Year of Awesome 3.0

Tower of Pisa

Year of Awesome 2.0 is now history. It was a bit of a roller coaster at times, but what would a Year of Awesome be if there weren’t a few dips and turns and maybe even a loop-the-loop or two.

Today I begin Year of Awesome 3.0 because, well, that’s what I’m gonna do! There is so much magnificence in the world, my desire is to try and capture it daily. It’s not an easy task, but it’s a challenge I will continue to pursue.

BabyGirl took that photo of me when we were in Pisa, Italy. You can’t go there and not take such a goofy photo. I think she did a great job considering she had to deal with glare and reflection from the iPhone. Going to Italy with her was truly one of the highlights of last year. Looking back on the year, I can see the big picture much better. And I do have to say it was pretty awesome.

I had wonderful experiences – speaking at conferences and universities, visiting with friends, seeing BabyGirl excel and continue to work hard toward her goals, laughing (but not quite enough), learning, making new friends and saying goodbye to one. I was open and honest about a family tragedy and blown away by the love and support that enveloped me. For over a week I lived in a world of fairies, pixie dust, pirates, mice and manifestations of amazing imaginations – Disney World. Then there was meeting the encouraging and insightful Marianne Williamson and Dr. Robert Holden. And I capped off the year with a trip to Italy. One that I will forever hold dear to me.

But the year was not without challenge. The fear of losing my grandmother weighed heavily several times. But at 91 she’s not ready to go. She’s got more living to do. Despite her setbacks she came out fighting, not yet ready to give up. I have a lot to learn from her.

As I enter my 44th year, I know the stories that will be told and experienced this year will be as magnificent as I allow. I choose to surround myself only with people who will lift me up and bring a smile to my face. The saying that “Life’s Too Short” may be cliche but it’s true. Whether it’s 95 years or just a few, we’ll never ask for another day so we can be beaten down.

My motto this year is Live Fierce! Not just for me, but to elevate those around me to do so too. Why settle for ordinary when extraordinary is possible?

You don’t have to wait until your birthday to start your Year of Awesome, start it today! Live Fierce with me.

So, what are you waiting for? What’s the BEST that can happen?

Sara

Year of Awesome 2.0: Dreaming Big!

Sara 2010
As I looked back on what was the Year of Awesome I realized how wonderful a year could be when you actively seek to make it that way. Today I turn 42 and have been wondering for weeks what to call this year. I’ve wondered about calling it Year of Awesome 2.0, being that last year was more like a beta test. And being that it worked out pretty well, despite a few bugs which would be fixed in this release it seems like a logical thing to do. But it’s also the easy thing to do and maybe I should try something new.

I asked a few people close to me and they agreed that I should move ahead with the next release on Year of Awesome. I had a few suggest that naming my year was lame and why would I want to do that again. But, well, they’re not awesome so I’ll ignore them!

Yesterday I reflected on what the Year of Awesome has meant. And in doing so I realized that I wanted to keep the momentum going. I wanted to continue to keep positivity, abundance and prosperity as part of my daily life. I’m actively working on making me better, healthier and more accepting of myself. I can’t just abandon my work now. Right?

But I really want more. Not more ‘stuff’, but more Awesome. Not for me. I want others to be part of my Year of Awesome, in a more active and global way. I find inspiration in people like Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, and Simon Wiesenthal. Each of these people sought to improve the lives of others. They did so on a grand scale. One that I know is much too big for me to tackle.

Just two days ago a major milestone was achieved in the effort to eradicate hate from our world, making want to do more. I want to do something. But what? How? Can I do it myself? Who could help me. What would we do? So many questions, yet so few immediate solutions.

I hope for peace. I dream of peace for all of us. As a Jew, I continue to pray for peace for my people and my homeland, Israel. Yet I know I, alone, can’t achieve world peace on any level. No one person can. But I’ve come up with the solution. If each of us vows to work together we can do it. Sure, there are campaigns out there on just this topic. However, I think it’s still a huge commitment to individually try and work toward world peace.

Instead, each of us can do our part. I call it World Awesome. Goodness begets goodness. It’s the law of attraction. I believe in it. I know it works. I have faith in our collective ability to seek good in all we do.

