Tag Archives: Rotary

#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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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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Gifts

Birthdays are routinely associated with gifts. Today is my 46th birthday (I know what you’re thinking…WHAAAAATTTT???) and I’ve realized the best gifts I have received are friends – far and wide – who took the time to wish me a “happy day.”

More than 1,000 social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram…sweet texts (some very early!)…tangible cards with real postage stamps…phone calls and voice mails from those far away…a surprise cake from my Rotary friends tonight at a downtown music festival…it was all just what I needed today. I’m so grateful for the special gifts of friendships.

Some people think your family is limited to those who are blood relatives. But today, my friends, fellow Rotarians and social media contacts – from the Carolinas to Delhi – proved that untrue. These people ARE my family. And they are such gifts in my life.life-is-a-gift-wake-up_25681888766_o.jpg

“Life is a gift. Wake up everyday and realize that.” I honestly had no idea how true that would be for me today. But it was easy to realize because I felt loved and valued. But tomorrow is another day. We mustn’t let the “busy”ness of our business keep us from living everyday like this, or from helping others live everyday like this.

Who in your circle is a gift to you? Take a minute today (or tomorrow) and tell them how valuable they are. It could be exactly what they need to hear.

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The “Dirty Word”

I used to think it was a “dirty word” but turns out, it’s really not. In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable and even encouraged. What word, you ask?

NO

I’ve told you before I’m not a major donor or big-time financial supporter of the organizations I volunteer for, but I am a valuable resource because I give (often) of my time and talents. Those who know me personally might say this is an understatement.

If you’re like me, and known at work or in your community as the go-to “yes man” (or woman!) because you always agree to step up and help with a project, maybe it’s time to step back and re-evaluate your priorities. Are you the one who gets called when others disappoint or fail to produce? Are you the one who bails folks out when they are desperate? Are you the one who feels it necessary to not only attend every one of your children’s events, but also coordinate them? Maybe you’re the one who will ALWAYS go the extra mile because you have the “volunteer” gene or just because you can’t stand the guilt that comes from saying “no.”

I already know what some of you are thinking… “Hello Ms. Kettle – let me introduce you to Mr. Pot!”

But seriously, I’m working on this one. I have at least learned to say…

“Let me think about that and get back to you.”

By using this phrase – instead of immediately saying yes OR no – you demonstrate reliability and credibility. You can honestly evaluate the time you have available to commit to a new project and whether or not it fits into your plan of work, not to mention your schedule.

Sometimes we say yes to people (I know who I owe the biggest favors to) and sometimes we say yes to causes (I’m a sucker for anything Rotary-related). But sometimes we need to say “let me think about it and get back to you” before we commit or walk away.

We all have the same 168 hours every week (but that’s for another post…) so guard them carefully, and use them the best way you can. It’s important that you learn to manage your time rather than let it manage you. It simply isn’t acceptable to feel guilty for saying “no” every once in a while. More importantly, you shouldn’t feel pressured to make a decision either way immediately.

Let’s try it all together now… “Let me think about that and get back to you.”

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Go For The Gold

Watching the Olympic Games has always been something I’ve not only enjoyed, but actually looked forward to. I admit, I don’t watch every event (I don’t even understand every event!), but like many of you, I have my favorites.

This year is extra special as I am enjoying seeing many of the views I saw firsthand just last summer when I was in Brazil for the Rotary International Convention in Sao Paulo and then a brief vacation in Rio.

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The sights there were beautiful – the statue of Christ, Copacabana Beach, Sugarloaf Mountain…the food (& drinks) were amazing – fresh seafood and caipirinhas… but the opportunities – to fellowship, serve, and speak on an international stage – those were remarkable experiences I will never forget.

Much like the athletes in Brazil, we must also “go for the gold” by taking advantage of every opportunity for training, networking, fellowship, service and even performance. We must set goals for ourselves and work hard to achieve them.

Posting regularly on this blog and sending weekly emails to those on my motivational e-news list (you can sign up to receive those here!) is a small step for me in my quest to “go for the gold.” I have lots more goals I hope to accomplish in the months and years to come, and I am confident I will reach each of them.

Over the next few weeks (& months), you’ll hear more about each of my goals, and I hope I can count on your support.

Will you stand on the podium with me as you reach your goals too? Or will you be sitting in the audience cheering me on? Either way is acceptable. Just don’t find yourself sitting at home watching with regret that you haven’t reached your own goals and being envious of those who have.

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What’s YOUR gold for this year? Comment here or email it to me personally! You’re a champion. Let’s go prove it!

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