Social Media Mistakes



This sign in the American Girl store in NYC captures the main message of this post.

I have written before that when I am bothered, I write.  I am writing now because I am bothered.  I have written previously about social media in general and Facebook in particular.  I am writing again about social media in general and Facebook in particular.

I have been a frequent user of Facebook for several years.  Although I am also on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, I post more and read more of others’ posts on Facebook than any of the other sites. And although I know there are more social media sites than these I mention, I cannot tell you what they are.  I know that acknowledgment dates me.  So be it; I can only keep up with so much!

Let me make a few disclaimers before I go any further.  I am sure that I have made and continue to make every mistake I am listing.  I write and teach what I need to continue to learn.  So please do not think my message is just for my readers; it is most of all for me.  Perhaps it can help others as well.  This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list.  It is what is on my heart at the moment.  And the points are true for any communication, not just social media communication in general and/or Facebook in particular.

When communicating on social media, remember:

  1. Before putting a post up about a party, consider whether some who will see the post will feel excluded if they were not invited to the party. This is true for children’s parties, but it is also true for parties of adults.  Of course, everyone cannot be and even shouldn’t be invited to our parties, but let’s consider how to avoid doing anything that hurts others.


  1. Avoid using social media to announce things to your closest friends and family that you could pick up the phone and call and tell them or write about in a personal note to them. This is particularly true about major events in our lives. Of course, it is easier and quicker to announce things on social media to the masses and that is fine for things you are announcing to the masses if you need to do that at all.  Please note my qualifier: use a more personal approach with closest friends and family.



While I believe this to be true, let’s do our best to have positive relationships.


  1. Do you really want to alienate a large group of people just to make your voice heard? This is especially true about political and social issues, things about which we often have different opinions.  Do we really think we are going to change anyone’s opinions about these issues by what we post on social media?


  1. Before we post anything, even something we think is totally positive, we should consider how others we know who will read it will read it.  The reason I am writing this blog post is mainly due to this point. Nothing more needs to be said about that.


  1. If you are connected to others on social media, do your part to keep the connection going. Yes, that does take time, but it can be done in a manageable amount of time.  We each have to decide how much of our time we are willing and able to commit to this means of communication.  But let’s do our part.



“Weird” is in the eye of the other!


  1. What we post on social media represents us. Do we really want profanity, negativity, and attacks to be how others perceive us?  Communicating effectively is hard work, even when we do all that we think we can to be positive and appropriate.  Eliminating things that can be barriers to communicating well with a variety of people with different value systems and other differences helps us stay out of trouble!

There are more points that could be made, and probably will be in a subsequent post, when I am bothered again about these issues!  Until then I will go.  I must spend some time connecting with my social media friends.  This will take more time than normal since I must remember what I have just written.  How soon we can forget.

Patti name



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Because Tomorrow Happens in the Blink of an Eye


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NYC here we come!

This title comes from an advertisement in the November 2017 issue of Southern Living Magazine.  The advertisement is for Kiawah Island.  When reading this back issue earlier today, the title hit me as an apt description for the fast passing of time, something I am more keenly aware of recently than ever before.  In my earlier years, I think I thought that time would last forever.  Now at 66 years of age, I know better.  That is one reason I am committed to making memories that will last forever, because I know I will not.  One of the memories that I hope will last forever is time spent with our dear children and grandchildren.  The most recent of those is a wonderful trip to NYC with our middle granddaughter, Elsie, to celebrate her 11th birthday.


Lunch at Juniors before the play.

I am reminded of a business colleague of my husband Mike’s, Paul O’Day.  Paul passed away last year, but not before he and his wife spent precious time taking each of their grandchildren on a special trip at a certain age.  Paul talked about those memories several times when we were with him.  Although he no longer is, I am sure that those memories are alive with his loved ones.

Since first hearing of those trips from Paul O’Day, I have heard from others how they also make memories with their grandchildren.  All of those memories do not have to involve travel, but in our case, since travel is a big part of our lives, it seemed appropriate to take our grandchildren on a special trip.  So, Mike and I decided that we should not wait any longer to begin that tradition, and we decided to begin with Elsie, whose birthday occurred soon after our decision.   Elsie was given the choice of where to travel for her special trip with us, and she chose NYC.


