Emulate Your Example

“When you get, give.
When you learn, teach.”
 Maya Angelou

I received an email from a friend, with these words of wisdom for the coming year:

“For each of us, eventually, whether we are ready or not, someday, it will come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame, and temporal power, will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned, or owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear. So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists, will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from or on what side of the tracks you lived at the end. It won’t matter if you are beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So, what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built. Not what you got, but what you gave. What will matter is not your success, but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.”

 Shine On

Reboot Button

“I realized for the first time in my life:
there is nothing but mystery in the world,
how it hides behind the fabric of our poor,
browbeat days shining brightly,
and we don’t know it.”
Sue Monk Kidd

We’ve all overcome so much, and instead of dwelling on 2020, let’s reflect on what we can carry forward into 2021. I believe that reflecting on the past helps us to reshape our future.

The top ten takeaways froM 2020

10.      We are not in control of our lives. If you’re a control freak, this was a challenging past year. We’ve learned to become more malleable about life.

  9.      Experiences in our lives were redesigned. We became creative using Zoom and other means to stay connected. This allowed us more time to reflect on ourselves and our lives and what we want and need to accomplish.

  8.      Friendships and relationships. We became more aware of the strong and weak relationships in our lives.  The deeper and more intimate long-term relationships grew stronger and richer.

  7.      Family dynamics. Home schooling and working from home changed how we interacted. Some couples who had been separated by work because one of them traveled or worked long hours were thrust into discussing their problems in their relationships. This forced people to work-out their problems or come to the realization that their relationships were over.

6.        Our pets were the ultimate winners in 2020. We interacted more with them, petted them more and loved on them more.  In a sense, they became our “emotional support” animals.

 5.       Self-care became a priority. So many never had time or just kept putting off time for themselves. We came to the realization, if we are always running on empty and don’t take time and care for ourselves, it can affect us not only emotionally but physically. Getting in touch with our needs. Going for a short walk. Taking a relaxing bath. Shutting off the news for a few days. These small things can make a big difference in our quality of life.

 4.       The law of attraction. I’m not referring to sexual attraction. This law of attraction has to do with your attitude and outlook. If you’re negative, complaining and angry, chances are that’s what you’re going to receive from others. If you want kindness, love and good things in your life, you have to put out that energy.

 3.       Gratitude for what’s good. There are many little things in life to be grateful about. Be thankful you are not sitting in hours of traffic every day, now that you are working from home. Taking the time each day to thank people in your family, tribe or community. Nothing puts a smile on someone’s face as a simple thank you.

 2.       Offering grace to others. Millions of people went without this past year, died alone, suffered, lost loved ones. Listening and not talking when someone is sharing their hardships. Tom Hanks has a great acronym I try to live by: “WAIT” which stands for, why am I talking?

 1.       Never stop learning. We had more time in 2020 to read, learn a new skill, watch new content and even learn how to cook. We grew emotionally, intellectually and physically.

As we reset to live joyful, purposeful and intent-driven lives, let’s learn from our past and just hit that reboot button.

 Shine On

Birthday Celebration

“Life should be lived with a smile on your face
and no one does a better job
of putting one on my face than you.”
Happy Birthday!

Shortly after our Thanksgiving dinner together, I asked my son what his plans were for his upcoming birthday. He planned to spend his birthday with his girlfriend and wanted to spend the following day with me to celebrate.

In a normal year, I would take my son out for a birthday dinner at his favorite restaurant. Unfortunately, most of the restaurants have closed due to the pandemic. I offered to cook and bake whatever his heart desired.

He had never had Beef Wellington nor my famous family recipe of noodle kugel.  He also wanted me to make his favorite dessert I make, Chocolate Mousse. So, with that request, having never made Beef Wellington before, I had time to learn how to make this classic traditional English comfort food.

I spent hours watching YouTube videos of dozens of chefs from around the World share their techniques for Beef Wellington. Taking notes and making a long list of ingredients required, I spent one day just shopping at a half a dozen stores for all the ingredients for my son’s special birthday dinner.

The recipe I ended up using was Gordon Ramsay’s, which seemed to be the most popular among Michelin star chefs. The few changes I made to Ramsay’s recipe is, refrigerating the prepared beef tenderloin a day before rolling it up in the puff pastry. I also cooked it almost 40 minutes because the tenderloin I had bought was 2.5 pounds and required more time in the oven.

Here are some photos from my son’s birthday celebration:

Shine On