It Starts Today

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

When will they stop? When will the voices stop screaming inside my head:

You’re not smart enough for that promotion

You’re not thin enough to get into those jeans

You’re not good enough to be happy

After some time, you tell yourself that you don’t care anymore, but you do care – I care! You ask yourself: “When are you going to be OK? When are you going to accept and love yourself for who you are?

I’ve been trying to lose five pounds for the last 30 years. Uh, maybe more like 15 pounds now. Every time I try to zip up those pants it’s a blatant reminder that my body is changing. And once again I beat myself up – And boy, am I really good at that.

So, I ask you again: When are you going to be ok?

TODAY!!!

That’s the answer. I’m going to be ok TODAY! I’ve wasted enough time worrying about things that don’t really matter and I’ve had enough. Would I like to change some things about myself? Absolutely. But I’ve also come to realize that I’m good just the way I am right now. That I am happy for all the dents and flaws I’ve earned over the years. So I declare, right now, that today is the day I begin to love myself the way I am. When will you begin?

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Oh What a Night…

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

How do I even begin? What words can I use to describe what I am feeling right now?

You see, last Saturday was my birthday, and it was a BIG one. The day started out lovely, with lots of phone calls and texts from family and friends. They were all very sweet, but everyone had busy schedules and could not take the time to celebrate my special day with me. They all wished me well.

Then my husband said: “You have to be ready by 10:30 this morning.” I thought we were heading to one of the beautiful trails close-by, so I grabbed my tennis shoes.

Then suddenly, without notice, three of my friends walked in the door holding a huge balloon, crazy whimsical glasses, and big smiles. They drove all the way from Chicago – three hours away – just to see me. I let out a scream so loud I even scared myself.

Then one by one more people walked through the door. There were old friends and new friends and family and neighbors. They just kept coming. I later discovered that my husband had been planning this event for the last six months. I can’t believe everyone was able to keep it a secret.

It was a day I will never forget. I was surrounded by a love so thick you could feel it. I sincerely have never experienced anything like this. How did I get so lucky? How did I find such amazing friends and develop such deep bonds with my family? My only hope is that I can pay it forward and make others feel as loved and special as I feel right now.

A heartfelt thank you to my husband for making my life so rich and beautiful.

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Back to the 90’s?

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

As I was driving to meet a friend for lunch, I tuned into NPR radio for a little enlightenment. They were talking about the reboot of the TV sitcom Friends. It appears that Netflix paid nearly ½ billion dollars (yes, that’s billion with a B) for the streaming rights to Friends.

Why?

As the panel was trying to answer this same question, someone stated: The stories told are universal Young people today move away from home, form a new family with friends…and they’re still broke!

He then went on to say: And the show is nostalgic. We all want to go back to that person we were in the 90’s.

Really? I mean REALLY???

I didn’t even hesitate to shout my answer out loud: NO! No, I do not want to go back to the Nancy of the 90’s. Was life good back then? Sure. Did I have fun? Absolutely. But I have grown so much since then, forging new paths and becoming someone I never imagined possible. I would never give that up. Right now, today, I embrace my past and smile from all the lessons I learned along the way, both good and bad. I sincerely believe that everything I have done in my life has gotten me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Would you?

 

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Never Too Old!

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Have you ever heard the words: “Oh, you’re too old for that…” I’ve certainly heard it a LOT, especially when I was starting my own business as a professional speaker. So many friends and family members, all of them really trying to help me, thought I was crazy when I started this business in my 60’s. I realize that deep down they were truly trying to help, and in many cases, they were dealing with fears of their own.

I became my own worst enemy, though, when I began to doubt myself. That’s when I began to research other late bloomers and found some interesting stories. Did you know:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing her wildly successful Little House on the Prairie series when she was 65 years old.
  • John Glenn did a nine-day journey into space at age 77.
  • Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken.

So, now I’m a firm believer that you should always pursue your dreams and desires, no matter what your age is. That’s why I made this short video: Never Too Old.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the photo, that’s me accomplishing my dream of being a professional speaker and not putting limits on myself. Of course, there are many reasons why we cannot accomplish certain things in life, but never, ever let the number of your age be one of them

 

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Where Am I and How Did I Get Here?

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I have a terrible sense of direction. Seriously, if I tell you to turn left, without a doubt, you should turn right. North, south, east, west – I honestly have no clue.

People have always made fun of me because I never know where I am or how I got there, so now my new best friend is Alice – my navigation system. She usually gets me to where I want to go, but on occasion, even she gets lost. Today is one of those few times when she fails me. Somehow, I ended up about ten miles away from my destination.

I used to beat myself up over my lack of direction, but over the years I have learned to enjoy the detours along the way, both on the road and in my life.

When I was 21, I had my whole life mapped out. Did it turn out the way I planned? NO! But by enjoying the detours along the way, I have found treasures I never imagined possible.

One wise Amish Proverb says: “A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.”

By the way, because of today’s detour, this photo became my office for the afternoon. Yes, because I got lost and decided to enjoy the journey, and I ended up at Picnic Point in Madison, Wisconsin, so I sat down on a bench and wrote this blog.

