Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. It’s hard to believe we are at in the last day of 2021. I am in South Georgia with my mother, celebrating her New Year’s Eve birthday. If you plan to celebrate tonight, be safe and have a Happy New Year!
Quote of the week: “The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” –J.P. Morgan
Song of the week: My family listens to music from many genres. We came across Regina Spektor’s recording of the song “My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year).” It is soothing and expresses the sentiment of wishing others a Happy New Year. I hope you like it.
Joke of the week: My New Year’s resolution is to stop procrastinating. But I’ll wait until tomorrow to start.
Nugget of Wisdom for the week: For the nugget portion of this week’s blog, my colleagues Sandy Pricer and Debra Hicks are joining me to share things we’ve learned in 2021.
Sandy Pricer is RiseUP Cooperative’s co-founder and director. She shares: As I review this past year and what led me to where I am today, two very important themes come to mind: hard things I accomplished, and the people or books that inspired me to get there. Nothing that is worth having or doing is fast or easy. Success doesn’t come without trial and error. The clean, neat, happy pictures you see on social media are only fleeting snapshots between the ugly, hard, scary, and uncertain moments of life. No one ever said that life would be easy or that success would be guaranteed. But if we are able to learn how to fail forward—how to learn from our mistakes and letdowns and not let those negative times turn us negative, but help build us up—then we have mastered one of the most important life skills we can ever learn. Here are several books I highly recommend:
• Pound the Stone by Joshua Medcalf
• Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
• Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
• Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
• Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang
Debra Hicks, who joined RiseUP as blog manager this summer, says: In 2021, after reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I’ve made an extra effort to create time every single day for an activity that I enjoy. And I’ve been drawn to people who develop new skills and pursue their passions. This year I got to see three of my friends “work their magic” in settings where I’d not yet had an opportunity to see them shine. One is a homeschooling mom who is also chairwoman of her city planning commission. When I attended a meeting about a nearby zoning request, I admired her ability to expertly handle each item of business. (Also, I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to see her bang the gavel and watch every adult in the room snap to attention!) Another friend, who volunteers with me at our local library, is a soft-spoken woman who likes to work behind the scenes. I had the opportunity to help with setup at an event she planned recently, and she took charge with absolute confidence. The rented room soon looked so amazing that the venue and catering staff were loudly expressing their admiration! My third friend is a nurse educator who is dearly loved by her students and coworkers. I got to see her more creative side when she took senior portraits for my son and his friend. Not only was she a master at picking a great location and capturing perfect lighting, but she also helped the teens find poses that felt natural and made them look their best. When we viewed the finished portraits, I was amazed how she’d been able to capture so many different sides of my son’s personality in just a short window of time. The takeaway? Whether it’s a job or a hobby or a volunteer position, make time to do what you love! It spreads the very best kind of magic.
Inspiring blogger Marion Rhines adds: I just want to say it has been a thrill to share a little something with you every week. 2021 has been a year that’s taught me many things. Firstly, no matter if you have good intentions, sometimes you take on a task that wasn’t meant for you. It leads to stress and potential hard feelings from the individual who should have taken on said task. Letting go of the situation leads to instant relief and resets the direction things were meant to go. Secondly, don’t let fear of failure keep you from trying something new. I pushed myself in three primary areas this year. Though I was scared to death a few times, I achieved positive results. Don’t get me wrong; I failed, too. But the feeling of meeting those challenges head-on and overcoming them…well, it’s a great feeling. Thirdly, 2021 has taught me to never give up on my dreams, no matter what they are or what others think about them. I have two signs hanging over my desk area at home. One says, “Dream big…you’ll grow into them.” The other one says, “Believe and you’re halfway there.” One of the ways I know I can achieve something is if I can “see” myself doing that thing. I haven’t won the lottery yet, but that’s one thing I know is not meant for me to do. However, when I see myself drafting books that I know will have influence on others…I achieved that goal. Lastly, walk circumspectly. By that, I mean always look around you for opportunities to make a difference and do good deeds. If we spend time thinking more of others, we think less about ourselves. We are important, don’t get me wrong, but when I spend time deliberately doing for others, what I think I need changes dramatically. Happy New Year!
Podcasts will return next Friday! Have a great week. Remember, you are most awesome and YOU ROCK!
Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of al