Being 8 years old and trying out the first horse my parents ever bought me, Trapper John. After years of gut-rattling, bumpy canters on lesson ponies, his quarter horse stride was like riding a cloud. Sometimes I can close my eyes and I’m right back there in that feeling.
The fact that I was an intense, type A, over-achiever kid who couldn’t get enough of our local 4-H program – from gymkhanas to barn inspections to Tri-State public speaking competitions. Oh, the hours that added up to days of making stenciled poster boards for those contests....which translated into a weird love of PowerPoint as an adult.
Graduating cum laude from Boston College in 1988 as a commuter student who drove from Sudbury, MA to the campus in Chestnut Hill, while putting in 35-40 hours a week at the local grocery store in order to come up with half my tuition. God bless my parents who came up with the rest. My mother was not prone to public displays of affection or emotion – but on graduation day we held each other tight and the tears of joy and relief flowed.
Marrying Scott Malcolm, the smartest, kindest, and funniest man I’ve ever known on September 13th, 1997 in Franconia, NH. And I remember pretty much every day of the fantastic and sometimes chaotic 22 years of marriage we’ve shared.
Being the youngest person ever to hold the title of “Director” at Network Computing Devices.
In 2001, leaving a really good job title and income to start a marketing agency with a colleague. And then not drawing a salary for the next three years while we put every dime back into the company. And Scott working in a less than dream job so that we could make our rent and have benefits. And the very first profit sharing check that finally came with the success of the business. I remember the enormous sacrifices that both Scott and I made during that time. But I especially remember and treasure the life-long friendships that came with a decade of working with some of the finest people I’ve ever met.
In June of 2008, getting a phone call from my aunt to tell me that it wasn’t just my dad who was terminally ill –- my mother was too. Losing her a shocking six weeks later; Dad a year after in 2009. Then, in 2011 when I found out I had breast cancer. I’ll never forget how I came to know it was time to slow down, change course and better appreciate life.
In 2013 when I was published by The Atlantic -- and around the same time my self-published eBook, "Careless Caregivers", achieved a number 2 rank in Amazon's Eldercare category.
2015's speaking engagement at the national conference, Aging in America, held in Chicago that year...and realizing I had developed an all new business network and established myself in an entirely different industry. Wow, experience really can build new experience.
October 2013, my first riding lesson after twenty years out of the saddle. Breaking the news to Scott in early 2014 that I “needed” my own horse. July 2014: the trip of a lifetime to the Netherlands to look for that perfect horse – because I figured I’d never have that chance again and I’ve learned life is short. I didn’t just find my perfect horse, I found one of the best life mentors I’ve ever had: he inspires, challenges and rewards me with every interaction.
With a heart full of gratitude for these experiences, I can't help but wonder: what will the next bullet point be?