The Lady is a powerful reminder of our country’s openness, compassion, and strength.

Our trip with Mary Grace, who is soon to be 13, will be this year also.  Although five-year-old Virginia is already talking about her trip, that will have to wait until she is older!

Elsie and I flew from Jacksonville, Florida to NYC on Wednesday morning, February 7th.  This trip coincided with a business trip of Mike’s, and he flew in later that day from a business trip in Miami.  Although we only had two full days, we managed to do everything that was on Elsie’s list.


The School of Rock rocks!

This included the School of Rock play, a Mani/Pedi, a hair styling for her and one of her American Girl dolls, an ear piercing for her doll, a trip to the Statue of Liberty which included a walk to the crown, lunch at the American Girl Café on her birthday, and a visit to Rockefeller Plaza to greet the Today Show hosts.  It was quite exciting that Al Roker, who happens to be Elsie’s favorite Today Show host, shook her hand and wished her a happy birthday!  Additionally, we had pizza the first night at Uncle Paul’s and dinner the second night at Eataly.  We also visited the American Girl store several times and even had Elsie’s hair done a second time before her birthday lunch.  What we did not do much of was rest!


After Elsie’s birthday lunch at the American Girl Café, we boarded the plane and left New York Friday afternoon.  We arrived in Jacksonville in time to celebrate Elsie’s birthday with family and her bestie Stella at Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant. IMG_3790

As I think about our trip to New York with Elsie, I am so grateful that we had this special time with her.  I think that is the first time that we have had Elsie all by herself.  Mary Grace, being the firstborn, had the family all to herself for a couple of years before Elsie was born.  Virginia has had special time when her two older sisters were away at camp.  I do not recall us ever having Elsie without her sisters also being present.  Being the middle child, and also given her personality, Elsie does not “demand” attention. It was wonderful to have Elsie all by herself and to be able to give her undivided attention.  I think we need to make time for each granddaughter alone, and not just with special trips. Their parents do spend time with each of the girls, and this time alone with Elsie has made me aware of the importance of this.



Dinner at Eataly!

Elsie looked forward to her special trip with us with great anticipation.  She was so excited about it before and during the experience.  Now that it has passed, I am sure there is somewhat of a letdown for her.  I feel the same.  In the middle of the experience, I knew we were having a very special time, and that it would end too soon.  While the trip had to end, I hope that the memories will last.

I hope that the memories of our special trip to NYC with Elsie will remain with her long past the time when we can’t.

Patti name

P.S. This Blog Post was written before hearing of the tragedy in the Broward County, Florida high school shooting.  I can’t imagine the grief of the parents and other family members who lost loved ones in this tragedy.  My prayers are with all of those involved in this latest horrific school shooting.














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Cartagena with Friends; A Delightful Experience!

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Our Cartagena group

It is day five of my five-day trip to Cartagena, Colombia with 21 women friends.  I am on our Delta flight headed home, and this is the first time I have opened my computer in 5 days.  I have not even read a book or a magazine in these 5 days, other than glancing through a couple of magazines on the flight from Atlanta to Cartagena five days ago.  I have used my iPhone, but for very little.  My break from technology and even reading has surprised me.  I cannot remember a time, including vacations, I have been totally connected to the people and places around me, not needing or even wanting to lose myself in technology or even reading.  I must understand what has been going on, so I understand its lessons and replicate it.

I mentioned I was traveling with “21 women friends.”  “Friends” is an important designation, and not to be used lightly.   Actually, I knew only eight of these twenty-one other women before this trip, and those eight are social friends who I have traveled with previously, not friends who I keep in contact with between trips.  The only exception to this is that a couple of my Solo Sisters (an organization of women without siblings) were on the trip, and I see them at our monthly gatherings.  I make this “friends” distinction to clarify several important points that I will make about the importance of this group of women.


Our wonderful coordinators for our Cartagena trip, Kathy Brown and Nancy Andrews.

