Tag Archives: change

Practical Changes

Below is my piece, Practical Changes, from 2007 when I was a contributing columnist to The Southern Ledger newspaper with my Practical Changes column, the night before my son’s birthday…as you all know my son graduated from High School early and will be 18 this coming May.  I wanted to share this old blog because it speaks to parenting and how it was for me back in those days where many of you are now…enjoy and hope everyone had a great holiday season.

XO, Noelle

WOW…I am writing a night early…Mr. Southern Ledger will surely fall out of his chair from shock tomorrow morning when he sits down to write that ‘friendly little reminder’ to the bloggers and notices that my column is already posted…HA

Six years ago tonight I was in a hospital in Plymouth, MA in the midst of 30 hours of HARD labor waiting for my son to make his first appearance…tomorrow he turns six and we have been counting down the days since Christmas…everything he sees goes under the ‘ I want this for my birthday’ category.  Those of you that know me well are now saying to yourselves, “just like his mother” and I can hear you.

In retrospect, I believe that was the hardest night of my life…I won’t bore you with the scenario of 30 hours, but trust me when I say it was FAR from pleasant…it taught me that if I could do that and endure that, then I could certainly do anything…what a good, smart, handsome little boy he is and funny and stubborn…sometimes I feel like the kid got a raw deal, all I do is work and it seems like some days I am always yelling…I have two modes loud and louder…it runs in my Italian family, we talk too much and most everything is loud.  Then there is that whole emotionally unkempt thing, which runs in my family too.

Sometimes I feel like I am doing such a bad job at all this…I think I should be nicer and more patient, yet someone or something is always pulling at me and I just have to keep moving because I don’t see anyone else around here paying for anything…granted this was my choice, to get a divorce rather than live in a situation that I was finished with just for the sake of security…I’m pretty sure the kid is normal, whatever that means anymore…I mean he goes to private school and has the best of everything and he is with me all the time…I have a great staff that helps a lot and without whom I would fail to function.

I think that no matter how smart we are there are always those times when we are second guessing ourselves, wondering if we are good enough or if we are doing it ‘right’…we must be doing okay around here though because we are starting year number six and that feels like a huge accomplishment.

As I sit here tonight I think back to who I was six years ago and I realize that so much has changed…I think that I am gaining some insight and wisdom as I go along…that’s a good thing…I am learning how to let things go, how to let someone else have the last word, how to walk away instead of react when someone is unpleasant, how to trust God and not be so scared all the time about everything turning out ok…I am learning how to take deep breaths and learning to remember that it will all still be there tomorrow.

I have also learned that I am too old to be blond anymore.  Recently, I had my hair highlighted and a lot of blond put in—it has been that way for about two and a half weeks and I have felt off the whole time—I kept looking at myself in the mirror and thinking how not like myself I looked, too washed out, too old and then finally this morning I wondered why I had done it, what was I hoping to prove?  In my other life I could carry blond, this life requires dark hair and ‘on purpose’ behavior—tonight my hair has been returned to a darker state and I recognize the chick I see in the mirror…  She has a messy desk, is emotionally unkempt, is a workaholic, is probably starting to wrinkle and sag, drinks too much coffee, shops too much and is not currently working out as much as she needs to, however, she knows how to get stuff done, she has a great kid, she has incredible friends, she is generous beyond measure, she knows how to laugh at herself and she understands that life is really about who we are and not what we have…I like that chick, she has dark hair and she’s not afraid to tell it like it is.

It’s good to mark time, to look back and see how far you have come…it makes us grateful for progress, grateful for all the gifts that we have been given…most everyone is always rushing through birthdays, Christmas Days, Mother’s Days, Father’s Days…how many times do we stop and remember the years past, how much do we acknowledge how far we have come?

We should you know, we should make a practice of acknowledging how much advancement we have gained over the years.  It is virtually impossible not to gain wisdom as time passes…life itself is such a profound teacher.

I will take my leave of you now as I have gifts to wrap in Spiderman paper and tomorrow there is a trip to Chuck E. Cheese in my future…I know y’all are jealous.

It’s A Win!

It’s a win!

