Hello, July!

As I take time to reflect on the fact that 2016 is half over, I get a little discouraged.  All those things I set out to do at the beginning of the year…well most of them still remain undone and I feel like my time is running out.  The enthusiasm I had in January is no more.  Then I ran across an article that characterized July as the new January.  Wait…I like that!

July is the new JanJuly is the new January in the sense that it is the perfect time to reassess, reevaluate and regroup on my goals.  I don’t have to dread the fact that the year is half over.  Instead I can view it as I still have more time to accomplish what I set out to do in 2016.  So instead of dreading July, I welcome it.  Hello, July!  Let’s begin again!

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If you see something, please say something

One morning in 1993, I came downstairs to see my mother frantically pleading over the phone.  I asked her who it was and she said it was my sister.  She was suicidal and threatening harm in front of her 4-year-old son.  This caused me to immediately flash back to my childhood when I used to observe the same type of behavior from her when our parents would leave us home alone.  Something snapped in me.  “Not this time”, I said to myself. I grabbed my keys, hopped in my car and sped down the road.

3651344537_ca1f1e70c1As I pulled into the driveway of my grandparent’s home, I was terrified and hoping that I got there fast enough to prevent a tragedy.  I ran in the house asking for the phone.  My grandfather asked why and I explained the situation.  To my surprise, he told me I could not use the phone to call 911 on my sister. “We don’t do that”, he said.  “We don’t put our business out in the street.”

I couldn’t believe it!  Did he even hear what I said? My sister was threatening bodily harm in front of her son.  Rather than stand there and argue, I hopped back in my car, drove to a local store and used the payphone to call 911.  The police arrived, diffused the situation and told my sister she either had to go to jail or go get help.  She chose help and was taken to a local mental institution that day.  That started her down the path of being able to ultimately getting the proper diagnosis and treatment for her condition.

That night was a horrible night because no one in my family supported my decision.  I was labeled a trouble maker and scolded for doing what I knew was right.  In hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing because my sister is still here with me and to me that is the most important thing.

I share this story because I have lived through mental health crisis as a family member.  I share this because I know the positive that can happen when you say something if you see something is off.  Sadly, we all know what happens when you don’t say something if you see something.  It’s all over the news and continues to make headlines more often than not.

It’s not okay to look away when someone is struggling.  It’s not okay to make it someone else’s problem.  It’s not okay to hush people for fear of what others will say.  Who cares if your family business is on the street because you choose to get your loved one help?  You have ability to choose the headline.  If you don’t circumstance might just choose it for you.

Educate yourself.  Please visit the  Campaign to Change Direction to learn 5 signs that someone you know and love may be suffering from emotional distress.

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“When”sday

When I turn XX I am going to….. When I save $$ I plan to….. When I find Mr. Right I know I will…. When my kids get older I’ll finally be able to….. When I find out he is acting up I will… When my boss calls me in to her office I will… When I get back from vacation I will… When Monday get’s here I will…

WhenEverything is “when” as if there is some perfect moment to make a move, make change and be better. Like we must continue to cope with, put up with, deal with other people’s mess, fears, let downs limitations, expectations and make them our own. As if tomorrow presents a more favorable season than today.

Why not make today “When”sday???? ‪#‎perspectiveiseverything‬

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Be Glad It’s “Today”

We Passion, Purpose, Positivity's photo.made it!!! Monday is gone and we are one day closer to the weekend – a long weekend at that! While each day represents one day closer to what many feel is a more enjoyable part of our week, why not take a moment to see the value in every day. Each day of the week is called something different when we are in expectation of it but when in the midst of each day they are called the same – TODAY! Try not to rush through and away today in anticipation of tomorrow or you will end up with nothing but yesterdays.

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Success

SuccessFar too often we get caught up in the social media hype of looking at everyone else’s highlights and envying their presumed station in life. I say, be less concerned about the surface of a person’s life and more concerned about the depth of your own. #thinkaboutit #perspectiveiseverything

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Why?

You’re in full swing, extra motivated as you travel this journey to a new and improved you.  You know what you want to accomplish, whether it’s to lose a few pounds, inches, tone some trouble areas, eat better or learn how to work out consistently.  It’s great you have set those goals for yourself but what’s most important is the why.  Not the “I want to fit into a bathing suit or a new pair of shorts” why but the “deep down, sentimental, heart wrenching” why.

I’m going to share mine.  It was November 2005 and I was at the peak of life.  My daughters were growing older and needed me less.  I had just finished my B.S. in Legal Studies the year before and had a promising career in a corporate legal office.  I was driven and knew I had so much more to offer so I decided I would take the LSAT (law school entrance exam) and go to law school. WhyI had it all mapped out.  And I did it.  I sat for the test, received my scores and by February of 2006, I decided to apply to a local law school.  Then came 10 pounds.

In March of 2006, I noticed I was overly tired for no reason.  My usual anal retentive self started to be less organized and driven.  Housework and chores started to slip.  I just wanted to sleep.  Then came 10 more pounds.  In April I had my yearly gyn appointment and my doctor suggested I see a specialist about my ever growing thyroid. In my mind I was like “here we go again.”  I had blood work done repeatedly and it always came back the same – normal. I told her I would think about.

In May, I received a new opportunity at another company with a 50% salary increase so I took it.  While shopping for new clothes for my prestigious new role, another 10 pounds came.  Wait…what is going on here????  Then I thought back to my conversation with my doctor and decided to move on her suggestion.  I set up an appointment at a world-class teaching hospital but had to wait months to be seen.  “No big deal” I thought.  It’s nothing serious.

Fast forward to September – first visit with the endocrinologist.  First the student examined me.  Then the real professional came in.  “Swallow” he said.  “Hmph”, was his reply.  Then he said he needed me to go for an ultrasound right away.  He explained that he felt four nodules throughout my thyroid and that he needed to rule out something serious.

Now, I am a “cup half full” kind of girl so I sashayed my way to the radiology department to set up the appointment. A week later, I was laid flat on a table with a technician and radiologist looking at the pictures on the screen, making funny noises and talking about my nodules.  It was all but confirmed that I had thyroid cancer but I would need to come back for a biopsy.  Wait, what???

I won’t belabor the rest of the details but a week later I found out I had malignant papillary thyroid carcinoma and two weeks after that I had my thyroid removed.  During the course of that ordeal, I had to stop and ask myself how I got to that point in my life.  I reflected on all the things I may miss in my kids lives if it I couldn’t be treated.  It was then that I slowly started to realize my why.  Accepting it has been a struggle but I am finally at a place of sharing it and working with it.  So here is my why:

Because I know what it feels like to waste precious moments not knowing if you will get any more chances to make memories and to leave a lasting impact on this world.  My ability to help others feel good about themselves starts with me feeling good about myself.

So there you have it…that’s my why. It’s not flashy or over complicated but is meaningful to me.  What’s yours?

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