What I Learned Last Year...

2014 was a great year for me so I spent a bit of time reflecting on why it was and what I learned last year that stands out as helping to make it one of my best years so far. I’m sure there are a lot of little things that I’ve probably forgotten, and there are, I’m thankful to say, the things that didn’t happen. Like none of my loved ones got really sick or laid off or were in an accident. Those things can really take the wind out of a great year.

2014review

So as I start this new year, I’m counting my blessings and looking back with a huge sense of gratitude for 12 months well-lived and certainly well-appreciated. Here are my 2014 lessons learned:

LESSON 1: Age is just a number.

I never thought it possible that I’d ever do a chin up, let alone do my first after my 55th birthday. I mean, if you can’t do one in your prime, you’d think it’d be impossible when you have a few extra miles on you. Being able to do a chin up and then...

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It's Where You Are Going

Last weekend, I heard a wonderful quote from Les Brown: "It’s not where you start, it’s where you are going." What this means is that you have the power to change everything in your past and point yourself in a new direction – a direction of positivity, success, and happiness. All it takes is a DECISION and a COMMITMENT to DO IT. I was lucky enough to see Les Brown speak these words in person. His inspirational talk was the culmination of one of the most exhilarating events of my life. I was holed up in a ballroom in the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas for 24 hours over 3 days listening to and being inspired by some of the most committed, dedicated, and richest networking marketing leaders who shared their stories and tips for building a successful business.

I ventured to this conference alone because I want to be successful with my business. I know if I am serious about this business, I need to learn a lot. I know I need to surround myself with role models. I...

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My Eyebrow Adventure

aging health midlife story Nov 11, 2014

My eyebrow adventure began quite by accident. I came upon this idea after a woman walked into the salon where I was getting my hair done to get a 2nd opinion on her new tattoos. REALLY?!! You can tattoo your eyebrows?!! I had heard of having eyeliner tattoos but it never dawned on me that there might be an answer to my eyebrow-challenged life! Maybe I was living in a cave because, since then, several people have told me they’ve done it. Wow! I would have never known. And of course they have eyebrows to die for!

Some people might think it’s vain to get your eyebrows tattooed, but my feeling on the subject is that if it makes you feel better about yourself, then why not? For me, it’s also about saving time & money. No more spending 5 minutes applying eyebrow pencil and then another 5 minutes re-applying it because I didn’t get it on right. (This happens a lot when you have crooked eyebrows!) And no more money spent on Lancôme eyebrow pencil!...

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Love Your Boobies!

aging educational health Oct 23, 2014

Do you love your boobies? Today I loved mine by getting my annual mammogram. I’m not sure how long I’ve been getting mammograms, but since I’m now 55, I think it’s about 15 years… And I’m proud to say I’ve never missed a year! I have a vivid memory of my first mammogram: I fainted! Yes!!! I have a huge fear of medical procedures and have a history of fainting in doctor’s offices! The good news is that I now know enough to warn the offending parties (i.e., medical staff holding needles) before such procedures AND I can usually give a heads up if I feel a spell coming on. In the case of the mammogram faint, I was able to warn the technician so she caught me before I did a face plant. Fortunately, I wasn’t in mid scan and left dangling at the machine. OUCH! That’s not a pretty image!!!

In celebration of my annual booby check, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my experience and to encourage all women over 40 to...

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An Unremarkable Boy

One thing I love about having a blog is that I get to share cool things that I think will inspire and make a difference. I had an experience last week that fits the bill so I just have to share it. It’s about the journey of an unremarkable boy. My husband and I attended the dedication of the new Strome Business School and Entrepreneurial Center at our alma mater, Old Dominion University. We were invited by Mark Strome, who was my husband’s college roommate in the 70s, and his wife, Tammy. Mark had recently given the university a large financial gift.

It was super cool to be back at the place where we all met and began our friendships. Many of our college buddies were there as was Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Senator Mark Warner, a good friend of Mark’s. We literally got the presidential treatment, watching an ODU football game from the President’s Suite in the company of the ODU President and his wife.