I’ll be totally honest…sometimes doing the right thing to get to your goals can literally suck the life out of you. As someone who’s had Hashimotos Thyroiditis since I was 8 years old I now struggle with more than just my thyroid because I was put on synthroid at such an early age and it has degraded my bones. A lot of people who know me know I’ve been dealing with slipped discs, degenerative disc disease, & arthritis over the past few years. Two years ago I was having to do physical therapy just to function without pain (I am very anti meds which makes a lot of doctors dislike me or see me as a problem). Plus my TSH had creeped up over 7 (higher is actually lower & it should be between a 1.5-3) even on Armor Thyroid & I wondered if I would even be normal again on an even functional level.

Fast forward two years later. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of the negative people and stressors in my life, gotten a divorce, exercise, & limit my processed food intake. I’ve also lost a lot of weight-maybe not the quick fix way that’s popular these days but it’s been a slow and steady trip and in all honestly I’m still not at my goal weight or energy level. I still struggle with being motivated to get up, get moving, & out the door some mornings I’ll admit I drink a ton of coffee to function and be cheerful on the phone. But I’m working on myself-I’m just not speedy. Hopefully I’ll be there someday.

But….I did hit a huge goal this week….I hit single digit pants sizes. It’s an 8. Progress & I’m a functioning adult taking care of my boys and able to move without pain. Ironically this wasn’t with the huge weight loss I wanted (I weigh myself twice a day) but I noticed my pants (10s & 12s) were literally falling off-so I ran out one kid free night to find some pants. It’s not perfection but I’ll take it.

~Bethany

You can follow Bethany on her blog at https://fake-it-until-you-make-it.com

Today Is The Day I Begin To Reach High

Today I am starting a journal, not only will this be a journal but a life changing assignment for myself. Today I am one step closer to be a braver woman, mother, friend and all-around person.

I have never thought of myself as a brave person. I have ALWAYS been the quiet one. The one everyone doesn’t see. The one who tries not to be called on for ANYTHING. The one who agrees with EVERYTHING just, so I don’t have to debate about it.

When Hurricane Harvey hit, my world was devastated. I have never been through something like that before. It changed my whole aspect on who I was. All I wanted to do was help people. But how was I supposed to help anyone when I have been scared all my life? Well, your girl has set her sights high now.

With my new career insights and pushing and pulling against all odds, it seems I still find things that push me back. But this is more than ok because this is only a test. I must keep pushing outside my comfort zones. As time goes by I keep changing into a whole new person and I am loving it. I am more outgoing, happier, trying new things and making new friends.

“Brave people don’t stop hearing the whispers of fear. They hear the whispers but take action anyways.” This is my goal. To keep fighting, keep pushing with everything to accomplish that I am setting my mind too. With the help of my friends, family and the words of the Lord I shall succeed!

I believe in myself. Do you believe in yourself? I believe all we need is that one whisper to get us up and motivated. Still scared? I am here, to help push you, help you find the meaning you may be looking for.

Today is the day to begin Reaching High.

~Shelly

To Grow I Must Embrace These Changes

To Grow I Must Embrace These Changes

There has been a lot of change going on in my life as of recent. I have never been a big fan of change. This time instead of fighting against the forces that be that are pushing me in new directions I have been embracing them and going with the flow.

One of the many changes in my life is that I have a new relationship in my life. Someone who treats me right, so much so it scares me sometimes. I have never been with a decent guy before, I have always been with the guys that neglect my needs and make me beg for what I need in a relationship. The absence of this struggle has me on my toes waiting for the other shoe to drop. Then I realized it wasn’t coming. Which made me analyze why I was waiting for things to take a turn for the worst. I didn’t feel like I deserved to be treated right, why you may ask? It’s from all the years of justifying others mistreatment of me. Now I am learning how to love myself and to allow someone to love me.

One of the other big change bombs in my life is that I have been officially diagnosed with lupus. I’ve been in an out of the hospital for years, with symptoms that doctors couldn’t explain why I was having them. More recently I’ve been in and out of the hospital more frequently and I finally got a diagnosis. For those who do not know what Lupus is; it is a auto-immune disorder where your body mislabels your healthy cells as invading pathogens and then the body proceeds to attack itself. Specifically, with lupus it attacks skin, organs, muscle and connective tissue. The fact that I live in a colder unstable climate increases the amount of activity this disease has. So being diagnosed has led me too two bigger changes in my life.

