Karen Skelton is the CEO of The Shriver Report. In 2011, she founded Skelton Strategies, a national political and cultural strategy firm. Skelton served for a decade as the Managing Partner of the California practice of the Dewey Square Group, and before that as a prosecutor at the United State Department of Justice, a political advisor in the Clinton White House, and a staffer on five Presidential campaigns. She lives in Sacramento with her husband and two daughters.
February 17, 2012
I lost my phone on a Thursday at 4:15 p.m. That was the last call I made that day. From the kitchen. Just a routine call to the sitter about pick up schedules. By 5, I had a feeling something was terribly wrong.
At 6, I felt full-scale panic creeping in. I scoured the kitchen. Did it fall from my pocket when I walked the dog? Did I throw it away in a multi-tasking frenzy—clearing clutter, tossing food, dropping the phone in the garbage?
For four days--ninety six hours--my life changed. I was like a 2nd grader who had only memorized three phone numbers in her head: my dad and mom, my sister and my home. And besides, no one answers the home phone anymore, so that did me no good.
And while I love them, my family is not who I talk to hourly about work, car pool, life logistics.
September 22, 2011
September is like the first mile of a marathon. You huff and puff, dragging your thick body forward until you find a rhythm that’ll sustain you for the long haul. In September, schools start back, schedules fill up, work races toward end-of-year closings, and Matt Lauer and Ann Curry go “on assignment” to interview serious newsmakers we wouldn’t have watched during the lazy summer. The “big” holidays are around the corner, everything begins to roll forward quickly, life blurs.
In our nation, the years roll forward like September. Run run run. Churn churn churn. From colonies to sovereign nation to global interdependence. From women in the home to women in the United States Senate. From small farmers to industrial manufacturers to I.T. consultants. In a relatively short amount of time, so much changes. As our 12-year-old daughter put it the other day when we imposed new rules limiting her texting, “Mom, you just don’t get it. No one communicates by computer anymore.” Don’t blink because you’ll likely miss a cultural or societal transformation.