Friday, January 22, 2010

Quotes and Notes: Regrets and Resiliency

Over the holidays, my daughter, Sandra, came home from her first semester at college and we shared many precious moments together. We experienced the Blizzard of 2009 and found time to reconnect and do some sledding as you can see in the attached picture.

At night, we often shared space on the couch in the family room. During this quiet time, I was often curled up with a book while she was busy interacting on Facebook. I noticed her fascination with quotes and on breaks, we would often discuss those she found most meaningful.

Since I also enjoy quotes, I suggested that we keep in touch when she returned to college, with both quotes and notes via email. In the last couple of weeks, we have been exchanging emails and staying connected on a regular basis which is comforting to both of us.

Yesterday, was a challenging day for me and it was tough on many levels. You know how you can be on top of your game, feel like you are making real progress, and suddenly hear some disappointing news. Suddenly, you are not so sure and your confidence erodes. Your sleep can be disrupted and the day following is less productive than days gone by. Well, I know, first hand how this can be, since yesterday and today played out very much as described.

Today, I waited as an automated message played over and over for more than 10 minutes. I tried to be patient as I waited to be connected to a live person. When it was answered, I encountered a rude customer service representative who ultimately hung up on me before answering my question. My response was less than exemplary. My calm disolved and my anger erupted as I demanded to be connected with her supervisor. I fussed and fumed and felt my tension barometer going up as the minutes passed. I had failed miserably once again!

As I sat down at the computer, to check on messages, I realized that my daughter had sent me a special quote and note.

Suddenly, my afternoon was brighter, my mood was better and I rebounded with renewed enthusiasm. It encouraged me to write back. This is what I said:

Dear Sandra,

Thank you for sharing your love, quote and note with me. Here is the quote that came to mind, as I thought about the fine young woman you have become and the path you are on.

"As we grow older, it's not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do." Author Unknown

I have been thinking about love, regrets, results, and resiliency. I think we grow most, by stretching ourselves and pursuing what we love! In reaching for the goal, we may succeed or stumble. In the long run, I realize that we succeed even when fail. The lesson is visible and can be applied to even greater success. When we get back up and apply the lesson learned, we win. Our growth is stunted when we fail to apply the lesson and fail to try new things that make our heart sing.

"Today, Dare to Dream, Work to Win, Take a Risk, Always Reach Out in Love and Your Wishes Will Come True."


As I finished writing her back, I realized that receiving and sending these quotes and notes, were helping me to bounce back with renewed energy and commitment. When I was connecting, giving back, providing support, and sharing lessons learned, I became optimistic and resilient once again. Sure, I had my regrets, I had slipped and fell and I did not reach out in love to the customer service rep, but with with this simple connection to my daughter, I jumped back up and vowed to try again to do better next time.

If I can bounce back, I know you can too! What practice can you put into place to help you stay connected, inspired and on track when life throws you a curve?

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