I am uprooting my life and moving across country to Texas, for the warmer stable climate with lower cost of living. My last day on the job at the casino as a blackjack dealer is May 6th. The new person in my life is following me and my children down there. I am also immersing myself into homeopathic and herbal healing to find alternatives to heal myself and others.

I am diving head first into all of this, and I’m refusing to allow fear to control the steering wheel. I know that I cannot continue to grow unless I embrace this change and allow myself to be uncomfortable. It’s time to heal old wounds and embrace my new life. 

Always be unapologetically yourself,

Ali

Mood MATTERS!

What is your mood today???

I have for you the best answer to the most asked question on the planet.

What you are experiencing right now is what’s called intellectually confounding.

You want to know the answer because its the best, yet you’re not even sure what the question is.

The most asked question on Planet Earth is….

“How are you”?

I’m sorry to report the most asked question on planet earth is given the least amount of attention. The least amount of care. The least consideration.

But not me. I won’t give in to mediocrity.

Average is the best of the worst and the worst of the best.

And easy is the enemy of progress.

I have taken an oath, a challenge to disrupt the world.

You only control one thing in your life. ONE. Your mood.

Everything else is out of your control.

Yes, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink or drug, I eat right and exercise-but that’s no guarantee that I’ll live another day. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. I could get a lousy call from the Dr.

ANYTHING is possible.

Which also means anything IS possible.

So, I choose to control what I CAN control.

My Attitude.

Yup, its the six inches between my ears.

But it’s my call.

That’s on ME!

So each and everyday I pick a mood from my Choose a Mood Box.

It’s my choice so I stacked the deck.

For the last 6 months each and every time someone asked me how I was I answered “AMAZING”, “AWESOME”, “FANTASTIC”. And I say it with enthusiasm; SELL IT!

These last 3 weeks I have chosen “MAGNIFICENT”! It has a little more formality to it….like I’m wearing a suit and tie. Maybe a top hat and spectacle.

Why, you ask? WHY NOT? If you get to choose, why not choose great?

And when people ask me why I’m Magnificent, my current reply is; “We live in the greatest country in the world, during the most advanced time in human history. My job isn’t so difficult that I need the intellect of splitting atoms, nor so physically demanding that I’m shoveling coal. So what could I possibly complain about? Seriously?! I GET TO WAKE UP.”

Do I need to be stressed if things don’t go well at work? Can they survive without me? I pass a graveyard everyday on my morning commute; it’s loaded with people who thought they were irreplaceable. The world keeps turning. Sun keeps rising and with any luck, in the morning so will I. And when I do, I’ll greet it with the best good morning you ever saw.

I’m Jay Cummings and you’ve just been Moodivated. Try it for 3 weeks, then pay it forward and do to someone else what I just did to you. It’s a great life if you choose it. Changing the world one smile at a time.

you can visit jay at www.imoodivate.com

 

The 5C’s Unlocking Your Unlimited Potential

The 5C’s Unlocking Your Unlimited Potential

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

-Vince Lombardi

 

This is one of my favorite Lombardi quotes. It really does hit the nail on the head for what I hope our program can develop for you, a vigorous pursuit of perfection on the road of excellence.

Too often we succumb to the tasteless flavor of mediocrity only to kid ourselves that it tastes good. It doesn’t, average never tastes good, nor ever will. Our life should be full of flavor and rich experiences, and that’s what this program is designed to be; rich and full of unique experiences as you develop mastery over your health, fitness, wealth, and happiness.

There are two central concepts I would like you to review before describe the 5C’s:

1.) You are created by design, not by default. You have a purpose, and the ability to fulfill it. All of the necessary ingredients for your success are already within you, my mission is to teach you how to Unleash the Champion that is already in you.

2.)  We must all learn to exceed expectations to thrive. The enemy of great is good. You are created for greatness, there is absolutely no doubt about it. Never settle for good enough, you must have high expectations to achieve excellence, so commit to exceed your expectations daily.

80% of people never reach their expectations

15% reach their expectations

5% exceed their expectations

Be the 5% and you will rule the world.

I created a blueprint called the 5C’s to keep you focused on process, and not problems.  Problems now become opportunities when put into the proper context. To describe the 5C’s from a health and fitness standpoint, let me give you a brief overview of the most important aspects of the 5C’s.