We were even treated to a halftime...

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Living With Your Whole Heart

This week, as I often do, I was driving in my car listening to the Oprah station on my radio. And once again, as often happens, the person she was interviewing struck a chord with me. How serendipitous it was that I had been talking just the day before about the EXACT same subject they were discussing!!! Isn’t it funny how these things just drop out of the sky when you need them?!!! The subject was vulnerability. And just the night before I heard the interview, I was explaining to some friends that being vulnerable is a good thing and they should try it. I said people are more likely to connect with you if you allow yourself to be vulnerable…. I sure as heck didn’t know there was proven research on this. Isn’t it nice when real data backs up your opinions!!!

Anyway, on to the meat of my post… Oprah’s interview was with a researcher by the name of Brené Brown. I’d never heard of her but apparently she did a pretty famous TED talk on...

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He Brings Out the Poet in Me...

family love relationships Jul 07, 2014

I first met him when I was 18. We were in college. He played rugby, and I was dating another rugby player. I noticed him on the field one day, thought he was cute and asked who he was.

A few days later, I saw him at our local college bar and introduced myself. Little did I know at the time that he was THE ONE. From the minute we met, sparks flew. We threw verbal barbs. And I remember laughing A LOT.

I won’t go into all the gory details here, but after two years, we went our separate ways. I couldn’t accept the fact that rugby was more important than me. So I moved on. Or so I thought…

A few years ago, we reconnected. He had never married and some said he never would. It was a risk, but I remembered what we had had and needed either to open that door and step in or close it for good.

Then he pulled out the poem. I didn’t remember writing it – it had been 27 years! But when I read it, I remembered the feelings he brought out of me and how much I liked...

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What will your grandkids call you?

aging family midlife story Jun 03, 2014

Until my oldest daughter announced she was pregnant, the thought never occurred to me that I'd have a name other than mom or Laurie to be identified by. I didn't want to be Nana or Grandmom or Mimi or Grandma - these were names that were in my family & it felt funny using them. So I cogitated on it for awhile and came up with Nannie. It was perfect because it's a play on my name using the same last 2 letters. Plus, both my daughters and all of our pets have had names that end with the "ie" sound. So it just felt right. In remembering my plight of grandparent name selection, I thought it'd be fun to do a post on Facebook asking what names other people use. I got a great response which led me to think it would be helpful to put together a list & post it on my website. You never know - perhaps my list will help someone figure out how she will be referred to by generations to come. :) (I'll continue to add names as I hear more...)

Cha Cha

Ga-Ga...

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Do You Have a Bucket List?

Now that I’m on the backside of life, I think it’s time I develop a bucket list. I believe a lot of people have these, and I bet they are having more fun than me striking things off their lists. So, I’m taking action! I’m going to find at least 25 things to start with & will post my list here on my website. It will be a living & breathing document that will continue to develop over time as I think of new things. And maybe it will spur you to develop one of your own! There’s one thing that’s been on my mind for a long time and will therefore reside in spot #1: Go to Australia. On the other hand, there are a few things that will NEVER make the list:

-       Have my 3rd child (Only because I can’t)

-       Run a marathon (Way too far for my bad knee)

-       Become a vegetarian (I could never give up chicken or eggs…)

...

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Every Family Needs an "Annie"

family love my pets Apr 02, 2014

I’m sure you’ve heard the story about the boy who was raised with wolves. Well, I was raised with pugs. Yes. My father was a pug lover and never lived a day of his adult life without one. Pugsy was the first, although I was too young to remember him. Sam was next – as in Samatha – and what I remember about her was that she was old and cranky, my least favorite of all of our family dogs. But the best thing about Sam is that she was impregnated by a collie mix who jumped over a fence into our backyard with the result being, Skeezie (named for the comic strip character Skeezix), the first dog officially acknowledged as mine. But the purpose of this article isn’t to give you a detailed history of my family pets (although I’ve listed them all at the end of this post as a sort of memoriam). This article is about why having a dog has filled up my life and made me a better person.

I’ve always had a dog and always will. They bring me happiness that...

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