Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

2008 in Review

Filed under: Blogging,Motivation — by at 10:46 pm on Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Snow blocking the front gate With snow piled up outside, making it impossible for Darrell and I get beyond the front gate, this afternoon was a great time to reflect upon this past year. 2008 was quite a year. I feel like I didn’t have a chance to slow down at all!

Here’s a brief review of my goals for 2008:

My Contribution to the Blogosphere

The blogosphere is all about building relationships. One great way to build those relationships and to contribute back to the blogosphere is to comment on other blogs. My goal was to comment on ten blogs per week – five comments on blogs I had previously commented on to further strengthen those relationships, and five comments on new-to-me blogs to expand my network by forming new relationships.

This year I left 153 comments (make that 154) in the blogosphere, excluding the ones I left during Liz Strauss’ Open Mic Nights and the ones left on various Disaboom blogs. The result wasn’t what I had envisioned. However, part way through the year, I realized leaving comments isn’t the only way to contribute to the blogosphere (or the only measure of success of a blog post). Using Twitter has become a major tool in contributing to the blogging community – and I did my fair share of tweeting this year!

My Word for the Year

I chose FOCUS as my word for 2008. To me, FOCUS entails minimizing my technologically-induced ADHD, decluttering and simplifying my surroundings, multi-tasking only when appropriate – tasks requiring my full attention will receive it.

During my year’s journey, I found being able to focus means setting up the right environment, externally and internally. Having the right tools to complete a task made the single

most difference. I also discovered eight other strategies for finding focus.

My Bucket List

Let’s see what I cross off of my bucket list for 2008:

  • Spend more time with my kitty purring in my ear. – That is one of the most soothing sounds I know.
  • Listen more to my husband’s beating heart. – His beating heart is the other most soothing and reassuring sound I know.
  • Write love letters to him. – Oops! I would like to say right here that Darrell is one of the wisest and most patient people I know. I am honoured to be his wife. 
  • Find a way to get to the north shore to watch the eagles soar. – I didn’t get to the north shore. But, I did receive a most spectacular framed photo of an eagle as a surprise birthday gift. (Thanks so much Nance and Damien!)
  • Meet more of my invisible friends. – Yes! 
  • Be in the ‘real’ world more. – This really depends on the season. At the moment, Darrell and I are unable to get beyond the front gate. We have been cooped up inside for more than two weeks now due to snow. 
  • Connect with more of my invisible friends in a real way, if I can’t meet them in person yet. – An ongoing effort. 
  • Become more physically active. – Again, depends on the season. 
  • Finish selling the first print run of my autobiography. – Autographed copies are still available!
  • Continue searching for a cp-friendly bra. – Why the heck did I include this here!
  • See Anne Murray in concert, finally! – She was fabulous!
  • Get organized for when I do kick the bucket. – It’s a good thing I haven’t kicked the bucket yet!
  • Make a positive difference or impact on people’s lives. – I hope I have. You, my readers, can decide.
  • Reconnect with my penpal Paivi and my Brownie friend Karen. – Yes! I have made initial contact with both of them. Now to follow up and fill in one another about our lives and such. 

Blog for a Year

In 2007, I was vying for first place in the Blog for a Year contest and the opportunity to be paid to blog for one year. Although I didn’t win the contest, I did land a contract to blog at Disaboom.

I have enjoyed my year at Disaboom and have formed a few more relationships. Learning the Community Server blogging platform was definitely challenging. To be honest, I much prefer WordPress – a lot less frustrating to use.

However, yesterday I was notified my contract was being terminated due to budget reallocation. Not the best news for beginning the New Year. I will miss that bit of income. But, strangely, the contract turned out to be for one year and I made slightly more than I would have had I won the contest. Hmm, a universe thing?

Onto to the next opportunity!

Let’s Feed 100 People Christmas Dinner

This was definitely a moving highlight for me! Thank you to everyone who made this happen.

And thank you for making this a wonderful year! I’d like to wish you health, happiness and love in 2009!

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Letter to Santa

Filed under: General — by at 1:48 am on Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Three candles burning in the windowDear Santa,

Christmas cards are mailed. Most presents are wrapped. Christmas dinner plans for nine have been downsized to two due to the eighteen inches of snow outside (and its still snowing!). About all that is left to do is to write your this letter.

I have left this to the last minute not because I am disorganized this year, but because I wasn’t sure what to write. You see, except for a few bumps, I have had a good year. I am feeling very blessed and content. There is nothing specific I would like to ask for. There are, however, things I would like to give to others, but they are beyond my means at the moment. Hopefully those things will find their way to the individuals by other means.

The one gift that I would like to ask for is that my family and friends, near and far, receive the one thing that they truly need at this point in their life’s journey.

Wishing you and the reindeer a safe trip. Merry Christmas!

