Claim Your Age

At my Toastmasters meeting this morning, my Table Topics challenge (when we respond on the spot to a question or situation) was: “What were you doing in 1954?” My brain clicked backwards, until I reached that year and saw myself as a young girl. “Well, I was in the 6th grade in Michigan,” I began. As I looked at the …

Too Many Losses

The past couple weeks have been full of losses, both intimate and from afar. The US Navy’s Blue Angel flight team “lives” here in Pensacola. While practicing for a show in Georgia, one of the solo pilots did a maneuver which went awry, and he crashed into the ground, killing himself. The Blues are the best of the best, chosen …

Life is so fragile

Yesterday afternoon one of the Blue Angels crashed to the ground and died. One minute, he was among the world’s elite fliers – strong, capable, admired – then suddenly he was dead. It stunned the community here in Pensacola where the team is based. We love the Blues and what they represent. What happens to them affects us all. My …

Achieving the Goal

This morning, I completed the last of ten speaking projects required for Advanced Toastmaster Silver. I’m embarrassed to say just how long it has been since I finished #9…and how “blocked” I have felt over the final presentation and what to do for it. I’d drag out the manual now and then, look at the directions, draw a blank, then …

Wise Women Keep Learning

Saturday, April 30, I was fortunate to be keynote speaker at a woman’s conference. The theme was “Wise Women Keep Learning,” which we all did. My first session was on “Women’s Wisdom,” and I engaged everyone in discussions at their tables. There were about 75 women, so there was a lot of input. Question #1 was: “What do you wish …

A Mother Forever

Can you ever stop being a mother? Is there a time in life when you say, “You’re all grown up, you don’t need me any more”? No, I’m finding out. Our son will be officially retired from the navy as of May  1. He arrived here Saturday evening from Japan and we are treasuring his company. Both my husband and …

Self-esteem: where does it come from?

Self-esteem: where does it come from? The first primary source of self-esteem is your family. Parents contribute mightily to a child’s sense of self and worth. They can continue to have an impact throughout your life. However, we all know women who had terrible parents, yet turned into decent adults anyway. Other people affect our self-esteem, too, such as teachers, …

Self-esteem is essential to life

As a young woman in college, I was required to take speech class which I put off until my senior year. The first day, we sat in a circle and went around, with each student saying his or her name. Panic overtook me, and when it was my turn, I was in tears. And now? I’m an educator and speaker …

Women’s wisdom: How can we grow it?

I had the pleasure of meeting with Trinity Presbyterian Church’s women on their retreat two weeks ago. They invited me to lead a session on “Women’s Wisdom” on Friday evening. There was a lot of interaction. One of the questions I asked was: What have you learned over the years that you’d like to share with a younger woman? What …

Complaining?

“I gave up complaining for Lent. It’s really hard!” I overheard a woman say a couple days ago. Then I started listening to other people, too, and heard all kinds of complaints about: their boss, spouse, kids, Democrats/Republicans, the President, the mayor, their weight, etc. Then I listened for “solutions-oriented” comments. Few to none. I decided to take the challenge …