This trip to Cartagena was planned and organized by Nancy Andrews, the best person I know at connecting people.  Kathy Brown, a Solo Sister, was also an organizer of this trip.  Nancy and Kathy partnered with Connoisseurs Travels, and Josh Hamlet of Connoisseurs Travel was with us throughout, making sure that all of the details were superbly handled.


Our dear Josh Hamlet of Connoisseurs Tours

There were several local people in Cartagena who served as our guides, although “guides” is not a big enough word to describe the role they played in our experience.  Many of us talked about how we do not want to ever travel again without this kind of support.  They were all amazing.


Solo Sisters

Solo Sisters Rose, Kathy, and Patti with new Solo Sis M.L.

The photos show the beauty of Cartagena. Cartagena is a vibrant as well as beautiful city, and the city is a visual delight. (Thank you to Lynn, who coined the term, “visual delight.”) What the photos cannot show is the experience that these 22 women, many of whom only knew a few of the other women before the trip, had together.

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One of many beautiful scenes in Cartagena


Beautiful Flowers

Beautiful flowers were everywhere!


The hospitality chandelier is a great representation of the people of Cartagena.

Beautiful Scene

Another beautiful scene

I traveled the first time with Nancy Andrews on a trip in 2006. (You can read about that trip in my book, A Year in the Life of a Recovering Spendaholic, which is available on Amazon.)  Since that first trip, I have traveled with Nancy and different groups of women on trips six other times.  Each of the trips has been enjoyable, but none more so than this.  The enjoyment of the first trip was similar to this one. That trip was to the Tuscany area of Italy in October of 2006, and there were only 13 of us.  I only knew Nancy and my roommate, who I had invited.  On that trip, I became good friends with two of the other women, and although we do not see each other often, I value them.  In various ways, all 13 of us on that trip bonded.  We even had a “reunion” not long after the trip!


A scene of the Cartagena skyline that looks like Miami.

I was concerned about a large number of travelers on this Cartagena trip, having experienced larger groups like this that were not very cohesive.  On a couple of those trips, a few cliques detracted from the overall enjoyment of the experience.  I realized from this Cartagena experience that the number of women is not the issue, it is the women themselves.  And this observation and issue have nothing to do with Nancy Andrews or Kathy Brown, for they did everything possible to make everyone feel and be included.

The women on this trip ranged in age from 30’s to probably, (although I am not sure) late 60’s, with most of them being in their late 40’s to early 60’s.  While it was a trip that required a certain amount of disposable income to be able to participate, there was no “flaunting” of socioeconomic status.  What each woman seemed to possess more than money was a genuine desire to travel, interest in the destination, and enjoyment of the company of other women, including new “friends.”

Lee and Cathy

Lee and Cathy in front of one of the many beautiful doors

Lessons learned from this experience.  (1) Traveling with other women, especially women who are inclusive and engaging, can be a wonderful experience.   While my husband and I enjoy traveling together and do so quite often, traveling with women friends is a different experience.  Shopping, enjoying meals that are more than “pub grub,” and interesting and important conversation characterized our experience.  (No disrespect is intended to the men in our lives!)  (2)  When traveling with others, it is important to get outside of one’s comfort zone, to reach out and meet other interesting people, and to avoid only spending all of the time being with those you already know.  (3) When with others at a table or in a group, include all, especially those on both sides.  It is quite uncomfortable to be with others and have a couple of people be totally engaged with each other, leaving the person on their other side with no one to talk with for a long time.  Miss Manners, our etiquette classes, and our sorority experiences have taught us better than this!  This includes talking about subjects that can or obviously do leave others out.  You can fill in the blanks here.


Hotel PF

One of the restaurants in our lovely hotel, the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena.

Life is a relationship business.  We never know when we are talking with someone who could be a major influence in our lives.  We should do everything we can to avoid missing out on this.  And even if that does not happen, why would we want to spend all of our time connecting with those we already know, and risk missing out on getting to know other very interesting people?

