Tag Archives: keynote speaker

#50For50 in 2020

2020. Some folks are calling this new year “visionary” – they want to “see things more clearly,” or “look at things differently.” All that’s true for me too, but I’m taking it one step further. This year, 2020 will be transformational for me.

By very definition, it means a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance. And since this year happens to be a “big one” for me age-wise, there’s no better time than now to make some important, and dramatic, changes.

That’s right…2020 is the year I will turn 50 years old. How did this happen? Just yesterday, I was in my early 30s moving to NC to start a new life. And I did. And I have no regrets. (Ok, maybe a few, but I learned from them all and I’ve moved on, so we’ll skip right over those.) But seriously, how am I about to become 50 years old??

It just so happens, this is also when I will complete my “year of service” as District Governor for Rotary International District 7670. The first 6 months have flown by – how can this year be half over? So by the time my birthday rolls around in September, I’ll be known in Rotary as a “Past District Governor” (aka a “has-been”) and I will look back proudly on the things we accomplished, as well as those things we tried.

With my fellow #RotaryGeek friends, we’ll remember the laughs, the tears, the trials, the victories and even the disappointments.

So how do I top 2019? It was a remarkable year – I was installed as district governor, completed a 1- mile “Mud Run” obstacle course, interviewed the Governor of South Carolina, dressed up like a pirate, a Southern Belle and Cinderella, and flew across the country to share my passion for The CART Fund. I celebrated special occasions with friends and shared their heartaches. I loved deeply and laughed often. So how do you top that?

2019-12-31 20.23.04You just have to try. So that’s what I’ll do in 2020 by trying 50 new things before the year is out, and documenting them here and on social media with #50for50.  I have a few ideas to start, but the list isn’t completed yet. Hopefully you’ll share your ideas with me too – no promises though! I have a few goals of things to do – a yoga class (hopefully more than one!), a 5K (probably only one!) and skeet shooting, as well as places to go and people to meet.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey this year. My intent isn’t to brag about what I get done (there’s always the possibility I don’t finish it), instead it’s to remind us that we can all do whatever we want, if we just try.  In 2020, I will focus on growing my business, improving my health, visiting new places, meeting new people and trying some new things! Doesn’t a half-century of life deserve that?

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#MyKickstand

“Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.”

How many times have you heard that phrase? Or said it? Well-intentioned friends and family members say it often (myself included), assuming of course you’ll never really ask. Because most of us rarely ask for help. (I can’t be alone in that trait, right?)

downtown-playhouse_18777353190_oBut if you’re as lucky as me, there are those people in your life, that no matter what you’re going through, are always there to help, even when you least expect it and especially when you are too proud to ask for it.

I realized today these people are my “kickstands.” You know, that thing on a motorcycle or bicycle that provides balance and support without any additional aid or assistance. That’s what our 2014-10-11-170607_18777476948_omost valuable friends do for us, too. Even when we least expect it.

There’s a certain amount of irony in the recognition of my closest friends as my kickstands. Yes, I’m a lot taller than all of these ladies, and yes, that gets pointed out in every photo we take together… 

But the reality is they are ALWAYS there for me providing balance and support, letting me lean on them when all I really want to do is collapse and fall over.

Thank goodness for my kickstands. If you’re as blessed as I am, you have several. I shared pictures of just two here, but there are many more that always have my back. I’m not only blessed, but I’m also grateful.

Call your kickstand today, and tell him or her thanks for their support. Share this post and tag them in it using #MyKickstand on your social media.

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Change the World

This past week was an historic one for our country. A new president, one with little to no experience in politics and foreign affairs but adept at contract negotiations and financial matters.  My social media news feed has been inundated with hate, violence, protest and blame. No matter your political, social or even religious beliefs, it is time to put aside our differences and realize we are all Americans. And in my opinion, that’s still something to be proud of.
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What will you do to make improvements in the world around you? What are you willing to do to change the world and leave it better than you found it? It’s not going to happen by expressing your opinion (especially on social media), but it will happen if you lead by example.

Show your friends and family that you TRULY want to make a difference. Volunteer. Donate. Advocate. Share. Love.

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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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Spoiler Alert…There is no box…

I’ve never been a big fan of that phrase “think outside the box.” To me, it implies that you’ve been thinking INSIDE the box, or even worse, that you HAVE a box. I prefer to believe there is no box and instead I just think bigger, better, bolder and braver than ever before.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard that phrase in seminars, classes and workshops. Too many to count. Probably the same for you. But I promise you’ll never hear me use it when I speak or when I teach.

Don’t get me wrong…I love to be creative. I pursue that love through writing, speaking, planning special events, organizing my wardrobe and accessories, and even decorating my house. But I’ve never been one to follow the status quo in any of those categories.

Catchphrases like “thinking outside the box” are examples of how we routinely tell people to be creative yet we use clichés whenever possible.  Doesn’t “thinking outside the box” literally mean to do something other than the obvious? #Irony

Next time you’re tempted to use a cliché in conversation, consider the alternatives. Forget there’s a box (throw it out) and come up with your own unique ideas!

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