Epiphany: Three years ago, I experienced what I call my “breakdown-breakthrough ... I painfully admitted that I was able to “do it all” because I missed out on life – the playing, connecting, memory-making parts of life. Tragically, I knew every precious moment I’d missed could never be retrieved. With clarity, I saw the damage that my daily distractions were having on my relationships, my health and my life. Once I acknowledged that living distracted was not really living at all, I vowed to change.
Beginning the Hands Free Mama blog in December 2010: The impact of the small changes I was making in my daily life was so immediate and so profound that I knew I must share them with as many people as I could. As an educator, writer and encourager, I felt certain this was my purpose in life. I believed that the people who could most likely benefit from the hands free message were people who read online blogs and used social media.
Writing the book: My husband, two daughters and I sat down and discussed what we would need to do as a family in order for me to meet my publishing deadlines. Much to my surprise, every member was willing to take on more household duties and daily responsibilities in order to help me. I am proud to say that my family came through like rock stars! Although I worked more hours than usual that month, I refused to miss out on the daily rituals of connection I’d established with my family throughout my journey. Those little moments of togetherness are the most meaningful and renewing parts of my day.
Reconnecting: Because I am a Muncie Burris Owl, Hanover Panther, Ball State Cardinal and Batesville Bulldog, coming to Indy for a Jan. 21 book signing was like coming home. Almost 200 people drove on icy roads and in frigid temps to come out and show their support. It was so incredible to see friends and colleagues I had not seen in years. I will never forget the readers of my blog who drove from Ohio and Michigan to be there. One blog reader drove five hours with her two kids to meet me. It was an unforgettable night!