January 27, 2012
At the end of 2011, I found out that LoveDrop program wasn’t going to be continuing in 2012. Which meant that I not only needed to update the social responsibility page of my company website; but that I had an opening in my charitable giving portfolio that needed to be filled. Around the same time, I had to move to temporary housing as my house was being sold. (Good. Times.) In the process of trying to simplify that move, I donated a ridiculous number of shoes: 136.5 pairs, to be exact.
And that’s when it clicked: Shoes For Orphan Souls.
Shoes for Orphan Souls, a ministry of Buckner International, has distributed more than 2.0 million pairs of new shoes to vulnerable children in the United States and to orphans in 74 countries around the world. While our program has made a difference in many lives, there are still millions of children we can reach – all through a pair of shoes.
Anyone who knows me knows that over the last couple of years I’ve become something of a fashion plate (sort of)… and you’d also know how much I love my shoes… So, that’s my new charity for the year & I’m organizing a drive to donate what equals a pair of shoes each day for the remainder of the year: 334 pairs of shoes. The goal is bigger than me; so, I’m asking for you to consider participating. There are three ways to join in:
- You can donate directly to Shoes For Orphan Souls. A donation of $25 will send a new pair of shoes to an orphan somewhere in the world. If you participate in this way, please leave me a comment here letting me know &/or add that you’re participating in Crystal Miller/M3 Talent Consulting’s Shoe drive in their comments box so they can track how close we are to our goal!
- If you live in DFW, you can contact me & we’ll set up a time to pick up your donation.
- If you live in Providence or the surrounding area, feel free to drop on by!
New shoes are often overlooked for orphans. They get hand-me-downs & often are grateful to have them. This past Holiday season I was at the mall with my family & we saw this angel on the angel tree where a 13-year-old was asking for a pair of shoes that fit. That’s it. That’s all they wanted. It touched me – so, hopefully this is a way to help.
I’ll post more about it in a few days after my kit arrives from Buckner International; but I’m kind of jazzed about this.
August 11, 2011
“Blog Excerpt: New Normal
I showered with my eyes closed today.
It required a bit of discipline, but I was able to maneuver myself through my 15 minute suds fest without peeking once. As I clumsily felt around for my Victoria’s Secret body wash, feeling like an idiot, I realized that it really wasn’t that difficult to scrub-a-dub-dub without the advantage of vision. My senses became heightened. Little eyeballs popped up on each fingertip. I became aware of the sound of the pounding water that I normally tune out, almost as if I could hear each individual drop hitting the tub in a melodious succession. I thought to myself, “I could do this.”
I am at peace.
It has taken almost a year, but I am completely at ease with my disease. I have finally reached the Acceptance stage in my grieving process and have learned to adapt mentally and physically. I don’t run into things anymore; now I remember to look left and right and up and down before I move anywhere. I laugh at myself when I can’t find my cell phone and then realize that it’s right in front of me. I don’t feel a surge of pain wash over me whenever I hear the word blind. I cheerfully mount the bus each day along with illegal immigrants and homeless men and say hello to them. I look forward to the day I am a mother, instead of dreading not knowing what my children will grow up to look like.
My faith is my medicine.
As life chips away at us, we learn how to evolve and how to expect a different normalcy than what we are accustomed to. What starts out as an inconvenience or a disability can morph into the norm, if we will let it. I encourage you to yank yourself out of your comfort zone this week and strive to create a new normal, even if it’s just for a day. ” ~ Laura Lawson (1)
I shared that because I’ve been thinking a lot about MY ‘new normal.’ For me, the ‘difficult’ in my life? It’s a transitional thing and I know it. It helps; because frankly? There are some things in my life that are just a little less than fun. Gotta be done & I’m dealing with it; but it’s easy to lose perspective & get grousy about it. Add on the fact that I’m just really very busy w/ work trying to make some things happen at present; so, I’m working a LOT of hours, plus the kids’ back-to-school stuff… and the net result is I just feel behind. My house needs some attention, my nails are full-on in desperate need of a mani/pedi , still haven’t gone back-2-school shopping, my car needs inspected .. oh, and turned in to the shop for repairs & my tan needs to be redone. Finding time to work out has been difficult between family, work, migraines, and writers’ block. :p I realize there’s someone I am really missing in my life; but I’m not quite sure what, if anything, I want to do about it yet. I know I owe a guy a call back; but for various reasons it hasn’t happened. I want to hang out with Ms. Suzanne; but I forgot to set it up!
Here’s the reality – I know that we make time for that which we deem to be a priority. And this is not me complaining that I don’t know how to prioritize; because I do. The difference between the ‘past’ and my ‘new normal’ is that I’ve noticed that over the last few months? I’m handling things differently. I’m just not stressed. It sounds like a lot; but I know it really isn’t in the big picture. I’m okay with the fact that the guy isn’t getting called back at present & with whatever the net-result of that will be. I recognize that everything will get done in time & it doesn’t have to be immediate – even if I’d like it to be… doesn’t hurt anything, really. Don’t have to know what to do about my ‘missing person’ – and shouldn’t until I really have the time to properly reflect on an appropriate course of action. I’m not stressed about the work & I’ve figured out how to not neglect the children in the process.(2) Really? The only thing I’m concerned about is my workouts; because it’s so tied into my health & my #TR30Days challenge. I’ve sort-of accepted that the way I’m approaching things now? Is my reality, my new-ish ‘now normal’ & that is okay.
