Margaret Domnick - The Inside Story...

I'm a woman, mother, friend, sister, daughter, wife and partner in crime. I'm spontaneous, anal, loud, loving, funny (or at least I think I am), and generally honest. Sometimes I get these thoughts... so I've created this blog to share them. Feel free to respond, but be kind...did I mention that I'm sensitive?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It Was...The Best Summer

Ok, so one crazy summer in college I decided to head to Cincinnati, OH to sell books door-to-door (yes, I’m totally serious!). I worked with a group from the Southwestern Company and sold The Volume Library and various other books to whomever happened to be home during the day. It was both the best and the worst summer of my life…but mostly, the best, I think.

When else would I ever be daring enough to head off to a new city, with a few strangers and one friend, to do something so random? There wasn’t much of a plan in place; I knocked on doors until I found a place to sleep, and then knocked on doors to sell books. I used the partial payments from my sales to finance my expenses. Seriously, I would never let my daughter do that today!

Here are my top 6 life lessons from Cincinnati:

1. People are good at heart. Strangers took care of me that summer. They fed me, they worried about me, and they made me lemonade.

2. Your brain believes what your mouth tells it. Negativity breeds negativity and the same is true for positivity.

3. Perspective is personal; own yours. Your perspective is your reality.

4. Effort is the difference between success and failure, talent helps, but effort matters (when I knocked on doors, I sold a lot of books, I had the knack, but I put my effort into meeting people, writing letters and having fun).

5. You constantly affect others, so be nice. I received a handmade blanket from a woman I met in Cincinnati right before my wedding day. Her husband sent it with a note explaining that she had worked hard to finish it for me, and that she insisted my picture be hung on her family wall, before she died. I had no idea I affected her that much.

6. The truth really matters to you. You can pretend to be whomever you want for other people, but you know the truth about yourself. Like your truth.

I can also tell you that Cincinnati has a fabulous zoo, the street vendors are hilarious, the stadium is very cool, and there are a few to-die-for shops downtown. I spent two evenings boating and swimming with some spontaneous new friends (against company rules), met a gang of boys that were very funny, flirted with some businessmen, took some funny pictures and got dumped by boyfriend (that’s another blog).

I think that summer was, mostly, the best summer.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Getting Ready" vs."Being Ready"

I’m in the middle of planning a big event. Ok, I say “middle”, but I really mean the second step after deciding to participate. So, I guess it’s really the beginning of the middle of planning a big event. And, I’m already feeling overwhelmed! I think that’s how it works. We make a decision to do something, say a little prayer, jump out of our box, and feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed is good, I think.

So, what am I planning? I’m planning to get off my butt, get into shape, squeeze into spandex (so help me…), and ride a bike for three days in the Rocky Mountains in support of my son. I’m part of The Gene Team, riding in The Courage Classic, July 23-25, in Colorado (I’ll share more about that in a later post). I already know it is the start of something big! And, I’m getting ready…

And that’s what has me thinking…will my “getting ready” ever turn into “being ready”? Will I really feel prepared to do something so drastically different from what I typically do? Because I can tell you that I am not (yet) a biker. I haven’t exercised regularly in over 20 years and I don’t even own a road bike (yet). Sometimes I think I’m just in a mid-life crisis and I’ll wake up one morning and not need to ride my bike for 59 miles every day for three days; yet other times, I feel dead-on that this is a true life calling that I have just uncovered. Either way, I’m committed. My Craigslist shopping has changed from “general”, “household”, “tickets”, and “furniture” to only “bikes”. I have learned a whole new language involving TREK, shimano, gear cogs, forks, clips, carbon, and much, much more. I’m changing my eating habits, increasing my push-up abilities, and researching vitamins. This adventure is “on”…and is completely out of my box!

I know I will be stronger and fuller and more accomplished come the end of July. I know it is an honor to participate in an event that literally will touch the lives of thousands of families, with my family being one of those directly affected. And, even with that, I am scared. I’m scared that I won’t be able to finish, that I won’t reach my goals, that I won’t be well-enough prepared. What step am I missing in my plan? What comes next? What will I do if…? I think fear is part of everything new, and it’s okay.

I don’t think anyone can be completely prepared to do something completely new. But, I also think that everyone should try it. I know there are trips that have been talked about, Shelters that are waiting to be built, business that need to be opened, ideas that are alive only in the minds of those who are planning them…but for anything to become real, we have to take action on those plans. What challenge do you wish to conquer? What thoughts you are thinking? What event will pull you out of your box and into your life? I want to know.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, New Ideas, New Perspectives

I’m in my house alone. I don’t really feel like doing anything, yet I have plenty to do (return items to the store, grocery shop for this week, prepare for work tomorrow, clean, laundry…). I’ve been quite lazy all morning, and would be happy to continue being lazy all day long. It’s the “calm” between the “storms”; the break between the holiday hustle and grind of school and work. And it’s nice.

It’s also the start of a New Year, the first days to begin doing things we’ve been thinking about doing, but just never actually started doing. I don’t really know why we wait for January to take action on things we want to do. I mean, every morning is a new start and a new opportunity to improve ourselves, to try out different ideas. But, January is good too.

And, I do have my list of new things I want to begin…some of them are private and personal; others are wild and crazy and deserve a public outing. For one, publicly stating a goal offers instant accountability and for big changes, sometimes that is needed. I’ve shared my decisions to be more patient and accepting, more open and honest with myself and others, and more focused on being a positive influence in previous posts, so today I’m taking a completely different perspective.

This year I want to focus on “giving back”, and have decided to start that venue in two ways. First and foremost, I will begin recycling (I know…it’s bad that I don’t already do that!). I used to recycle, and then stopped when I moved and I just haven’t set up a system again. I have no good excuse and am embarrassed to admit that I am wasteful, but that’s the point of this, right? So, any ideas are welcome.

Second, and this is a stretch for me, I am committing to a three day bike tour in the Rocky Mountains in July in support of The Children’s Hospital in Aurora, CO. Most of you know that I have a son with PKU (Phenylketonuria) and that we travel to Colorado twice a year to see his doctors and dieticians there. They have provided so much support for us over the years (professionally and personally) and we have never been in a position to “give back”. This year, I have decided to participate in the Courage Classic bike tour (July 23-25) with fundraising efforts going directly to the IMD (Inherited Metabolic Disease) clinic that serves my son. I have not yet set my fundraising goals, but I am definitely riding. So, support is welcomed here too…ideas, riding tips, donations, etc. I’m getting fitted for my bike tomorrow:).

It’s the start of a New Year; the start for new opportunities, new ideas, new beginnings. It’s a chance to re-think, decide, plan and accomplish things we’ve been thinking about doing. It’s a great time to step out of ourselves and into whom we want to become. We just have to decide who that person is; and then take action!