I have been away from your inbox for a few months; perhaps you missed me. I have missed you for there is a connection I feel to each of my readers when I write; nonetheless, since my father’s death in mid-October my pen has lain on my desk, and try though I might, I haven’t been able to pick it back up. I knew I would, I just didn’t know when, and I guess the New Year is the place to begin.
Dad was and is one of my number one fans. He would not understand why his death has affected me as it has, and I am not sure I fully do. He might even call it silly, for after all, he was old, and old people die. I know how fortunate I was to have had him physically present in my life for so long, and yes, in many ways, his death was not a surprise. His death led me deeper onto a path of reflection and contemplation, and now action. A path lined with memories, mired with questions and occasional answers.
He was a member of the Greatest Generation, and to him, I pay tribute:
For his courage: To live life his way. To speak his truth. To make difficult decisions. To say no when yes was easier. To say yes when no was easier. To literally risk his life to save others. To make the most of the cards he was dealt. To persevere. To let go.
For his humility: To work quietly behind the scenes, uncomfortable with recognition. To routinely dismiss his accomplishments, even the acclaimed Silver Star for his valiant acts during WWII. To laugh at himself. To recognize the goodness in others.
For his commitment: To walk his talk. To his wife, his family, his friends. To golf and the Jayhawks. To his church. To his values. To simplicity. To learning. To his country and his political party.
For his generosity: Of his time, his talents, his smile, his spirit, his money.
My father was an ordinary member of the Greatest Generation. He learned early in his life, as most did, how to do with very little, and how to make the most of what he had. His generation experienced unprecedented times, and came to experience richness in life they didn’t know was possible. They persevered through bad times, and have enjoyed good times. They knew and accepted that things would change, for that was the nature of life. They appreciate the value in the ordinary.
In my father’s ordinariness was greatness: some discovered, some left to next time. Some visible to all, some only to some. Not a flashy greatness, a consistent greatness. His own, made evident by the comments we received in sympathy notes and in our conversations with friends….he was simply Jim.
Our own greatness is available to all of us, waiting for us to claim, to discover, to step into, however we wish. Dad’s way was the right way for him. On this day of his 84th birthday, I am especially grateful for his presence in my life and for the riches he bestowed upon me, the riches he found no matter the economic climate. Join me this year in continuing to step into your unfolding greatness. Let’s all find the extra in the ordinary and make it an extraordinary year.
If people paid tribute to you, what would they say?
What do you want them to say? What actions can you take to realize such?
What does your greatness look like? Is any of it hidden, tucked away for another day, another year, perhaps afraid?
About Extra Ordinary Living
Janet began her coaching journey in January of 2004, leaving behind a satisfying career as a healthcare executive. Working first under the company name, Tiberius Enterprises, in January of 2007, Janet adopted the company name, Extra Ordinary Living, symbolizing her desire to work with people who defy the law of average and want to live extraordinary lives, consistently adding the extra to the ordinary. Her by-line embracing sustainable change is reflective of two intentions. First is to have the changes a client makes have long term positive implications. Second is to live a life that respects the importance of sustaining our planet’s lives for generations to follow.
As an Executive Coach, Janet’s intention is to assist service professionals and organizations to maximize their return on human capital….managing human behaviors for optimal outcomes. Janet has repeatedly found that an individual’s professional and personal satisfaction and happiness is often limited by their very own “human capital.” She loves working with people to identify and own their natural tendencies, abilities and talents; to recognize their limitations, and apply all in creating the life they have historically only dreamed about. As a professional coach, Janet is trained to listen, to observe and to customize her approach to match her client’s needs. She provides tools, support, structure and accountability to help her clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.
Having a coach herself for over four years, Janet has found the best thing about coaching is that it is all about you, the client, and what you want. A coach may share her opinion, and give you advice; however, it is all up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. A coach suspends judgment, and supports you in your decisions.
With the coaching philosophy as her foundation, Janet is also an inspirational Professional Speaker. She has spoken at local, state and national conferences, providing the plenary session as well as more structured workshops. Her goal is to impart useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to assist her audiences in living extra ordinary lives. Janet always customizes her content to match her audience.
Interested in learning more? Please contact Janet by phone at 540-342-3040, email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website, www.4extraordinaryliving.com.
Janet Crawford MHA, MBA Professional Certified Coach
Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals looking for new perspectives and ideas for living life differently by finding the Extra in the Ordinary.
"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
– John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
– G. K. Chesterton
Sustainable Living Tip:
Studies continually validate the key role being grateful/ expressing gratitude has in living a happy, fulfilled life. Being grateful is simple. It doesn’t cost anything, and is available to all of us, no matter our age, gender, size, race….it truly could be considered a universal language.
My dear friend (and reader) Diane was sharing with me today her idea for a gratefulness chain. You know the good old fashion paper chain that we made as children and hung on our Christmas trees. Every day at the time she was born, she intentional notes to herself something for which she is grateful. She then writes it/them down on the strip of paper, making a link in her chain. She has identified a special place for displaying her soon-to-be chain…an ever visible and growing reminder of the grateful abundance in her life.
I love it! I suggested she may even want to make her links into mobius strips…that may be a lesson for another day. (If you are interested, simply google it to learn more.)
The gratitude chain is a different version of the gratitude journal. The chain reminds us that one is connected to another, and that if we honor connections, we build on them. Regardless of what you do, remember to be mindful for what you are grateful, and to put your attentions there. You may soon discover an abundance in life you didn’t know you had.
To YES Living Retreat
Are you ready for a winter get away to nurture your mind, body and spirit? To connect with wonderful women? To learn more ways to bring abundance and joy into your life?
When: Beginning at 7:00 pm on Friday, February 27 and ending at 12 noon on Sunday, March 1, 2009.
Where: Mariner’s Landing at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.
For detailed information, go to www.2yesliving.com.