What to do in the Lou?

“The Lou” meaning: St. Louis, MO.

I’m a St. Louis native who doesn’t experience boredom because there are so may things to do!  Always having something fun on the calendar definitely keeps me motivated, so I’m continually looking for NEW things to do as well as keeping track of enjoyable annual events, and now I’m sharing them with you.  I intend to periodically update this post with Events and Activities as an evolving page, so if you check back at a later date, there will likely be new events added as time continues and I visit more places!

The types of Events and Activities you will find here are:  Comedy, Cultural Activities, Entertaining Kids, Fitness, Music, Neighborhoods, Outdoors,  Restaurants, Seasonal Events, Sports, Weekend Road Trip Ideas, Wineries based on places I’ve been, along with links to informational sites all centering around the St. Louis area.

Below each subject are website links to the venues or activities providing the most current information:

COMEDY

St. Louis Funny Bone, Playhouse @ WestportPeabody Opera House

St. Louis

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES/ART/HISTORY

Visit the Arch, St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri Botanical Garden, The Muny, The Rep St. Louis, The Fox Theatre, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Lemp Mansion, Demenil Mansion, Anheuser Busch Brewery Tour, Peabody Opera House

DIGITAL CAMERAENTERTAINING KIDS

Magic House, St. Louis Zoo, Grants Farm, Eckert’s, Incredible Pizza, Six Flags, St. Louis County Parks and Recreation, Purina Farms, City Museum, Ted Drewes, St. Louis Science Center, Swing Around Fun Town, Chesterfield Sports Fusion, Flying SpiderBounceU, Pole Position, Pump It UP, Skyzone, Chesterfield YMCA (summer camps), Steinberg Skating Rink,  Challenger Learning CenterGirl Scouts of Eastern MO, Shaw Nature Reserve, Dixie Stampede (Branson- 4hr drive),

FITNESS

Hiking, Battlegrounds Mud Run, Tough Mudder, Various Organized Runs, St. Patrick’s Day Run

LIVE MUSIC

Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, Busch Stadium, Ballpark Village, Tin Roof St. Louis, Sky Music Lounge, The Pageant, Delmar Hall, Scottrade Center, The Blue Note (Columbia, MO), Old Rock House, Broadway Oyster Bar, Stovall’s (country music)Peabody Opera House

NEIGHBORHOODS

Soulard, Central West End, The Hill, The Loop, Clayton

OUTDOORS

Patio DiningThe Bull Float Trip (Annual Event), Meramec Caverns, Twin Rivers Landing Campgrounds,  St. Louis County Campgrounds
CieloRESTAURANTS

Outdoor/Patio Dining, New Restaurants Italian Restaurants,  Fireplace Dining, St. Louis Food and Drink Events, St. Louis Dining (Riverfront Times)

SEASONAL EVENTS

Mardis Gras in Soulard, St. Patrick’s Day Run and Parade, Purina Farms Easter Village and Haunted Hay loft, Fourth of July or Fall at Big Cedar Lodge, Historic Kimmswick Apple Butter and Christmas Festival, Lantern Festival, Winter Wonderland at Tillis Park, Historic St. Charles Christmas

Lemp Brewery Scarefest

Busch StadiumSPORTS

St. Louis Cardinals Baseball, St. Louis Blues Hockey, St. Louis Ambush SoccerMizzou College Football, Kansas City Chiefs Football

WEEKEND ROAD TRIP IDEAS

Kansas City, MO (approx. 3.5 hrs) Silver Dollar City Theme Park (approx 4 hrs),  Table Rock Lake, Branson, MO (approx 4 hours), Lake of the Ozarks (approx 2.5 hrs) , Springfield MO (approx. 3.5 hrs), Memphis TN (slightly over 4 hours), Nashville, TN (approx 5 hours), Chicago, IL (approx 5 hours)

Cedar Lake CellarsWINERIES

St. Charles area along 94:  Augusta Winery, Montelle Winery, Mt. Pleasant Winery, Chandler Hill Winery

Cedar Lake Cellars (about 45 from St. Louis)

Herman, MO – winery town (about 1 hour from St. Louis)

I hope you find this helpful and welcome any feedback or suggestions regarding places to visit! Happy Exploring!