Edythe and Patti

Edythe and Patti

Long after the trip is over, and the credit card bills for our purchases have been paid, we will be anticipating another gathering with others.  The gathering may be a family occasion, a community event, or even another trip.  Regardless of the nature of the gathering with others, remember a few things that will make other people feel important.

Include others.  Include them in your conversation.  Invite them into your circle.  Be genuinely interested in them.  You know how that feels when it happens to you.  Pass it on.

Be positive, not negative.  There is always something that can be improved.  Do not focus on that, unless you are asked to do an evaluation, and if so, be positive in how you provide that information.   Believe that others have done their best, and commend them for what they did to make your experience positive, meaningful, and memorable.  It feels so much better when we do so!

Final Dinner

Dawn, Cathy, Lee, Patti, Belinda, and Janet at the final dinner.

Share these thoughts with your children, especially your teenagers and adult children.   These points are not gendered specific.  In this day of social media, we may need to do a refresher with younger people (and ourselves!) on human interaction skills.

Kelley and Amanda

Kelley and Amanda showing their super bowl favorite.  Congrats to the Eagles and Amanda!

And finally, if and when you can, travel to wonderful places with interesting women.  You will be so glad that you did!


Patti name



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Memories to Last a Lifetime


MoMo, Virginia, Elsie, and Mary Grace ice skating at Avon before heading to Steamboat.

Our family started a new tradition four years ago, an annual ski vacation.  We selected Steamboat Springs, Colorado for our ski trip, and although we have considered other locations, all choose to return to Steamboat.  Although we traveled to Steamboat for Spring Break the first year, we weren’t pleased with the lack of snow in March, so since then, we have selected January for the trip.

The stimulus for this vacation is our son-in-law Stephen, who loves to ski.  Our daughter, Tara, skis each year, as do our granddaughters, soon to be thirteen-year-old Mary Grace, soon to be eleven-year-old Elsie, and five-year-old Virginia.  Our other daughter, Chatham, usually comes on this trip, but this year she stayed home to prepare for the birth of her first child (and our first grandson,) Drew, scheduled to arrive in late February.  Her husband, Johnathan, came on the ski trip last year, and Uncle Barry a couple of years ago.   Our close family friend, Maureen (MoMo,) came with us this year, which was her second time for the trip.


The skiers preparing for their first day that all skied.

Although Mike and I have skied many years ago, we have chosen to use this trip to just relax.  We are fine watching our children, grandchildren, and friends ski, and protecting our older hips!

This week of skiing and relaxing provides us a total change of pace from our responsibilities.  While Mike and I usually are working as well as relaxing, the ability to look out at the snow-covered mountains while we work on our computers makes it seem less like work.  This year did involve more work for Mike during this trip since he had to leave Steamboat a few days early to travel to India to speak.

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Sitting at the base watching the skiers.

Being able to watch the grandchildren ski and seeing how much they have developed in their skills, provides a special kind of joy.  Virginia has taken skiing lessons since she was three and she has no fear!  Mary Grace, Elsie, and their parents also take lessons each year.


Mary Grace and Elsie at McKnight’s, our first meal together of the trip.

Our family makes vacations a priority throughout the year, although most of the trips are at the beach or theme parks.  While they are all fun, none are as relaxing as the ski trip.  Our Colorado trip is a total change of pace and scenery.  It is also the only trip that most of the family tries to take together, although work obligations have precluded some from being able to go every year.

You have heard it said that when we are gone all that will remain are our memories and our photos.  I fear that most of what will remain are our memories, not even our photos since many of our photos are left on our phones!

As I think about time, I am reminded that we are blessed to be able to be together, and I am grateful that we are healthy enough to travel.  We never know when that will change.  I am also grateful that we have the financial resources to be able to take these trips together.  While we are making a commitment of time and money to do so, we have the ability to and many cannot.   And as meaningful and fun as these trips are, we can certainly make memories without traveling to Colorado for a ski vacation or to Disney or the beach.

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A wonderful man talking about sourdough starter at the Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat.


Visiting with our Oak Island friends, Al and Margaret Bishop.

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At Lyon’s soda fountain, one of our favorite places!

