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It’s NEVER too late!

Ever wish you had started something earlier? (I’m not talking about the laundry! We ALL do that when we’re lugging a heavy basket back to the bedroom after midnight…) I mean earlier in life?  Maybe a college education, your family, a new career, collecting something of value, joining a church or civic group?

I think at one time or another we all wish we had started something earlier. But I’ve learned (the hard way) there’s a reason we didn’t. It wasn’t our time. At that time. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t your time NOW. Today. Or perhaps even tomorrow.

You see friends, it’s never too late. It’s never too late to finish what you shappily-ever-after_25407172270_otarted, to start something new, or even to start over. You just have to make the decision to do it. That’s where I am right now. If only I’d started (or actually finished) my book sooner..if I had left the corporate world sooner…if I had joined Rotary sooner…you never know. And you weren’t meant to. Everything happens for a reason. Listen to me…EVERYTHING happens for a reason.

I’ve been tested with that statement more times than you can even imagine, but I hold it as one of my truths in life. Don’t fail this test my friends…remember it’s never too late.

Whether it’s something small and simple or huge and bodacious, start now. Want some help? Share it with me and I will be your cheerleader, accountability partner and honest friend. (I’ll even let you ask me if I’ve finished my book yet……sigh……)

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The Day After…

As an event planner for nonprofits and small businesses, I often find myself a little sad the day after a big event. (Don’t misunderstand, I also find myself exhausted as well…) But there’s that small part of me that wishes it wasn’t yet over.

Christmas is like that too…there’s the shopping, the decorating, the cooking, the wrapping, the planning, the traveling and the visiting. Then there’s the quiet when in the house when everyone has gone home, the leftovers are in the fridge and you get to sit down and rest your feet. The hustle and bustle is over. Reality sets in (like 12 loads of dishes going non-stop for the next few days), and it’s time to go back to work.

2016-12-25-18-34-27As exhausted as you are (Abby included), when it’s over, you still long for that excitement just a little bit longer. One more laugh from one of the little ones…one more smile from one of the older ones…the twinkle of lights on the tree…one more memory that can never be duplicated and can never fade away.

On this day after Christmas, as I head back to work reflecting on the amazing memories I made with family and friends this past week (and year), I am reminded that it doesn’t have to be a holiday to spend time with those you love. The excitement and merriment that is Christmas can be every day. If only you will let it be.

That is my wish for this coming year – for me and for you. That “the day after” is always as memorable as the day before.

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Exceeding Your Grasp

A friend and I were talking this past week about the devastating floods in West Virginia and how we wished we could do more to help. I found myself saying, “If only I had the money I would…” I’m sure you’ve said that before too, thinking you couldn’t make a difference because you couldn’t afford it. Service organizations and relief groups from around the country are pouring into the affected area to help clean the destruction, provide food and water, offer temporary shelter and eventually rebuild communities that were literally swept away by water. The organization I’m part of, Rotary International, has thousands of volunteers in the area bringing food, water, medical supplies and manual labor to help. Locally in Hendersonville, NC, the Four Seasons Rotary Club is collecting money to send into the area to help with the relief efforts, and even making a matching donation with a gift from our charitable foundation.

As you have probably done too, my friend and I were lamenting that we can’t do more to help the people in West Virginia. We have jobs, family, commitments, bills of our own, and we simply can’t pick up and go to the devastation to help onsite. I have friends who are passionate about disaster relief and are always among the first to volunteer to leave the comforts of their home to help others. I admire those people. I wish I was one of those people.  But I was reminded of a quote by Robert Browning – “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” I may not be able to physically be in West Virginia offering aid, but I can make a difference in other ways – collecting food, water, monetary donations – all of which will go a long way in impacting the lives of people I will never meet.

Shouldn’t that be our goal every day? If we only touch the lives of those we can physically grasp – in our family, circle of friends, business network or even our own community – we’re missing an amazing opportunity. In today’s world of social media, technology and information, there’s no excuse for not reaching beyond our grasp.

When I posted on social media earlier this week that I wanted to interview people who had reached beyond their grasp and volunteered for relief efforts after disasters, I was amazed at the depth and breadth of the responses I received. Young and old. Singles and families. Professionals and students. Skilled and non-skilled.  But they had one thing in common – the desire to help and reach beyond their grasp. I look forward to sharing their stories with you in the future.

We all have talents to share and stories to tell. We shouldn’t feel guilty about our limitations. Instead, we should make a conscience effort every single day to reach beyond our grasp and make a difference.

**If you’d like to help with the relief efforts in West Virginia, tax-deductible contributions can be sent to: Lewisburg Rotary Foundation (c/o District Governor John Powell), 2526 Spring Street, South Charleston, WV  25303-2501. Please designate the check for Flood Relief.


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