 

 

Nashville “Secrets”

Nashville is one of my favorite cities to visit.  In the past year, I visited 3 times just for fun: my first ever visit to Nashville was a spontaneous road trip with girl friends following the Thanksgiving holiday in 2016, the second was with girl friends during the CMA Fest in June 2017 and the third was with my daughter sharing a glimpse of  the Nashville experience during a college road trip in June 2017. Each visit I experienced something different and will definitely be back again!  If you haven’t been to Nashville, I’ll share the highlights of our experiences and places you may want to visit the next time you’re in Nashville.

MUSIC

Music is the soul of Nashville: the foundation and almost 24/7 celebration, and definitely was the reason I was interested in visiting!  So if you love country music; Nashville is a must!  It seems live music is playing all day and all night long.  (Some tips: during the day, at least when I visited, under 21 year olds can visit to eat and see the music at various establishments, but in the evening, people need to be over 21 years old.  Also, there is no cover charge at the door to see the bands, but bring cash to donate to the bands performing, they usually have a collection area by the stage.)

BROADWAY

Some of the fun places we visited on Broadway were:  Tootsies, Tin Roof, Crazy Town, Honky Tonk CentralThe Stage:  all of these featured live bands, are multi-level (with multiple live bands) have food and beverages and were places I visited each time because they were so much fun.    I haven’t checked all of them, but Tootsies, Crazy Town and the Stage all have outdoor rooftop entertainment too; it’s so nice on a beautiful day or night!

DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE

If you are interested in music history, stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame, we were told most people spend about 3 hours visiting.  We had a short window of opportunity and made it through in about 45 minutes!

2017/2018 NEW PLACES

During the CMA Fest, we decided to check out (Florida Georgia Line’s) FGL’s new restaurant, but that was virtually impossible  to get in because the line was well over a block long, but we had much better success getting in later in the month traveling through Nashville.  Very cool place, also multi-level with a rooftop bar!

In 2018, when it opens, we plan to visit Blake Shelton’s new restaurant, Ole Red, which is just slightly down the street from FGL’s.  (Blake Shelton has another location which already opened in 2017 in his hometown of Tishomingo, OK)

THE DISTRICT

On my second trip, we ventured a little further east on Broadway and found this place; I love the tree lined streets and historic brick buildings!  My favorite place here was the Wildhorse Saloon.  We stopped in for lunch and happened to see Sandra Lynn performing, she was great and just recently launched “Hey California.”  There is also a great boot shop on this street, you can smell the leather as you walk by in the summer.  One evening we were able to catch Doug McCormick at the Wildhorse Saloon.

THE “SECRET”

The evening before we left for Nashville, I found an online article written about Sofar Sounds, this company was started by two men who loved music but preferred an intimate setting/venue experience, and since there aren’t that many out there, they created this concept.  I was intrigued by this and saw that there was a “secret concert” happening in Nashville during our visit, so of course I had to check it out! I signed up and paid for the event without knowing who we were going to see or where it was going to be (it ended up being at Warner Brothers Studio) , it was an excellent surprise experience!  We saw Morgan Evans, a “new” artist from Australia, and absolutely LOVED his music.  We all believe he is going to be a headlining artist very soon.  Ironically later this summer, while I was attending Kelsea Ballerini’s concert I found out she is the one he is engaged to and was speaking of when he talked about “this amazing girl” he met after moving to the US on that concert day in Nashville.  She happens to be another favorite Country Music artist of mine, so happy for them!

MUSIC ROW/ 19TH AND BROADWAY

This is another area that you should check out!

THE LISTENING ROOM

This venue has moved since June 2017, I know from following them on Instagram, but this was an excellent experience too. I found this place after checking out my BandsinTown app for bands playing that day, Brennin was recommended from other artists music I have downloaded on iTunes, so we went to see him at the Listening Room Cafe and, once again, I didn’t even know that Smithfield was going to be there, and was surprised again. I love their music and we heard a new one, co-written with Brennin:  GoneEmily West has the most amazing voice and such a humorous person, this was our first introduction to her.  The music and their discussion really made for a humorous and enjoyable night of entertainment with food and drinks in a small venue.  I’ll definitely visit the new location in the future!

I hope you find these tips helpful but if you are a Nashville regular, or live there, please let me know other places we should visit in the future!