Making memories is more about being together and making that a priority, more than being in any specific location.

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Having breakfast at Winona’s before Tara and Stephen and girls depart.

However you do it, and wherever you do it, make spending time as a family a priority.  When we grandparents and parents are gone, the memories of our times together will be a comfort to those left behind.

Patti name

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Inspiring Positive Change™

IMG952679A new year affords us the opportunity to start anew, whatever that means to each one of us.  When you read that, New Year’s resolutions probably come to mind.  Those familiar with my writings may recall that I prefer to call these commitments instead of resolutions.  Too often New Year’s resolutions are abandoned before January ends.  I have found it harder to break commitments.  That is if we are really serious about those commitments.

Regardless of what we call them if we do not keep our promises to ourselves, that is much more damaging than not keeping commitments to others.  Easy to talk about and write about, harder to do.  One reason for that is that we are too often creatures of habit.  It is easier to keep on doing the familiar and easy than it is to change ourselves. Personal behavioral change is the hardest change to make.  But hard though it is, many people are successful at it.  What do they have that we don’t?  Nothing.  And everything.

I just read a recent issue of People magazine.  While I don’t read this magazine routinely, I read this one because the Today Show co-anchors, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb are on the cover.  The cover story about the dismissal of anchor Matt Lauer interested me.  While that article was interesting, a much more interesting article was about many people who have lost half of their body size.  This article was inspiring, in part due to my struggle with wanting to lose the same twenty-five pounds I have lost and regained several times.


If we did more of this, there would be less need for New Year’s resolutions.

Inspiring or not, the article will not do a thing for me if I don’t make some changes in my life.  I know what to do.  I know how to do it.  I just haven’t done it.  The article did inspire me, however, in one major way.   As several people profiled in the article talked about, I must find my “why” before the “what” and “how” will work for me.  My “why” must be stronger than my desire to keep on eating, drinking, and doing those things that got and keep me where I am with this challenge.

One time I lost the weight was when I was preparing for daughter Tara’s wedding.  My “why” was crystal clear.  I wanted to look good in wedding photos that I knew we would have forever!  Once that stimulus was over, it was easy to regain the weight.   And there are lots of family photos that I have been in since at weight that I do not like!

Enough about me.  Think about yourself.  What changes do you want to make?  What is your “why?”  Sometimes we have to dig deep to find our “why.”  And our “why” can’t be superficial, for if it is, when we hit the wall, our resolve can turn into resistance.  It is helpful to differentiate the difference in a superficial “why” and one deep enough to see us through the resistance that occurs.

Think about the weight loss example.  A superficial why is appearance, while one deeper is health.  Another example of a deeper “why” regarding weight loss is not liking the person we are at a certain weight; thus, we struggle with the loss of confidence. To become the person we truly want to be, to have the energy to live life to the fullest, is a deeper “why” that will help us conquer the resistance to stay just the way we are.


A car I saw recently.

Inspiring Positive Change in ourselves is some of the hardest change to make.  We are creatures of habit.  Unlike common thought, it takes much longer than twenty-one days to make or break a habit.  My book, A Year in the Life of a Recovering Spendaholic, proved this to me.  And once that year was over, it became easier as time passed to revert to spendaholic behavior.  In that year there was some change that became permanent, but not all.

In this new year, what change (s) do you want to make?  What do you want badly enough to do what is required to conquer the resistance that naturally occurs?

What is your “why?”


The best example of positive change; these precious granddaughters!

Patti name



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Delta is Ready When You Are!


Delta Sky Club Lounge at RDU, home of our wonderful Customer Care Agent, Kathleen.

Many flying to or through the east coast in the past few days likely had a travel disruption.  The storms throughout the east coast grounded planes, cancelled flights, and displaced luggage.  The airports in New York were especially disrupted with some passengers and luggage waiting for days to be connected.  Mike and I were among the many whose schedules were affected.  We were scheduled to fly from Raleigh to LaGuardia last Thursday am.  That flight was cancelled, as were the two other flights we were booked on.

