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In grade school I was told that you should surround yourself with people, who you wanted to emulate… I should note that I went to Catholic School and at that time I was a bit of a rebel. When the Nuns shared this bit of advice with me, I automatically discounted it. Through the years I repeatedly read articles suggesting that you should surround yourself with people who you admire, individuals who are positive, knowledgeable, helpful, etc. – essentially a community who can help you become the person you want to be. I thought about it and it made sense and (finally) I took it to heart. To this day, I trust and honor this rule.

I have also read many stories about how creating a village around you makes life infinitely easier. This immediately struck a chord with me. Over the years I found myself working towards creating a Neighborhood block club, a Neighborhood babysitting co-op, a school car-pool (the hugest help ever), and even a block party (honestly, that part was the easiest, since that is pretty much what I do professionally)! But, not until very recently did I ever feel that any of the energy I put towards these efforts (into creating a village specifically), truly made a difference in my life. I guess you don’t know what you’re surrounded by until you encounter a hurdle.

In the last month I found myself in an odd and peculiar situation. I had never been in a similar predicament. I reached out to people for advice and opinions (I should note that this was not a “turn the key to the right until it clicks” situation). I was amazed by the support and insight other people offered. I received suggestions with complete honesty and without hesitation. There were so many people who shared their experiences and support – through the web and through personal interaction. These people just wanted to help me and I am still amazed. I felt and still feel – so incredibly blessed and humble. I have found myself as part of a village and I’m damn proud of it!

This month I want to share that I am very thankful for you – not only for reading this far in our blog / newsletter, but for being part of my village! I’d like to share additional gratitude to those very special people who were completely honest and open with me…ok…you know who you are, or at the very least, I hope you do!! Thank you for the support, insight, experience, your time and patience with me on my journey to becoming the person I emulate to be.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned that you can share with others?