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Gratitude 3.0

The end of year holidays is a natural time for reflection.

We think about what we’ve accomplished and what we haven’t, mostly what we haven’t.

It’s also the time I remember friends and family who’ve passed on: Roy, Guy, Jeff, Ivonne; one very recently and I grieve for not seeing him these past two years. It’s easy to blame COVID, but that doesn’t make the guilt go away. At the same time, I’m overwhelmed with joy and ready to welcome our newest grandbaby in January. She will be getting early Christmas gifts.

DMGroupConsulting opened its doors in January 2020. It’s hard to believe three years have passed. I’m grateful for Katey Flores’ continued support with marketing and technology; Michelle Crim, my cheerleader and first client, and Vickie Allen at Educational First Steps for believing in me.

I’ve made new friends and met new colleagues. One is Brooke Burns, my AFP mentee. Another is Bliss Coulter, new CEO at the Southwest Women’s Business Council where I have recently recertified for my second year as a Woman-Owned Business (WBE).

Memorable events this year have been:

· my oldest granddaughter’s college graduation

· my second granddaughter’s admission to American University in Washington, D.C.

· completing BoardSource training

· serving on one of the TACA grant review committees

· attending the Utah Book Festival with Dave and his new book

· opening day of the State Fair of Texas

Some of my new clients this year were Primos Dallas, Community Lifeline Center, and Cara Mia Theatre. A returning client is the Deaf Action Center.

This year was a time to put myself out there as a public speaker. I traveled to Midland, Texas, to present to the AFP Permian Basin Chapter. The Collin County Social Service Alliance invited me to address their zoom meeting. And, as part of their 40th anniversary celebration I spoke at the DFW Hispanic Communicators Scholarship Luncheon. I was a co-founder of this organization.

I also learned at least one valuable lesson this year. As the daughter of a Mexican-American mother and an Anglo father, I consider myself to be culturally aware. However, that did not keep me from being culturally insensitive to the staff at the Deaf Action Center. I facilitated a staff retreat and felt pretty good about it. But I was devastated and embarrassed to learn how I came across to them. I was the stereotypical, hearing-world, know-it-all. I suppose I could have

meekly apologized and never talked to them again, but I didn’t want it to end there. Not just because I didn’t want to lose a client, but because I wanted to learn about a culture, I know nothing about. I’ve been reading and doing some research. I’ll start my American Sign Language (ASL) class in February. (Stay tuned for progress on that!)

Starting a new business, surviving a global pandemic, experiencing the loss of family and friends has taught me another lesson, life is short and to live my best life I need to take care of me. Many of you will be surprised to learn that I’ve been working with a physical trainer this year, every Sunday at 8 a.m., yes, in the morning. What started as rehab for a shoulder injury is now a regular thing. Another example of self-care is doing something just for me. I’ve wanted to get back into bookbinding for a long time, but I thought the classes were too expensive and too far away. I finally got over that and recently started a class. I love it and will continue in 2023.

Whatever it is holding you back, is you holding yourself back. So, take that first step, take care of yourself and your dreams; expand your mind and your world. Only you can make the most of 2023 for yourself.

Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays and a fabulous New Year!

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