Liz Wolfe | Liz Wolfe
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When I anticipated motherhood, I only pictured two phases of their childhood – baby through Kindergarten, and when they were off to college. Somehow I never visualized the gangly stage that my son is in during his 7th grade year. While he doesn’t seem to eat very much, he’s still growing at a rapid rate, and has almost reached my height.

I have two older sisters - two brilliant, creative, beautiful, expressive and overshadowing older sisters. As the youngest, I came up behind them in school and had many of the same teachers. I endured them calling on me in class by “Jennifer” and “Ruth Anne” or being constantly compared to their talents, their schoolwork, and their grades. This impacted my upbringing so much that for my college admissions essay I wrote about an interaction that my friend had:

One day, a friend of mine told me a story about having gone to see the school nurse. This particular nurse is the type who knows almost all the students and loves to talk. During the time Mary was in the office, she mentioned that she was friends with one of the “Wolfe Girls.” The nurse was delighted. She said, “Oh, yes! Ruth Anne is so wonderful. She’s so talented and smart and is a wonderful actress. And she dances so well!”

Thinking back to my youth, I can definitively say that 7th grade was the worst ever. I attended a small town “junior high school” that consisted of just 7th and 8th grade. The main form of entertainment at recess for my group of friends was to stand in the far corner of a blacktop lot and smoke cigarettes. I don’t ever remember a single teacher coming over to check on us or to break it up. In fact, the space where we stood was clearly visible from the school and anyone could easily see the billows of smoke rising above us. I remember being much more concerned about how I was being accepted in social circles than I ever was about getting good grades, since that was, if not “uncool”, at least not cool.

Growing up, my father, two sisters, and I took many road trips to visit relatives for summer vacations. I remember spending long hours in the car reading, singing, playing or just looking out the window as the cornfields went by. Because of these fond memories, I looked forward to having children of my own, packing up, and hitting the road on some adventures. One husband and two children later, I have had a few fun road trips with them, though they don’t quite look as I imagined them to be. For one thing, while my children are avid readers, they expect that on a trip of any length that they will be watching DVDs. As a result, not a lot of scenery watching happens. Also, it occurs to me that perhaps they are not quite as enamored with the journey as the ultimate destination.

When I was a child, we had a family friend who we would often visit on Saturdays. They had a wonderful big old house, and being scholarly types, had bookshelves full of books. There weren’t many there that were kid friendly, but one day I came upon a hardbound collection of Wonder Woman comics. I would spend hours poring over the stories of this amazing and heroic woman. In later years, when Lynda Carter starred as Wonder Woman in a TV series, I felt like I knew her personally.

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of getting something done that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Like many people, I’ve been leveraging the impetus of the New Year to rearrange some items in my life, in particular purchasing a treadmill for under my desk and rearranging furniture in my office. I love the fresh feel of seeing my world in a new way.

My mother used to say, “It’s always something.” I’ve been looking forward to going upstate for quite a while. Jon and I both took extra measures to prepare for the trip so that things would go smoothly and we could make that oft sought after early departure. As a self-admitted “time optimist” I’ve historically been caught running around, crazed and harried, while tensions mount between me and my family members. I was bound and determined to break from this historical experience today.

After Hurricane Sandy, a graduate of the Abundance & Prosperity workshop, Will Romero, wrote these words: “I just wanted to say thank you very much. I lost my apartment during the hurricane and the first thing that came to my head was ‘Wow... I’m not really attached to material things.’ So I decided to choose a different attitude, and made a list of the things I am grateful for. Well, I have a lot of things to be grateful for... this is the end of my apartment, and the beginning of another journey. Thank you to everyone in the Abundance and Prosperity group… without you... I would be choosing differently.”

I recently read a moving and insightful book called 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik. It’s a true story of a man who completely turned his life around when he decided to write a thank you note every day for one year. This memoir is an example of how powerful gratitude can be. The story that I remember most from the book, though, was one that Kralik tells in the beginning. He describes how as a young boy his grandfather gave him a silver dollar, telling him that if he received a thank you note, he would send another one. As long as Kralik sent him a thank you note, the silver dollars would keep coming. In this way, his grandfather taught him a life lesson in etiquette, while simultaneously illustrating how gratitude generates more abundance.

Did you watch the presidential debate last night? I did, and boy, was it stimulating. The topic was the economy, and it was fascinating to hear the candidates give their differing viewpoints on taxes, interest rates, regulations, and how to encourage job growth. What intrigued me the most was their shared perspective that the government would have a crucial role in whether or not I (and my business) would be successful. Wow. I’m so glad that I didn’t just wait around for them to figure out what policies would be best. With all that waiting, my business might just be an idea instead of a part of my successful livelihood.