Life’s Playlist…. Every Rose Has It’s Thorn by Poison

Today is my former assistant’s birthday.  Carla Davis is a funny, dedicated, rambunctious, free-spirit.

When I went to Downtown at the Gardens, Carla was already there, she was about 14 months pregnant with her 3rd son and she never let it slow her down.

Carla wasn’t originally my assistant and when she left for maternity leave there really wasn’t a job for her to return to, but the management team knew we needed her, she was an integral part of our success and we asked her to return at her availability.

Carla returned and found places to fit in.  Not only did she fit in, she excelled and much of the successes we had at Downtown are due to her efforts and vision.

About a year before I left Downtown, she became my assistant, the best assistant I ever had.  We didn’t always see eye to eye and it wasn’t always easy, but I never doubted her commitment or dedication to the property.

When I left, Carla took up the mantle and did an awesome job under difficult circumstances when the new ownership didn’t have the same vision for the property that we had proven to be successful.

Carla’s time as marketing director was difficult and I was happy for her when she got a job elsewhere and turned in her resignation.

One of the things that surprised me most about Carla, when I met her, was her passion for Bret Michaels and I do mean PASSION.  So, today is Carla’s birthday and I thought the best way to send her happy wishes on her special day was with a song….. today’s life’s playlist is for Carla, Happy Birthday my friend!

Company’s Coming

Over the past few weeks I have had several friends visit God’s Country.   It is always great to see my friends from around the country and great to catch up with them and where they are in their lives.

When company visits, it is also a way for me to show off God’s Country, the beauty of the nature and the magnificent people.  They usually always tell me, “now I know why you call it God’s Country.”

The same happened in reverse when I lived in south Florida.  My friends and family would visit and I would show off the ocean views, the manicured lawns and introduce them to my friends.

When I lived in south Florida I referred to it as paradise, another fitting moniker.

One of the things I love most about company coming to town is the opportunity to re-appreciate many of the sites of our community I may not often see as a resident.

It is ironic that we live in these special spots on our globe and our day-to-day lives sometimes keep us from being able to appreciate them to the full effect.

Over the last weeks I have had time to dine in restaurants I don’t get to enough and shop in small boutiques and specialty shops that sometimes fall off my radar.

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to hike Pickens Nose.  A beautiful mountaintop overlook that makes me feel as close to God as anywhere I have ever visited.

I get to Pickens Nose once or twice a year, but each time I walk out on that rock and overlook God’s creation I am humbled.  One day (hopefully many years from now,) my family will make that trek with my ashes and return me to the land from where I came and the spot where I feel closest to heaven.

Guests ensure me a visit to Black Rock Mountain and Tallulah Gorge where I tell the story of watching Karl Wallenda walk across a tight-rope and standing on his head twice when I was a young boy.

These visits from friends allow me to showcase our lakes and sometimes when the timing is perfect, attend the Georgia Mountain Fair reliving the history of my Appalachian home.

I look forward to visits from friends, just as I did when I lived in Florida.

Being able to showcase the land I call home is a pleasure, I take pride in my little corner of God’s Country and appreciate having the opportunity to re-visit the places I treasure most.

I fight an internal battle that I don’t visit these spaces often enough, just because.  And then I realize, being able to experience them through fresh eyes keeps these special places all the more awesome when I return.

Y’all come to the mountains, I’ll be happy to play tour guide!

Life’s Playlist….. The Star Spangled Banner performed by Whitney Houston

Pursuing My Dream, Listening and Learning: Life’s Playlist – Paperback Writer by The Beatles

Now that I have made the decision to pursue my dream and work on “the book,” I am constantly looking for inspiration and advice.

I have been incredibly fortunate to get some great feedback from Chris Maxwell, an esteemed author in his own right, a publisher, other writers, friends and family.

The support means more than I can ever express.

Some of the comments I have heard, from people I trust, is I need to write on a regular basis and not just for the book.  The blog is that outlet and I am going to utilize this platform more for expression and writing opportunities.

One of those opportunities includes the “Life’s Playlist” posts.  I enjoy choosing songs that are speaking to me and making an impact in my life, but have never shared why I post the songs I choose.

I hope to begin sharing those reasons as an opportunity to write… hence the post on “We Are the World” and today’s Life’s Playlist song by The Beatles, “Paperback Writer.”

Recently, I heard about Jeff Goins, an author, blogger and writer who shares his expertise with others.  I believe you should learn from experts and I am open to learning anything I can to make me a better writer and share my voice with others

Today, Amazon delivered these two books.  I plan on digesting every word inside the pages, in hopes of my own paperback, hardback or e-book someday seeing the light of day!

Have an awesome Friday friends and keep your dreams alive!

When One Door Closes……..

Friday afternoon, I boxed up my company issued laptop and sent it back to the company I have been working for, effectively ending a chapter in my life that has provided joy, challenge, financial reward, stress and opportunity.

When I decided to resign from my job, I did so knowing that I would be giving up a lot, with hopes of gaining more.

The last year has been a difficult one, I have seen my voice diminished, my judgement questioned and my passion for a job that I have loved eliminated.  I knew it was time to move on.

While the passion for my job was gone, new opportunities came to me and I am now ready to see where those opportunities will take me.

When I bought a small business last year, I did so with plans of it being a simple investment that I would sell in a couple of years.

Impressed quickly became more of a passion and the thoughts of it being an investment vanished.  I found in Impressed the opportunity to capitalize on my artistic sensibilities and nurture my entrepreneurial spirit.

Who knew that t-shirts could be so much fun?

While I embraced the new business, I also committed to more writing.  I have always enjoyed writing and started this blog years ago, but somehow never had the time to devote to it.

In January, when I decided I was going to concentrate on my writing, the “pay-off” was immediate.

Over the last several months, I have been given the opportunity to write a monthly column for Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine and had a featured column in the summer issue of Cabin & Cove.

The feedback from my articles has encouraged me and I look forward to more opportunities to share my words with others.

For several years I have heard from family and friends that I should write a book.  Well, yes I should, and I would love to, however as with many things in life, fear prevented me from pursuing that dream.

The final agreement I had to make with myself when I  decided to leave my career was that I would pursue the opportunity of that book.

Once I made that decision, again, doors opened and I am now diligently working towards making the dream a reality.

Yesterday, I locked myself in my house, put everything aside that I should be doing and wrote.  I wrote all day and once I closed my computer and sat down to watch TV, I started thinking and wrote some more.

It was a great day, filled with opportunity that I am actively pursuing a dream that has simmered inside me for many years.

Who knows if it will happen, but I can honestly say I am inspired each time I sit at this keyboard with the opportunity to write.  When the words start to flow and a sentence appears on the screen that I like, the excitement I feel is unlike anything I have ever known and I anticipate the words that will follow.

So here I am, I have set a new course and plan on seeing it through.

I believe in visioning, when you see something in your mind and will it to happen.  I am in full visioning mode.

I can see Impressed being successful and continuing to inspire my artistic and entrepreneurial spirit.

And I vision more opportunities to write, more opportunities to put words on a screen that inspire me.

I can see my book cover, I can see people reading my work and I can see a new happiness and challenge that I have embraced.

On Friday, I closed a door, but have thrown open my heart to a world that is filled with opportunity, excitement and new challenges.

Am I afraid? You bet!

Am I worried about the change in income?  Yes, and Georgia Power probably is too, but more than fear, I am excited by what can happen, what can be my greatest passion, what can be my next step.

On a personal note, I covet your prayers and hope you will remember me as I move into this next phase of my life.  It won’t be easy, but I look forward to seeing where the road leads me.