Please welcome this weeks WOW, Lynn. I have known and admired Lynn for over 40 years. We went to high school together and I was always so impressed with who she was, how genuine and kind she was and I thought she was so strong at a time in life when so many young people are struggling with knowing who they were. Please join me in celebrating her today and appreciate the honesty in her story. When I ask the women in my focus group to do these interviews, it requires some of them to step way outside their comfort zone and many don't understand the impact that their stories and wisdom hold. I am in awe of them all for the lives they live, the stories they hold in their hearts and their willingness to trust me to share all of this with the world outside the safety of our group.
1: If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?
"BE THE REASON SOMEONE SMILES" I believe any big or small gesture of love, praise, kindness or time, can make a difference in another's life either in the moment, their day or possibly their lives. Your own life will grow in joy and purpose the more you show love in action.
2: In the last five years what have you become better at saying no to?
I'm becoming better at saying, "no," to my, "no's." In the past if something was asked of me that I felt was entirely out of my comfort level, I wouldn't hesitate or find excuses to say no. I've been working on taking fear and self doubt out of the equation and learning to tell myself, "I can or should do this." Trust me, it doesn't work every time! :))
3: What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the "real world"?
When the paychecks start rolling in and you suddenly feel rich, don't start living beyond your means. Live frugally for a few years and start saving for a house, contribute or open a retirement account and start making monthly payments for any student loans you might have. You will be so much further ahead in the long run and have something to show for your hard work and sacrifice, versus, shiny new things that become dull overtime.
4: What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you've ever made? (it doesn't need be financial in nature)
My family, friends and faith. I would be poor in spirit without any one of them. My investment in them has enriched my life greatly.
5: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
By staying in consistent relationship with God. I do this with prayer, praise, bible study, volunteering in church, and community. Respecting all of God's creations, forgiving, asking for forgiveness, kindness, and humility. I truly believe ones time, talent and treasure should be shared with others. I have always been a Christian believer but my faith journey was much closer to the starting line than the finish line. Through my actions of participating more consciously in my relationship with God, I have more hope, peace, love and joy in my life.
6: How has a failure, or apparent failure set you up for later success? Do you have a favorite failure of yours?
My never ending attempts at weight loss. I come close to achieving my goal, then suddenly, sabotage rears it's ugly head. Each failure has given me insight about my self, my triggers, my knowledge of good and bad nutrition, new ways to cook, new foods I have never heard of or tasted, so in that respect, it's not just lbs. I'm gaining!!:)) I've recently changed my priority for shedding extra weight, health before vanity, maybe this will fool the saboteur in me.
7: What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months or in recent memory?
A foam roller. It has helped me and my husband find relief with the aches and pains in our backs and hips.
8: When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
What I do is determined by the situation that is causing these issues. One I have always been predictable for doing is going straight to the junky/comfort foods in our house and if not desirable enough, drive to the nearest fast food drive thru. Other things I do if feeling deeply burdened by life, is to write a letter to God, take a quiet walk with my thoughts, swim laps in our pool (season permitting) until I feel a calm come over me, there's just something with me and water, or I talk with my husband about it. Sometimes all of the above in the same day!
9: What is the book (or books) you've given most as a gift and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influence your life?
I love books, one of my favorite places to be is a library or bookstore. Three years ago, I joined a book club, we are called the, Chic-lits. Many books over the years have influenced, educated, brought me to tears or laughter. What are they you ask? Fiction, non fiction, biographies and self help books from gardening, parenting, cooking, dieting, relationships, spirituality and more, but as I write this, no one particular book or name stands out to me, sorry! I do however, have an answer to, "books I've given," only because it's been more recent. I have given those artistic adult coloring books more than once, along with a big box of colored pencils and a sharpener to my mother, 87 yrs. old, my mother in law, 82 yrs. old, and my friend who will be 90 yrs. old next month. All three of them, quite often, show me their coloring masterpieces!:))
10: What is one piece of advice you would give to a woman that you wish you knew earlier in life
Try to consciously define your own identity to yourself such as; your likes, dislikes, morals, values, goals. Without those you may find yourself wrapped up into some one else's and wonder how you got so off track.
11: What do you think about the theory of "the love of your life", what does that phrase me to you?
I think that phrase has always been connected in more of the romantic sense. I believed in that theory for many years. My first love came at twelve, we eventually married when we were twenty one. We divorced twelve years and two daughters later, quite shockingly to me. It took a lot of healing over the years to realize he didn't need to be the only love I could have, I could have better. I met someone, opened my heart and eventually married. We will be celebrating our nineteenth wedding anniversary this November. Love is all around us, we just need to be willing to accept and give love back and enjoy the unpredictable ride love can be.
12: What is something that you would find most helpful in your life right now? (what would be the best problem solved for you)
If I found a Genie in bottle I would wish for him/her to have the answers to curing all cancers. My grandson Anthony just finished 3 1/2 years of grueling pain for the treatment of Leukemia. My prayers are for him to stay in remission and my hope is that his and all other cancers will be eradicated sooner than later by endless resources of money, knowledge and dedication to finding the cure. Of course there is endless problems to be solved in this world and I pray for those too, daily, but selfishly, I found the Genie and at this time in my life this is what most haunts me.
Thank you Lynn for sharing your story and your dreams.
Check back next week for the next WOW and her story.