Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hurricane Relief

Sure, it’s easier just to pray for the panhandle or send money down there, but doing something and knowing you truly made a difference is better.  That’s my opinion. 

We had our house up for sale for a brief moment, and we looked at several houses in Panama City. All along I said, if it were meant to be, it would sell fast and we would find our perfect new forever home. As you can tell, things didn’t happen that way, we decided to postpone the move for a bit, then Hurricane Micheal happened! Our favorite house in PC was in the worse area hit, the eye of the storm.Thank goodness someone was looking out for us! So you see, not only is this area our favorite, but we could have been there. We could have been two of the victims of this storm.

So many people lost everything. Florida, lost a whole town. A Cape was turned into an Island. Families have been displaced, numerous people lost their jobs, and children lost their schools.

It could be easy to go about my life and ignore these facts, but I can’t! 
With the help of my friends, my cry for donations was met and exceeded! Soon, after the storm I flew two suitcases full of donations to a man I never had met. (Still haven’t) He worked at the Panama City Airport and lost everything. I was also able to give his supervisor, who also lost a home, and another girl $50 each, to purchase some necessities. I had so much stuff, I was able to help 9 medical workers, 2 Baker County residents and a new mother in Albany.
Still, with so much still left over, I was worried it would still take us two trips to get all the donations we had, to the Gulf Coast. My husband saved the day and rented a u-haul! 
Off to Florida we went! We got up at 4 am, had our coffee and was on the road by 5

My brother questioned why I was doing this, my answer was, “because I CAN!” My question to him should have been, “why not”? Lucky for me, my husband has got used to my shenanigans, and he is willing to help!

I had a list of people and the specific needs they had, and I organized the truck, with those stops in mind. The first stop was to be for a lady and her daughter. Her daughter is pregnant and she is disabled. I was taking a good bit of stuff to them, but she didn’t answer her phone and we had to skip her. The next person was this really nice mom and her two kids. She was living in a tent beside her torn up trailer. She asked for clothes and blankets for her kids. I said, “surely there is something more”. She said it would be nice to have some toys to occupy their time when they have to stay in the tent, because of rain. She told me what they liked and off I went to target with the donated gift certificates to get clothes and toys! They thought we were Santa when we pulled that trailer through all the debris into their trailer park!

What you can’t phantom until you see it, is these people and their pride. This lady was standing on a dirt road with trash, debris and mangled trailers all around her, she was listening to praise music and brushing her daughters hair for church, beside the TENT that they were living in! She didn’t want to ask for help! She was doing all she could to be normal in a horrible situation! So often we put off going to church, we say we are too busy. She asked me if we attended a church. I said yes. Truth is, I need to take a look at Lena, living in hell, with no hope of this getting better, she took the time! She can’t take a shower, but she can go praise Jesus! Her daughter is into to some tv show called, Jojo. Little did I know Jojo is the hottest toy of the season and is all over the shelves of Target! Anyway, I was joking about Jojo and Lena said, Jojo is a good kids role model, she makes little girls believe they can do anything! Well......yes we can! Because of all my woman friends, we were able to help a whole lot of people!!

Thank you to everyone who supported me with the donations and helped me collect. It meant a lot to the people of Panama City, particularly Callaway, Parker and Fountain.

Thank especially to my husband who never questions my crazy ideas and helps me when those small ideas, become mountains!!

Update, we bought our dream home on the bay and closed on it in January. Our plan is to move in about 12-24 months. We love that area and can't wait to help it to re-build and be better than ever! #850STRONG

2019- Goal Setting

I have been thinking about goal setting a lot lately. Do you set goals for yourself? I remember the first time I set a goal or a vision, right now it seems a little superficial, but it was the beginning for me. I will go way back to explain where the vision came from:

When I was in high school, my best friend and I always said, "When we turn 40, we will get a convertible Mercedes." I know back then what that really meant, was...when we turn 40 we will have our husbands purchase these awesome cars for us! Well, fast forward to when I was 40- I didn't have a husband or a significant other in my life that would purchase a matchbox car for me, let alone a Mercedes convertible. If it was meant to be, it would be me purchasing it for myself. Which as fate has it, was the best thing I ever could do! I started doing my research and switched gears- my dream car didn't have a back seat to tote my high school daughter and her friends around, so I needed a different convertible car. I talked to my local BMW mechanic, in a bar and he advised me against the BMW, so I decided on a Volvo. Well I needed to save and find the right one in my price range, plus I was picky about what color I wanted. I put the picture of this car, in my garage. Every time I drove in the garage, I visualized the car I wanted. Finally, I saved up and found the car in Chattanooga and drove up there to purchase it and pick it up. So, I ended up with the car I wanted, it may have taken a while to get- but with my goal set, I was laser focused and able to accomplish the vision. Side-note- the local BMW mechanic became my fabulous husband, sold my Volvo and put me in a "convertible Jeep Wrangler".

The second experience I had with setting goals and getting a vision, came after I read the book "The Passion Test". I was sitting on the beach in San Juan for my 41st birthday (I think it was), reading it and making my passion list. Basically it is making a list based on your passions of how you want your life to turn out.
Birthday trip to San Juan 2006
Some of the items on that list was:
1.  Make a happy, comfortable home for my kids to want to come home to, after they go away to college.
3. Be in a relationship with someone who is honest, fun, respectful and supportive of me.
2. Be with a man that loves my kids, will love my grand kids and be an influence on their lives.
3. Expand my business ( I owned the travel agency at the time)
4. Find a way to help others, especially women
5. Travel and share that love with my girls.
6. Be an influence on others
7. Re-connect with my roots and my old friends
8. Spend periodical time alone growing and getting to know myself
9. Continue my close relationship with my sister and our "Sister time"
At the time I was making this list, I looked over and knew the person that I was with was NOT the person that could support any of these items on the list. It was a wake up call for me. We broke up and I went out with the above noted BMW mechanic. On our very first date I shared this list with him. I let him know this was my goal in life and it was where I was at the moment, working on these goals. He was real quick to be supportive of ALL those goals! Even when it meant, starting the Pink Suitcase Sisters and traveling without him.

Ever since then, goals, dreams, visions, and my passion list has become important to me. Every year at this time, I sit down and visualize what I want to accomplish for the year and where I want to end up, things I wish to do, and things I need to purchase. You can also do this with a vision board, to look at throughout the year to remind you of those goals. I keep mine in the laundry room and go over it while folding clothes.

The thing about goal setting is you have to make the goal attainable. When my goal was to get healthy and to lose weight. I was specific (lose 10 pounds), I set a date (March 1st, after my anniversary trip Feb 24th) and I made it attainable by setting the goal at losing only 10 pounds. I actually ended up losing 29 AND getting off my RA meds, so the goal was surpassed by a bunch! It is so important to write down your passions. From there, you can make them into goals you set for yourself.

My husband and I share goals and work on some of them together. The one right now goes back to number one on my Passion List- My kids and grand kids are my passion, and to have a happy, comfortable, fun home for them to visit, is at the top of my list.
This month we will be purchasing that home and fixing it to be just that! It also checks off some other bucket list items- to be on the water and to live in Florida. Plus, with this house we are able to keep our Marietta house and continue to be here for my Mom. Life is good!!

Mark Twain said it best! "Without Dreams and Goals, there is no living, merely existing, and that is not why we are here!"
Make 2019 your best yet!!