What January 2016 Taught Me!

I learned that I’m stronger than I thought! Aside from my actual birthday on January 3rd, I had been dreading January because I thought I had packed my schedule with TOO MUCH stuff this time. I was in the last four weeks of a ten-week course at the University of Phoenix where I was taking and teaching a course with a mentor as part of the process to join their faculty. I also took an intense four-day class in San Antonio to add a new course to my consulting business. And there’s more….. I began teaching a nine-week in-class course at Webster University, prepping for my upcoming LEGO courses, AND working my full-time job too!

Why would I torture myself like this? Easy answer. I had set some very lofty goals for this year, including increasing the money I set aside for my Mom’s care and moving forward with plans for Tim and I to see more of this amazing country in our Memory Maker. On this last day of the month I can officially say I survived January. But I did make some choices. I didn’t see my Mom nearly as often as I usually do, and aside from the first Sunday when the choir sang Happy Birthday to me, I skipped church for the rest of the month, choosing to rest and work at home on Sundays. What surprised me most was the fact that I was calm throughout, and I was in control. I spent hours building new LEGO creations I’m quite proud of, which was incredibly relaxing for me. I was prepared each day for whatever came, and even when there were a few unexpected surprises and more work at my full time job, I rolled on. I was even rewarded with more book gigs and sales I had not expected. Even the blizzard of 2016 last week actually helped me achieve more than I had thought possible given that I couldn’t leave the house for five days. One of the best things I believe I had going for me was the work ethic I got from my Mom. I finally saw her this weekend after the big dig out. What was the first thing she said when she saw me? “Are you still working hard?”. I said yes of course and she said “I knew that”. She may not remember me, but she knows me! Love my Mom!

Here’s the build that I believe describes my January. I took many steps as high as I could go, and though I’m afraid of falling and failing I kept going. I twisted, turned and went around corners. I took baby steps when I needed energy, and then climbed high again. Aim high, think big – and bring on February!!



A Birthday Reflection

Fifty-seven years ago today, I was born in a row house in NW Washington, D.C. I was obviously in a hurry to get here because I was born prematurely and I’ve been in a hurry ever since. I don’t do anything half-way. I love my family and friends unconditionally, I give much of myself and anything I have, and I give a great deal of my time to whomever needs it. I’ve been hurt a lot too, but it’s never slowed me down. I’ve just kept hurrying along. What most people would say about me though is how hard I work. Some friends would say I have about 12 jobs and causes, AND they are mostly unrelated to each other. I’ve typically worked from sunrise to bedtime on one job or many simultaneously.

Not even a chronic illness that arrived more than twenty years ago slowed me down. The illness hung around for thirteen years of my life and I spent countless days in the hospital and endured more surgeries than I care to remember. I hurried even more during that time trying to see and do everything possible in case I didn’t survive.

I’ve worked out like crazy and have completed 9 walking marathons. I’ve been fortunate to have visited many cities and countries, I’ve been married for more than 30 years to an amazing man and blessed with experiencing motherhood without giving birth. There’s nothing in this world like being a Grammy and I’ve learned so much from this role that I cherished for four years now. I’ve also been blessed with caring for the best mom any child could have. It’s been an amazing life thus far.

With my birthday so close to the New Year, I’ve never really focused much on creating resolutions because I think we all know what we need to do in our lives for the good of ourselves, our health and our families. Each year though, especially since my 50th birthday, I seemed to hurry more. Is it because I’ve now lived more years than I have left to live? Could be.

So instead of a New Year’s resolution, it’s time for a birthday pledge to myself… Starting today, I’m to go much more slowly… I’ve always Enjoyed life to the fullest, and if you know me well. you’d agree with that. Now I’m going to s-a-v-o-r every moment. I’ll enjoy the hikes more and the memories we make in our camper, and I’ll savor the views I have of this awesome world. I’ll love my family even more and make them my number 1 priority. Work will still be work, but it won’t consume me. There are too many other great things to be consumed by. I’ve done so much for so many others, this birthday pledge I’m going to do just FOR MYSELF!!