Return the Favor


Has someone made a difference in your life recently? Think about what they did for you and how it made you feel, and then go and be that difference for someone else. Of course it doesn’t have to be exactly the same, but the point is to reflect on ways that you have been impacted by someone, and then pass on a variation of that action to someone else, so they can experience the same benefit that you did.

Just a few highlights below – you can see all results in the Discord.


This weekend I got the awesome chance to run in the Make-A-Wish 5k. I’ve been running for about 4 years now and am totally addicted to it. I also love the Make-A-Wish charity. But what made the run special was that my husband decided to do it with me. He’s not a runner… never has been, but decided that he would do this with me in honor of his brother who recieved a Wish (to see Big Bird) when he was little. We got about 4 practice runs in before hand… not a lot for someone who’s never ran.

I’ve been practicing my speedwork a little this summer and part of me really wanted to go for a PR. But as I stood at the starting line, I remembered doing my first 1/2 marathon this spring, and how my friend Donna ran with me the whole time. I felt like walking numerous times and told her that she could go on with out me. But she kept with me, and kept encouraging me. She said “we’re going to make it to the finish line together, without walking, no matter how slow we have to go” and we did. I realized how wonderful that was of her to stick with me and told myself that I was going to do the same for my husband. So we ran the race together, and I encouraged him the whole way.

I am so happy that Donna encouraged me, and that I was in turn able to encourage my husband. It was a great experience to share together, and we are now planning to run the Children’s Hospital 8k on October 10th. :)

I’ve had a long and grace filled career in an industry that sometimes is unforgiving if results don’t follow your actions. Along the way I have been blessed by many mentors who have guided and shaped my personal and professional life. I have always sought to be the same for others should they choose me to be.

We have had a few struggling players in our company lately that were being considered for reduction or termination so I spoke to our COO and asked if I could step in and take them under my department to see if my leadership style would make a difference.

I am pleased to say that I have had success with one gentleman who took to direction and support like a fish to water and has turned his performance into gold. While I just led and provided some tools, he really worked the plan. So I won’t take credit but I do feel that as many of my mentors did for me, I was there at the right time in his life. One favor returned, hundreds to go…

Last Sunday, I went out to my garage and discovered that someone had gotten in during the night and stolen both my daughters’ (locked) bicycles. This was a terrible blow. They were very nice bikes, Fiona and Delia’s respective 13th birthday presents, and we felt so terribly violated. The younger girl, Delia, had only had her brand new bike for two months! Worse, my husband has been out of work for over a year, and it had been real stretch for us to buy that second bike. Unemployment’s about to run out, and I didn’t see how we could possibly replace them. Our homeowner’s insurance policy had a high enough deductible that it wouldn’t be any help.

I made a post about this on my blog, and went away from my computer, seriously upset. The next day, as soon as I logged in, I discovered that my online friends, distressed about what had happened, had, using PayPal, OVERNIGHT RAISED EXACTLY ENOUGH MONEY TO REPLACE BOTH BIKES: $700.00. Many of these donations came, as I said, from people who have never met me or my girls.

I was so unbelievably touched. As soon as I received my first mission, I knew exactly what to do: donate money to someone I have never met. I’m a Kiva lender (a non-profit where people can use PayPal to microlend to entrepreneurs in the developing world), and so I went to the Kiva website and searched until I found an entrepreneur who was requesting a loan that had something to do with bicycles! I made a loan to a microlending cooperative group in Nicaragua. The group includes one woman who sells bicycle parts out of her home. The donation was made in honor of my friends, who reminded me that strangers can be kind and generous, as well as cruel.

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