This past year has been a whirlwind. It has gone by so fast that there are moments today that I struggle to remember the activities and changes of the past year. Either it was quicker than usual or I’m getting older and my memory is failing me. Overall it’s been a good year, but it hasn’t been without its complications. I’m sure we can all say that on some level. Each year, I tell myself that the next year I’m going to slow down and appreciate where I am for a while. And, usually it lasts through January or February. I’ve recently fulfilled a goal I’ve had for many years. My husband and I moved downtown into a condo. I sold my house of 13 years where I raised my kids and made so many memories. It was bittersweet of course, but I was ready for the transition and a new chapter of my life. Making the shift from suburbs to downtown will be interesting. What does everyone do with the items in the garage or the extra boxes of Christmas decorations? O.K., so maybe everyone doesn’t have a few hundred extra ornaments in their possession. Downsizing has been a bit challenging. I’m of the opinion that you will fill the size home you have. If you live in a 5,000 square foot house, you will accumulate items to fill it. So, taking my items from 2,400 square feet with a basement and garage to 1,800 square feet with no garage or basement gave me a bit of heartburn. I had to let go of items that didn’t hold sentimental value for me. I made tough choices and truly got in touch with what is important to me. It was also rewarding to see other members of my family doing the same thing. When push came to shove, my kids kept some unexpected items that obviously meant something to them and let go of other items that surprised me. It was a test for our family. There were disagreements, stalling and overall frustration, but we are much better for it — I’m sure. Thinking about difficult but rewarding transitions, Mary Roszel comes to mind. She is an amazing person. I’ve gotten to know her a little over the last few years just prior to her retirement from the coffee business. She is definitely passionate about BIGGBY, but I would say she’s even more passionate about relationships and people. Mary introduced me to a young man a year ago that is going to LCC for marketing and is an amazing single dad. Although I think he’s great, I was even more wowed by Mary’s selflessness. Her willingness to help this young man, who she had just recently met, while he is working his way through school showed me that there are people out there who just glow from the inside. She helped him with the kids, gave him some connections and was a general sounding board. Mary is definitely one of those amazing individuals who connect and give and never ask for anything in return. I hope you enjoy her story. This holiday season, I encourage you to reach out of your comfort zone and help someone. Be the change you want to see in the world. With so many terrible things happening out there in this sometimes-challenging world, it only takes a small act of kindness to give hope and assure that there is good out there too. Our team is actively helping a family going through a really rough time. I hope that our small act of kindness helps them through this difficult season. They should know that people care. This month will fly by. Even if you can’t recall your actions next summer, I hope you take a moment and make a positive memory for someone else. Be kind. Have a happy and healthy holiday, Tiffany Dowling | Publisher
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.