Conviction  .  Commitment  .  Consistency  .  Confidence  .  Courage

 

Conviction is an overwhelming belief in someone, or something. Our beliefs are the foundation for how, and what we think. For example, if you believe you never have been healthy, and probably never can be, this is a reflexion of belief. Your belief is then manifested in how you think, and your body tends to come into alignment with that thought process, you are overweight and unhealthy.

There are two major forms of belief, intellectual agreement, and assimilation.

Intellectual agreement tends to be fact based and resides on the surface of our thoughts. The example being, there are obviously people that live debt free, experiencing financial freedom, living a joyful life, but they’re different, they have a skill or talent I just don’t have. Intellectual agreement being based on facts is a beginning to forging a strong conviction, but must be developed deeper.

Assimilation is taking conviction to the depth of our being, you become what you believe. An easy example to follow is with nutrition. Every cell of your body requires nourishment, EVERY cell. You literally assimilate the foods you eat, and become what you eat. If you develop Type II diabetes it’s not because you ate a clean nutritious diet, it is typically because you have eaten too much sugar on a consistent basis. If you have to much month at the end of your money it is possible you are spending beyond your means, and need to position yourself to create more income when and wherever possible.

Assimilation is becoming what you believe. If you believe you were created to “can do” anything, that all the necessary tools reside in you already, you just need to learn how to access these skills and make them work for you, than you are on the road to renewing your mind.

To renew your mind, to change your “stink’n think’n” and not conform to the world of managed average you must continuously assimilate who you are, and where you are going. Not focusing on where you are, and you have no clue who you are.

 

Commitment is the action plan anchored to your conviction or beliefs. This is very often where a persons actions begin to break down. Is this true for you? Have you made commitments in the past and after time passes the commitments seems to have passed by as well? Very often we break our own commitments simply because they were anchored in intellectual agreement, not assimilation. Remember assimilation has deep roots and can withstand the storm of life on your dreams. Intellectual agreement has underdeveloped roots and can easily be talked away with an unexpected storm. Commitment is strengthened with every storm if, you have assimilated Conviction.

 

Consistency is a reflexion of your past, an insight into your future, and the power you can leverage today. Consistency then is habits. Think about it, how many of you would even consider not brushing your teeth for days, let alone weeks? Yet how many people don’t exercise on a regular basis, or save a percentage of their incomes consistently? Consistency is established in the strength of our Commitments. We are all a walking, talking advertisement for consistency, the question is are those consistent habits building us up, or effectively pulling us apart?

 

Confidence is a wonderful process developed through the consistency that builds you up. Confidence is also born through the failures we experience along the way that through our commitments, anchored to our convictions, we can learn from, rather than lose because of. Confidence is the magnificent result of the Consistent realization that you are the direct product of your decisions and not your conditions.

 

Courage is many things but for us let’s focus on the fact it takes courage to leave your comfort zone behind. To live the “next level” lifestyle means you are living the extraordinary life, and never settling for ordinary again. You are comfortable with uncomfortable, and you prefer to be abnormal rather than live average. Courageous living is knowing the difference between being willing to take the next step, and having the willpower to push on.  People that have established Confidence, never strive again, but thrive daily with the courage to live from victory, not for victory.

 

Using the 5C’s to transform the way you Think

Transforming the way you think requires daily reflexion on your beliefs. Your beliefs about your potential more so than anything else when it come to health, fitness, and happiness.

 

 

Consider:

  • Do you have a hunger for growth?
  • Are you willing to chase your dreams, and “lean in” to your life?
  • Preparation is the key to developing confidence, follow through is the icing!
  • What are your pay offs? What inspires you to never quit?
  • Define what this means, and then answer it, “Do you have the courage to fail?”
  • Skill is developed through failure, learning is what transforms failure in success.
  • Are you willing to give your broken pieces a chance?
  • When you have a mentor you can learn from their mistakes, you never pay for the mistakes of others, yet you can learn powerful lessons on your road to optimal health and peak performance.
  • You clearly have thousands of choices about your life, for example:

1.) What you say, and what you don’t say.

2.) What you think, and what you don’t think.

3.) What you do, and don’t do?

