There’s a lot to be said about Lansing, isn’t there? I’ve always called it the biggest small town. I grew up in the Detroit area and although I would never put down where I came from, it simply doesn’t have the connectedness that I’ve come to really love here in our Capital city. I love that I can go almost anywhere and see someone I know. It’s really comforting. Although, it also means that I can’t bust out to the grocery store without thinking it through. (Lucky for me, I’ve never been the sweat-pant wearing, no-makeup on, grocery store-goer that I know some people are). Just because there are so many things to love, doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things that sometimes push me over the edge. Like any small town, people get to know other people’s business. Whether it’s true talk or just gossip, it is human nature for people to communicate other people’s drama. Sometimes it’s great because you can gather a contingent of people and head down to a City Council meeting and tell the world how much you love progress and the community’s pursuit of it. And other times, it’s just plain irritating. I don’t have much time for rumors. I’m really busy and frankly, I think it’s important to have the facts straight before something — anything — is said, and if I don’t have the data then I just won’t say a word. I highly recommend trying it. It helps me feel good about myself — I need that to face myself in the mirror each day. Speaking of facing myself and my issues, some of you have been asking about my yearlong resolution. Well, I have to tell you, it’s been an interesting journey. I’m down to the final two months. And, I have to say that I’m glad I did it, but it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. You might think it’s funny, but some of the items on my list were hard to accomplish. First of all, as you can imagine, no one wanted to lend me a tractor to drive. I can’t really blame them. Tractors are important tools and repairing one would probably be expensive. I did, in fact, find a brave soul and accomplished this goal. The tractor was huge and very intimidating. And, you might remember that I swapped out falling from the sky to driving at mach speed (well, not that fast thankfully) on a motorcycle. It was actually easier to find someone willing to lend me a Harley than a tractor — go figure. A friend of the family gave me a short riding lesson and let me ride off on his bike. It actually went pretty well until I needed to stop. What do they say, what goes up must come down or something like that? Needless to say, I came to a stop, the bike jolted, I lost my balance and it was too heavy to hold up. The weight of the bike sent me flying off and I did a somersault on the pavement. When I got up, two things were in my head. First, I apologized to the Harley owner. I was mortified thinking that I may have scratched his baby. Then, my mind went back to my husband’s comment that I was obviously trying to kill myself this year. I don’t think I’m necessarily trying to do that, but if I was working to convince myself that I’m no longer a spring chicken — success! Another success was my trip down the Grand River in a canoe. You might be thinking that it doesn’t sound so hard. Well, I’m not fond of the water especially rivers and lakes. When I was a kid, I almost drowned in a lake and frankly, my relationship with water was changed forever. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be near water, but the potential of tipping a canoe and being submerged in the murky water is definitely a way to push me into a full-blown anxiety attack. If you want to see another anxiety attack or two, catch me this month singing in front of a crowd. Oh, you heard me. I will find a tune and sing it loudly and proudly in front of my small town. I’m sure the rumors will be flying about my tone-deaf sound — of course, it isn’t gossip if it’s true. Then, as if singing weren’t enough, I will be giving 30 pairs of shoes away in December. I’ve been preparing myself. I have identified around 18 I know I can part with. I want to thank many of you who have dropped off your shoes at my office for this big occasion. We will be taking all the shoes that come in and donating them to Hidden Treasures on Pennsylvania Avenue sometime in December. Bring yours by the CAWLM office. Come on, you know it’s time to purge. What a great way to welcome in the holiday season: give your beautiful shoes ‘til it hurts! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And, don’t forget to shop locally.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.