“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Like lots of MBAs, I pretty piously followed a traditional metric of success. Recognition, compensation, and career progress ostensibly paved the road to achievement.

But then my sister got sick. Really sick. So she left her studies at Harvard Law School, and I left my job in D.C. And together we navigated  in defiance and despair  our new roles as patient and caretaker – both of us losing ground by my rubric of success.

So what could we do?


Louise and I found humor and belly laughs everywhere, from mundane occurrences to lurid indignities of her illness. Jokes and pranks and laughter filled recovery rooms and echoed from hospital hallways. Together we transformed tear-streaked cheeks from a symptom of grief to the mark of a particularly winning joke.

My metric has changed, and the lesson didn't come cheaply. I wasted precious time worried that honoring the ties that bind would forever sink my career. And there's nothing funny about that. It might be a simple goal, but with my precious life, and hers, I plan on enjoying the fun and the laughter that buoy life.

That, or investment banking.

Just kidding.


— Jacquie Sandberg