CHANGE, RELATIONSHIPS, MUSIC

It’s 4:30 am and this is what comes to mind?  Well, why not write about it?  Most people are probably still sleeping, so when this happens to me, seemingly out of nowhere, it’s time to write about it, because it doesn’t happen all the time.

Tomorrow will be one month before February 14, 2017…. Valentine’s Day, so maybe it’s a good time to do this?  If you’ve seen the acronym CRM in business: Customer Relationship Management, this is somewhat related, but in this, it’s personal and it relates to Change, Relationships and Music.

ABOUT MUSIC…

“Passion for Music” probably means a lot of different things to different people, but for me, it means music is a constant in my life, and will always be, I’m rarely in silence from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep, music surrounds me and I couldn’t imagine it any other way!  That is why I refer to it as a passion of mine.  Music has an incredible power and can literally change an emotional state for us, that fact still completely amazes me!  If I think about that fact, music truly is more powerful than drugs or medication; it really is!

Here are a few links and examples of this:  Music is a source and a gift for health and wellness and used for the following, to name a few:

Military, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Correctional Facilities, Trauma, Medicine, Pain Management, Young Children, Depression, Substance Abuse

http://www.alzheimers.net/2014-07-21/why-music-boosts-brain-activity-in-dementia-patients/

http://www.musictherapy.org/research/factsheets/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/music-and-alzheimers/faq-20058173

Getting back to music and relationships, for me, and others I know, a certain song will bring back memories of a person, an experience or a specific time in life, just like a photograph does! Music captures the emotional state of being in that moment of our memory.  What we remember in life is our experiences and how the experience made us feel and if music is a part of someone’s life, it gets tied to music, good or bad! The same holds true for people in our memories, what we remember in life may not be the exact words spoken, but how the person made us feel.

It’s interesting how we may relate a certain genre of music, a musician, or a song to a person in our life, just because of an experience.  I am one who connects first with the melody, the rhythm, the sound, including the voice.  The music can be amazing alone, but when the right voice is paired, it becomes incredible and irreplaceable. Eventually I learn the words, but I have friends who immediately seem to pick up all the lyrics.  I connect with the message in the lyrics, but I’m usually one of the last to memorize the exact words for some reason.

ABOUT CHANGE….

Change can be uncomfortable, even when change is chosen, it happens when a person finally faces the fear of the unknown and decides facing the fear is better than remaining the same.  Change makes us grow, improve and learn, but it’s not easy.   In my experience, music helps us get through change.  Sometimes change happens without our choice, but it always seems to result in growth, self- improvement and learning if we stay positive with our outlook and thoughts during the change.

Change can be good, sometimes it forces us to do things we never thought we would be able to do. We may not know our strength, until the only choice we have is to be strong.  Change is about improvement and improvement is good!

Change is also about becoming a better person, it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been a certain way, if we don’t like that way, we can change it at any time, but it’s a decision that only we can make, no one can make that decision for us.  Because change is uncomfortable, we need to want that change more than anything because the effort to change will require commitment and isn’t easy, it’s work.  But I believe we can be anything we desire, it just takes effort; nothing lasting comes without continual effort and commitment. If we want it, work for it!

ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS…

We learn the most about relationships from experiences and observations.  And those who’ve had a lot of life experiences know more, but the key to success is applying what we know, experienced and learned to improve our relationships.

This relates to the “Never Settle” topic: if we learn something once from a bad experience, then don’t settle into that familiar place again, because if we are not making a change, we are likely going to get the same results and that is how people get stuck and stay stuck, don’t do it.

Experience also relates to recognizing good experiences and applying them.  We often become so immersed and self-absorbed in what’s happening in our lives, that we forget to be grateful for what we have and forget to show appreciation for those important to us.  That forgetfulness lowers our quality of life in relationships.  Relationships need attention and when it’s not given, the relationship suffers.  It’s important to recognize what we value in life, what means the most to us. We don’t have unlimited time, so the time we do have should be spent on what is most important: our priorities.

Relationships will always experience change and they only last if there is a reciprocal involvement, they don’t if it’s one-sided.  Let that person, who is important in your life know they are important.  Relationships are constant work, but rewarding.  If we get lazy with relationships, we can lose them.  If those who are important to us are not treated as a priority, we lose them.