Our only option to fly out on Friday was less than desirable.  It was in fact, a terrible routing. We were to fly from Raleigh to Atlanta, then to Louisville, then from Louisville to LaGuardia. What is usually a one hour flight from Raleigh to LaGuardia would now be ten hours in airports and in flight. We decided to take it, thinking if we didn’t, it could be days before we might be booked on another flight given all of the rebookings of flights as a result of all of the cancellations.

Friday came, and we headed to the airport earlier than usual to see if we could find another option for our flight.  While the agent at the check-in counter was sympathetic to our situation, she offered no solution.  So, we checked in and headed to the Delta Sky Club Lounge to wait until it was time to board for our first flight of the day.



Delta Sky Club in Atlanta

When we checked into the Sky Club Lounge, we met Kathleen, the customer service agent.  When she checked our boarding pass, she was shocked at our routing.  We talked about it with her for a few minutes, but did not ask her to see if there was anything else available.  We did not ask her to, but she did.

When Mike went back to the desk to check on our flight’s boarding schedule, Kathleen had a better option for us.  She had found two first-class seats on a flight from Atlanta to JFK and had booked them for us.  That change would save us half a day of delays.  Our original seats were not in first class, and my ticket, being a companion ticket, was not even eligible for the upgrade.  Nonetheless, Kathleen booked us on that flight in those seats, at no additional cost!


Mike in his first class seat from Atlanta to JFK.

The flight from Atlanta to JFK was one of my most pleasant flying experiences.  The steward took our coats the minute we boarded.  The plane was nicer than any I have been in domestically.  The seats were spacious and fully reclined.  Our seats were bulkhead seats, which usually means there is no storage capacity in front of them.  These seats, however, had a storage area that holds up to ten pounds.


Surprisingly, although the flight was only one and a half hours in duration, a full meal was served.  The food was delicious and healthy.  The bathroom was larger than any other airline bathroom I have seen and it was brightly lit.  (I, who love light, loved this!)  The lime hand soap in the bathroom was a nice touch.  The glasses our drinks were served in were Alessi.  The details on this flight were impressive.  And most important of all, the stewards were all friendly and accommodating.

Once we landed at JFK, the situation was not as pleasant.  We sat on the tarmac for over an hour waiting for a gate.  Once inside the airport, the crowds of people, some of whom had been waiting a couple of days, were packed into the baggage claim area.  It was chaos.  It was more than two hours later before we found our bags and headed out to get a taxi.  While we were in the taxi line a man approached us with an offer of a limousine to take up to eight people to downtown hotels for a fixed price.  The man approached a couple of other couples around us with the same offer.  While I wasn’t sure this was a good idea, Mike and the others decided it was safe, so that is what we did.  That turned out to be a good decision.


Chaos in baggage claim at JFK

Some of the airport experience at JFK reminded me of the chaos Mike and I was in during our Hurricane Irma experience in St. Maarten in September.  But thankfully, this ended much quicker.  We left the airport and were in our hotel within the hour.


One of many stores in Manhattan!




Patti spent more time in this coffee shop than she did in any other shop.” Yes, really!

What is it that makes one person accept whatever is on a computer screen, even if it is problematic for the customer, and another person search for a better solution for that same customer?  What makes one person willing to find a solution and break the rules for the customer’s benefit, even if that customer isn’t in the upper tier of that airline’s customers?  (Although Mike and I both have been premier customers of Delta in years past, neither one of us is at this point.)

Is the difference in the training?  I don’t think so.  Is the difference in position power?  I don’t believe so since both the check-in agent and the Sky Club agent were front-line customer service agents.  Is it age or experience?  Perhaps those were variables, but I hesitate to assume so. If not these differences, what then?  What accounts for one person going more than the extra mile and the other not?

Is the difference as simple as caring; caring with a capital “C”?  Yes, I think so.

Caring is the difference in many things. Things that matter.

And on a different note, today is my Mother’s birthday. She died in September of 1998.  It is hard to believe it has been almost twenty years.   Rest in peace, Mother.


Patti’s mother, Doris Waldrup Foster

And for those of you who still can, call your Mother!



