Vacation Mode

Arriving in Mexico
Arriving in Mexico

Many of you know I recently went on a much anticipated and greatly appreciated vacation. I feel so blessed to have been able to get away for 6 days. Vacation mode for me is super relaxed. I allowed myself to put away all the things I’m working on at home and just be. I slept, ate, went scuba diving, took in the beautiful scenery, ate and slept some more. Did I mention that I slept? I might have slept a lot. It was wonderful!

Cozumel Landscape
Cozumel Landscape

I especially loved being under water again and seeing that part of God’s beautiful creation. It had been 5 years since I had dived and it was incredible. It was even more special to be able to share my love for diving with Ronny who had never been before. Ronny took classes and became certified just before our trip. He took to it quite well and by our last dive he was turning out to be quite a comfortable diver. We both wish we’d had a few more days to dive. We’re already looking forward to another dive trip in the VERY near future.

The Dive group at Deep Blue in Cozumel
The Dive group at Deep Blue in Cozumel

It always seems like vacation time is accelerated. Six days and five nights in Cozumel flew by. As we boarded the plane to return home, part of me was ready to get back. Being on vacation was a very relaxing and happy time and we had great fun but I kind of missed certain parts of my “normal” life. I started looking forward to some exciting things planned for the upcoming week and couldn’t wait to hit the ground running. I was happy to be home again.

 

Boarding plane in Cozumel heading to Houston
Boarding plane in Cozumel heading to Houston

I realized that happiness doesn’t come from places we visit. While we were happy and having a blast, there were actually people around us that didn’t seem happy at all. You could see it in their faces and in their body language. They were vacationing on the beautiful island of Cozumel but deep down, they didn’t seem to be all that happy.

 

Sipping wine watching the Cozumel Sunset
Sipping wine watching the Cozumel Sunset

As I’ve given this a lot of thought, I’ve begun to understand that true happiness comes from deep within. You may find superficial, temporary happiness when you take a vacation, but it can be fleeting. Happiness doesn’t come from a destination, it’s a by-product of how you live and the choices you make in life.

 

Some of the most important things we can do to realize happiness are to be grateful for all the good in our lives, have a generous spirit and to love and be loved. If you have those things, you’ll experience that indisputable, deep down to your soul, kind of happiness.

 

So even though vacation mode has been halted for now. I still love life and love the work I’m doing. My vacation was great and I certainly hope it won’t be 5 years before I am able to take off again but in the mean time, I’m happy and I’m grateful for the all the love in my life. I sincerely hope you are too!

ALL PHOTO CREDIT GOES TO THE TALENTED RONALD EARL WILSHER.

This Man

Ronny

When we first met, I didn’t see this coming at all. How did we end up here? We started on this journey carrying a ton of baggage, broken, disillusioned, hardened, and with enormous walls guarding our hearts. Neither of us thought love was on our horizon or even remotely possible.  But here I sit writing about “this man” 3 years later.

 

Many have asked how we met so I will share the story:

 

Our initial meeting was at a networking event. We were introduced by a mutual friend, Lee Farb. We exchanged pleasantries and carried on networking and meeting other people. We both meet a lot of people and many times people are quickly forgotten but I did remember this character. He was loud and large and quite full of himself. I thought he was a bit weird but at least he made an impression. We continued to see each other at other networking events over the next few months and I spoke to him a little more but not extensively. I really didn’t know what he did for a living. I thought he was married and never even looked at him as a potential date. I had also made it a rule to NEVER (never say never) date anyone I knew from networking.

 

At one particular networking luncheon, “this man” stood up when it was his turn to introduce himself to the room and stated his name and that he was here to see Kathryn Wheat (me)! Let me reiterate, we barely knew each other. When my best friend and business partner, Cindy Dennen, heard him she warned me that he was about to be moved to the #1 position on my stalker list. You see I did actually have a real live stalker. I wasn’t sure what “this man’s” intentions were towards me. Partner this with the fact that a mutual friend of ours, Dave Bamberg,  asked me on more than one occasion what I thought about “this man”. I suspected Dave was trying to play matchmaker, which was confusing since I was uncertain about his marital status.