CRM- Change, Relationships, Music

Pulling all these topics together, there are some good examples of people doing things right, and I personally respect them for this.  My blog since inception has been tied into Instagram, which is an interesting media, and powerful, so be careful how it’s used because it can make a difference: both good and bad as I’ve experienced.  As you know, I love music and follow some of my favorite musicians on Instagram.  I look forward to posts about upcoming events or concert details because sometimes that is the way I find out about new festivals, events, etc.  I also like seeing the journey musicians go through:  the creation, behind the scenes joking, and rising in success; Instagram is a great tool for connecting with fans.  There is also something that some do well and that is appearing authentic and inspiring.  While we all know that no one is perfect (everyone is human and imperfect), and everything is not as it appears on social media, there are a few who do something a little different and step out of the norm.  I can’t even imagine what it is like for musicians and their partners to have a long-term relationship, talk about a massive amount of work to keep it real and keep it a priority especially with all the outside influences!  But there are a few who seem to do this well, they appear genuine, know their priorities, live by them and are very inspiring people because of this.  They have a special gift – musically talented and staying true to, and publicly acknowledging, their values, especially in a culture that often glamorizes the opposite.  These are a few that stand out to me:

@lukebryan, @sammyhagar, @thomasrhettakins, @michaelraymusic, @flagaline

There is also one more on this list, who isn’t really in the music arena…yet (haha)…but if you follow him and know his very early on comedy scripts, you will know the tremendous amount of change that he has been through, a master of change and very inspiring:  @kevinhart4real

There is no time like the present to Make It Count –  create an incredible relationship this year and get out, enjoy the music!

 

 

 

 

A Different New Year’s Experience:

THE MESSAGE AT CHURCH

I’ll write about the inspiring moments first that happened during my break for almost two full days from social media.  I started New Year’s Eve going to church, which honestly is probably the very first time I ever did.  We arrived 30 minutes early to get seats in the main auditorium because at the Christmas service we ended up sitting in an ancillary room, so this time we arrived 30 minutes early again, thinking it wouldn’t be quite as crowded, for New Year’s Eve, and thankfully it wasn’t.  If you look at the photo, this is what it looked like when we arrived:  we could have been seated anywhere here!

I went to church with my kids and met my friend, Krista, her longtime childhood friend, Dawn, Dawns daughter and mom; we had seven of us meeting, so we planned to save seats so we could sit by one another.  As soon as I arrived, I texted Krista this picture and caption:

 

the-crossing“LOL…which seat!! we went back to the lobby”

Once again, the message at church was so relevant to each of us attending. It was about meaningful friendships and how important friendships truly are in our lives:  someone who has your back, someone who is there for you!  This hit home with all of us.  We certainly had the friend presence there on New Year’s Eve with seven of us attending:  it was nice being there with friends and kids.  Further into the message, the Pastor leading the service asked everyone to reflect on the last few weeks of holiday celebrations and get togethers: “Who did you see, that you haven’t seen in a while and were glad to see?”  or “Who did you miss that wasn’t there?”  and then said that whoever’s name comes to mind in the answer(s) to those questions indicates an important relationship for you.  He also talked about the relationships that have fallen apart and how important it is to mend those relationships.  He talked about how relationships contribute to getting us closer to God and presented examples from the Bible.  It was a meaningful way to begin the evening and think about heading into the New Year:

FRIENDSHIPS!

The next day, New Year’s Day, I received a text from another friend telling me to watch The Crossing… saying “it’s crazy how on point the message is to what you’ve been thinking” …  that message blew me away because, yes, it was, I noticed that too, and now another friend noticed it as well.  So often the messages at The Crossing are perfect timing.  Like anything else, friendships go through good times and challenging times, so there is always a need for communication to keep it strong. Sometimes that’s easier said, than acted on though.  But I know it made each one of us think, and some acted on it already, but others are still thinking about it.

THE GIFT

The second inspirational event was reading “The Gift”, by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D….wow.  When I started reading this, I had one of those moments where I thought:   “I relate so much to this, I could have written this observation”, not referring to the writing style, but referring to much of the content: what’s been on my mind in 2016, what I’ve been surrounding myself with during the past year of changes and transitions. So much of this is put into words here, in a much better way than I could ever do. In fact, I put some of this into an email I drafted yesterday to send to a few friends on 1/2/17, following my social media break (haha), I just can’t be still for too long!  Anyway here are a few highlights of the book, and if you are interested you can buy it here:  “The Gift”by Shad Helmstetter PhD.  I almost posted the 12 Tools he listed, but thought it wouldn’t be fair to the author after he spent over 30 years researching and experience compiling this list!

