Are They Wrinkles or Are They Laugh Lines?

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I love being an older woman.  You may think I’m crazy, but it’s true.  With age comes freedom.  I have finally figured out what I like, what I don’t like, and I have stopped making excuses for either.  I finally have the freedom to be myself; to live my own life and not the life that others think I should.

This lesson did not come easy for me.  It took years, actually about 60 of them, before I arrived at this place in my life.  You see, I grew up at a time when everything around me said I had to be domestic.  You know, cooking and cleaning and that kind of stuff.  For years, I tried – I really tried, but I hated to cook, every minute of it, and I just didn’t want to do it.  My family and friends truly wanted to help and refused to give up on me.  They were convinced that if I just knew HOW to cook, I would like it, so they gave me cook books, videos of famous chefs, even cooking classes.  And you know what?  I STILL hate to cook.  But now I don’t make excuses for it anymore. With age, I have learned to embrace my own uniqueness.

Yes, I have wrinkles, and yes, I have more pounds on my butt than I’d like to admit, but I have earned every one of them through experiences, some good and some not so good, that led me to where I am today.  And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

True beauty is ageless, and to find yours:

  1. Surround yourself with confident, kind and interesting people who encourage you to go after your dream
  2. Stay “curious” about life and never let your age limit your possibilities
  3. Take some time to discover who you really are and not what someone else wants you to be

Once you find the answers, you will begin to experience life like you have never known it before  You will see things with an excitement and a passion that you have never felt before  When you look in the mirror, you will see a confident, vibrant, mature person looking back at you.

Aging is inevitable – it’s not going away  So take control of your life and find more time to do the things that make you smile.  After all, it’s not the number of your age that matters, it’s your attitude and the way you look at life.  A positive attitude is something no one and nothing can ever take away from you, not even your age.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Speaker
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No Excuses – Not Today

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

For weeks I heard about this “once in a lifetime experience.”  The eclipse on August 21 was an event not to be missed.

So I asked several people where the best spot was to view this amazing phenomenon, and this is what I heard:

 

You won’t be able to see it because of the clouds

If you travel, the hotel rooms are outrageously expensive

The whole thing will only last two minutes, so why bother

 

I started to doubt if it was worth all the trouble.  And as I allowed everyone else’s “stuff” to get in my way, I started falling into the trap of doing nothing.  After all, it was easier!

Then my husband mentioned that Bascom Hill on the University of Wisconsin campus might be a good place to view the eclipse.  After all, they had an observatory there and it might be an interesting spot. So at the last minute, I thought: “What the heck?”  And off I went.

And what a sight to behold!!!

There were so many people all gathered together for the same reason, sharing the same interest.  People I didn’t even know graciously handed me their special glasses so I could get a peek at the eclipse, and others were anxious to share their knowledge and stories of other eclipses they had seen in the past.  Everyone was unified, smiling, laughing and enjoying a common experience.

What a disappointment it would have been to have missed it.  What a lost opportunity.

And as I drove home, I couldn’t help but wonder how many times I missed a moment or a connection because I listened to others and I chose to take an easier route?  How many times have I allowed my own fears and doubts to get in the way?

I’m so glad that today wasn’t one of those days.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Speaker
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Pamper Your Inner Diva (or Divo)

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

You’ve heard it over and over again – Take care of yourself first so you have the strength and energy to take care of others.  There have been books written, songs sung and poems read about this topic.  Even the airlines announce in their safety tips: put on your oxygen mask first before assisting anyone else.

We all know it’s important, yet so very hard to do.  Why?  How can we learn to pamper ourselves without feeling guilty?

Well, if you have a tendency to take care of everyone else first, putting yourself last, try this:

Start small.  Take just a few minutes each day for yourself.  Pick one thing you like to do.  Something simple like drink a cup of coffee, read a book, listen to music.  Notice that I said take “just a few minutes,” so before you start shouting: I DON’T HAVE THE TIME, think about just 5minutes.  That’s it – nothing more.  5 minutes is long enough to hear one song or read a couple of pages or just sit quietly and do nothing.  Try it for one week.  Then, if you feel comfortable with that, add a couple more minutes onto your “me” time each week.  If that’s too much, then scale back and add a couple of minutes each month.

The point is to carve out just a little time for yourself and do something you love to do.  And no, that doesn’t mean folding the laundry or planning tomorrow’s meals.  This is time for you and you alone – no one else.

Out of 1,440 minutes in each and every day, I bet you can find just 5 for yourself.  Thinks about it; give it a try.  Put on your Diva Cape and set the timer for 5 minutes!

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Speaker
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Tick-Tock Tick-Tock

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

My good friend’s father just passed away unexpectedly.  He was only 72 years old.  This really hit me hard because I have two brothers who are older than 72.  And I wondered:

What if I knew they had only a short time to live?  Would I do anything differently?  Would I spend more time with them?

The obvious answer is “yes.”  But I wasn’t so quick to come to that conclusion.  What really came to mind was to spend intense time with them, not necessarily more time.  When we are together, I’d like to do more of the things they want to do, listen more intensely to the stories they want to tell, spend more time in their world.  I’d like to hug a little longer and actually say the words: “I love you.”

It’s not always that easy.  We all get caught up in our own worlds, our own challenges.  And in this day of instant everything, we feel pressured to get more done.  Something is always ringing, buzzing or dinging, demanding our attention.  It seems impossible to shut off all the sounds and the alarms that demand our time.

So this week when I visited my brother, I listened more intensely to his golf stories, laughed a little longer at the video he wanted to share with me, and put down my phone to look at pictures of his grand kids.  I doubt if he noticed any difference, but I feel comfort in knowing that I was more aware of the time we shared.  And more grateful I had another memory I could tuck away for future reference.

I am truly sorry for my friend’s loss.  I have no words to console her – only time can do that.  Soon her tears will be replaced with smiles of the memories she shared with her father.  And now, I too will have more intense memories of the ones I love.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Speaker
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Shake it Up

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Every day starts out the same:

  • Wake up
  • Shower
  • Eat breakfast
  • Head to the office

Or something similar!

What if you did something today to spice it up?  Something out of the ordinary?  Something that would not  compromise you or your goal at the end of the day, but add a little spontaneity to it.

Here’s what happened to me this afternoon.  At first I was a little skeptical but I did it anyway.  Let’s see what you think.

I had an appointment at noon with a client I’ve been working with for several months now.  We were finalizing some details on a presentation I’m giving at her upcoming conference.  We had scheduled a specific time at her office, our usual meeting place. But today the sun was shining, the sky was blue and there was live music playing outside on the Capitol Square (in Madison, WI).

Taking a chance, I said: “What about hammering out the details as we sit outside, under the sun, listening to the music in the background.  What about shaking it up a bit today?”

She agreed – and it was perfect!  Instead of sitting inside a stuffy office we actually took care of the same business in a different surrounding.  I think we actually created a stronger bond between us.

So, for your next meeting, what about suggesting a walk or listening to local music or anything in your town that may be a little out of the ordinary. It’s no different than discussing business on the golf course, and since I don’t golf, I’ve just found another venue.

Now, to be clear, I would NOT suggest this with a new client or if the details of the meeting require a more structured environment.  You have to use your judgment and decide which clients and which situations would be a good fit. But what the heck, give it a try.  Shake it up a little.

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