One day at a time. Those are the words I have been uttering daily for over 4 years now. I hated them at first because it meant I had to work on my patience. It meant I could not get things done quickly and more frustratingly to me that I was not able to see significant changes at the end of each day.
At any given moment many of us are going through tumultuous times. We have job or family problems, frustrations, stressors, health issues, and even legal battles; all are real, always present, and more so than ever exacerbated by this new reality.

Something that has helped me is staying focused with a clear goal in mind while placing arrogance, ego, and selfishness aside. I write down all of my goals and I ask myself, are these things I truly want, or are these things that are expected of me or asked of me? When being invited to places I began saying to myself “If it is not a hell yes then it is definitely a hell no” and slowly but surely I started eliminating unnecessary things from my life. This thought process gave me the freedom to focus on the things that are of more importance to me, myself, my children, my close friends, and my work and professional life. I became more intentional in what I was doing to further my priorities.

I began focusing on myself and working on my healing. I had just ended my marriage to an alcoholic, a world completely unknown to me at the time. Out of that painful experience came a book, Own your Fire, where I share parts of my life. I always wanted to write a book, but I never thought this would be the first topic life placed on my path. I also began teaching my children coping techniques and ways to release their uneasiness with it all, such as breathing, meditating, writing, painting, exercising, and writing our gratitude daily while spending quality time with them and being present with them. We talked, we laughed, we cried, we reflected, we wrote down our goals. I started being more selective of my friends and only allowing deep and close relationships with those who added some value to my life and where I too added value to theirs. I began to schedule time with them, either with trail walks or talking through video apps like Marco Polo to stay connected and in each other’s lives. My work and professional life were different. Before and shortly after my divorce, I had submerged myself with work as a way to drown all my personal hardship. I was staying busy, but now I was focused and wanted to take Jackson Properties to the next level. I wanted our local company to be able to compete with the largest ones out there while continuing to have the essence of who we are, a team of dedicated, smart, and nimble individuals who know how to get things done. Furthermore, I wanted Jackson Properties to be a place where we could provide guidance, scholarships, and internship opportunities to students and young professionals in our community. When COVID-19 hit not only did we step up to the challenge but we were 100% ready for it. We were the only company in the city and I dare to say the state that had virtual videos for each and every door we own. It was something I started 5 years ago. We were online ready and cloud base, able to work remotely from day one without issues, and totally willing to work together to a common goal, be 100% occupied for the 16th year in a row. We accomplished our goals!

Being part of LT class 35 allowed me to meet people who have helped me navigate through personal pains and joys while at the same time it opened the doors for professional development and guidance on the new opportunities I wanted to offer others at work.

To end, simply because most people only read 51 seconds into an article and I’m way past that, know that things take time, that life is meant to be enjoyed and it can either be the same movie you continue to replay as repeated cycles of your past or you can choose to start a new movie with a new set of goals, vision, and ideas in mind both personally and professionally.