As I embark on Year of Awesome 2.0, I ask you to come along with me. This year each of us, working alone, but as a collective, can help to bring about World Awesome. With small acts of kindness, goodness, positivity, love, laughter, light, friendship, respect, encouragement,support, a hand up and all things good I know that the world can be a better place for so many. My desire is to see this concept trend and grow. So many of us want to improve the world, and I believe that we each can in our own way. That the collective is bigger than we imagine. And that it is possible. We can be the change we want to see. From Awesome, peace will flow.

I may not be able to bring about world peace but I’m sure going to try and create World Awesome. I hope you’ll join me! If you do, and you’re on Twitter, use #worldawesome to share goodness.

Welcome to Year of Awesome 2.0!

 

Sara

Year of Awesome In Review

Today is the last day of my Year of Awesome. I kicked it off last year with a Reflection on Aging. It’s been quite a year. I’ve had so many amazing and wonderful experiences, visited beautiful place, shared with friends and have met a variety of extraordinary people. This past year has been Awesome!

It kicked off with a Mom’s Night Out, celebrating women. Days later I was off to Bloggy Boot Camp and found myself surrounded by women who believe in sisterhood.  Then came the whirlwind of CycleGuy heading off to the Bay Area for a new job opportunity.

And with that move, I became friends with an amazing group of women that embrace me for who I am and encourage me – quirkiness and all! I’ve always believed that friends are people who touch your heart, not just those that touch your hand. Because I have a sister by choice, I know about creating friendship in a virtual space. R and I have been friends for over 35 years, not having met in person until about 10 years after we first met through a pen pal exchange program. I never needed anyone to convince me of the power of the written to connect women – whether those words are written on paper or a computer screen. I knew the possibility.

At the end of summer I headed to New York for my first BlogHer experience, and it did not disappoint. I was able to meet many of my online friends in person, see the city, learn more about blogging and experience new things. The fall was 10 magical days at Disney World with BabyGirl and CycleGuy. The highlight of that trip was going to all four parks in one day! Yes, we are that crazy! It was one of the best Disney World experiences we’ve had – not just going to the parks, but riding all the major rollercoasters too. Multiple times! I can’t wait to do that again!!

New Year’s was celebrated visiting San Francisco. It included my family as well as my SupaDupaSexySisterhood – Grace, Carrie, Jessica and Countess Mo. It was a fantastic way to kick off 2011!

Throughout this year I’ve thought a lot about who I am. Now a ’40-something’ I looked back at the person I was. I’m also looking forward – creating the woman I want to be. And while I might never have considered myself a Badass, two women did. Again, women I’ve never met in person. Women who use written words to connect with people and have been able to hone their skills to find and nurture great friendships. I will forever be thankful to Diana and Amy for including me on their list of 75 Badass Women on Twitter. If I wasn’t a scaredy cat I’d get a tattoo. Maybe one of those temporary ones will be OK?

The best part of the Year of Awesome is that I rediscovered ME. And now I work to make sure I am always first. Because, as the saying goes: “If you can’t love yourself, how can you love someone else!”

Thank you for being part of my Year of Awesome!

Sara

Mamavation Monday: Where Will Your Feet Take You?

 

My Feet Photo

 

Yes, those are my feet (in need of a pedicure!). A friend of mine told me I should take a photo of my feet every year to see how they change. Sounded weird, but I did. It’s weird looking at your feet. Usually they’re covered up. Rarely seen. But without them my life would be so different. The 52 bones housed in these size 8 and 1/2s have supported me and taken me to some pretty great places.

On Sunday, my feet took me to dinner with my friend Paul Romero. Paul’s feet have taken him to the top of the world. Literally. Last year Paul was wingman to his 13 year old son, Jordan, as Jordan became the youngest person to summit Mount Everest. Catching up with Paul is definitely a highlight of my Year of Awesome.

So as I ponder where my feet will take me this year, I look back to where they have already taken me. I’ve been up the 385 world-famous Greenwich Steps in San Francisco. I’ve stood as the cold Pacific Ocean swept over them. They’ve taken me on trains, planes and automobiles. They’ve kept me firmly planted as I’ve been overcome with fear and anxiety. They’ve vaulted me in the air and I’ve jumped for joy. And they’ve been placed against CycleGuy’s warm legs. Because my feet are always cold. Always.

