Saturday, June 25, 2016

Reconnecting with family!

Family - what a all encompassing word.  So many times life just happens and we fall out of touch with our family. The nicest thing though, are those opportunities that allow us to reconnect.  You never know when those opportunities may arise, but the key is knowing that you can create them yourself.

When I published the book, so much of my family emailed and texted me their support. It was so heartwarming to hear from so many relatives, and those that perhaps I had not connected with in a while. It made me remember that we are all part of a bigger whole. 

When I had my book launch in May, I was overwhelmed by the turnout. My father's cousins came from near and far to support the two of us. It was so amazing!  But I have to admit, I am one of the lucky ones! I was very lucky to not only have an amazing family on my side, but also to have married into such a wonderful one! My in-laws all treat me as their own, including my husband's sisters. I was fortunate enough to be able to gain more siblings and two more parents.  They all came out for the event, but one of the best parts was that my husband's first cousin and his wife came out as well.  We realized it had been so long since we all had gone out. You know what happens - kids, work, life!  But we decided to do something about it, we put a date down, and last night we all reconnected!
It was so great to get to know them again, catch up, and for all of us to hang out. (yes that's us taking a selfie at dinner last night!)

Why do I share this with you? Because the truth is opportunities are what we make of them. We must put ourselves out there. If you have not spoke to your relative in a while, stop reading this and go text, email or call them. Trust me they will be so happy to hear from you!  These connections we have run deep and many times we just forget. It is so special to have these connections, make sure you keep them alive!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Try not to sweat the small stuff!

So I just returned from my annual Las Vegas Trade Shows trip.  Each year I leave on Memorial Day and spend about 8 days in Las Vegas attending a multitude of trade shows during "Jewelry Week".  Yes it is very tiring and long, but the best part of the week is the fact that I get the chance to see so many people that I have known for so many years, all in one place.  Many of them I am fortunate enough to call my friends. 

This year was extra special. So many people came up to me and acknowledged my new book, Together: A Journey for Survival.  I am so grateful for all the outpouring of support and accolades.  It is actually quite overwhelming.  So many of these people have known my dad, some for close to 50 years, and yet so many of them truly had no idea what he had gone through and where he had come from.

The lesson here is, how well do we really know those around us?  Do we judge them or make conclusions about them without knowing all the facts? In my dad's case, he is always so joyful and always has this energetic smile that is so infectious. Everyone has such a great respect for him and admires his positive attitude.  Who would have thought that this same man endured a nightmare that most of us could not even dream of?

How can we learn from him to make ourselves a better person?  I think the next time we start sweating the small stuff we should pause and just think about what we are getting so angry or stressed about.  Take a breath, walk away for a moment, and just reassess the situation and approach it again with a different attitude.  Most things are not life and death, although they may feel like it at the time.  All of us have bad days, even my dad, but remember, tomorrow is a new day, with new beginnings and new hope. Embrace the life we have been given and let's all try to be a little nicer to one another and treat each other with just a little more respect.