It has been an interesting couple of months. They say that when you reach a certain age, you’ve seen it all. Well, I must not be old enough yet because the crazy things I’ve experienced and seen lately have been quite surprising. The situations I’ve encountered have brought out the best and worst of people. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and am sometimes disappointed in the reality of how people respond to difficult situations or a lack of understanding. I’ve never had this happen before, but I was recently in a car accident. Of course, I’ve been in minor fender benders and I was side swiped on Saginaw, but this was totally different and something I’ll never forget. No one was severely injured (thankfully), but I did experience a ton of fear and anxiety. To make the long story shorter, I’ll just say that due to extenuating circumstances I hit a car getting on the highway and my front end was damaged. Really damaged. You always think you know how you’ll react in a crisis and I’m sure that there are times when you’ve heard about a situation and have said you would have done it differently, but after the incident … I’m just not sure. I was disoriented to say the least and although my car was smashed, I spent valuable minutes trying to put the vehicle in park. And then, because of my location, I wanted the hazard lights on. I was desperate for safety when it was already a little too late for that. The cabin of the vehicle started filling with smoke, so I decided to abandon the ship. I’m claustrophobic and now my once-loved car was terrifying me. I couldn’t get out. The damage was jamming the door and I was freaking out. Needless to say, I did make it out with a few kicks to the door in my favorite heels. Then, my car promptly burst into flames. The car was totaled. It was terrible, but this is the good part. The people I encountered after that were simply amazing. The couple in front of me was so nice and comforting. And when the Lansing Police and Fire Departments showed up, I was impressed with each and every one of them. They were in the middle of a very tricky situation yet they were kind and thoughtful. I will always remember and appreciate the caring individuals from that difficult night. There’s always a yin and yang, right? Within two weeks of this testament to humanity, I was reminded that sometimes people only care about themselves and work to tear down individuals without any apparent reason. There was a misunderstanding that led to a hasty overreaction. At this time of year, take the time to be nice and give situations the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions. How hard is that? This month, I’m thrilled to get perspective from one of Michigan State University’s wonderful coaches, Cathy George. The volleyball team has been on fire (In a good way!). After attending a match against Nebraska a few weeks ago, I can see what all the fuss is about. The women are strong and talented. And, most importantly, you could tell that they really cared about each other and were having a great time. That is a direct reflection on Coach George’s leadership. I was equally impressed with the student and community support the team received. The place was packed and the student section reminded me of a high-spired basketball game. Whatever happens in the tournament ahead, they are all winners to me. If you haven’t checked out this MSU sport, what are you waiting for? And now the holidays have arrived. I can say that I am going to work hard to slow down and celebrate with those I love. Often, it feels like time slips away before we have had a chance to really enjoy the holidays. I usually get my decorations up early (not too early) so that they can be appreciated longer. However, I missed out on all the Halloween décor this year because by the time I took stock of the calendar — that sweet spot had passed. Thanksgiving has a new meaning for me this year. I can only hope that you feel as blessed as I do this season. Thanks to my family and friends (internal and external), our amazing advertisers and event sponsors and of course — our readers. Feeling blessed and thankful, 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.