I grew up in the Midwest where competitive sports and school spirit were the expected norm for all high school students. Since I had taken and coached gymnastics for years, I thought the logical step would be to try out for cheerleading. After two years of failed attempts, my attitude toward trying out again was negative and fearful. One evening while lamenting over trying out or not, my father sat my brother and me down and said he had something he wanted us to listen to. They were audiocassettes by the author and motivational speaker, Dale Carnegie. His philosophy was if you had a positive attitude you’d have positive results and adversely, if your attitude was negative your results would also be negative. His words inspired me and I KNEW I would make the cheerleading squad that year and – I DID!

So convinced that my attitude was what provided me with success, I started using that method in attaining everything I wanted in all parts of my life. With my attitude adjustment, I have created an interesting and varied life for myself. From seven years at the Academy of Art College majoring in Interior Design to an optician in an ophthalmologists office, to one of my proudest incarnations as owner/operator of a coastal kayaking school. I became and continue to be an Instructor Trainer Educator in Advanced Coastal Kayaking teaching and certifying other sea kayak instructors. Teaching kayaking has been one of the most rewarding adventures in my life. I guess you could call me a “jack of all trades, a master of some”.

I have worn many different hats, from construction hard hats to straw sun hats and lots of caps in between. But there is one hat that I’ve consistently worn since I was 18 – the “top hat” – and that is being a mom. My son Brandon has been the cherished soul that has been through all of these changes with me. He is an amazing man that strides to his own drummer. He too, wears many hats, and too, is master of many and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

I have always tried to find joy in my life, but 10 years ago a joy found me that I couldn’t ignore. The love of my life, Mark. He challenges me, encourages me, laughs at and with me, and we have built a life that works for us.

I think back as a 12 year old girl, I was outwardly irritated by my 7 year old little sister wanting to go and do everything I did, but inwardly if she didn’t want to – I was disappointed. These days I dream of us doing everything together. With our lives being set on opposite coasts, the Wise SOTSS is the perfect way for us to do that. And now we have another ‘sister’ that makes the journey all the richer.

So . . .Susan . . . Diana . . . it’s time for us to blast-off on a new expedition, more laughs and tremendous fun while bringing all kinds of goodness to our lives.