5 . 2 7 . 1 7

1. Break your own rules. This morning I shot out of bed as soon as my daughter was awake. It was barely 5:30 and we were all still waking up. I had gotten word from a friend, the night before that a blue whale had washed up on the shore of a nearby West Marin beach. The tide would be low at 7 am and scientists were arriving at 8 to further dissect the whale. We had a window and I was determined to make this happen. My husband was quick to ready, but my daughter threw a fit. She didn't want to go. Yelled and screamed, stomped and stormed. Classic major protest. I looked her in the eye and said, "I am not letting you get in your own way of seeing something that you will most likely never have the opportunity to see again. If we get there and you don't want to see it fine, but I'm giving you the opportunity no matter what." She continued to protest. I knew once I got her in the car she would be excited, so I broke my own rules. I asked her what it would take to get her in the car. She said new legos. I agreed. A half hour later we were on a beach in the early morning standing beside an intact beached blue whale. It was incredible. And I'm not sorry.

2. Look closely. One of the many things I learned from my mom about looking at art is to get in really close. Stand so close and look so intently that the security guards worry you are going to reach out and touch the painting. Today as we stood on the beach in awe of the giant mammal that lay before us, I was amazed at how different it looked close up. How the ridges while seemingly imperfect and random, actually appear close up, like symmetrical and carefully placed lines running mathematically around the head of the whale. The texture of the skin, the strength of the fins, the bumps and bubbles toward the tail, all seem so different from a distance. While stepping back for perspective is necessary, don't be afraid to step closer too.

3. Great hosts know their limits.

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