  • Always keep the “main thing,” the main thing. So what does that mean to you?
  • Today answer these questions, Who are you? What do you want?
  • Never fear hard work, embrace it.
  • Avoid envy, unless you are willing to do, what other people do, to get what other people get…
  • When we have tough, or “bad” things happen, that typically means you are in the right place, and the challenges are the refining fire necessary to take you to the next level.
  • In life, we always should be moving forward, in saying that we should also always be ready for a fall, that is REAL life, not negative thinking. If you are prepared for a fall, you will always get up quicker.
  • Take time, get a pad and paper, and write out what do you believe. Deep, heartfelt beliefs, are crucial to controlling your life, you just need transparency, and clarity. Write them down, please…
  • Hope travels everywhere, no need for a passport. Did you remember to pack it?
  • EVERY single day matters, every day counts. Do not take one day off…

I want to invite you to check out my website, and my complete eBook,

  • The 5C’s “Unlocking Your Unlocking Your Unlimited Potential”

Please visit: www.unleashthechampiononlinetraining.com

Also you can check out:

  • Habit FORMING “Creating Nutrition, Fitness, and Life Habits”
  • Fit for the Fight “The Art of Fighting from Victory, not for Victory”

Have a Joyous and Blessed Christmas and Holiday Season

Carter

“What If?”, Doesn’t Change Anything

I don’t like to think about the “What-If’s?”, it doesn’t change anything. ..not saying I don’t think about them, I just don’t like to get too caught up in them. I use to spend a lot of time wondering and thinking “What If?”…What if I stayed married to my daughter’s dad…What if I continued my education immediately after high school….What if I had never met him…what if my dad never used….and then I realize that with all those decisions I did make the best moments and things of my life would never of happened. I have learned and realized worrying about the What-if’s do cost a lot of energy.

So do those “What if’s?” matter? Are they worth the time worrying about something I cannot change? I occasionally finding myself rolling those around in my thoughts and have trained myself to counter those what if’s by thinking of the things I have to be grateful for. Which is many.

In the end dwelling on the past doesn’t change a damn thing, whether it’s a good or bad. You can waste a lot of time worrying about what could have been, I would much rather enjoy the moments I am.

 

Love to All-Kim

 

 

Not Giving Attention To Negative Thoughts

Yesterday we talked about replacing  thoughts..  Today I want to talk about what giving attention to negative thoughts will create for you…

Your thoughts are far more powerful than you might imagine and they go forward to create your future.  What you think about, speak about, talk about and give your attention to WILL become your reality, so you have to be very mindful of what you are focused on.

The thoughts that you hold in mind will produce after their own kind and your thoughts will produce an energy field around you that will end up attracting to you the kinds of things that you are thinking.

Remember that character in Peanuts, Pigpen?  He had a dirt cloud that surrounded him wherever he went, crappy thoughts will work like that…they will form a dirty cloud around you and they will begin to attract things that are similar.  Negative circumstances are no mystery; they arrive because we have given too much attention to negative thoughts, worry, fear and doubt.  We will also attract unfavorable circumstances when we are critical, judgmental, angry and ungrateful…like attracts like…that will always be true. Misery loves company.

Thankfully this same principle of ‘like attracts like’ will work in your favor when you start thinking more positive things, when you are grateful and when you focus on what’s good and what works.

There is no EASY button for changing your thinking or for teaching yourself how to stay focused on what you want more of, it requires discipline and work to stay vigilant about your thinking.  However, the results that can be produced by this practice are life-altering…you CAN create the life that you want and the Holiday Season that you want, you just have to be willing to do the work…xoxoxo

 

