We will get back to our discussion on poverty next week.

This week, I just want to take a time out and say Thank You!!
Thank you for reading my crazy ideas.
Thank you for sharing my crazy ideas.
Thank you for your private messages that spur me to think more deeply.
Thank you for your comments and those of you who have joined into the conversations.
Thank you for your book recommendations.
Thank you for the random, off-hand comments, “I enjoy reading your blog by the way.” (You have no idea how those comments make my heart flip.)

It’s my birthday so I thought it was a great time to step back and say THANK YOU. I started this blog just before my 40th birthday – it was a mid-life awakening. Not a crisis, but an awakening. I realized that I didn’t have to wait to be a writer until after I retired. I realized that no one was going to come up and give me permission to have a voice. I realized that I was never going to feel like a full fledged adult who was ‘worthy’ of doling out advice. I realized not many other people do either. I realized that I wanted to hear what I had to say – and if I would just start writing to myself, I may find that other people wanted to listen in. I realized that you didn’t have to wait until you were sure about something.

And here we are, a year later, and we are doing this together. We are connecting and thinking about deep and hard issues. We are connecting and laughing at silly things.

Here I am. More alive that I have ever been. Thank you.

I’m celebrating my birthday in Georgia – far from my family. Although I would certainly choose to be with Greg and the littles, it was still a really awesome day. First of all – I woke up! Banner way to start a birthday. Second – I am attending a really amazing class on leadership and learning some amazing and insightful things. Third – My co-workers took care of me, took me out tonight, and made the day special. Four – I got to spend time with our CEO and CFO today. They took time to meet with the 12 of us in class, and that’s impressive. I love working for a company that is working to make things better and investing in their people. What an honor.

That got me to thinking. This blog is the job of my soul, and I am the CEO. I wondered, “How can I invest in my people?” I looked around and realized that I don’t have any people :). BUT, I do have you – and you are awesome and totally worthy of investment.

Here is what I came up with:

I want to give away a photo session to a family and a high school senior who otherwise could not afford it. Every family, and every high school senior, should have a fabulous photo of themselves.
I do natual light, outdoor photography so we will need to coordinate locations.
I will professionally edit them and I will give full print rights to all of the edited piks (5-15 poses/shots) on a DVD as well as printing a package (1 8X10, 2 5X7, 20 wallets)

I will pick someone over the next week and let them know. We will celebrate warmer weather and spring!

They have to be in the southern Missouri area (sorry my long distance friends!)

So please get the word out – Just send me an email at jgaustin@me.com.
Please provide:
Family: Number of family members, location, any other pertinent information
Senior: Location, Male or Female, Graduation date, any other pertinent information
I’ll post on the blog as soon as we have the slots filled.
I will pick at random in the next week.

🙂 I’m so excited! 🙂

And, in case you didn’t get the message: THANK YOU.

PS: Everyone suggested will remain private. Dignity will be protected and honored.

PSS: I can travel as a couple hours – so Crocker area is in as well – north, too !


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