Post Chronology

April 2024

InFullBloom Archives


Speaking Engagements

Predict and Prepare sponsored by Workday 12/16

The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #171, 2/15
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #160, 8/14
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #145, 1/14
Workday Predict and Prepare Webinar, 12/10/2013
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #134, 8/13
CXOTalk: Naomi Bloom, Nenshad Bardoliwalla, and Michael Krigsman, 3/15/2013
Drive Thru HR, 12/17/12
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #110, 8/12
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Business Value," 5/3/12 Audio/Whitepaper
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/7/11
HR Happy Hour - Episode 118 - 'Work and the Future of Work', 9/23/11
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #87, 9/11
Keynote, Connections Ultimate Partner Forum, 3/9-12/11
"Convergence in Bloom" Webcast and accompanying white paper, sponsored by ADP, 9/21/10
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #63, 9/10
Keynote for Workforce Management's first ever virtual HR technology conference, 6/8/10
Knowledge Infusion Webinar, 6/3/10
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/8/09
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Preparing to Lead the Recovery," 11/19/09 Audio/Powerpoint
"Enterprise unplugged: Riffing on failure and performance," a Michael Krigsman podcast 11/9/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #39, 10/09
Workday SOR Webinar, 8/25/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #15, 10/08

Keynote, HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/25-26/12
Master Panel, HR Technology, Chicago, 10/9/012
Keynote, Workforce Magazine HR Tech Week, 6/6/12
Webcast Sponsored by Workday: "Building a Solid Business Case for HR Technology Change," 5/31/12
Keynote, Saba Global Summit, Miami, 3/19-22/12
Workday Rising, Las Vegas, 10/24-27/11
HR Technology, Las Vegas 10/3-5/11
HR Florida, Orlando 8/29-31/11
Boussias Communications HR Effectiveness Forum, Athens, Greece 6/16-17/11
HR Demo Show, Las Vegas 5/24-26/11
Workday Rising, 10/11/10
HRO Summit, 10/22/09
HR Technology, Keynote and Panel, 10/2/09

Adventures of Bloom & Wallace

a work in progress

Reflections On: Swimming

White Sands Beach, Olde Lyme CT

When I was very young, while my mother was still alive although quite ill (as she had been from before I was born), all the Blooms would rent two shared cottages for a couple of weeks each summer at White Sands Beach, Olde Lyme CT.  While the men worked weekdays at Bloom’s Photo Supply in Springfield MA, a few hours away, my grandmother, mother and Bloom aunts took care of me, my sister, and Bloom cousins.

 We spent those long summer days playing at the beach and spent our evenings playing card games (for the women) and board games (for us kids) on the porches while listening to what’s now called classic radio.  I don’t remember my mother very well; she died when I was only five.  But I’m told that she loved these family times and contributed to those weekday evenings by reading aloud to the younger children. 

When the DADs (and I still think of them in capital letters, perhaps because time with them was such a treat) came down for the weekend (which might only be for Saturday night and most of Sunday because the store was open on Saturdays), the colors got brighter, the weather got better, and everything we did was more fun — or so I remember.  When your mother is very ill, and you’re constantly reminded not to make too much noise, not to disturb her, to be on your best behavior, it’s no surprise that the arrival of your healthy, full of life and good humor DAD, had that effect.

Although most memories of my earliest years have been lost in the mists, some things still stand out quite clearly.  One such memory is learning to swim, learning to love the water and never fear it, when I was about three.  And it’s that love of the water which has served me so very well, with even this blog post written in my head during today’s swim.  For me, the greatest luxury in the world, after being able to afford as many books as I want, is having my own swimming pool just outside my office door.

We little kids had to stay very close to shore when just our mothers and grandmother were in residence because none of them were great swimmers.  Frankly, Jewish women of that generation didn’t do sports, although they all (except for Bubbi Bloom) got into golf a little later in life.  There might have been lifeguards, but I sure don’t remember any.  So we played on the beach and in the water close to shore, while nervous mothers shouted warnings.

But when the DADs came down, everything changed.  There was a floating platform anchored offshore a good distance from the beach, and my DAD, Jack, was a strong swimmer who loved swimming out to that dock.  I really don’t know when it happened, but at about three I apparently went from riding his back out to the dock to swimming along beside him to that wonderful place where the little kids couldn’t go. 

And once I began swimming, there was no stopping me.  I’ve loved the water ever since, rarely tiring even in open water (ask me about the mile ocean race I did at Club Med one time, to my husband’s astonishment), but also never acquiring any particularly correct strokes or breathing.  Swimming ashore from our charter sailboat all over the Caribbean as soon as I’d set that anchor was a tradition on yearly ladies charters.  Swimming is now my favorite form of exercise because it’s the one place that my arthritic joints don’t hurt.  And whether doing laps or running through a formal aquatic program with “weights” etc., I do some of my best thinking and writing in my head. 

As a child, there was always an adult telling me, usually many times before it took, that it was time to come out of the water.  Left to my own devices, I might have appeared only when really hungry.  But for me, childhood gave way to adult time pressures long before it should have done, and swimming has since then been bounded by the responsibilities of adulthood.  So time in the water went from play to purpose, from just hanging out to exercise.  But I am beginning to dream of a time in my life when adult pressures give way, finally, to childhood delights, and I plan to spend a good bit of that time in the water.



7 comments to Reflections On: Swimming

  • Jennifer Wise

    Naomi, as a non-swimmer, I have many times wished my mother had not been so afraid I would drown and kept me out of the water. I grew up on Lake Erie and would have had many wonderful opportunities to swim in what was then a very beautiful, clean fresh water environment. Although I am now an avid boater, I’m still too afraid to just ‘jump in.’ Think it is too late to learn??

    • Naomi Bloom

      It’s never too late to learn to swim, and so many other things we may have missed learning along the way. I’ve recently taken up sketching/painting, something for which I have to talent (and never had a course until recently), that’s just plain good for my soul. So find a local swimming program, and “jump in.”

  • Lynn

    Posted this to the ’67 Facebook group, I hope you don’t mind. It was beautiful. I’ve often heard wartime alumni (much, much older than you) talk about growing up too soon, and how it made them appreciate the opportunity to be playful and carefree late in life.

  • Love your storytelling. My next act will be forwarding this to my swimming girlfriend. Thank you.

    • Naomi Bloom

      Many thanks for the feedback. As you know, I write mostly about all things HRM and IT, but little by little the rest of my life is requesting “air time.”

  • Andrew

    Naomi, this is lovely. As the DAD to my three, there is nothing better than time spent in, on and around the water. Big smile. Thank you.

  • marsha bloom weitz

    brought tears to my eyes

Leave a Reply