Tips From Our Past
A New Year…A Time For Reflection and Renewal
By Sherry Hunt, DTM – Immediate Past District Director
I, like many others, spend each New Year’s Eve reflecting on what happened in my life over the previous year that I am grateful for and then lifting up my thoughts for what I hope the New Year will bring. This year was no different so I hope you’ll humor me sharing a few of those thoughts with you . . .
Looking back I’m immediately grateful for all the folks that reached out while our daughter was so ill! Your kind words and prayers made many of those long days just a bit easier to bear. There truly is nothing more frightening for a parent than to watch your child lying in a hospital bed fighting to breathe while you can only stand helplessly by waiting and praying for a miracle. I’m also grateful I was able to be with her during those days and then to walk with her now while she continues to recuperate.
What I learned in those days was how important it is to have a voice and be able to speak clearly and cohesively when your emotions are running high. I am grateful for my Toastmasters experience as that allowed me to fall back on those skills so I could let the medical team know what she needed and how to help all of us through this ordeal. The medical team at Golisano Children’s hospital in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit was AWAZING and encouraged us to be as involved in her care as we were able! Not having to think about how to prepare my words was a blessing in disguise and another way my Toastmasters journey continues to enhance my life in ways I never imagined.
What I hope for the New Year is that more folks will renew their commitment to personal growth by push their boundaries and take a chance at the leadership opportunities Toastmasters provides for us right here in District 65. As with all of the opportunities, you get out of it what you put in BUT I hope you will actually give it a go BEFORE deciding you have nothing to gain from the experience. If I had let other’s talking about their negative experiences turn me away from pursuing leadership in our District, or even decided not to continue after the challenges presented in the 1st 6-months of being the LGM, I’m not sure how I would have handled the situation this past Fall…but I was fortunate enough to have members around me that encouraged me to stick with it and I KNOW I’m a much better speaker, leader and person because of it.
If you need someone to encourage you in a renewal of your commitment to grow by taking this Toastmasters journey, let me know and I’ll do whatever I can to make it happen or connect you with others that are also happy to help! The choice is yours but I encourage you to take a few moments to reflect and be grateful for where you’ve been and hopeful for what is most certainly going to come…