The window in my bedroom, half open to the world, allowing a warm breeze from the early morning air gently sliding the silky off-white curtains like the ebb and flow of a warm summer’s tide teasing my body with a familiar sense of freedom and nostalgia from my childhood summers at Goose Rock Beach, Kennebunkport, Maine. I awaken with this warm but cool sensation hovering two inches from my body. The birds not yet in full swing, just rising with me to an easterly sky that’s more reminiscent of the Painted Desert than the suburbs of Chicago. I lie still for a few more moments, alone with my thoughts and orgasmic sense of fulfillment before I rise to enjoy another day disguised as a career. It’s 5 a.m., I slowly raise my head, ignoring the alarm clock on the night table to my left, made of cherry wood, with its two perfectly aligned drawers and antique brass horse-shoe shaped handles gracefully standing tall from its curved yet simplistically ornate legs. I turn to my right and see Ruth, my wife of 30 years sleeping in what appears to be a deep REM stage, no doubt on an excursion fulfilling her wildest imagination. I slowly turn to the left pulling my legs from the warmth and security of the loose cotton blankets covering three quarters of my body, careful not to make a sound to awaken Ruth and fearful of stirring our golden-retriever, Sawyer, now 12 and although not the playmate he was at two, still with the healthy heartbeat and the spunk of a pup. Slipping my feet into my favorite pair of UGG slippers, gingerly walking towards the hallway, Sawyer at my side we make the 15-step journey to the main level of our classical colonial home as I brew a fresh pot of dark French-roasted coffee and carefully measure three nourishing scoops of food for an awaiting and patient loyal best friend.
As I prepare a simple breakfast of various berries, nuts and yogurt, I lazily watch Sawyer’s routine of swallowing his food, grabbing his favorite toy doing a few laps around the kitchen, eventually making his way upstairs to wake up Ruth with his prideful smile and full stomach. I follow him up, jump in the shower where I enjoy a seven-minute deluge of 95-degree water beating on my body, cleansing it with Oil of Olay, and a quick shave readying myself to tackle the world.
While Ruth showers, I dress in my casual but impeccably put together outfit resembling a Ralph Lauren commercial more than a high-level executive responsible for the world-wide marketing operations of the three most visible hockey organizations in the world.
As the coffee brews and Ruth gets ready, I walk through a pair of French doors into my home-office adorned with a wall of technology, accented by high ceilings, skylights and sliding glass doors that has such a sense of comfort and style it allows me to be in the thick of the action or alone with my thoughts.
It’s now 6 a.m., I log onto my computer, check the correspondence from my European colleagues, visit my blog, favorite websites, news sources and the relevant dialogue of hockey opportunities around the globe.
I leave my thoughts and muse behind me, joining my wife for an hour of company, conversation and nourishment. We pleasure our taste buds with ingredients that keep us healthy, young and energetic, clean up and take a brisk 3-mile walk with Sawyer.
Upon our return, we’re off to our separate ways, she to the Federal Courts for a half-day of testimony as an expert witness for Social Security and Disability, while I hop into my little Mini-Cooper S Convertible for my 20 minute commute to the office in the heart of Chicago’s Loop business district.
I park in the space designated for me in the garage adjacent to the office building, The Sears Tower, and make the familiar ride up the elevator to the 47th floor. The number has always had significance in my life, it was the age my father, a hockey legend, died.
I enter my office promptly at 8:30 with a view of Chicago; the