The uneventful New Year’s detail:  How I spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:

  1. Slept in; then made breakfast for the kids and me.
  2. Played iTunes Music on shuffle all day long!
  3. Did Laundry.
  4. Went to the gym, worked out for an hour.
  5. Showered, got ready and went to church with the kids, my friend Krista, Dawn B. her daughter and mom
  6. Drove my son to an overnight party.
  7. Straightened up my place because my daughter planned to have friends stay overnight, after they return from a party.
  8. My daughter and her friend left for the party.headed-out-for-nye
  9. Heated up left-overs for dinner.
  10. Turned on the Blues/Blackhawks game, recorded earlier, but I couldn’t sit still to watch, too much on my mind.
  11. Decided to pay bills, maybe read a book later, made coffee.
  12. Drafted an email to send out 1/2/16
  13. Started writing this post.
  14. Installed new hardware on my front door and finished up at 11:50 pm, thinking..wow…this is how I’m ringing in the new year?!
  15. new-hardware-installation-prep
  16. Turned off my music and turned on PitBull and Snoop Dogg’s New Year’s Eve Countdown…it took me back to the Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa concert I went to this summer!  Saw the countdown to New Years, then texted family and a few friends… yeah, I can’t completely hibernate from others!
  17. About an hour later the overnight guests arrived, so I talked to them for a while, and then read a book until 2 am, then I decided that I needed to sleep so I didn’t ruin the first day of the year.
  18. Woke up with more ideas, started reading again, made coffee.
  19. Texted with some friends in the morning.
  20. Phone call with a friend in the morning.
  21. Slowly the rest of the group was waking, so I made breakfast for everyone.
  22. Picked up my son from the overnight, he wanted to play Xbox right away, so I started writing this again and finally made my own breakfast.
  23. I then got a text about the 30 Days to Healthy Living program that starts 1/2/17, so I failed my social media break, but just until I got the question answered and shut it down again…so I didn’t quite make the 2 full days. I was tempted to scroll more, but didn’t….just took care of what I needed to take care of, then got offline again! But it was so tempting to see what people posted and respond to the notifications I had.
  24. More laundry.
  25. Made lunch for everyone and we sat around and talked pretty much until late afternoon, it was great! A lazy no-commitment day with football games on TV in the background.
  26. Read more of the book
  27. Texted with family
  28. Texted with a friend
  29. Wrote a little more.
  30. Put away all the Christmas Décor.
  31. Made dinner for my son and his friend because they weren’t hungry earlier.
  32. Went to Bed.

In summary, it was simply an ordinary day, where I probably accomplished more by not being on social media and there were some good moments, it wasn’t as bad as I though it would be.

DIGITAL DISCONNECT- RINGING IN 2017

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day- break time

This year my New Year’s Eve plans are very different from any other year during my entire life. Unfortunately, the plans won’t be that exciting to anyone else because I’m ringing it in solo and disconnected:  no parties, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter, and no hangover! (So, that means next year, I might change plans up, depending on how this goes?)   I’m challenging myself to this, because I’ve never done it before and it’s the opposite thing that I would normally choose to do. I like to push myself to be uncomfortable, to face my fears, and learn something in the process.  And yes, I do have that FOMO right now…but that’s part of the challenge, to push myself to face what I fear, stay disconnected from 1/31/16 – 1/1/17, and find out what I learn from this, because with every experience we learn something, right?  And truly, will I really be missing out on much?  Well maybe some laughter…oh yeah, and the Kid Rock New Year’s Eve concert 😦

WHY?

TO BE FULLY PRESENT AROUND OTHERS AND FOCUS ON THEM –  TO BE IN THE MOMENT

TO WORK ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME – MY FUTURE GOALS

TO AVOID DISTRACTIONS AND TIME WASTERS

TO START THE YEAR DIFFERENTLY

This idea of taking a social media break for me personally is something I just woke up with, today.  I realize it’s a short, temporary break, yet I know it will be a challenge for me, isn’t that crazy?  Just two full days, but, knowing in advance, that this is going to be a challenge for me, is bad! But the experience will be good.

