The first month of the year 2013 is drawing to a close. For many, this first month of the year did not turn out exactly as planned or desired, myself included. That’s the thing about life, we cannot always control what happens to us, what we can control is our reaction to the situations and challenges that are put in front of us.  And depending on the tools in our mental toolbox, we will either learn and grow from challenges or remain unable to move forward or break free from patterns that keep producing the same results. I am so very grateful for the amazing number of different experiences, books, movies and live events that I have been able to participate in over the last 6-7 years – as my own personal toolbox is well stocked and I am able to deal with difficult challenges in ways that I never could have imagined. I truly believe (now) that God never gives us more than we can handle, so take it as a compliment if things have been particularly difficult, as God (or the Spirit or the Universe) has faith in your ability to handle it. poem by William Ward

I wanted to share this wonderful short poem by William Ward, sent to me a on a card from my sister back in 2008, right before my 3rd Ironman in Arizona. She probably doesn’t realize that I look at this poem daily and it keeps me inspired.

Whatever tools may be in your personal toolbox, they are often not enough to get you through difficult times. And that’s why having an amazing network of people in our lives is so important. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by hundreds of amazing people and am grateful for their support when needed.

These are the things that matter in life. Who are you surrounded by? Who makes you smile when you need it most? Are you able to find the good in every situation, even the most difficult or devastating? This is what creating a life is all about. And as I celebrate my 37th birthday tomorrow, I want to thank my mom (and dad) for creating a life (me!) and helping my spirit to find a place on this earth. I am so grateful for my life and my family (including my massive extended honorary family!!). I believe we should be celebrating our moms on our birthdays!

As I shared on Facebook, I’ve decided that from this moment forward, 2013 is going to be amazing. It may have started out a little rough but you know what? Every day is a chance to start anew and to create wonderful memories. Let’s do it together – are u in? JulieB

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