The world does not need to know your deep personal business… but maybe the world does need to see our real selves and real lives… which are bold and beautiful even when it doesn’t look like it to us.~Sylvia Stinson-Perez
I write this blog post on Thanksgiving, a day we acknowledge and honor the many blessings in our lives. I am also reviewing 2021, as we approach a new year. Like many of you, possibly even most, the year did not unfold as I thought or even possibly hoped it would. Yes, it was absolutely full of good things and blessings, but it was also full of challenges and hard things.
I believe I am learning more and more that being adaptable, living in as much peace as I can find, and caring for myself and those I love is what my focus should be. In this post I look back, share some insights I had, share great quotes, and look forward with hope.
In January I set some lofty goals, including doing yoga and cooking 3 times a week. I will admit I fell short on these goals. I did each of these at least once a week though. I enjoyed yoga and cooking when I did it, and promise myself to do it so much more. I did submit at least one blog post a month (to Bold Blind Beauty) and a few months I submitted to other places. Again, writing is something I enjoy and want to do more of.
A fun surprise was the start of the new podcast called Bold Blind Beauty On A.I.R. with Stephanae and Nasreen, which I am enjoying so much, especially meeting new people who are making a difference. I had other goals that I accomplished, and overall feel that I developed and/or strengthened some important relationships and I was personally and professionally productive. Soon I’ll set my 2022 goals, and I hope you will consider this important practice as well… as we all need a roadmap on this crazy journey called life.
“Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.”—Anonymous
Here are some passages from BBB blogs…
I wrote this year that I believe are worth repeating and maybe even pondering more deeply:
- I have always heard the saying “bloom where you are planted.” Which emphasizes that we all have wonderful potential to have a positive impact wherever we are and in whatever situation we are in. However, it is also important on occasion to determine if the soil you are planted in is the best soil for you to grow and flourish. Flowers often have to be re-potted. Is it time to move?
I had some surprising changes this year. I found and purchased my dream home, which just happens to be in my home town where most of my siblings live. I’ve been enjoying making my new house a home. I’ve tried out some gardening, but well… I still do not seem to have a green thumb!
I also accepted a new job… as the Chief Programs Officer at the American Foundation for the Blind. This opportunity to help create a world of no limits for people who are blind is exciting and amazing!
- We can allow ourselves to flourish and blossom from the adversities we experience. However, we absolutely cannot grow and blossom without learning, without encouragement, and without good self-care. We often show compassion for others, but may we also remember to always show grace, compassion, and humble pride to ourselves.
So often we are so critical of ourselves, we want everyone to think our lives are amazing, we want people to think we are incredibly confident and capable, while inside we are all struggling to be our best. Most people put pretty, fairy-tale, best moments out on social media, and leave out the mundane and difficult things and moments… so we get this yearning for more, better, different.
We need to all realize that there is always much more to each person’s story… and maybe even be more authentic ourselves. However, the world does not need to know your deep personal business… but maybe the world does need to see our real selves and real lives… which are bold and beautiful even when it doesn’t look like it to us.
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”—Coco Chanel
Here are a few important lessons I’ve shared on my birthday this year:
- Live authentically and honor who you were created by God to be.
- Be a life-long learner.
- Choices equal results. Make decisions wisely.
- Everyone is facing a challenge… even if we can’t see it, so be compassionate.
- Live your life with passion. Find a way to make a positive difference!
Now, as we begin to reflect and look forward… here are a few words of wisdom.
“Always concentrate on how far you have come, rather than how far you have left to go.”—Heidi Johnson
As you set your goals and plan for next year, don’t forget to recognize and honor how far you have come and what you have accomplished. This does not have to be about accomplishments seen by others, it can be about appreciating and loving yourself more, accepting yourself—maybe even deciding blindness can be something that allows you to live a more bold and beautiful life. How did you make a difference… even to yourself… this past year?
“Hope is a passion for the possible.”—Soren Kierkegaard
Let’s get planning for next year. I look forward to hearing about people’s goals and plans. I have to duplicate last years ☺ ☺
I leave you with one of my absolutely favorite quotes from Christopher Robin, side-kick of Winnie the Pooh.
“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Now, keep living a bold and beautiful life!
Connecting With Sylvia:
Sylvia Stinson-Perez has spent her career in the blindness field, and is the Chief Programs Officer for the American Foundation for the Blind. Sylvia believes the authentic shared experience of living with vision loss can lead to the development of bold confidence in living with blindness. She loves helping others find their beauty and courage on this journey.
Sylvia has Master’s degrees in Social Work, Visual Disabilities Rehabilitation, and Business Administration. Sylvia is blind as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), however, she believes that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their potential.
Sylvia is a wife, a mother, a friend, an advocate, and a professional dedicated to making a positive difference. She enjoys reading, cooking, travel, crocheting, writing and public speaking, and time with loved ones.
- Letters to the word “Life” are cut-out in four fall leaves hanging on a vine with bright sunshine in the background.
- Text reads: “Dream big, set goals, take action” success recipe written on colored post-it notes on a wooden background.
- Text reads: “This is your life, This is your time” superimposed on a blurred stopwatch.
- The author’s bio photo is a glam photo of Sylvia in a pink dress with spaghetti straps. Her hair is in a fancy updo with a pink flower on the left of her bun.