BOLDLY GOThe idea of being a person that goes “Where No Man Has Gone Before” is intriguing. I think it goes back to sitting around the small television screen with all my siblings eating popcorn and wondering if the crew would survive the latest mission. I still laugh when I think of Mr. Spock’s pointy ears or the blue nymph giggling the name Dr. Smith as she floats outside the spaceship…..oh wait the blue nymph was from an episode of the T.V. Show Lost in Space…I always mix those two!

Anyway, back to my point….maybe some of the Treckies have it right when they challenge us to carve new paths and boldly go, but I often wondered if we really needed to go to outer space in order to have an adventure? Honestly, I feel that going “where no man has gone before” was a little to daring for me. I mean other people have gone places I’ve never been, so can’t I just boldly go where Judy has never been and achieve the same effect? [click to continue reading …]

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BLOGGERS, THOUGHT LEADERS & INFLUENCERSThis is as much a note to myself as a call to my fellow bloggers, speakers and influencers…

IT’s TIME TO STEP UP
IT’s TIME TO LEAD

As someone with a following that shares stories to inspire, support and educate I can’t help but feel that in some way I’ve failed my readers and the online community as a whole. OK maybe not failed, but certainly missed an opportunity with regard to social media. In fact I know I’m not alone.

The point I’m making isn’t with regard to a particular message, way of doing business or even a certain level of success, it’s about the fact that we as a group, the bloggers, thought leaders and influencers, haven’t done a good job of making our platforms a safe and welcoming place to interact. You may say that’s not our job, but I challenge you and wonder who’s responsibility is it if not ours? Aren’t we the people who pave the way, create change and educate on that very playground?

Our lives are impacted so strongly by social media that we as leaders of that community have a certain responsibility to it and the people who frequent it. Together, because of our vast reach, we can absolutely make an impact and should do just that. We can provide lasting change where it matters most – in the daily lives of our communities and by the nature of what we do have an obligation to step up.

The Problem As I See It:

In a day where technology rules, gratification is instantaneous and communication is hit or miss surfing has become more than obtaining information, it’s become a way of life. It’s expanded our circles and allowed us to meet and connect with so many more people than ever before, but sadly many people feel lonelier and more disconnected than ever. People are hungry for connection and inspiration and now frequent the internet because it’s easier and less of a hassle than going out on the town.  From internet dating to connecting with family and friends it’s a whole new kind of social life. And we as the “gate-keepers” provide the playground with our blog posts, social media shares and community conversations.  We have built the place for them to come, but forgot one important component. We never provided the rules or guidelines. The problem isn’t that people are seeking connection through social media but that they have no experience to draw from and they don’t know what to expect.

Much like high school without the teachers, counselors or principal, you have the cool kids, the victims, the burn outs, the introverts and the band geeks  all who want to be king of the castle. There are no boundaries, no standards of conduct or dress codes and the result is disappointment, unfulfilled expectations and feelings of betrayal, exclusion and anger. Couple that with the illusion that everyone has a perfect life, perfect children and perfect relationships and you have a recipe for loneliness, depression and judgment.

Social media has left our kids believing that if things aren’t perfect they are flawed or something is wrong with them, it’s left our parents feeling disconnected and invaluable because they can’t keep up with the latest platform and given bullying the perfect hiding place. As a society we have never been more stressed out, depressed and unhappy, we have lost our sense of community and even become our own worst enemies.

Consider this: According to the Associated Press researchers found the rate for suicide increased 2.4 percent in 2014. This is the highest it’s been in more than 25 years and even though we are more connected than ever before our quality of life is steadily decreasing.  We need to shift the tide and create real interaction and connection because that is what people want and need. We need to be true leaders and lead by example. I believe someone needs to step up and clean up the mess before it festers and if not those who create and maintain the space then who?

So to those of us that choose to be the story tellers, the thought leaders and the connectors, I say it’s time to

STEP UP AND LEAD

Here’ how to Become The Solution and Help Bring Our Society Together Through Social Media Using These 3 Simple Steps:

[click to continue reading …]

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CANAs the cough lingers I can say that this years spring cold is one for the record books. It started as they always do, that unmistakable tickle in the back of your throat that makes you go hmmm…but here it is almost 3 weeks later and I’m still not 100%. Without going into the gory details, I’ve been making a dent in “my spot” on our couch buried in Kleenex and enough medicine to take down a baby elephant literally coughing up my left lung for far too long. Over the years I’ve heard that somewhere research is going on looking for the cure for the common cold, but I will say once again the cure is not coming soon enough for this gal.

So like any resourceful military spouse, after almost 2 weeks and multiple ineffective doctor appointments I decided to take matters into my own hands and took to the internet. You may not think of technology as a cure for the common cold but these Tech Remedies made all the difference for me and hopefully you can use these Apps and info the next time you are looking for a cure for the common cold. [Ok maybe not an actual cure, but they definitely help lessen the misery that is the common cold :)] [click to continue reading …]

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May is Military Appreciation Month. It’s the month where we honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and it’s  a time to reflect and think about the impact our community has on the world.

For me when I think about this, I can’t help but notice the military children and the impact they are making. It’s Katie who won the battle with a rare form of cancer and now shares her story, Geoffrey who turned his battle with depression into an organization that empowers and the countless number of milkids who follow their parents footsteps choosing to serve our country. And then there is my daughter Heather who showed incredible resilience and strength and is now making huge strides in cancer research.

Our first duty station was a culture shock especially for Heather. She was a Junior and the school just wasn’t her cup of tea. Instead of passing the time in a place that didn’t suit her, she carved a new path for herself, doubling up and taking night classes she graduated high school and started college a year early.

She was passionate and driven in a way that not many are setting her sights on cancer research. My daughter had seen what cancer can do when my father lost his battle after a 4 year fight. It was as if those events lit a fire that causing her to find new roads as a military dependent. Now 5 years later, a graduate in cell & molecular biology, she manages the entire cancer research facility at TTU where cutting edge treatments are being tested and cures are found.

Military children learn from early on skills like resilience, hard work and determination. They know that sometimes you have to work for a cause and a mission that is so much bigger than we are as individuals. And  Heather does that day in and day out. She chose to take a situation that didn’t serve her and turn it into an opportunity, which is something our community does on a regular basis. And she is not alone. [click to continue reading …]

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