Director's Column – Nov. 2019

What am I thankful for…

Three weeks from today is Thanksgiving eve. As I thought about a topic for this month, Jasmine mentioned that December 3, the Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving, has been designated as #GivingTuesday. It is a day to inspire millions of people across the globe to show up and give back to causes and issues that matter to them. As I thought about the causes that are important to me, I started to consider what I am grateful for as we approach the holidays and wanted to share a few with you.

I am thankful for the kindness of others.

I have tried for a long time to live by the phrase from the movie Evan Almighty regarding how to change the world. God tells Evan the way to do it is with “one act of random kindness at a time.” Dr. Henry has also challenged us to do so with the word Lagniappe…going beyond what is expected.

Someone offers you an empty shopping cart in the grocery parking lot, reaches to get something off the top shelf, sees you on the side of the road and stops to help, telling a cashier they gave you too much change, acknowledging someone’s accomplishment or hard work, offering to help someone complete a task, bringing donuts on a rainy Wednesday or, the car in front of you paying for your order in the drive thru. Not one of those actions is life changing but when I have experienced them, no matter how I was feeling, my spirit was lifted.

I have been so thankful this year for the unexpected words and deeds I have received from co-workers, friends, and random strangers. It’s impossible to pay them back so I feel it’s my job to “pay it forward.”

I am thankful for forgiveness.

One of the hardest things to do is to take ownership of our words or actions that have hurt someone and to ask them to forgive you.

Once I realized I have offended someone, I apologize. When asking for forgiveness I feel it is important to explain my actions, take responsibility and avoid making excuses. I explain how I'll act differently in the future and what I learned from the mistake. It really means a lot when the person I hurt cares enough about mending our relationship by telling how my actions or words made them feel. It means so much when they say, “I forgive you”.

Being forgiven is the greatest gift someone can give you.

I am thankful for good health.

A recent Oprah magazine cover read “Healthy is the new Skinny.” In my life, I have been on the path that loses weight, gains it back, takes exercise classes, drops out of exercise classes, always ending up where I started…putting the 10-20 pounds back on and sitting on the sofa. In your 20’s, 30’s &40’s it’s easy to live in that yoyo lifestyle, but once you pass 50 it becomes a lot harder. The things you did like smoking or long nights of adult beverages start to catch up with you.

14 months ago, I decided to change the way I eat and to get physically stronger. I used Weight Watchers (WW) as an eating guide rather than a diet. It helped me to identify foods that are high in fats and sugars and how to make choices to balance what you consume. It also reminds you to limit portion sizes.

I use a FitBit to motivate me to walk 10,000 steps every day. After a conversation with Mona one day, I decided to follow the advice her doctor gave her by increasing my activity minutes to increase my heart rate. Her doctor told her it was good to get a lot of steps but what really helps you is to get 30-40 activity minutes 3-4 times a week. That made sense to me and I set a goal to get at least 150 activity minutes each week.

The initial result of the changes I made this year has been to wake up feeling stronger with a LOT more energy. I’ve always had poor balance but recently have found that my ankles are much stronger and now allow me to catch myself when I stumble or trip. And finally, losing 20 pounds has been fun and has enabled me to fit into my clothes in the “back of the closet.”

There are no guarantees that I won’t get back on that yoyo lifestyle in the future, but for now like anything that’s really hard to do, you have to take it one day at a time.

I am thankful that I know you.

I am so appreciative for the gift each one of you brings to Berry Center every day by being a member of our team. It is the melding of each of your spirits, beliefs, and dedication that allows us to succeed and exemplify superior customer service for CFISD.

I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday enjoying a few days off, enjoying your favorite foods with those people you care about, and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving

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