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I wasn’t as if I had been making the world or anything. I attended two meetings and ran a few quick errands. There was even at least one whole hour of lying down, full-blown rest time in there.  But, yesterday completely wiped me out.

 

As luck would have it, today was a snow day and, even if I hadn’t been so tired, I would have stayed indoors anyway. Even if this had not been a snow day, I would have been stuck here. But I was most definitely not alone.
The Boys

I have two very entertaining boys who were not in school today. We enjoyed some time together, making and eating cookies, and watching Narnia, Prince Caspian.
The Friends

I had  texts from concerned friends when they did not see me online. Ok, I’m either an addict or this is my career. I’m standing firm on the career, but there seems to be a slim line.
Twitter Love

I didn’t totally stay off line. I tweeted here and there and made a few Facebook posts. But again, I received both public and private requests asking how I was feeling. I was really hesitant about this Blog-a-thon and my choice to talk about this procedure openly.  But it has brought me closer to some friends, brought me new ones, and even brought to light a need.
Finding support

I mentioned in the history of all of this that I have Medullary Sponge Kidney (MSK.) Through my efforts to reach out to others with Kidney Stones, I have found at least one other with this problem.  I’m sure there are more, but I found a friend who truly understands the type and extent of my pain.  How many people are out there suffering by timing mind-numbing drugs? How many doctors out there treat MSK like other stones and don’t look at other possible treatment options? Is research being done to find better ways to treat this condition? I don’t know any of these answers, but I know  @LeeAase , Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.  I’m asking him, and anyone in the medical field, specifically in urology or nephrology to comment on this post and connect with me, with us. We want to find out more.  We want to do more.  We want to be more than drugged up zombies.

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Be nice today and every day. Take this challenge. No need to sign up or sign on, just tell yourself you’re willing to do it and challenge yourself to be better.

What:

 Be nice to others and show you care.

How: 

  •  Post on other people’s walls or @mention them on twitter. Tell them something nice about their personality, congratulate on a milestone, wish happy birthday – or unbirthday
  • Comment on peoples posts. LISTEN to what people are saying and respond in a way that shows you care about them.
  • Share links or RT posts that help spread community events, or news.

 How long?

 I know you already don’t have time to do what you’re doing now. Do you have a purpose and a plan for what you are currently doing? Then take this plan. Take 10-15 this morning, every morning and be nice to others.

Rules:

  •  Do not post anything about you, your company or what you are selling.
  •  Have fun
  •   Be nice!!

” A tiny spark can turn into a towering inferno… imagine what a little love and compassion can do.” Anonymous

A year ago today my friend and Tweep Saundra Hadley lost her father. She turned to twitter as a way to express her grief. What she found in return was compassion.

She found that this “social media” was so much more than a broadcast channel. She was able to connect with real people in real time that were showing her compassion and caring, in her time of need. Here is her interview with Josh Breslow: 

When I met her she was using it not only to stay connected with people who reached out to her, but has also found it a great way to do business.

She told me that it was the best peer- to peer networking that she has ever found. 

 Saundra, or @planningforever is the #1 twitter user in Evansville. She has a wide variety of topics that she posts –it is not all business. She is real, honest and funny.  

So today on this #FollowFriday, I am not asking you to just follow her, I am asking a lot more:

  1. Follow @planning forever (No really add her to your twitter stream, but follow how she acts, watch how she engages, see how she uses it and follow her lead.)
  2. Reach out to her. One year ago she turned to twitter, twitter people give her some ❤ today!
  3. Really listen to the people in your stream, reach out to someone else today who needs your encouragement.

Because I use my social media for business, I have certain subjects that are considered “off-the-wall topics.” One of those subjects is health. I typically don’t post information about my health concerns or anything going on regarding the health of people in my family, other than the occasional headache or cold.

 At the end of last week, near the end of my day, and completely at the end of my rope, a wall in my house assaulted me. Very frustrated, and in pain,. I posted on my Facebook and twitter accounts. I was pretty sure I broke my foot. I put ice on it and went to bed. I received a call at midnight. When I checked my account, I was floored at the number of people who were concerned about my poor little foot. It’s a big deal, but it’s not a big deal. It was a big deal that people cared.

 Ever notice what happens with Facebook on your birthday? There is always a tremendous outpouring, because it is an easy and quick way to show people that you care, even if you forgot till that day. If you use social media for business, Facebook and Twitter are great resources for getting the inside information and personal details.  This helps you to show your compassionate side for your clients and vendors.  Several of the people that commented on my foot are people that I do business with on a regular basis.

They are listening to what I say. They care. This makes me more likely to be a brand advocate for them.

 Take the time to read some posts and comment on the good and the bad going on in the lives of the people that you’ve met. Use social media as a communication tool and stay connected.

I’m honored to know this:

Wife of one
Mother of three
Grandmother of seven
She is:
• caring by nature– after all, she has a degree in nursing
• a business owner
• a good neighbor
• a caregiver
• a protector
• a friend  to many

This woman is many things to many people.  As I have become acquainted with her over the last few months, I feel like I’ve known her my whole life. She’s often appeared with a plate of cookies to make me feel better.  I have watched her life unfold and I am amazed at the extent to which she’s involved in, actively giving and outreaching to the community, personally and professionally.

 She is a caring neighbor, weekly driving her elderly neighbor to the hairdresser, the grocery store and other places she needs to go.

 She is a caring sister to her brother who is experiencing severe health challenges.

 At the end of the day, she should be utterly exhausted.

However, from her social media posts and in talking to her, you would never know it. She is happy for the opportunity to care for new grandchildren. She is happy to be entertaining family on a Sunday. She is happy to drive that elderly neighbor to the salon. Her medical background helps her to act as her brother’s champion. She’s glad to go to work. She treats her employees as family, honors them and lifts them up verbally and in writing. Most importantly, she does this publicly on social media.

She could so easily think,  “pity me; look at all have to do; look at all of my burdens”. But she doesn’t see it that way. She doesn’t dread work, because she truly loves the people with whom she works, and this shows.

Valiant, is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, as “strong, courageous, to be of worth, marked by or carried out with courage or determination.”

That pretty much describes this woman, my friend, Debbie Valiant.

Debbie and her Husband Walter own AmeriStamp SignARama. They were given the Integrity Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau and are  finalists for the 2010 Small Business of the Year Award  From The Evansville Chamber.

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