I enjoy social media, but it can really become addictive, it’s like society’s life line today as well as a source of escape from reality for me over this past year.   I admit that I spend a lot of time on social media, some productive, but sometimes wasting time (which I want to do less). I continue learning about social media and how it can make a difference, the positive aspects, and I see so many opportunities.  I enjoy seeing how others are using it: what works, what doesn’t, in my opinion, of course.  My mind is constantly active and thinking; I tend to be an overthinker that’s for sure, during my alone time, but thankfully the overthinking is counter balanced my normal spontaneity and underthinking!

I’m too distracted by social media recently, so I need to make an adjustment going into the new year. This is a test and a transition for me, to rethink how I’m involved with social media and start the year with that plan.

How often have we had a breakfast, or any meal, with others and everyone is looking at their phone, not present?  Or get togethers, so many of us are never without it.  My family went camping a lot when we were kids and those were some of the best memories I have, because when there aren’t distractions, we are forced to truly be present: talking, listening, and laughing- life experiences, vacations, trips, etc., those are the memories I hang on to.  So, whomever I’m around these two days, I will be fully present, and when I’m not around anyone, I will be wrapping up that self-reflection of 2016, refocusing and working towards my goals in 2017.  I’m excited about this new year; it could be the best year yet!

Just looking at the 2017 calendar, I’ve already booked my monthly social activities January through May, because that’s my way to make sure that occasional fun happens.  Plus, it provides something to continually look forward to with excitement every month.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing this New Year’s Eve; I hope you have a great night and a successful 2017 ahead- a year that connects you with what you love most!

Happy New Year Early!

 

 

2017?

So what will 2017 be like?

Reflecting on what happened in 2016 helps me focus on how to make 2017 better, below is an outline of my end of year thoughts and action plans (the first chart is  blank, if anyone wants to use it for themselves, and the second one is filled out- hopefully the filled-out version will motivate me to follow through, after publicly stating this):

2016 Reflection My Thoughts 2017 Plans 2017 Specific Actions
For what am I grateful? Make plans to do something that enhances, improves, what I am grateful for:  Make It Count, Make a Difference.

 

What did I enjoy most? Spend more time and energy on what I am passionate about and identify ways my actions will benefit others:  create purpose!

 

What did I do to benefit, give back to others who are important to me? This is success.  Continue with more and if something is lacking make specific plans to elevate this action.

 

What improvements did I make from the prior year? This is success.  Continue with more, what else can be done? Change is constant, keep it up, find ways to improve more, or lose it; complacency will lose it.

 

What didn’t work out? This is failure, but temporary, because I will learn from it and make changes.

 

What were the challenges? List them along with what I learned from it.

 

What did I want to do, but didn’t get around to doing it? Schedule it in 2017.

complacency

2016 Reflection My Thoughts 2017 Plans 2017 Specific Actions
For what am I grateful?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·        Faith

·        Family

·        Friends

·        Health/Fitness

·        Music

·        Nature/Outdoors

·        Travel Opportunities

·        Business Opportunities

·        People who have supported/mentored me throughout my life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make plans to do something that enhances, improves, what I am grateful for:  Make It Count, Make a Difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·        Get involved in a helpful way with church to contribute/give back with my time

·        Plan and Spend quality time with Family and Friends

·        Research and Improve Nutrition through better meal planning

·        Schedule 3-4 days of workouts per week and stick to it

·        Support Musical Artists by attending concerts, buying music, blogging

·        Nature/Outdoors/Travel:  plan trips and share experiences and resources with others

·        Make weekly goals and follow through to grow business

·        Find an organization that helps people act and improve themselves; I’m not much a believer that “just dumping gifts in someone’s lap is the best way to make a long-term difference (if they are not trying to improve themselves on their own), but I want to help people who are trying

 

What did I enjoy most? ·        Time spent with those I care about

·        Music

·        Traveling

·        Improving via Design or Personal Fitness

Spend more time and energy on what I am passionate about and identify ways my actions will benefit others:  create purpose! My Lifetime Goal/Dream:   I have a grandiose dream of creating or being involved with a luxury get away place that provides a place for people to get healthy, relax, work on fitness and enjoy music – all without leaving the getaway place.  A place for others to recharge, reflect, improve.

