pair offered to keep her company with a drink…at the Pfister.

It’s true so much of our life is our work life. John and Kathy now travel to visit work friends—not for work. Dave and Julie continue to remake their life based on where they work and between them, now, is this potentially new Milwaukee resident experiencing the Pfister for the first time because of work she hopes to get.

It’s inspiring to be around folks at mid-career, at retirement or as they shape their career…and to get all this coaching and career advice while hearing holiday tunes on the piano and the rumble of giggles and small talk as office work parties commence in the lobby and the Rouge Room.

Career coaching is available to you while you sit in the Pfister lobby, but the most important thing you’ll learn is that that our happiest hours may very well be because of our work and we should find the ways we can make our work work for our life.

The Things that Matter

I very comfortably sit in the camp that holiday music on the airwaves beginning on Thanksgiving Day is a Martha Stewart-style Good Thing. All of the kitcshy pieces of holiday spirit may, tadalafil to some, seem commercial and not the point, but to many, they’re just a conduit to the real merry.  

I was at the Pfister when its holiday traditions kicked off, but apparently I was not first in line. Rebecca, harbinger of holiday spirit and antler-clad, held that coveted spot.  When asked about her antlers, sale Rebecca very politely informed me that they are not her only piece of fabricated, furry cheer. She has alternating pieces of headgear to help bring the holidays home. Why, she started wearing her elf ears more than two weeks ago! She was more offended that I didn’t immediately recognize her as the most dutiful holiday reveler because of her coveted space as first in line to see the Man in Red than she was at my astonishment that she dressed as a reindeer.  

Rebecca the Reindeer, first in line for Santa.

Rebecca wasn’t alone in her reindeer headwear, nor was she alone in her spirit. All the accoutrement of the holidays was present: lots of red sweaters, Santa hats, candy canes, holiday songs, decorated cookies, eggnog and eager children.

Something else was present that night at the Pfister, however. If all the signs and symbols of the holiday were there, reaching out to draw people into a more visceral type of holiday joy, another important symbol made it into the hands of a few.

One of the revelers and I were talking about “that man over there”—and it wasn’t Santa. A local Medal of Honor winner was sharing in the tree lighting ceremony with his family. His story comes coupled with a distinctive coin that he hands out to those who ask. The coin is just a stand in for the honor, service, gratitude and meaning wrapped up in this prestigious recognition of courageous service.

One of the Pfister’s security staff came up to me late in the tree lighting ceremony. Together, we surveyed all the reindeer, elves, Santas and more who, bedazzled in their best holiday get-ups, were posing before the magnificent tree to be photographed. He too, had spoken to the military hero and also received a coin to represent all that a conversation with a true hero might mean. As a former military man himself, he understood the meaning wrapped in this one thing.

So I suddenly have a new appreciation for things. I laughed at dear Rebecca’s antlers—we all did. They were charming and lighthearted. But they stood in for much more meaning. The meaning of a young child waiting for Santa, the expectation-filled holiday, the routines of family life at this time of year—all indescribable passions and feelings not easily captured or understood in words, so antlers had to suffice.

The same is true for our encounters with a Medal of Honor winner. It is far too hard to articulate the sorts of pride, empathy, praise, responsibility and respect we may feel for them. For the veteran, it may be beyond words to fully describe the trials in courage it took to be nominated for such an honor. So we use things—a notable coin that veterans the world over recognize—to denote these indescribable feelings.

So I’m committed to tuning in to all my things right now: holiday music on the radio, the smell of evergreen, secret family recipes and the aging family heirloom ornaments on my tree. It’s ok to let things have meaning, especially if you take the time to share it.

Happy Accidents Help Make Merry

Sometimes the best things that happen to you are accidents, there which is why we say “happy accident” when talking of coincidences or other fortuitous events. Tonight was a fortuitous event for a number of people at the Pfister Hotel.

Its now traditional tree lighting ceremony began, for me anyway, in a crowded elevator where one patron had to simply defy all elevator expectation and turn to us all and say in awe, “are you all going to the tree lighting at the Pfister?” The entire group nodded. This tradition was new to her, but she didn’t realize, obviously, that so many others had seen the value in gathering in a beautiful space to kick of Christmas with all the staples: Santa, cookies, eggnog and a beautiful tree.

In the lobby, it was clear most of us were underdressed compared to the frills and fashions the toddlers were bedazzled with. Cake-toppers all, there were scores of young girls and boys holding their excitement for what parents surely wound them up about—the Man Himself would be arriving (not by eight-reindeered sleigh, but rather by City of Milwaukee fire truck, same amount of flare, surely).

As I wandered the event, I kept stumbling upon guests who had no idea what they were getting into. The lovely couple from West Bend who were just out for the evening and wanted to be sure and stop at the Pfister for a drink, (“I just love the piano bar!” the wife explained) were thrilled to find themselves in the midst of the holiday spirit. They had no idea the event was scheduled, but were oohing and aahing at the little ones flocking to the Man in Red.

Jolynn, Arlene and Lilly are long-time friends and fans of the Pfister and planned their evening cocktail hour to reunite with long-time staffer, Ellie and some Brandy Alexanders. When they discovered the ceremony, they instantly became belles of the ball. In addition to photographing any group of garland-garbed children, Jolynn also snagged a photo of herself with St. Nick and spent the rest of the event convincing her friends (and those seated near them) that they, too, should try out a lap they probably hadn’t sat on in 60 years. She succeeded, by the way, and the evening felt complete when barriers broke down and a roomful of adults started snapping photos with the Jolly One.

