Phillips-ism – I needed to find the power to achieve the outcomes desired in an emotionally charged circumstance.

If you are old enough, you remember where you were and what you were doing on 9/11. How did you apply emotional intelligence to your life on that day?

What I didn’t tell you in the book is how the stress of 9/11 added to my awareness of just how lucky I was on that day.

Late in the day on 9/10/2001, my husband arrived home to Atlanta, GA after a long flight from Korea. He spent a little more than a year in Asia and I worried about this safety every day. On occasion, he would call me from Korea and we would talk for 15 or so minutes when typically, sirens would blare and abruptly end our conversation. I would spend the next several days or weeks wondering if he was okay before he would call me again. The process of the sirens ending our calls would repeat itself over and over again.

I spent a year, endlessly worrying about him and I was joyful to have him home late on the September 10th.

Home is a loose term for us because we were supposed to move together to California on September 12. The stop at our place I called home for the last year, was only a pit stop for him to pick up stuff and his spouse before proceeding to his final destination on the west coast.

On the morning of 9/11, I called and called and called from work to wake him up. Oh, he was not happy with me. If there is one thing I always need to understand about my spouse, it is, he needs his sleep. He could not believe there was any reason in the world why I would need to wake him up after his long trip home, much less, to get him up to watch TV. I knew he was exhausted from his trip and his time in Korea but I knew he could not sleep through a moment that would change America forever either.

When he got up and asked me with a grumpy tone, “What channel?” and I said “Any.” Silence fell over the phone for the next minute or two.

I then said, “We will talk about it when I get home. I will be safe today and I love you.”

We had been together long enough to know the events would change our immediate future. We both knew this meant I would not be going with him to California on 9/12. We also knew, neither one of us would be sleeping much the next couple of days and we would need to put our heads together to come up with new living arrangements the two of us could accept.

That night, I brought home a pizza and some beer.  Very little was said, as we began unpacking some boxes to leave me with a small portion of our stuff and send everything else to him. We didn’t discuss the events because we both knew the right thing for me to do was stay in Atlanta for several months helping the response to the event of the day.

9/11 tested our relationship and our ability to respond to tough situations with emotional intelligence. It tested many people and some how New York City and America became stronger.


I didn’t know until quite a bit of time after 9/11, a family member and a NYFD firefighter lost his life as a HERO alongside so many other. Thank you to all the true heroes who responded without regards to their own safety.



Can you find ways to change your perceptions for a better outcome?

(Click the comments link above and leave your reply. I would love to hear it.)