 

“This man” had also started texting me cute little smiley things and other non-sense. Quite often, his text either went completely unanswered  or was answered several days later. I didn’t want to encourage him. At that time, my life was in a major transition. After a year and a half of trying, I was finally going to get my house sold. I had been divorced but had been stuck in the home and was trying desperately not to lose it to foreclosure during the downturn of the real estate market. My financial situation was difficult to say the least. I didn’t have time or energy for non-sense. But secretly, he did make me smile. And if I’m going to be honest, I did text him back late one night after an evening on the town with friends. I couldn’t believe he answered my text almost immediately since it was about 3:00 am. It made me feel a little giddy.

 

I had come to a place in my business where I was looking for advice on marketing possibilities. I called Dave Bamberg and told him what I was considering doing. I valued his opinion and needed some feedback. He then asked me if I had ever sat down and talked to “this man”. I told him no, I hadn’t. He urged me to talk to him before I made any decisions. At this point I was unsure if Dave wanted me to talk to him for business reasons or if this was part of his matchmaking efforts. So I called Cindy and told her we needed to schedule an appointment to talk to “this man”. She responded with a big sigh and exclaimed that in no way was I to meet with him by myself. I said of course not! You’re going with me. So I called him and asked if we could meet. He was very friendly and glad to hear from me. We scheduled our meeting for Monday, May 2, 2011.

 

The 3 of us sat down and began to talk. It was then that I began to think of him differently. I realized that he was so much more than what I thought. As we talked, I think I started falling in love. I could tell that Cindy was impressed with who “this man” was too. That day he helped open my eyes to so much that I had been missing in my business and in my personal life. Not only did he show me many ways to help my business grow but he also motivated and inspired me. He made me feel like maybe I could really make it on my own. He encouraged me to be courageous. I remember thinking, who is “this man”? His positivity was absolutely contagious!

 

Our meeting had been scheduled for only 30 minutes to an hour. FIVE hours later, Cindy had to leave us to go pick up her daughter from school. I know both of us felt like our heads would explode with all of the information that he was so freely providing. I was so excited because it was like the fog was lifted. So much was finally making sense to me. Why had I been so stand offish with “this man”? After Cindy left, we wrapped up our meeting and he asked me if I wanted to go have a glass of wine and get to know each other a little better. I said yes. I was so confused. He wasn’t at all who I thought he was and I still didn’t understand his marital status. We went to a wine bar and talked even more. It turned out that he wasn’t married.

 

We have been together ever since.

 

We both stepped into this unexpectedly, with reluctance and extreme caution. Neither of us was looking for love. It just hit us over the head and was quite impossible to ignore. So here I am 3 years later changed for the better and hopelessly in love with “this man”, Ronald Wilsher, who is honest, kind, brilliant, confident, positive, fair, strong, thoughtful, funny, giving, motivating, inspiring, loud, weird, quirky, often misunderstood and perfect for me.

 

Happy 3 year anniversary Ronny! I love you bunches!

 

And in an attempt to answer the question, “When is he gonna put a ring on it?”, all I can say is that if you look at our matching tattoos you can see our status. We are 2 hearts joined together by The Cross.

Tattoo Ronald Wilsher Kathryn Wheat

                      photo credit 2 Creative Birds

 

Beware of friends bearing gifts!

 

MoneyStringsAttached

 

 

 

Gift

Noun

  1. 1.    a thing  given willingly to someone without payment; a present

 

Prize

Noun

  1. 1.    a thing given as a reward to the winner of a competition or race in recognition of another outstanding achievement.

Adjective

  1. 1.    (esp. of something entered in a competition) having been or likely to be awarded a prize.

