Being on this planet for 50+ years, I feel like I’ve done a lot, seen a lot, and experienced a lot. Yet other times, I feel like such a newbie.
Do you ever have that feeling?
When it comes to Thanksgiving, several things come to mind. I mean, I have seen my fair share of this holiday.
Yet, why must I do the same thing every year? Hmmmm it got me thinking…
In fact, on my walk today, I was reminiscing about my favorite Thanksgiving – the one right after my 12-year relationship ended and Debbie Phillips (Founder WomenOnFire.com) and Rob Berkley invited me to spend the holiday in Martha’s Vineyard.
Those pics just came up on my Facebook feed. It gave me some joy, yet some sadness as Rob, my coach, and mentor of 15 years, died three years ago from cancer. I still can’t believe that… I am so grateful to him on so many levels. I’ve talked about him before here…
Just know if you have a memory and are overwhelmed with some sadness this holiday, you’re not alone. I’m right alongside you, hands at your back. We can do so much more together when we’re supporting each other, giving a virtual hankie, and cheering each other on.
Then there was the couple of Thanksgivings that I went down to Houston, TX to be with my family – those were big, lots of people and mega food. Well it is Texas, right?!
And my other bittersweet Thanksgiving was when I lived in NJ and would go be with my brother and his family in CT and stay for a few days. It was almost like a pilgrimage – getting there, crossing the Tappanzee during the holiday rush felt more like slowly crawling ants, all trying to make it to our turkey day destination. That ride usually would be an hour and a half, and during the holiday rush, it’d take us up to 3 hours or more. Oh, how I dreaded I-95 through CT!
It was one of those visits that my Dad and his wife came to be with us. That time was when we had brought our new then puppy Lily. (She’s now 14.) I remember this visit so vividly because my stepmother pulled us kids together to tell us that my dad was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and would progressively worsen. He was only 70.
That news hit me like a ton of bricks. My Dad was such a rock and so strong. He was a physician and created a multimillion-dollar practice for over 30 years as a gastroenterologist in New Orleans. (That’s where I grew up.) How could this happen to him?
This is what happened all in my head, on my walk this morning – various Thanksgiving holiday memories coming back to me, making me happy, then sad, then sometimes laughing at myself… Then inevitably, I’d stop myself and realize that it was time to halt the thinking and start listing what I’m thankful (or grateful) for.
It is really amazing how the mind can go from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds…
Back to my Dad… He was with us for another 3 years, and then he died from Alzheimer’s. (He and Rob were taken way too soon.) I wish I could say it was a peaceful death. Yet, with this disease, he was all over the place. When I would go visit him, it was like a light switch would go on and off. He would say hello. Then he’d want to know who I was. Then he’d ask me why I wasn’t with my parents taking care of them.
Oh wow. That was so incredibly hard. Then the next minute, he’d turn to look at me and say, “Oh Shan, (his nickname for me), you’re here, when did you get in? How long have you been here?”
Sadly, those times were fleeting. Then he was gone again.
Here’s one of the last pictures I took with him—
One of the many lessons I’ve learned from his disease and my own life and experiences is that just because I’ve done something one way my whole life doesn’t mean I have to continue doing it that way. I can look at my beliefs and rituals and change them.
Hence my original theme of this email was about being a newbie again. Or what some folks call a beginner’s mind.
Like talking about grief and death with you, it’s really ok. (And it’s hard to believe he died over 10 years ago.)
Or how we spend this holiday. My spouse Ally is working at the hospital, and we will have a small intimate Thanksgiving. She doesn’t like turkey. So who said we had to have it?! I’m barbecuing some steaks. And we’re having scalloped potatoes and my new favorite – stuffing muffins.
And Ally’s son is working on Thanksgiving too, so we can have Thanksgiving on any day we like, and as many times as we like.
There’s no Thanksgiving day, police!
I know you might think I’m a little off my rocker today, and that’s totally okay with me, cuz sometimes I am with all these thoughts.
The funny thing is it took me over 50 years of being on this planet to realize I don’t have to be stuck doing something one way forever. I can be a newbie and look at things in a totally new way. I need to get out of my comfort zone and shake things up. Sometimes I just get too complacent – do you know that feeling? Can you relate?
It reminds me of what my spiritual advisor shared with me years ago when I was going to move from NJ to VA. It was such a big deal to me because I had lived in NJ for 26 years of my life.
She said, “Shannon, moving doesn’t have to be a final act. If you don’t like it in VA, you can always move again. You have many options, and don’t let that stop you from exploring new places.” Wow, I definitely needed to hear that.
And now look, I moved again to CA 2 years ago and love it out here. Despite the heat and fires, it’s really a gorgeous area, living so close to Mt. Shasta and the Sierra mountains. I have much to be grateful for.
What are you grateful/thankful for today?
I’m grateful for my many things like my memories, my spouse, family, friends, and of course – you – for being here in my community.
Just know I’m always here to support and help you along your entrepreneurial journey.
I have 2 gifts for you: (No optin required – goes straight to the download page.)
I have 2 gifts for you: (No optin required – goes straight to the download page.)
- If you’re stressing about money, or want a little holiday boost – click here to download my “Making Money Now Sheet.” I know you do what you do because you have a gift, and money is not the core reason you’re in business. I get it. Yet, sometimes we can all use a boost. Download my Action Sheet and see what you think. It’s easy to use. And I’ve love some feedback, if you could share… I would greatly appreciate it!
- Want some inspiration on creating your customer experience? Download these 3 maps that will help you – promise. These are my go to maps I use with my clients.
- Bonus – If you’re looking for a new way to market your business more authentically that’s in line with your mission, vision, and values … Jump on a call with me! I promise you, in the 60-minutes we have together – You will walk away with at least 3 ways to grow your business, make more money now, and the way you market will feel more in line with your mission, vision, and values. Click here to set up a time for us to connect. I’m so looking forward to it.
Thanks for all the comment from my email last week about productivity! Shout out to Beth Bryce who’s a Soulful Artist, Writer & Coach. Check out her site. She was so inspired by my email, she went out and bought her index cards and sent me a pic – I LOVE that – thank you.
I do LOVE hearing from you and promise, I read every email.
Know, wherever you are today, celebrating this holiday, I wish you and your loved ones a sweet, joyful, and loving Thanksgiving.
NOTE 1: Today is exactly 2 years that I’ve written and sent these emails every Thursday. I have over 104 emails that I’ve written. Wow. I blew myself away from that I was able to be consistent and do this every week. It reminds me of when I used to do my print newsletter. I did that monthly for 5 years!
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – being consistent at something takes discipline and heart. Plus, it builds trust with your audience.
NOTE 2: I do need to say something about Black Friday – I have a love-loathe relationship with it. I love getting the deals, and I loathe all the plethora of emails and notices I get harassing me to buy something.
This is what I want to say to them — Please, I’m not just a dollar sign! Treat me with respect, talk to me like you know me, and care about me. Tell me a story I can relate to. Woo me. I’m worth it and happy to give you more money if you show me you care, be human, authentic, engage and serve the greater good. That’s what I want on Black Friday.
Or, simply be like REI – and we can “#OptOutside.”
Maybe I’ll go outside first, then come back and take advantage of a few Black Friday sales! How about you?
The picture below is me and Ally. We love our hikes and being outside.