Tag Archives: relationships

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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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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#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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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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