­

A nod and a smile could lift our hearts

“My head understands it, but it was hard on my heart.” I heard that last night from a woman in British Columbia. I was attending a special “Pandemic Presentations” Toastmasters meeting via Zoom, and the person giving the speech – who is single and lives alone in her apartment – was talking about the feelings of isolation she was experiencing while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. At one point, she talked about how she feels when she goes outside for a walk and some [...]

By |June 19th, 2020|Columns, Health and Well-being, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

Creative Coping

“Creative Coping” was the theme of our Toastmasters meeting the other night. I think that’s a good description of all of our lives right now. (Our meetings, by the way, are held online via Zoom for the time being, which is how we are creatively coping with stay-at-home orders and guidelines.) Day by day and week by week, we’re all finding and implementing new ways to cope with the restrictions meant to keep us safe and to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Along the [...]

The Best Response

“Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” That was the theme of a Toastmasters meeting I attended on Friday. It was a demo meeting at a company in Augusta that is planning to sponsor a new Toastmasters club for employees, and I was part of the team providing a demonstration of what a Toastmasters meeting is like. “Feel the fear, and do it anyway” could easily be a motto for Toastmasters in general, since public speaking is one of the biggest fears many people have, [...]

A cranky day, a dreamy week

I had two holiday-related dreams this week. One of them was uplifting and inspiring. The other one – not so much. In the first dream, I was watching an awards show on TV, and a big song-and-dance number was going on. The performers were all dressed in robes of either gold or white, creating a festive and majestic look. At one point they started marching across the stage in a routine that reminded me of the precision drills bands often perform on the football field [...]

By |December 14th, 2019|Columns, Holidays, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

Great Expectations

It was everything I expected it to be, and more – which I also expected. I wrote last week about the Toastmasters District Conference I would be attending over the weekend – my first in Georgia, although I attended many when I lived in Minnesota. I expected to see a few people there whom I already knew, as well as to meet and get to know many others – and I did. I expected the educational sessions to be not only educational, but inspiring and [...]

By |May 3rd, 2019|Columns, Toastmasters, Uganda|4 Comments

Looking forward to an old/new experience

“Everything old is new again.” I’m not sure where or when that saying originated, but it’s what I’m feeling right now. I’ll be spending this weekend in Atlanta at the Toastmasters District 14 Conference. This isn’t my first Toastmasters conference. I’ve attended a number of district conferences and conventions, and several regional and international conventions since I first joined Toastmasters in 2005. But that was when I lived in Minnesota. This is my first district conference since moving to Georgia two years ago, and I’m [...]

By |April 26th, 2019|Columns, Professional Speaking, Toastmasters|4 Comments

You’ve been here HOW long??

“A year and a half? You’ve only been here a year and a half? It seems like much longer.” I’ve heard that from several people just in the past few weeks, and I’m taking it as a compliment – even though I suppose it could be interpreted as, “It seems like we’ve been putting up with you a lot longer than that.” It’s actually been one year and seven months – if you want to be precise – since we moved to Georgia after 18 [...]

By |October 26th, 2018|Columns, Faith, Family, Toastmasters, Values, Writing|0 Comments

Work by any other name…

“So—Are you retired, too, or are you still working?” A lot of people have asked me that in the year and a half since my husband retired and we moved to Georgia. And I’m never sure what to say. For one thing, I’ve done freelance work for a number of years, and it’s the kind of work I can do from anywhere. All I really need are a phone and a computer. And, of course, clients. How actively I want to pursue acquiring clients is [...]

In a World of Our Own

Australia… Bahrain… Canada… China… Denmark… France… If you’re anything like me and you’ve ever seen the opening ceremony of the Olympics, you get a lump in your throat as you watch the Parade of Nations. I love seeing the athletes parade into the stadium, dressed in their team colors, and proudly displaying the flag of their country as they wave enthusiastically to those who are watching – from the stadium and from around the world. Germany… Guyana… Haiti… Hungary… India… Indonesia… As far as I’m [...]

Looking forward to an international event

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be at this year’s Toastmasters International Convention. I’ve attended several International Conventions in the past, and was amazed at how many people I met, how much I learned from them, and how much I enjoyed the experience. But then life got in the way, and it’s been a long time since I’ve attended one. As you might expect, I’m really excited to be going this year! One of the things I remember most from my first International Convention [...]

By |August 24th, 2018|Columns, Respect, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments