• Life

    Posted on September 9th, 2011

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    Remembering 9/11

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    Photomontage of Ground Zero days after the attacks. Military guards, smoldering ruins and the clock stopped
    I created this photomontage from photographs that I took at Ground Zero in the days after the WTC attacks of 9/11. “Here is New York : A Democracy of Photographs” an exhibition that was initially set up in a storefront in response to the World Trade Center tragedy. 

    10 years have gone by since that terrible day in 2001. I remember that morning all too well. The sky was blue and the sun was shining.  I was getting ready to vote in the primary and go to work. My friend David phoned and told me to turn on the news. Together we watched what looked like a small plane crash into one of the towers. The magnitude of what had just happened before our eyes had yet to make sense to me. Still believing this to be an accident, I went to vote. The polls had yet to close. I then got on the subway (even they were still running) and traveled to my office on 26th and Broadway. Crossing 5th Avenue I looked south and saw the black smoke rising from the street in the distance. I saw people in tears hugging each other. The towers had fallen. Stunned I went up to my office. The phone rang – it was my friend Sue telling me to get out of there. My office was near the Empire State Building. Who knew what could happen next. I left my office and started the long walk back uptown along with everyone else trying to get as far from downtown as possible. It was a surreal exodus. A distraught man stopped me and asked if he could borrow my phone to call his wife. He had been down near the World Trade Center when it happened and wanted her to know that he was ok. I gave him the phone but he couldn’t get through. Everyone else with a cell phone was attempting to to the same thing.

    I walked until my feet were covered in blisters. My high heeled sandals were not exactly made for walking long distances in. Later, when I finally went back to work, I brought a pair of sneakers to leave in my office, just in case. When I finally got home I went to my local salon for a pedicure – just so I didn’t have to be alone. I remember being glued to the TV for days watching those horrible scenes played over and over again. I remember walking in Central Park a few days later with a friend  trying to make sense of it all, while the scent of ash, carried all the way uptown, marred another beautiful day. I volunteered at the Salvation Army, trying to feel useful.

    And now it is 10 years later. Life has gone on. But I will never forget that senseless day when terror shook our city to it’s very core and thousands of innocent people and those brave first responders lost their lives. It is for them that I remember and pay them tribute.


  • Time to Give

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    My Life is Balance Facebook page has reached an awesome 400 fans! Thanks in part to a group of women I have come to know on a Martha Stewart forum called Dreamers into Doers. We are all entrepreneurs with a dream, and doing something to make it happen. With their help as well as help from another great group that I joined, the IndieExhibit,  my page went from under 100 fans to 400 fans in just a couple of months! The IndieExhibit represents independant artisans and creatives in celebrity gift lounges in Hollywood. Thank you to everyone … you all rock!

    So, in honor of this milestone I’m going to have a give-away of one of my Life is Balance® t-shirts! Here’s the way it will work:

    1. Like Life is Balance® on Facebook

    2. Follow @LifeisBalanceTs on Twitter

    3. Visit our website, LifeisBalance.com and our Etsy Shop 

    4. Post a comment below letting me know you’ve done the above steps and tell me what sport or activity balances your life.

    I will pick a winner at random by next Monday, August 8 to receive a Life is Balance® T-shirt.






  • Finding Balance on Vacation

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    Sheryl Checkman in the Turks & Caicos on vacation

    Finally I'm on vacation, wearing one of my Life is Balance tank tops, of course!

    In case you were wondering, I did go on my vacation. I spent 8 glorious days in the Turks and Caicos, scuba diving and replenishing my soul. The weather wasn’t perfect, at least in the beginning. I arrived in Providenciales on Sunday afternoon to overcast skies and relatively cool weather. Not at all what I was used to from years past. For the first 3 days the weather was stormy and I began to second guess my decision to throw financial caution to the wind and take this much-needed vacation. But, as we were still able to go diving I decided not to let a bad weather forecast spoil my trip. By Wednesday however, the system that was stalled over the islands blew away and in its’ place came the beautiful sunny skies and warm tropical breezes that I remembered.

    When I made my decision to finally go on this vacation, it was as if a weight had suddenly lifted – all the stress that I was feeling about work and finances melted away. The problems and worries would still be there when I returned, but I decided that mental well-being is just as important and that I would return better equipped to deal with them. Sometimes you just have  to step back, relax and allow yourself to breathe in order to put things into perspective and allow opportunities to offer themselves up to you.

    I was talking with a friend at lunch today who is going through a rough time. She sounded like I have often felt – paralyzed by the weight of life’s curve balls. I came up with an analogy that she insisted I write about. Being a beach baby at heart, I compared what she was going through to being caught in a riptide. Your first instinct is to fight it. But fighting it will only exhaust you. You don’t know which way is up and which way is down. The only way to get out of it is to relax and let the natural movement of the water bring you back to the surface. Instead of allowing what may seem like insurmountable problems drown you, sometimes you just need to relax, breathe and let yourself come back to the surface.

    When I got back from my vacation, complete with a nasty cold, I made a presentation to a potential client and ended up landing a big project that I had been hoping to get! In addition to that, I received three other requests for proposals. In the grand scheme, taking off one week to do something for myself – to add some much-needed balance, did not adversely affect my life. On the contrary, I believe it allowed me to come back to the surface swimming!

    Here are a few pictures I took on my trip!

    Sea turtle swimming

    Sea turtle swimming

    Diver surfacing from below

    Diver surfacing from below

    Shark and Diver beneath the sea

    Shark and diver beside the wall

    Sunset in the Turks & Caicos

    Sunset in the Turks & Caicos

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