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Submitted by Nancy Schwachter

This past weekend I was at a James Taylor concert and I noticed ‘I got older and he did not!’  I also noticed that many in the audience we’re doing exactly what we were doing when we first enjoyed concerts. :) Yesterday at the airport I noticed that children make it better for everyone, especially when your flight has been delayed 3 times!!

Submitted by Gerson

I Noticed that Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest world leaders of modern times and probably of all time, has died.

I Noticed that some flags in our Nation's capital are flying at half-staff in his honor.

I Noticed that some are not. I went into two hotels and one McDonald's this morning to alert them of this. They were grateful and said they would lower the flag in Mandela's honor.

I called the White House and they confirmed that there is a Presidential order to fly the flag at half-staff.

When you're out and about today, please Notice whether the flags in your neighborhood are flying at half-staff. When one Notices a lowered flag, one often steps back and asks, now why is that flag at half-staff? In this case it's not a domestic leader or tragedy, so some folks may have to think a little bit harder. And when they do, let them Take Notice of a great man who has changed the world.

Submitted by Carole Schweitzer

Outsource Your Way to Better Balance

Message: For my 30th birthday, I gave myself permission to hire a housekeeper. While I was delighted to unload cleaning and laundry duties on my soon-to-be-irreplaceable helpmate, I gradually realized that this was the start of something big, something "noticeable," something amazing--and a concept that I've turned into somewhat of an art form over the years.

At this point, I still have a housekeeper (some 7 or 8 iterations of whom have made my life so much more pleasant in the various cities and countries I've moved to and from). And I've added a yard service, a pest service, a home technology guru, an accountant, a catering service, and even an on-call bartender and service person who can spring into action when my husband has the urge--at the last screaming minute--to invite a delegation of international scientists to our small home for a sit-down dinner (complete with place cards and hastily written toasts in the appropriate languages).

The net result: I have a life--a great life, really--that I can actually enjoy because my outsourcing team is by my side providing the support required for it all to happen. My work life is rich and creative; I'm an editor for a monthly association magazine. My social life is busy and rewarding. And my husband--whom I eventually convinced to stop resisting the "outsourcing solution"--no longer has to deal with a crabby, overdone wife who is too tired to accompany him to the many social and travel opportunities that he so enjoys.

This system of delegation did not come about overnight. In fact, I suffered my share of welts and poison ivy rashes while trying to demonstrate my green thumb; fell exhausted onto the couch after attempting to do those impromptu dinner parties solo; and took my usually infrequent swearing to an all-new level when trying to figure out the updated version of TurboTax. And, I'll admit to being a slow learner in realizing that my husband is the best of delegators; that's fine at work, where he's always had a staff, but at home, not so much. All that aside, one by one, these irritating tasks have found their way to the outsourcing block. And, we're all the better for it. Plus, I'm doing my share to bolster the economy--something I've always done well.

Next on the list: a professional shredding service to clear out the 2012 paperwork and make way for the New Year!

Submitted by Edie Alexander

Did ya notice... how buying a new house is like being hospitalized!?

First comes sharing the news - Why? What's wrong/what happened?

And then the questions - What is your price range? Desired location? What are your symptoms? Are you in pain?

A flutter of activity - Checking out listings; Insurance pre-authorization

Suddenly in the center of attention - Real estate agents, Mortgage and Loan officers; Doctors, Nurses, XRay technicians

Filling out forms - Employment, Salary, Savings, Debts? Medications, Diet, Allergies, Insurance?

Day of Reckoning - Offer accepted? , the Diagnosis...

Decision points - Size of mortgage and down payment; Treatment options

Variables to consider - Contingency, Interest rate; Discomfort and recovery time

Your world has narrowed - Home inspector, Settlement team; Physical therapist, Pharmacist

Grand Finale - Settlement: goodbye, enjoy! Discharged: goodbye, be well..

and suddenly, you're on your own...