My Favourite Things . . .

I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad.   -Rogers and Hammerstein, Sound of Music

It’s been a good summer, a hectic but good summer.  While we didn’t travel far, we certainly got around.  A week fishing for Striped Bass off Cape Cod, then off to France where Stephanie played solo pieces and duets in the five Young Virtuosi Concerts in mid-July, then we rushed back to London so she could participate in a week-long Conducting Master Class in Manchester with Maestro Benjamin Zander, head of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.  Then it was back to France for a quick week to induct a new couple who will look after our France home as guardians.  In the meantime there are 3-4 hours of violin practice for Stephanie.  Mom is the chauffeur and music manager while Dad travels nearly every other week to the US for work.  Busy, busy, busy.

But what is interesting is that in between the hectic whirlwind of all our busy lives (I’m talking about you too), there is always the opportunity to pause, slow down and connect at a deeper level with what is really important.  It’s not the results or the mileage or the accolades, it’s those little special moments along the way that make life really worthwhile.

So, let me just note, if for no one else other than myself (so I won’t forget in the flurry of my life), the things I love.  My favourite things . . .

  • Having that first cup of hot coffee while sitting in the garden in the early hours of the morning
  • Watching the cats play
  • Listening to the birds calling
  • Watching the sunset and marvelling once again at the glory of the Creator
  • Hearing the metropolis of London slowly wake up for another busy day
  • Watering my herb garden and smelling the scent of basil, mint and thyme
  • Greeting my dog, Jessie, as I come up the driveway of our home in France
  • Listening to Stephanie practice the violin while everyone else is out and the house is still
  • Watching an old James Bond movie late at night and eating real popcorn, not the microwave stuff
  • Shopping at the outdoor farmer’s market for fresh produce
  • Having a serious conference call with a client while still in my pyjamas
  • Going for a walk up the hill with the dogs
  • Cuddling my wife in bed after a long day
  • Watching the glowing faces of the elderly villagers in the audience at the summer music festival as the young musicians play classical music in a tiny Medieval church.
  • Sleeping till 10 am, just because I can
  • Sharing good food with old and new friends
  • That first beer after a long hot afternoon working in the garden
  • and . . . believe it or not, looking forward to going back to work !
  • Oh, and I couldn’t forget, that first cast of a fly line into unknown waters.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and every moment of your wonderful life.

Tight Lines . . .

John R Childress

About johnrchildress

John Childress is a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at or
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5 Responses to My Favourite Things . . .

  1. I’ll add :
    Ending the day with a good book that sparks my imagination. Thank you for your work that helps this happen.


  2. Pingback: 4:39 am & inspired… – Lead.Learn.Live.

  3. John, I’d like to nominate you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award.” Your blog is an inspiration. See award details at


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