This video was made while my good friend and mentor, Helene Van Manen, and I were camping last fall. We often have discussions like this one about life and how to live it the best way. Keep in mind that we had been camping for 5 days without showering and barely combing our hair!
Learn more about Helene here.
Today, I'll be leaving on an adventure that I’ve dreamed of for years.
I’m going on safari in Africa.
As I write this, I’m pinching myself and realizing that in a few days I’ll be seeing elephants, tigers, giraffes and other animals in their natural habitat in Tanzania.
Last November a very dear friend of mine passed away from cancer. She was a healthy, vibrant 62 year old. After her death, I made a pledge to myself and to her that I would not wait to do the things that I want to do.
I’m not wealthy. But I found a way to do this safari. I choose not to wait to follow my dreams.
When you listen to the video my friend ...
As we celebrate another of our nation’s birthday this Independence Day, I am reminded of a July 4th post I wrote back in 2011 when my son, Rob, was deployed to Afghanistan. Rob is home now, but re-reading the post today brings all those feelings back to me. It also makes me feel a deep gratitude that he returned with his body, and his psyche, intact. I will forever feel grateful for that.
I still feel connected to those who served in that faraway country. I am privileged to have worked as a counselor with Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and Sailors who were deployed and returned from Afghanistan and Iraq. Their stories are chilling, young men who know the horrors of war and are still trying to make sense of it all.
The ones who are still deployed, still in danger, the ones who are struggling, and the many who are wounded warriors.
Think for a moment about the ones...
I’ve decided to come clean and tell you the truth: I’m going to write you every week. Whoa. I cringe because I’ve said this before. But this time I really mean it.
When have you promised yourself (or someone else) that you’d do something? And then - it happens. You stop doing something you meant to do. And usually it goes like this: you miss a week. A week turns into 2 weeks and then 2 becomes a month, and then the next thing, it’s not happening. AT ALL. Please tell me you’ve done this, too.
The thing is, I KNOW what happens for me. It’s called a big fat, mean saboteur, who sits on my shoulder.
I hear him breathing in disgust, reading what I’ve just written. “So, Jo ... when did you get so bold that you're telling people you’re going to write them every week? Really?” (I can imagine him rolling his eyes). “How long will it last THIS TIME? You can’t even think of what to write about."...