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People like you

29 Apr

I recently attended my final class at McMaster University and walked away feeling a little numb. It has been a long journey, filled with so many challenges and countless hours spent on my little laptop into the wee hours of the night.  Now that I can say I have achieved the goal I set out to accomplish, faced with a bittersweet feeling, I am torn between elation and sadness that this chapter is over.  I found myself puttering around the house questioning what was next.

This last class was Integrated Marketing Communications and honestly, I wasn’t even sure why I chose to take it in the first place, other than I was curious. I wanted to know what IMC was and how it worked, but I wasn’t really sure what it was going to do to enhance my life or how I would ever find a use for it. As it turns out, this was the perfect class for me to take and I have not regretted a moment.

My teacher for IMC was Hilary Sadler. She is a dynamo! Hilary came prepared to teach and inspire and to cultivate skills and talents in each of us in the class. She was interactive, full of stories and knowledge and actively sought ways to bring out the best in her students. Hilary encouraged us to accept difficult challenges and not to back away or take an easier path. I know, without a doubt, that any who have encountered Hilary, either at school or at work, are blessed with her enthusiasm and brilliance in the field of marketing.  It is a true gift that she has developed and mastered and she openly shares her knowledge with passion, grace and humility. Her fervor in class urges you to want to succeed.

Our last gathering as a class was an informal gathering to chat about any last-minute questions and to pick up our exams and projects. Thank you Tanya for the scrumptious spread of goodies, how kind and generous of you.  The gathering was one-of-a-kind for me, as no other teacher had offered this type of closure or opportunity. It seemed right and necessary for me to attend and I am so glad I did. This class had obviously formed a bond. It was an amazing way to wrap up my time at McMaster and it further confirmed the value of the time I spent in all those classrooms.  I’d like to share the email that I sent to my classmates and teacher. It seems to sum up my experience in this IMC class as well as the other classes I attended and classmates I have befriended over the years.

“People like you, teachers and fellow students, are the very reason that I’ve been able to commit to attending courses at McMaster and finally complete my studies in Business. You collectively and individually inspire me. You teach me something new and exciting each time we meet. You challenge me to open my mind and eyes to new ways of thinking or viewing the world around me. You encourage me to reach higher and achieve new goals or dreams that I never thought possible. These lessons I will not forget.

So to each of you I say thank you. Thank you for the immeasurable value and inspiration that you have brought into my life. Continue on your varied paths, accepting the challenges set before you. Face your fears with defiance and confidence. Use the tools you have learned and conquer whatever stands in your way. Be fiercely proud of your accomplishments and hold your head high. Lend a caring hand to all that you encounter.
I wish you continued success and happiness in your journey of life.”
In the words of Albert Einstein, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Curve ball

18 Jan

Does life ever just seem to throw you an unexpected curve ball? Out of the blue, something occurs and you are left standing there wondering what just happened? I’ve experienced that, and I am sure you have as well at some time or other. How did it make you feel? What did you do?

My first thoughts are usually surrounded by a feeling of shock and disbelief. Then as reality sinks in I sometimes feel a sense of panic and confusion, what do I do now? Then as I sit down and start to sort it out, and I talk to trusted friends or mentors I usually start to see things in a different view. I begin to find the positive side of this sudden occurrence. I look for how I can find ways to see the changes become a plus in my life and my family’s life. Perhaps I was happily trudging down a lane that was leading to nowhere and I couldn’t see far enough in the future to know I needed to turn around. Or perhaps I wasn’t really happy at all with the path that I was on and I needed a nudge to change direction. Can you relate?

Most often, when life has thrown me a curve ball, it worked out for the best in the end. My life changed course, sometimes drastically, sometimes subtly, and now when I reflect I can see how my life has improved because of that change. Some might call this karma or fate, others God’s plan, others the leading of a Higher Power. No matter what you believe, know that you too can survive life’s curve balls and change. There is a plan for your life and I believe that it is a good one. Trust that truth. Stand tall, lift up your chin and hold your head high and start again. Listen to your instincts and be mindful of change being a sense of renewal in your life, an opportunity to shake off what might have weighed you down and start fresh.

Yesterday was ‘blue Monday’ and stories about depression and downcast moods were all over the media. Today, let’s change our direction of thought and think about ‘positive Tuesday’.  Ask yourself, how can we be happy and productive? Yes it’s true, the bills are still arriving, and it’s grey and cold outside. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot find the cheerful side of life. The bills will always be there, and we cannot change the weather. What we do have control over is our selves, our outlook, our attitudes. That is where we can make change in our lives happen. It doesn’t happen over night, but rather little by little. Dedicate yourself to discovering one positive thing a day, then two, then three and so on. Before you know it you will have begun a new habit, one that is positive and brings you happiness. An ingrained habit is hard to break.

So here is to healthy and happy habits in your life. Here is to surviving life’s curve balls and looking for the positive spin on those unexpected changes that come our way. Here is to new beginning’s and new adventures.

Till next time….

Kimberley xx