The Many Faces of Good-Bye

It takes an immense amount of courage to say good-bye to something that isn’t excellent. So many of us put up with circumstances, conditions and relationships that are not really working and there truly IS a time when it is appropriate to say good-bye so that healing can happen and new good can occur.
Yes, there is a time to stand up and fight for something, a time to make changes, a time to try new behaviors…all of that…however when enough time has passed and you feel that you have done all you can and you are still not seeing the result you require, it may just be time to say “good-bye”.
Saying good-bye to something isn’t “bad”, it isn’t “giving up”, it is having the wisdom to see that beating a dead horse is a fool hardy exercise…you exhaust yourself and the horse is still dead.
When you say good-bye you can do it with love, that is possible…you can do it with acknowledgement of contributions made, you can release and set something free with great gratitude and love and forgiveness for that things that didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to.
Granted most people say good-bye in anger or fear or guilt or some combination of those…it doesn’t need to be like that. Endings are also new beginnings where new blessings can show up, where new good can appear.
When you prune a tree it seems like a terrible thing, you cut living branches from it and it looks terrible for a while…then it starts to grow and fill out stronger than it ever was before…new life comes to it when before it looked almost dead and barren. Good-bye can be like that, it feels awful, it looks awful…times goes by and then new LIFE comes zooming in bringing with it new blessings we couldn’t see before.
So many people hang on to things that have been unworkable for so long…jobs, relationships, items, marriages etc…they hang on because they are scared to death to let go…letting GO is letting GOD…it is trusting something greater than yourself to take care of you and it is knowing that with every ending comes a new start for something not yet seen.
When appropriate have the courage to say good-bye, everything that you want could very well be on the other side of good-bye….

Tennessee This Is Where I Leave You…

In 24 days, I will end an eleven year season in the state of Tennessee. As I was packing today I felt like I was walking through time, remembering all of the events of the last 11 years here. Ending a season is always bittersweet and I think it’s good to recall the lessons learned within each season of your life. That being said, I thought I would document the lessons learned in Tennessee and share them with you.

 

Here we go…Lessons learned in the last decade:

 

  • You CAN, in fact overcome ANY THING with prayer and a change in your thinking about the circumstance or situation…and I do mean ANY THING
  • I am stronger than I thought
  • I can survive betrayal of the worst degree and not be bitter
  • I can forgive people without having to keep them in my life
  • I can pray for people that have tried to harm me
  • I can be alone and be happy
  • Being alone is better than trying to turn myself into someone I don’t know to stay with someone that I don’t belong with
  • GOD does, in fact, have everything under control
  • GOD makes ways where there are no ways
  • Trusting GOD will never, ever fail me
  • Never get involved with someone that is not free to be involved, if someone is doing something else know you are worth enough to walk away until they finish it.
  • Never start a relationship on the tail end of an old relationship
  • Don’t jump from one ending to a new beginning, take a space to heal, breathe and evaluate
  • Work hard and then work harder
  • Be yourself no matter what
  • Do not enable
  • Do not over give
  • Let people sit in their shit sometimes because that is the only way that they will learn
  • Don’t try to fix people, it won’t work
  • Watch ACTIONS, don’t listen to words and when you see red flags in the actions, freaking PAY ATTENTION
  • TRUST YOUR GUT
  • TRUST YOUR FIRST REACTIONS to people, there is a warning there, HEED it
  • If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t—walk away
  • Don’t make excuses for dysfunctional shit just get away from it
  • Be kind to people
  • Stop complaining and realize that words matter—life and death in the power of your tongue—choose words wisely
  • Don’t settle
  • I need to listen more sometimes and talk less
  • Pay attention to people and think about how they will feel before you say or do something that effects them
  • I am not easy to help
  • Everything has a price
  • My relationship with GOD is my most important one
  • The people that really love you will never walk away from you, no matter what a shit you are
  • BE GRATEFUL

 

Really, I grew up in Tennessee, I came here at 36 for work with no family and a 3 year old son…I was scared to death yet I knew that I needed to make my way as a single mom and the opportunity was one that I felt led to take. I can remember lying in bed on nights during that first year scared as hell wondering how it would all turn out. I had lived around my family my whole life and now I was here in a new place with nobody. I just kept praying and putting one foot in front of the other and I made a whole life here, made friends that became family and it all turned into an amazing season…there were some hard parts, even some terribly devastating parts…yet looking back over the 11 years—all in all it has been an amazing time of being blessed and being able to bless so many others. I came into my own here, in Boston (my hometown) we would say that I made my bones in Tennessee.

 

Now just like GOD called me here 11 years ago, He is now calling me back to New England and so back I go in 24 days to see what this new chapter will bring.

And so Tennessee this is where I leave you…thank you for keeping me safe, thank you for teaching me that I can do more than what I thought I could, thank you for all of the people that you sent into my life here, thank you for the memories and the lessons, for the people I have loved and for the people that taught me lessons, thank you for teaching me to trust GOD more, thank you for all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly parts…you have made me what I am now and for that I am so grateful…until we meet again…