Friday, January 29, 2010

A Note From My Daughter's Girl Scout Troop

Our troop made the 1st cut!

Now we’re asking for YOUR help. Cadette Girl Scout Troop 2305 made the first cut in the 98.7 The Peak’s Girl Scout Cookie Bailout Plan. Help our troop convince morning DJs Chris and Amy that they want to buy 98 boxes of cookies from OUR troop.

Go to the PEAK website:, click on “Katie”, and hear our GS troop’s Billy Mays-ish cookie pitch.

Our troop pledges to donate all of the cookies to Army Unit RSG 653 who shipped out of Arizona in October and are now stationed in Kuwait. Our troop member Kira’s aunt and uncle are both members of this unit.

Then go back to the website starting this Friday and vote for our girls. Not only are you helping our troop, you are helping us send a positive message about Girl Scouts to the community.

Together we can make a difference!


Kira, Katie, Jeannie, Allison, Kori, Natalie, Jona, & Ally

Cadette Girl Scout Troop 2305

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What are you going to do this year that really scares you?

This question was asked of me on Twitter recently, by my friend and fellow GS leader Sara. I am always in awe of Sara and how she can have a dozen things going on and still have time for more. She also does freelance writing all over the place, and she wrote a recent entry on her Mom-blog regarding taking risks. It's a very good read, as is all of her entries there. She's just amazing, and has a very logical yet fun-loving way of looking at life and raising her family.

Ok, now that I've probably made her blush good and red, back to the question at hand. I was a bit thrown off by the question when it was asked. See, I'm not a new year's resolution person. I need short-term goals, something I can see the end of. College didn't work because I didn't see any end in sight (among other more personal reasons). However, when I went and had my legal training, I was able to complete the 8 month program. It was tough, and right after I began I became pregnant, but I could see the end and for me it was realistic and attainable. So at the end of each year I can't just say "I'm going to lose weight and eat better this year." because I know (as most of us truly know) that it lasts about a month or two, then boom you are right back where you started in December, making the same old resolution to follow half-assed again.

As for doing something that scares you, that happens all the time. I travel by plane once or twice a year, and I am extremely frightened of air travel. I know, I know, it's not a rational fear yadda yadda yadda... but regardless it is still a fear and I face it every time I get on a plane. I'm nervous every time I put out a new podcast, because I know my views are extreme and many do not agree with them. I open myself up to some really mean people who don't know how to express disagreement in ways other than hurtful personal attacks. However, rather than shutting up and not speaking my mind, I continue. It doesn't get easier, I just learn to ignore it better. ;-) I also recently stepped out of my comfort zone by becoming a Girl Scout Leader. I absolutely HATE being in charge, so this was a big step for me after not doing any leading since my PTO days back in 2004-ish. That led to stepping out in another way, which was camping. I freaking hate being outdoors, unless it's a day hike and I have a place inside to go to after.

I'm not a dare-devil type. It's not a fear, it's just the simple fact that I have no interest. Sara and my other good friend Kimber recently went and did the trapeze. I didn't quite get the draw. My husband skis, and I feel so bad because I have absolutely no desire to do so. Same with rock climbing, which my younger daughter loves. I just prefer my feet on the ground.

Now I can see the argument that I don't try these things because I am a big chicken, and if I just let go and did it I'd become hooked and never want to stop. My answer to that is, why? I don't complain about not doing these things. I don't find myself wishing to do them. If I'm happy the way I am, why should I push myself by doing things I *don't* want to do? I grew up living in fear, and worked hard and took great risk for the life I have now. Having a comfort zone doesn't necessarily equate to living in fear.

I like less-extreme risks, which were also mentioned in Sara's blog post. I had toyed with the idea of participating in Pat's Run for several years, but was easily able to talk myself out of it for years. After reading Jon Krakauer's book about Pat Tillman this past fall, I was finally moved to the point of committing to participating. Kimber has been participating every year, so she was very willing to help me train. My goal is to run the whole thing- no walking. This will be a challenge to someone who has never seriously ran since Jr. High. Again, a short- term goal. I began training in November, and the run is in April. I've managed to stay focused and committed so far (thanks to having someone to train with). I'll let you know how it goes.

Perhaps achieving this goal will give me the confidence to do something else I've wanted to do- and that's speak at Ignite Phoenix. I have a dozen ideas to speak about, and it's the perfect setting. Five minutes of speaking, and you finish just before you get to the point of crying or passing out (kind of like Pat's Run). I'm good behind the mic, but being in front is something I'm just not as confident doing. Then there is Podcamp AZ- which is right up my alley. I can always speak there too, and would like to. I've been at the podcasting thing long enough that there has to be *something* I can offer to others, right? I get a personal test of my knowledge soon by speaking about podcasting to Sara's GS troop in a couple of weeks. This definitely qualifies under "scary", since tween girls are probably the most judgmental of any age group out there.

But for now, I will stick my toes in the water a little at a time, without any regret that I didn't just jump right in. I jump if needed, but I have nothing to prove to myself. If you're a go-getter, good for you, I will be right there to cheer you on. I choose to live in my comfort zone and step out when needed or moved enough to. And be perfectly happy that way too.

That's the bottom line anyway, right? Doing what makes you happy.

So do it.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Over The Past 10 Years (with update)

(From 12/31/09 with update below)

I (in no particular order)...

*had my second daughter.
*started my own business.
*discovered I was lousy at running my own business.
*went on a cruise (10 year anniversary).
*discovered the online world.
*came out of my political shell
*found my voice.
*started a political forum
*met one of my closest friends and political allies- via the online world.
*started a podcast, now going into it's 4th year.
*started voice acting.
*became a radio personality.
*Hosted a live concert.
*was a PTA/O president.
*became a girl scout leader.
*traveled to England.
*traveled to Canada.
*was snowed in for 18 hours in Chicago O'Hare airport.
*learned to not want or need as much. This will remain a work-in-progress.
*learned how cruel people can be simply because they don't agree with your beliefs.
*grew a thicker skin.
*learned how supportive people can be because they do agree with your beliefs.
*said goodbye to some very important people in my life, because of death and drama.
*broke both my girls' hearts when I had to tell them they were losing their grandfather.
*said goodbye to my sweet sweet dog Sandi.
*made a lot of very good friends and connections thanks to the internet.
*discovered the importance of helping others.
*became an independent woman while being married and raising two children.
*watched my older daughter grow into a beautiful nearly teenage girl with pride and slight anxiety. But mostly pride.
*watched my younger daughter grow to remind me more and more of myself.
*developed a new appreciation for the man I married almost 17 years ago, and will always wonder how he finds the strength to put up with me. I may have gained my own sense of independence, but at the same time I don't know how I'd live without him.

The last 10 years were definitely a time of great personal growth. Maybe the next 10 will be a little more evened out! :-)

Happy New Year to everyone!

UPDATE: I forgot a couple things!

*won two podcasting awards, and was nominated for another
*was interviewed for a podcasting magazine

D'uh, how could I forget those things? :-)