Where else will they take me this year? I’ve got a new Livestrong pedometer that CycleGuy got me so I can monitor how far my feet with take me. And on my list of places is Disney World, more San Francisco and the Bay Area, Seattle, San Diego, and maybe across the Atlantic. They will take me around the block as BabyGirl rides her bike or walks with me. My feet will lead me on my journey to make this MY life.

My feet will also support me as I stand on the scale and admit that the stress of the past several years has taken its toll on my hips (and thighs, and arms and …..). They will be massaged and pampered periodically as I thank them with a luxurious pedicure. And I can only hope my foot never ends up in my mouth!

These are my feet and they’ll take me place mundane and average, extraordinary and amazing. They will hurt and be sore as I take the 50,000 steps it will take to keep up with BabyGirl at Disney World, unless I’m wearing some super-cute Earth Footwear. They will be iced and lotioned. My feet will run and jump and vault me forward as I greet friends. These feet will cross a finish line. Where, I’m not sure yet. How, I’m not certain but it will probably be because they propel me on a bike. But what I do know is that I’m a winner. And so are you!

Where will your feet take you?

 

Mamavation is a social media campaign to provide support and encouragement to women ask they work toward a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their families. Please check out Bookieboo.com for more details.

Sara

My Year of Awesome – 1st Quarter Update

Well, I’ve been remiss in keeping you up to date with my Year of Awesome project. Partly because it’s been so, well, Awesome. And partly because sometimes it’s not and I’m stressed out and forget to look for those silver-lined clouds.

Here we are, 3 months in to my Year of Awesome and for the most part it’s been more than I could have imagined. I type this as I fly to New York City to attend the BlogHer Conference where I’m going to meet real life friends and online friends for a weekend of learning more about blogging and brand relationships.

But, lets go back to May when it all started. And turning 41. Not all that eventful or even a milestone, but I wanted to make this birthday year about me and things that relate to me. And my family is a big part of me, so my awesome-experiences extend to BabyGirl and CycleGuy too.

Shortly after getting my Year of Awesome underway, I was approached by Hollee Temple to guest post about my Year of Awesome on the blog she does with Becky about work/life balance. And while asking to guest post is very flattering, I was fan-girl extatic! You see, Becky & Hollee write the Work/Life Balance column for the American Bar Association Journal, and I’ve been reading their stuff for quite some time. They’re HUGE! And they wanted me to guest post! Talk about Year of Awesome!

Now I get to hang out in NYC at BlogHer with 2,500 of my bloggy friends, many of whom I’ve admired for quite some time. But it’s not just about me being a stalker, uh, I mean fan-girl, yes, fan-girl. I get an opportunity to learn from the best and brightest about blogging, writing, photography (I can definitely use some help here!), authenticity and branding. Even more exciting is that I get to be on a radio show with several of the ladies I team up with to bring you frugal living tips and deals. Me! On the radio!

OK, so it’s not like we’ll be on Howard Stern or anything like that. It’s an online radio show called Diva Toolbox Radio and the segment is called “Savings in the City”. Cute huh? I’ll post the segment if I can.

My Year of Awesome continues. Some days I lose sight of the small bits of awesome that surround me. I’m often looking for these giant, in-your-face kind of moments. Really, though, it’s kind of like the math philosophy where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. For me, that means that each small experience of Awesome is equally deserving of my attention and appreciation as the big ones.

I’m eager to see what the 2nd quarter of My Year of Awesome will be like.

Take this trip with me. Have your own Year of Awesome! It’s not all about happenstance and luck. We can just as easily create Awesome as wait for it to fall in our lap. How will you create something Awesome for yourself this weekend?

Sara

Life Is …

My journey into the next chapter of my life begins today.  I am overwhelmed, overjoyed and overtired!  I remind myself that this journey will lead to the next place, which may not even yet be determined.  There is so much ahead of me and so many emotions that fill me.  My Year of Awesome continues!

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

~ Mother Theresa

Sara