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Building Anew


Happy New Year from Mike and Patti!

Happy New Year!  May 2018 be a year of health, happiness, and prosperity for you.

Just saying those words and wishing it so, will not make it happen.  Then, what will? Concentrated effort.  Daily disciplines.  Letting go of some things to make room for what we say we desire more. Easy to talk about, yet hard to do.  Every year at this time the gyms are full, for about two weeks.  Then the attendance at them drops off dramatically. At the beginning of January each year weight loss plans have many new converts, for about the same length of time.  As I think about this, it occurs to me that we fail in these efforts not because we aren’t serious about what we want to change.  I believe there is another equally, and maybe even more, important variable.   Unless we commit to what we will give up and what we will let go of, our change efforts will not be successful.  A recent change in our lives is an example of this.

A few months ago, it became obvious that we needed to make significant improvements to our clubhouse at the Oak Island Golf Club, improvements that would be costly.  As part of the ownership and President of the Board, Mike has been directly involved in planning our best option.  We had two viable options.  The first option and the one that initially seemed to make the most sense (mainly due to the anticipated cost involved in the other option) was to renovate the clubhouse.  The other option was to tear down the existing facility and build a new clubhouse.  The Board and General Manager considered both options and after a careful analysis decided that tearing down the existing facility and building a new clubhouse was the best option.  One of the main reasons for this decision was the fact that the difference between the cost of the two options wasn’t significant enough to risk renovating, not really knowing what would be found once the building was opened up.  It is even possible that it could be costlier to renovate than to build a new building.  The corollaries between this situation and other changes, even New Year’s resolutions, is instructive.


Mid demolition of Oak Island Golf Club Clubhouse

The decision makers for the clubhouse change decided to destroy the old and build a new one.  This is similar to us deciding to let go of our old self and build a new self.  In both situations, it is necessary to let go of some things that we enjoy.  In our clubhouse example, one of those is our beloved Duffers, our pub and restaurant.  We have had to let go of the familiar, the known, and the loved.  Since occupying a temporary structure, many club members have expressed how much they miss the clubhouse and Duffers.  When I decided to lose the twenty-five pounds that had found me again, I knew that doing so would involve letting go of some food and beverages I enjoy.  I will miss them as much as our members miss Duffers and our clubhouse!


Letting go and building new, whether it is a new clubhouse or a new self, requires that we be willing to build something different, not just


What remains of Oak Island Golf Club Clubhouse

replicate what we had that was familiar.  For the clubhouse, this means a new design, one that will not include lockers, and that will likely be an overall smaller building.  For my new self, it means a body that will not look the same as one I had even a few years ago, even if I am the same weight.  Aging results in changes, such as wrinkles.  We may decide that keeping a few more pounds than our “ideal” weight is best if doing so keeps some of those wrinkles at bay!


Real change always takes time and requires patience and flexibility.  Our new clubhouse will probably require a year of planning and construction, and while we have a temporary structure, it is without some of the benefits our members enjoy.  We do not have a kitchen that prepares fresh food, and for the first few weeks, we have not had any food available in our temporary structure.  Our members have been very supportive, believing that while we have these limitations now, our new clubhouse will be worth the wait.  They have been willing to give up the familiar and desirable to eventually have something better.  We must do the same when making personal change.



Angie, Steve, and Patti, three of our Duffers favorites!


I have thoroughly enjoyed bread, butter, fried foods, and dessert, and my body is reflective of such.  I will miss those familiar and desirable food items, but I believe that the body I can have will be worth the sacrifices.  If I maintain the daily disciplines of food control and weight management, my new “building,” my new body, can be built in three months.  The changes I must make to have this very reasonable weight loss of two pounds per week will not be easy, but I can do it.  I want to do it.  I will do it.



Mike on the porch of our temporary clubhouse.


What about you?  What changes do you plan to make in 2018?  What are you willing to give up to have what you say is important to you?  Remember, it isn’t enough for us to just commit to what we will do.  We must also give up some of the familiar and desirable to have what we want more.

I wish you great success on your journey!




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