I love the way John Ratliff writes and combines his real-life stories and reminiscences with a thoughtful reflection on where he has come from and what he still has left to do. I have combined two subjects here. “Leverage” is reflection he wrote to me the other day and probably didn’t expect me to publish! I thought it was so apt that I shared it with my friends in Compass and Connections. Then I added John’s happy story about the closing on his new home and, to quote from “Leverage” …..focus on what matters!


Breathe deep

Breathe slowly

Focus on what matters

Concentrate with calm resolve

Communicate with respect

Document with complete evidence and unbiased clarity

Make requests with humble gratitude

Never demand

Never threaten

Never take it personally

Let your actions speak

Above all maintain a healthy perspective and sense of humor

Because 100 years from now none of it will matter anyway

Closing Time

“And this one is the affidavit stipulating the property will be your primary residence.”

By then my left hand was beginning to cramp. We had already scribbled our signatures on twenty something documents.

“Alrighty then, almost done. I just need to make a copy of your drivers licenses and verify that the wire transfer is complete.”

With a flourish of efficiency the lawyer disappeared, closing the door to the conference room behind him.

I looked over and smiled, “Well, not bad for a day’s work, eh?”

“I’m so relieved! I can’t believe it is finally ours! Now if we could only fast forward past all the moving and disruption and actually start enjoying our new home.”

“It’s all good, Marie! We’ll be all settled in before you know it.”

“Yes, wouldn’t it be great if we could get it all done before Amélie comes home from camp? She would be so surprised!”

I reached over, gently touching her hand before replying, “Absolutely, Marie. Absolutely.”

The conference room door whooshed open.

“You guys are good to go! Congratulations on your new home.”

“Closing time

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Yeah, I know who I want to take me home. 

I know who I want to take me home. 

I know who I want to take me home. 

Take me home” – Semisonic

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