Tag Archives: personal

#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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Expiration Dates

A few months ago I noticed one of those little yellow squeeze bottles in the door of my fridge. You know, the ones shaped like lemons and filled with 100% REAL Lemon Juice. Not only could I not remember using it recently, I didn’t even remember buying it!

Upon further inspection, I noticed an expiration date printed on the side. WHOA! Let’s just say I’ve aged a little bit since that lemon juice expired in my refrigerator! YIKES!

lemon juice

I quickly tossed the little squeeze bottle into the trash, shaking my head at myself. I never knew those things even HAD an expiration date. Which got me thinking…well, don’t we all?

Food is an easy one to remember (ok, maybe not for me…), but what about all those other things that expire before we use them? Things like coupons (I don’t know why I save all those fast food ones I get in my mailbox every month! I have NEVER used them before, but maybe one day….maybe??), gift certificates (those make me so mad at myself if I forget to use those!), prescriptions, running shoes (ok let’s be honest…I have never had that problem but I know people who do), and so much more.

What I quickly realized, though, is WE also have an expiration date – people, pets, jobs…But rather than stress out over what our expiration date might be, we should concentrate on what we will do BEFORE that date.

Maybe you’re like me and have a “bucket list” of things you want to see or do one day. But I’m not talking about a bucket list here…I’m talking about personal stuff. Spending time with friends and family…rekindling a strained relationship…losing weight or slowing down or getting healthy.

My bucket list is long and varied. But my list of “things to do before my expiration date” is fairly simple. Love and be loved. Leave this world a little better than I found it.  And quite honestly I have to work on both of those every single day. What about you?

Unfortunately, we aren’t like a bottle of lemon juice – we have no idea what our expiration date may be or what our “shelf life” will be. So don’t you think it’s time to get started on those things that make each day more satisfying?

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Put On YOUR Oxygen Mask First!

I was speaking to a group last week about the importance of volunteering – why you should do it and how to get others to volunteer with you (or for you). While preparing my remarks, I stumbled across a package of cups I bought with a friend many years ago that say “Stop me before I volunteer again!”

We can laugh about that because we know it’s funny (even if it is true), but deep down we all know I won’t stop volunteering – neither will you…it’s not “who we are.”  But just remember this – the only way you can continue to give to others is if you take time to care for yourself first.

headshot who we areRemember when the attendant on your last flight reminded you to put YOUR oxygen mask on first before helping someone traveling with you? If you’re like me you always think that’s just a little bit weird…but there’s a reason for it.  Experts tell us if we begin to lose oxygen on a plane, we may become disoriented or even unable to recognize familiar faces. It is imperative that we care for ourselves first in that situation if we expect to be any help at all to those around us.

Life is a lot like that, isn’t it? We are nurturers by trade. We are the “rock” of our family or the “dependable one” in our office or even the “go to” mom in the school. This means when we fail to care for our personal needs, we aren’t the only ones who suffer.

Don’t neglect yourself and your needs. If you’re gasping for breath or barely hanging on, you’re of no use to anyone at all.  There are so many things, even little things, we can do to help ourselves…going to bed earlier, eating healthier, finding some quiet time, even just being honest with ourselves and those around us. (How many times have you said “I’m fine!” when you are far from it??)

Will you join me this summer to commit to doing more for yourself – wait for it – WITHOUT feeling guilty about it!!?? It’s not going to be easy…trust me… but I’ll try if you will.

Because we both deserve it.

Go ahead-put on YOUR oxygen mask. I’ll wait…

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Patience (part 2)…

Most of you already know patience isn’t really my best virtue. I’ll admit it. I’ve even written about it and some of you may remember it was my “new month resolution” for February. But for the past two months, I’ve definitely been tested in this area.

I’ve been praying very specifically for an answer to a challenge in my life. So specifically, in fact, that I asked (no…I begged…I’ll admit it!) God for a resolution “during the month of February.” (Probably not the best way to work on that quality this past month…)

Well as you know, February has come and gone. Suffice it to say, I didn’t get the answer I hoped for. But w2015-06-26-092214_19318299428_ohat I realized is that it’s not my timetable – it is His – and I have to accept that and never lose faith. But the good news is I was faithful in my prayers and desires. So I think that makes my resolution successful!

I have learned that not getting an answer certainly doesn’t mean God isn’t listening to me. I know I’ve often questioned that – I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that. Nor does it mean my prayers are unanswered or wasted. It means I must have patience, because everything is difficult before it is easy. I’m obviously in that “difficult” phase still.

But I am strong. (I promise I won’t go all “hear me roar” or anything.) I am strong and I am faithful. And maybe, just maybe, the answer came in February, but I don’t even know it yet.

So on to my “new month resolution” for March… any suggestions?

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Be a “Go-Giver” #40DaysOfGiving

My entire life has been spent as a “go-getter” – climbing a professional or social ladder, working to close the next sale or charitable gift, working on the next goal or accomplishment…and I’ve always been praised for it. And most of the time I’ve even been proud of it.

But a dear friend gave me a book recently, “The Go-Giver” and I realized that what I desire to be is actually a “go-giver.” Don’t misunderstand…I’ve done some nice things along the way on this path I call life, but I’ve spent years trying to prove myself in the corporate world and always trying to please others.  I’ve finally realized it’s not about pleasing others. It’s only about pleasing God.

By being a “go-giver” rather than a “go-getter,” I am doing my part to make the world a better placego giver. My involvement with Rotary is certainly the most obvious way I give back. But not everyone is a “joiner” or part of a 1.2 million member worldwide network (and quite honestly, if you’ve heard me speak, you know I don’t believe everyone should be in Rotary…but that’s another story). But there are literally millions of ways to give back.

During this season of Lent, practice being a “go-giver” – do something nice for someone who needs it…a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker – or even a stranger. I am certain you’ll be “pleased” with how great it makes you feel to do for others.

This past week I had the opportunity to take a free vacation with friends and business associates. I worked hard to earn the trip, as did everyone else who went, and it was nice to get away. But I am reminded of how many “go-givers” were on this trip with me…the friend who bought me dinner in the airport for no apparent reason (“because I want to,” she said)…the friends who picked me up before sunrise and let me ride with them to the airport so I didn’t have to go alone…friends who went above and beyond for no reason other than because they could!

I’m blessed to have so many “go-givers” in my life. I know you are too! I’ll admit I haven’t started reading the book yet (I’m almost finished with another and this one is next), but I’m already intrigued and looking forward to it.

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