Amplifying Black Voices- Amanda Gorman

Last week on Inauguration Day, we saw this extraordinary woman capture the world.

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover

and every known nook of our nation and

every corner called our country,

our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,

battered and beautiful

When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid

The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it” -Amanda Gorman~

Birthday in Quarantine

Dear Readers,

Today is my birthday, and I definitely like to really celebrate every year. Most of the time, it’s a birthday week or weekend, not a birth(DAY) because as my good friend Jessi says, “I do what I want!” especially regarding my birthday.

When it hit about December, I started thinking, my birthday is really not going to be “the usual” this year. I mean, how could it be? Lockdown and social distance, do not exactly go with loud and crowded karaoke bash, which is what I have called my parties before.

This year was bound to be different so trying to lean into that and accept it, instead of railing against it has been my stance. A friend said, “you have to do something” and so I started planning.

It actually led to something awesome.

First, no karaoke and no in-person meet up meant I could decide to have several celebrations, not just one. I really like to take the whole week or weekend as it turned out, this year. Started with cookie delivery from my husband and daughter!

She did the dishes for me!
TIFF’s Treats! If you are in Austin, try them!

Secondly, the family Birthday day! Breakfast made for me by my partner.. (no pictures because I ate it)

Then, socially distanced, 8 feet apart outdoor coffee!

If you mask, be “extra” about it!

Then cheesesteaks and cookie cake- (my new favourite birthday meal)

Masked up!
My Sweet husband had them decorate a slice!

Finally, on my birthday, a zoom call that was fully international and full of love. So many people I love on one screen.

Viv stopped by for a hi before bed!

It would be easy to complain about the birthday party I did not get or the hugs or high fives I missed, and I am doing my level best to look at that glass as half-full.

What is a good thing to come out of all this social distance?

Well, for me? A zoom call with people who are all at least a state, of not a country away, that would not have happened without the need for creative virtual meetings. What are you embracing because of social distance?

Think About It.

The Snowy South?

Dear Readers,

On Saturday night, I went to sleep and hoped for snow, because the forecast promised it, but didn’t REALLY believe it, this time it was! The whole family woke up to snow! Not just on the roof and car and backyard but miracle of miracles, it was still falling!!! It fell all day and I have to admit, it was kind of magical.

Quiet and beautiful, there was a kind of hush that settled over me as I watched it come down, and turn everything to snow-covered dreams.

Other than movies and manufactured snow, I have never really seen this much snow before.

It was beautiful ! I got to play in it with my family and for just a second contemplated moving north, like Canada or Wisconsin, then I got super cold and said, “No, I think I will just enjoy it while it’s here”

It got me thinking, what are we missing out on because we want more of it, so we fail to fully appreciate the here and now. I wish I could bottle that feeling and the pictures will just have to do.

Think About It.

Look! Snow!
She really liked throwing it!
Yes, his nose is a cactus!
Snowball fight!
Ready, Aim, Fire!

Ask People- What Makes Me Awesome?

I know, it feels awkward and weird to ask people to tell you how great you are, but trust me, it feels great to hear their answers.

Not to mention the fact that other people always see us more clearly than we do. They will come up with things and you will be tempted to say, “that’s not really a skill”. I implore you, resist it.

In his book “Do Over” Jon Acuff takes the reader through an exercise where you write down things you are good at as a way of identifying qualities you have already and skills you want to acquire. He suggests if you can’t think of anything, it’s not that you don’t have awesome and unique skills, it’s that you likely don’t see something that comes naturally to you as a skill.

For instance, I coach people like I breathe, and truly love it. I live for that “aha” people get in their eyes when they are making a discovery, after weeks or months of guiding them to find that answer.

Despite being asked multiple times for help and advice, It wasn’t until in a recent battle with imposter syndrome, I asked some trusted advisors for reasons I am awesome, and when the consistent answer included “great coach and mentor” a light bulb went on and I had that “aha” moment.

I was humbled and greatly touched by what they said, and it silenced the imposter syndrome pretty much immediately so I got to thinking, if I felt this way, in a time that has all of us questioning our choices and decisions, perhaps, you my gentle reader, might be feeling the same way, so I want to encourage you, ask people who you trust ,to tell why you are awesome. You are likely to be overwhelmed and surprised, just like I was. Bonus, the next time imposter syndrome shows up, I have armor to kick that jerk to the curb where they belong.

Wouldn’t you like to have that too?

Think About It…