Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I'm letting my breath out.

This is the time of year where all of us at Community Partners of Dallas breathe a sigh of relief.

And no, it's not because our bi-annual board retreat was held last night (although that is a load off my mind as well).  The board retreat was great!

NOTE:  Who knew one of our board member's first job was making pinatas and another made cold calls to people to sell burial plots?  Love our board!

We are relieved that kids are back in school, because for most abused and neglected kids being in school is safer than being at home.

When kids are in school a teacher is watching over them.  She sees that Nathan is limping a little.  That Jessica's clothes are dirty.  That Cruz is spending a lot of time acting out sexually.

And that teacher, nurse, counselor, principal will call in a report to CPS.  That's why I'm letting my breath out.

NOTE:  You can call in a report of child abuse in Texas 24 hours a day to 1-800-252-5400.  You are required by law to do so -- even if you just suspect it.

Thank you to the hundreds of you who donated to our Back-to-School Drive at CPD -- because of you, more than 2,600 children in Dallas County received the supplies and uniforms to go back to school and feel safe.  We're still receiving supplies -- I see the Wisteria Catalog truck pulling up now -- so keep dropping off supplies at The Container Store until August 31st and at our offices at 1215 Skiles Street in September. 

We'll keep receiving them as long as you'll keep giving.  The kids are relying on it.

And I like breathing easier too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Al Turns 60 Today

It's my friend Al Roker's birthday today and he's turned the big 6-0.

I love Al.  I've been watching The Today Show for 25 years or so and Al has always been my favorite.  I love him fat, thin, weather-man-ing, shooting the breeze-ing, in a suit or in a Halloween costume.

Here's our pic with Tamron Hall:

NOTE:  I will never be lured away from CPD by one of the tech giants due to my photo shopping skills.  Giada De Laurentiis had to move over to let me be in the shot.  Sorry, kid.

Anyway, whether or not you watch The Today Show, I know that you will like Al's list of "Six Lessons for Six Decades" from this morning.

Family comes first“The thing that's got to be most important to you has got to be your family. And whatever you do, that's got to be your guiding principle. (It’s important) they know that I love them, that they matter the most to me, above all else, and that, even if I'm not there, they are still present and I am still present.”

Health matters“When it comes to your health, you — and especially guys — I think we put that on the back burner. You wouldn’t reschedule your kids’ pediatrician appointment; why would you cheat yourself on that workout?”

Find a rewarding hobby“I think you need to have something that relaxes you and takes you away from what you normally do. I like providing meals for my family. ... To physically make something and put it on a plate and here you go, is nice.”

Learn to laugh at yourself “If you can’t laugh at yourself, trust me, there are plenty of people who will. I don’t think anyone is ever going to look and say, ‘Hey look, Denzel Washington! Did he shave his head?’ That’s not going to happen. And I’m comfortable with that. I think that's a much better place to be than saying, ‘Aren’t I fantastic?’”

You don’t have to retire “My dad retired at 55. And the reason he retired was he wasn't enjoying what he was doing anymore. I love what I do.”

Never stop learning“If you’re not learning and you’re not learning new things, you're dead. We're built to continue to learn, and if you continue to use that muscle that is the brain, it only gets better.”

Keep working Al -- you're an inspiration!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Do You Believe This?

I was on vacation last week.

What a blessing it was to be able to get away for a few days and visit Napa Valley, California, with my friend Jill and -- thanks to Jill -- we were there to attend a fantastic charity weekend --The 16th Annual V Foundation Wine Celebration.

The V Foundation was started to raise funds for cancer research and it does so in the memory of Jimmy Valvano.  One of his most famous quotes was "Don't give up, don't ever give up."

If you are like me (and you probably are if you are reading my blog), you may not have heard of Jimmy V.  Jimmy was the head basketball coach at North Carolina State University and his team won the NCAA finals against very long odds in 1983.  He was an inspirational leader and died from cancer just 5 weeks after he gave this 11 minute speech when he won the Arthur Ashe award at the ESPYs.  Do yourself a favor and watch it now.

His advice to do three things every day is revelatory:
  1. Laugh
  2. Think
  3. Cry
I really believe that this world would be a different place if each one of us did these things every day.  So much of our lives is spent in motion -- just working to get to the next day -- not stopping to think or feel life.  Just this morning, I woke up and thought about all the things I have to do today and said to myself, well this time tomorrow this day will be over -- whew.

Now, is that a good way to start the day?  I can do better.  So can you.

And if you need help with your three things today, watch the speech again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Couple of Quotes

You guys know I love quotes.  I've written about some of them before -- you can search this blog to read a few.

And since I love quotes, I'm sure that you do too. 

NOTE:  Not sure why that follows, but you are living in my world now, people.  Or at least you live in the recesses of my brain.

And since it's a special week, I'm giving you a gift of my love -- not just one quote, but two!

I learned this quote just a few months ago while I was doing my online course with Brene Brown through Oprah.  It is by Howard Thurman.

Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

I love the Thurman quote so much I painted a picture in my journal and wrote it over the top.  I use it as my cell phone wallpaper too.  Here it is.

NOTE:  You didn't know that I was an artist, did you?  Neither did I until I took Brene's course.  I will add that my talented friend Camille Warmington has nothing to worry about -- I'm keeping my day job.

My second favorite quote (and I tell people this one all the time) was on a sign in my friend Jane Browning's kitchen.  Before Jane passed away, we played bridge at her home every Saturday, so I got to see it a lot and it always cracked me up.

Money can't buy happiness, but it sure keeps the kids in touch.

Ain't that the truth?  Have a great day, friends!