With love from, 

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Greetings from the Left Thumb Blogger

Filed under: General — by at 4:42 pm on Saturday, December 20, 2008

My first video message to you, my readers and friends:

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The Tradition of Giving

Filed under: General — by at 5:57 pm on Thursday, December 18, 2008

No matter how little was in the cupboard come this time of year, Mom always found four cans of soup or boxes of jello for us four to donate to food hampers at our respective schools.

In elementary school, taking something for the food hamper gave me a sense of pride and duty. I was doing my small part to help someone who had less than we did.

(Aside story: One year – I was in Grade 3 or 4 – a day or two before Christmas holidays, there was a heavy snow fall during the day. The short school buses were very late in picking up the special ed students. A few teachers, including Mom, stayed with the children at school, mere blocks from where I write this now. We sang Christmas carols and played games while the snow continued falling outside. With suppertime nearing and some children requiring their evening medication, the teachers were on the verge of dipping into the large food hamper to feed us when the buses arrived. Everyone made it safely home that night.)

The ritual of donating to the food hamper continued through high school with a lunchtime sock-up. Admission was one can of food.

In my adult years, living on my own, I continued the tradition. The one year that I did have a job, I arranged an office collection for the university’s student food bank.

I missed a few years for a variety of reasons; mainly because a drop box wasn’t located close by. Those years I felt like a piece of Christmas was missing. I hadn’t done my part.

Those missed years were redeemed this year. Wanting to do more than a can of soup or a package of jello, I initially thought of donating a few complete dinners to the Union Gospel Mission. Then a voice said feed 100 people. I put the challenge out on Twitter.

Proof of purchase of 100 dinnersTo all of you who bought copies of The Best of…The Left Thumb Blogger: Volume I and cups of coffee, thank you for giving me that piece of Christmas. Together, you have ensured 100 people in dire need will enjoy a warm Christmas dinner.

I am amazed and warmed by how my online community extended its arms to my local community. A very sincere thank you.

Perhaps this will become a new tradition? 

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The Gift is Within

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 1:37 pm on Monday, December 15, 2008

One pleasure of being a blogger is receiving emails from readers. Although I don’t always respond, I do read each and every one. A month ago I received this heart-tugging email from Pamela, to which I have been pondering how to respond ever since:

Reader's Question

I was thrilled to come across your website tonight! I know you’re probably a busy woman, but I was wondering if I could ask you a question. I know a family with a beautiful 8 year old daughter who has severe spastic CP. Right now she’s really struggling with self confidence, realizing how beautiful she is, and with not being able to verbalize her thoughts. To make it worse, despite how very much she is loved, no one can truly understand what she is going through. I’m sure you get this kind of request often, but I was wondering what words of wisdom you could give us? I read Jana’s post of August 29/07 and the advice you gave her on parenting children with special needs. I was wondering what kind of encouraging words you would offer to M herself?

(My first thought: Damn cerebral palsy for making yet another precious child feel this way!)

Glenda's Response

Pamela, thank you for your touching email. I fully appreciate M’s frustration in her inability to voice her thoughts and needs, and no doubt her family’s frustration at not knowing what their daughter is thinking and wanting.

Finding a way for M to communicate effectively, no matter the method, is crucial for her life. I would suggest working with M’s current abilities and going from there. It may mean using a word board, developing a picture/symbol board, typing with her toe or whatever. It may not be something the professionals have considered or approve of. (They strongly discouraged me from typing with my left thumb back in Grade 1. Little did they know I was meant to become the Left Thumb Blogger!) Keep trying different things until something clicks. This will entail ample creativity, ingenuity and patience, with M leading the way.

Regarding boosting her self-confidence, be sure to praise and acknowledge her for her efforts, no matter the result. Keep photos of her in places of honour, alongside photos of her siblings, cousins and friends swinging the baseball bat or dancing at their first recital. And, of course, continue reminding her she is loved and valued.

With support and caring from you, her family, friends and teachers, M will reach her full potential and beyond!

Dear M,

You are a precious gift. Your outer body – the part everyone sees – is the wrapping paper – the part of the gift that is often put aside. The actual gift lies deep within you and is more precious, more beautiful than the wrapping paper.

Your eyes and your smile provide people with a peek at the gift within. Give the people you meet a big peek at your gift by flashing them a great big smile and showing them your beautiful eyes.

I understand how frustrating it is not being able to say what you are thinking and feeling. I have no doubt you have much going on in that beautiful head of yours. The challenge is to find a way to communicate it. There are more ways to communicate than by speaking. I’m sure with help from your family, teachers and therapists, you will find a way to communicate your thoughts. Keep trying and working hard and you will find a way for your voice to be heard.

You are a beautiful young lady, M. Wishing you every success.

With much love,

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