 

What did I do to benefit, give back to others who are important to me? ·        Time spent with those I care about, I tried to be present whenever someone needed it.

·        2016 I probably spent more time than ever before reflecting, so next year I want to increase the time spent in action.

 

This is success.  Continue with more and if something is lacking make specific plans to elevate this action. ·        Increase time spent on actively giving back to others – this area needs improvement for me.
What improvements did I make from the prior year? ·        Stayed physically active throughout the year

·        Attended more often at Church

·        Acted to improve my situation, rather than complaining about it

·        Acted on Real Estate renovations

 

This is success.  Continue with more, what else can be done? Change is constant, keep it up, find ways to improve more, or lose it; complacency will lose it. ·        Continue plans and focus on health and fitness

·        Get more involved with church

·        Find other opportunities to renovate real estate

·        Continue focus on self-improvement/purpose

 

What didn’t work out?

 

·        Failed relationship

·        Relationship damage with others

This is failure, but temporary, because I will learn from it and make changes.  

·        Try to keep interactions peaceful

·        Make efforts to repair relationship damage with others

 

 

What were the challenges?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·        Stress

·        Turmoil

·        Negativity

·        Disrespect

·        De-valued self-worth

·        Flight

·        Escape

·        Sadness

·        Emptiness

·        Simply existing, not living

·        Fallout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List them along with what I learned from it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·        I learned to Let Go.

·        I learned not to let significant time pass without positive action and improvement in any given situation.

·        Improved Independence

·        Let go of stress related to unimportant/insignificant events

·        Remove myself from turmoil and surround myself with positive people

·        Exercise relieves stress

·        All people deserve respectful interactions, even if there is something bad happening

·        Self-worth: continually work on self-improvement and don’t be affected by others who de-value that self-worth- ignore it

·        Fleeing from a problem doesn’t solve it; it must be tackled head on

·        Get away from environments that can’t be improved and cause sadness

·        Improving my relationship with God and following what I am passionate about removes emptiness

·        Pursing a passion with a purpose leads to happiness and is living, not simply existing

·        Change will create fallout; that is a tradeoff unfortunately and will require more effort to improve but if not; let it go; nothing forced works in the long term.

·        Finding forgiveness for “wrongs” because they fueled improvement, so the “wrongs” turned into a positive outcome.

 

What did I want to do, but didn’t get around to doing it? ·        I wasn’t as affective as I wanted to be in 2016, because I didn’t spend enough time on it. Schedule it in 2017.

It is important to me to live life the way it matters most: TODAY.  When I look back on 2016, I can’t really say that it was a good year, or a bad year, because there were both experiences, almost to the extreme at each end, and somewhat surreal in retrospect.  So many disruptive changes occurred all at once (my dad’s death, a new business venture, loss of employee benefits at my current job but at the same time, my best year ever there, a divorce, giving up a condo on a lake, moving into a new home, renovations, challenges with my kids brought on by the divorce; it’s just been busy); so, I’m hoping that 2017 will be a little bit calmer.  I welcome change, just not as much disruption all at one time, it was an emotional roller coaster year for me and a bit of a blur with so much happening.

I plan to make 2017 a better, calmer year.

I also will pray for guidance, every day, in 2017, it can’t hurt, that’s for sure!

I hope to have the opportunity in 2017 to work with other motivated individuals, to pursue further success in life, because that aligns best with my passion: continued improvement.  This is what I do in my current real estate career (help successful people become more financially successful) and my new business venture (which provides motivated people an avenue to become financially successful).

If you read the original reason, “ABOUT”, from the menu in my blog, which I just started three months ago, this is it:  I am looking to connect with like-minded people and collaborate. 

I realize the internet is filled with a lot of fake people and get rich quick schemes…and this is NOT me, nor what I’m pursing.  I believe I put enough information out there about me, my thoughts, in my blogs, so you can get to know me and hopefully realize I’m a “normal” person, if there is such a thing.  If you search social media (Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram):  annm2705, you will find all my information.  I’m simply at a point in life, ready for the next step in a new venture and excited about the possibilities and opportunities in life.