So, you see, detours can be good – and lacking a sense of direction can be a real adventure. So now I try to just roll with it. You never know where it may lead you.

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End of Summer? Not Yet!!!

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Everyone is bemoaning the end of summer. I hear it on the radio, read it on social media and even watch the endless videos that are shown on the news. First of all, I refuse to accept it – not yet. There are still many warm days ahead of us and many hours of sunshine to enjoy outside before the bitter cold arrives (at least here in the Midwest).

So yesterday I sat down and made a list of everything I want to do before I figuratively throw in the towel on summer. Here’s just a few of them:

  • I’m going to eat my meals outside as much as I possibly can – with every opportunity that comes my way
  • Take my brother on a “date” to one of the cute little towns close to his home so we can stroll the streets and window shop
  • Go for a walk to Picnic Point and pack a lunch to enjoy one last picnic

And that’s just for starters. If you notice, my list is quite basic and not expensive, but it’s often the things we postpone and put off until another time because we are just too busy. Well, the weather is here to remind you that your time is now limited for all those outside activities. Make your own list – then make the TIME to really enjoy the end of summer. Don’t wait another year, or another weekend, to do the things you love. What will you put on your list???

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The Story of My “Stuff”

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Stuff! I have lots of stuff all over my house. My desk is piled high with papers, my kitchen drawer is jammed packed with the latest gadgets, and my closet – well, let’s not even go there.

So, as I was dusting my cabinet the other day, moving my stuff around and swearing that I will get rid of it someday, it suddenly occurred to me:

This isn’t just stuff, it’s MY stuff. The gems I have collected along the way that tell the story of my life:

  • There’s the picture frame my brother gave me filled with photos of our childhood
  • There’s the book I found on my mother’s bedside table the last time I saw her
  • There’s the souvenir my husband and I bought on our last vacation (what a great trip!)

Every one of them tells a story and brings a memory to life. They warm my heart and bring a smile to my face. And right there, before my eyes, all that “stuff” turns into treasures that I will cherish forever.

 

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I’ll Take a Mulligan, Please

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

It’s my brother’s birthday tomorrow, and since he loves to play golf, I sent him an appropriate card with a golfer on the front. The saying inside said something about a mulligan, but since I have no idea what that means, I really didn’t pay any attention to the words. I bought the card for the photo on the front.

So, when my brother called me this morning, he asked me if I know what a mulligan is. I took a good guess but was totally wrong. So, he explained:

“A mulligan is when a golfer hits a bad shot and is given a chance to do it over again.”

What a concept! What a great idea!! I couldn’t help but think: what if we were given a mulligan in life? What if we were given a do-over when something crummy happens to us or we make a mistake.

As I think back on my life, there are lots of mulligans I’d like to take, but what if you only had one chance – one choice. What would your mulligan be? Let’s see, maybe I’d:

  • Study harder in college – Nah!
  • Learn to cook – I don’t think so!!
  • Save more money – Hardly!!!

The mulligans that come to mind are spending more time with friends and family, laughing a little longer, and even being a better friend myself. When I think of all the mulligans I’d like to cash in, they always revolve around people: loving more and laughing harder.

Don’t you just love that word “mulligan.” It opens up a lot of opportunities on how we can all play better in the game of life.

 

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Following the Sun

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

This time of year, every year, sunflowers come into full bloom. Since I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, I never actually saw a sunflower in real life – only in pictures. I guess that’s why I was so fascinated when I found an entire field of them growing just a few minutes from my new home in Middleton, Wi.

I discovered that sunflowers follow the sun. Did you know that? They actually start each morning facing east, then slowly turning – I mean physically turning – to follow the sun as it sets in the west. As I read more about this, I learned that it’s really the younger flowers that do this, yet how amazing.

It made me wonder about you and me and how we start every day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could learn from the sunflower and look toward the sun? To follow the brightest spot on the horizon even on those cloudy days that we all face? How empowering to stand together, supporting each other and sharing our energy.

As I look at this picture of the sunflower fields, I can almost see the faces of my family and friends who have stood beside me during my cloudy days. I see Jack and Geryl and Asha and Dennis and so many more. I am surround by a field of friends who never let me forget to follow the sun.

If you’d like to learn more about these beautiful fields of sunflowers, check out Pope Farm in Middleton, WI: https://www.popefarmconservancy.org/.

 

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A Lesson on Kindness from a Six-Year-Old

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitud

Did you read this heartfelt message from a six-year-old boy who wants to share a lesson on kindness?

I actually read it yesterday morning and it couldn’t have come at a better time. It was tucked between the horrendous news of the mass shootings in both Ohio and Texas. As I read about tragedy and tears and turmoil, my heart was heavy.

Then, there it was. An article that started with the quote: “I will be your friend.” As the story goes, a mother told her son she would make him a back-to-school T-shirt with any message he chose. It could be something about one of the school’s sports teams or anything his heart desired. The young boy chose the phrase “I will be your friend.” He said he wanted any classmates who are being bullied to know they have a friend in him.

Even as I write this blog, I have tears in my eyes. Such a powerful lesson from a small child. May we all learn from his kindness and love.

If you’d like to read more about this story, just click here: https://cbsn.ws/2YNL3U3.

 

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