 

Ahemmm; pardon me while I step up on my soapbox for a minute……

 

Lately I’m feeling frustrated with the act of “receiving”. It is said that it’s better to give than to receive. I wholeheartedly agree with that! Knowing that you have freely and selflessly given with no expectation, demands or strings attached are a joy unlike any other. In fact, making an anonymous gift where the recipient doesn’t even know your identity is one of the greatest feelings I know.

 

Don’t misunderstand me though, being on the receiving end is very sweet. Gifts bring a smile to my face every time. I love presents! When I receive a gift, I willingly shout praises upon the giver for all to hear. My mother taught me to give thanks and be thankful. I believe that recognition and appreciation should always be given. However, the giver should never dictate it.

 

Unfortunately, not all gifts are truly gifts. Some people like to place conditions or demands on their gifts. In which case the gift is not really a gift at all. It is a trade. My advice to anyone who wishes to make a trade with me, approach me honestly with a pure heart and I will most likely do whatever I can to help you if I believe in your cause. I have done so many times and I’m sure I will continue to do so in the future. Your honesty will carry a lot of weight with me and I will appreciate your straightforward approach. I just ask that you be upfront about what you expect from me and don’t continue to add to it after a deal is made.

 

If demands of publicity, media attention, and tapping into my network of connections are made upon receipt of a gift, it doesn’t feel like a gift. It’s more like a set up and I feel used. Especially when repeated demands are made. How many times must one repay a “gift”? I hate that I’ve become so jaded and suspicious that when someone wants to do something for me my first instinct is to ask, “How much will it cost and what do you want from me?” It’s sad that boundaries must be set when it comes to accepting a gift but it is occasionally best to decline such gifts and prizes when they are accompanied by a list of instructions on how to publicly acknowledge said gift.

 

We are all here to help each other and share our blessings. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if many people in my path hadn’t freely given of their time and talents to help me on my journey. Many people have blessed me and it is my hope to be able to bless even more people in return. It’s the true gift that has a lasting impact and will be the most memorable. Not the ones that carry with it a never-ending debt.

 

If you are in the spirit of giving, ask yourself what you REALLY expect in return. If the answer is nothing, then you are on the right track. If you feel compelled to send a list of instructions to the recipient concerning how they are to promote you, then maybe you should re-evaluate your motives and re-read the meaning of a gift.

 

Ok, that’s all! I’ll step down now.

Please Wait, Self-Adjustment in Operation!

Please wait

I recently attempted to make some copies on one of those large copy machines and it didn’t seem to be responding. As my patience was waning, I looked down and noticed the message it was showing me: Please wait, self-adjustment in operation. That simple, machine generated message struck me as very profound. There are times when we humans could use one of these messages displayed on our own foreheads.

 

There have been times in my life that I have become aware of the need to make self-adjustments. These may be better known as attitude adjustments. This usually occurs when I allow my emotions and frustrations to get the better of me. It’s tough in the middle of a stressful moment to see the big picture when all I am focused on are the tiny details that seem to matter so much in that instant. Sometimes I get hung up on elements that in the big scheme of things, don’t really matter that much.

 

I tend to be a reflector so it’s often that I find myself thinking about conversations after the fact. It’s during these times that I have learned that I must remove myself from a situation in order to see things more clearly. I should just shut down and walk away for time to reflect.

 

Often times when I do this, I see things very differently than when I was letting my emotions guide me. Not everybody processes stress the same way. Unfortunately, others often misunderstand when I retreat. So if you’re not a reflector, please understand that some of us need you to be patient and wait while we self-adjust.

 

Yes, I am an emotional being and I love the fact that my emotions run high. I am thankful that God made me the way I am. I want to feel things intensely, laughter and tears alike. How else would I be able to experience euphoria? I know that when I’m troubled, it’s a temporary feeling and I must refrain from making big decisions when my emotions are taking over my brain and my heart. So I think it would be very cool if I had one of those signs that would light up to make it official and remind others and myself that occasionally, I need to take a moment to allow my self-adjustment procedure to run. Please wait!