Because mostly? My now normal is just jammed packed w/ gratitude. I read Laura’s blog post and I was grateful to her for sharing her struggles & growth with me; a stranger glimpsing in on her introspection. For reminding me that my journey to maintain positive balance & personal improvement are opportunities for growth even when it is a struggle; to push outside of my comfort zones & be more. In spite of. Because of. In addition to. And they’re nothing so life-shaking or potentially permanent as what she’s going through.
So, here are my gratitude moments for the last few days – because that’s a part of my ‘now normal’ that I want to continue to share:
- Nate St. Pierre – we had a fantastic and really inspiring chat this evening that, while totally shooting my bedtime to the ‘not going to happen’ column; really renewed me. Thanks, Nate – you’re really very cool – I’m honored to have met/know you a bit and your philanthropy work is A-mazing. Keep it up.
- My #TR30Days Tribe – I’m cheating a bit because they’re on my gratitude list EVERY day; but you guys? I’m not being over-dramatic in the slightest when I say that you’ve had a very real, profound impact on my life. Ty, Amanda, Cheri, Jason, Joni, Belinda – special thank-yous to you!
- #WineWednesday – because it feels SO good to unwind with a glass of wine & a good #TChat – even if it’s just for a little bit.
- Meghan Biro! I seriously think she might be my #Talent Wonder-Twin! A-Dore Her! Really have loved our phone & twitter chats over the last week or so.
- Tangi – You know, it was my ex-boyfriend that really pushed (3) me to be open and not put her in any one box too quickly & I’m really grateful to him that I eventually listened – and probably always will be. We have a lot in common, as it turns out, & I really enjoy the time we get to spend together on the phone/in person. Looking forward to seeing her again in a few weeks! It’s still a little strange to ‘find’ you have family that I never knew growing up; but I’m cool w/ it. So glad she reached out to us.
- High Heels – they just do SUCH good things for your legs. And they’re pretty. #justsayin
So, time to go to bed because I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be difficult to wake up tomorrow AM. I kinda have to have 4 hours of sleep to function. This might affect my workout – shift when I do it/how long I do it for… but you know? I can breathe & roll w/ that, too…. Later, Peeps.
(2) though the monkey-bread I made at 2pm because I forgot to make the girls breakfast? Is for sure not winning me parenting of the year; nor is it on my diet. But, it was yummy!
(3) yes, pushed. I don’t like change when it comes to my family, believe it or not.
June 21, 2011
Wrote this out last night but was just worn out so went to sleep before posting…
So, the topic I chose from the Encyclopedia of Gratitude today is “My Mother.” And I really am grateful to have such a great Mom – she’s watching my kiddos this week while I’m traveling & they’re having a blast. Because she IS my Mom, she’s “improving” things about the house – reorganizing and such. When I was younger, this drove me nuts. Now, I just see it for what it is: she wants to show she cares… so, I roll with it. Love you, Mom – hope you’re having fun with the kids!
And from today:
In other news, started the #TR30days challenge yesterday. Absolutely did all of the daily requirements I had set for myself; and made progress on a couple of the ‘big bullets’ that are more project-based over the whole month as opposed to something I’m trying to create a daily behavior out of. Not a bad start! I’m not going to put each day’s gratitude posting on FB/Twitter; I really plan on posting just the weekly updates. So, if you want to check it out then look for the #TR30day tags in the titles in my post archives.
July 8, 2008
I have the kids for extra time this weekend (yay!). It IS
a good thing and I’m very excited to have just been able to spend a weekend with them without work or other interruptions. Lindsey learns how to shave her legs today (hahaha – she’s all geeked up about it now, but give her a month…
We watched An American Girl Movie: Kit Kittredge
yesterday. It was really a great movie – I’d recommend it to anyone, regardless of their parental status. That probably sounds funny, because it IS definitely a kid’s movie. But oh, you can draw some interesting parallels to things that are going on today; and even moreso, it’s a pretty decent reality check. The movie is set in the Depression Era and centers around those who were losing their homes, the measures they tooks to keep from becoming ‘hobos’ or ending up in ‘The Poor House.’ It showed the ‘Hobo Community’ and just dealt with a lot of things that we really have lost sight of. I know I had.
I’m worrying about things like my bonuses so I can have a nanny this fall for the kids after school – while they were literally going cross-country to find work. While the movie wasn’t real, people really did do that. And people are doing it again – the low reported unemployment is really bunk. That just means there’s a lot of people not utilizing Unemployment. There are a lot of people that do not have work right now – or if they do, they’re under-employed. I really am grateful to be gainfully employed in a challenging position; even with some of the craziness and the workload!
I have this great house that I’m freaking out about because it’s too hot for us upstairs (1) – they showed these two families…. one lost their home after selling eggs in the neighborhood to make ends meet (talk about humbling). The other, the main family, took in boarders (one of their close friends, and several people they didn’t know) to try to pay the mortgage. And draw the parallel to now, there are 33+ homes in my neighborhood that have been forclosed on; with more on the way. This little boy came home from school to find all of his family’s possessions on the lawn after the sherriff had locked them out. So sad. This is not confined to my neighborhood folks; it’s a real problem out there.
But, even with the real problems, it’s still a LOT better for us than it was during the Depression. You can’t watch that movie without feeling grateful for what you have. It did leave me drawing enough parallels, however, that I do believe we are in a recession, regardless of what the media says.
(1) Thanks to Absolute Air, we will have a zoned system in the next week or two!