Jolynn’s friend, Arlene, planned to come in with her granddaughter (just adopted from Russia she proudly told me) to have their picture taken for her holiday cards. Tonight’s event convinced her she would return tomorrow and capture the moment in front of the glorious Pfister tree.

This trio was particularly fun because they spent the night giggling and touring the lobby with others, simply thrilled at the holiday cheer that had befallen them. It wasn’t until late in the ceremony that I suggested they have their own picture taken before the tree—they’d taken everyone else’s! This moment of “oh, well, of course we should!” surprise captured the evening best for me. No one is surprised at holiday spirit. It’s a regular event; we schedule it on the calendars. What I think it is, though, is that we are completely prone to being caught up in it and swept away despite our best attempts to be mature, only there for the children, or “too old for all that.”

The true sign of that was that folks had forgotten themselves and spent the evening meeting new people and enjoying children. And holiday carols. And cookies. I refuse to say it was just the eggnog that made everyone so gracious, engaged and cheerful. I insist the spirit alone was more than accidental tonight as the Pfister reified its tree-lighting tradition.

Moved by Memories

The holidays often make people nostalgic. Smells, capsule lighting, seasonal images…all of it can take you back to a specific moment in time. Making memories is a big part of who we are and even though we live in a world of saved images and digitally infinite Facebook messages and Gmail chats it’s comforting to know that our mind will always preserve the best and most important moments in our lives.

Roc, a long-time concierge at the Pfister, can tell you a million stories about memories. His are, of course, of guests and interactions and moments he’s been lucky enough to share, but one he told me recently moved me to tears. Every April, a woman returns to the Pfister. She comes in to have breakfast on a Sunday morning and revealed to Roc that the breakfast is more than simply physical nourishment to her—it feeds her heart, her memory.

You see, this distinguished patron was married at the Pfister Hotel in 1942 and she and her lovely groom woke the next morning to share their first breakfast together in the hotel as husband and wife. Then, her beloved shipped off to the Great Lakes Naval Station and took his place in the war and dutifully gave his life. His new bride never saw him again.

When I was little, I remember my dad telling stories one night about being a young boy, sliding down a hill with his brothers. His eyes filled with tears and he grew quiet. I asked him what was wrong and he simply said “I’m sorry, I was eight years old again for a minute there. I was gone.” That’s when I learned how memories could work on you, how they could sustain you and bring you to life. Sadly, for my father, though, many places he spent his youth are gone—torn down, rebuilt, destroyed by fire or the elements in a small town unable to save or preserve them.

The ever-young war bride returns annually, however, to relive this vivid memory in her life, this scene of smells and lighting and images. That a mind–a memory–can preserve for that long is a wonderful reminder that in our hectic, 140 character micro-blogging world, we as people still have the ability to treasure the important moments that we have been a part of. It doesn’t take hash tags or photo captions to do it, either. Merely the scene, the staff, the ways of being in the Pfister can call this memory into a lived moment again.

It’s with a twinge of jealousy on behalf of my dad that I think of her annual opportunity. I can’t imagine what she must feel when she walks through the lobby each year, but I do think it’s amazing that the Pfister still stands and opens its doors to her every spring.

Finding Yourself at the Pfister

Often, look people aren’t used to being a tourist in their own town and in Milwaukee, I come across the phenomenon often. When was the last time you took the Miller Brewing tour? Or had lunch at the Safe House? Or, like the woman I met at the Pfister lobby bar, doctor when was the last time you had a staycation in Milwaukee? Micki (not her real name, of course, but she was nervous to be written about, so I’ll change her name here and bear the pressure of giving her a name she’d like. I think of a “Micki” as energetic and as having a fun, there infectious laugh, and this woman did, so she’s become Micki to me).

Micki and her mom were taking a time-out at the Pfister for the weekend and it was working its magic. Caught between celebration and desperation, Micki is one of the many who had been downsized when our economy so dramatically shifted. Out of work for more than a year, she finished her bachelor’s degree and was proud of her accomplishment, but the celebration was tinged by her job hunting priorities and the pressure of work.

A massage, haircut, great dinner and drinks in the hotel and she still wasn’t comfortable. She bemoaned the fact that she couldn’t even quiet her mind during her relaxing massage at Well Spa because the stressors of unemployment were so great.

I think as a culture, we need to become attuned to this. Two years of people’s lives shifting so dramatically has taken a collective mental toll on us. This summer, I met a suburban couple who lived in a utopia of a neighborhood with expensive homes and two-car families. When the husband lost his job, the wife explained, the neighbors treated them “as though it was catching.” She was confident and strong when she explained they lost most of their friends because they were “infected” with unemployment.

Micki was feeling the same pressure. A young 42 and a clearly vibrant woman, she confided in Valerie (the Pfister’s bartender) and me about how troubled she was that her work life had so profoundly affected who she was. “Getting back to my old self” was her mission and it was pretty inspirational that she kicked off the journey with a staycation at a local hotel and some bonding time with her very supportive mother.

We often forget how many human connections we need and have and how often those come from our work. I was happy to be a connection to Micki at the hotel while she talked through how she was feeling. It was clear she was seeking out confirmation and conversation and it was easily found in those she interacted with at the Pfister.

It’s a reminder to us all to recognize the people in our world as not simply unemployed, but rather, without the support of daily work routines and colleagues. If our culture has been treating unemployment like a disease or sickness, then the recovery metaphor is clearly apropos here. We should start a conversation about how to support each other emotionally because our nation’s “recovery” isn’t only a recovery of spending and saving and index rates. Like Micki, the need to recharge, recalibrate and reinvent yourself demonstrates that many  need emotional recovery as well.