As we look ahead, let’s remember to stay on track

This is leap year and though February 29th isn’t my birthday, I think it is the perfect day for us to do some reflection and planning. Yes, I know you made resolutions in January and you’re either way ahead or they’ve have fallen by the wayside—either way, February 29 is the perfect day to get back on track.

First, as I watched clips from the Kobe and Gianna Bryant tribute earlier this week, I was moved by many of the tributes. To see basketball icon Michael Jordan with tears streaming down his face but making jokes about how the social media memes will forever keep these images, lightened the mood but I loved that most of the tributes were about Kobe Bryant, the person.

Sometimes we forget that how we treat all the people around us every day is the sum total of who we are. Whether we take time to help, see a need and fill it, or simply “do you,” at the end of the day, what you have gotten done will be the measuring stick the world will use.

William Shakespeare is credited with “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones,” and he’s partially right. If you are kind and generous, trust me, we will remember. I read account after account of the ways that Kobe remembered names and made people feel important, or by doing his charity work without the lights and cameras so many celebrities seek. That’s what I remember.

Secondly, remember the simple things that bring you joy. Whether it’s relaxing and admiring the morning or evening sunset, make time to do it. Take a minute and count your blessings—when you run out of fingers and toes, just clap for joy and understand that grace and mercy have once again intervened on your behalf.

Scatter joy and inspire others to greatness. My father’s sister and my great aunts were my favorites and according to them, I was the smartest and most beautiful niece ever.  I loved visiting them because they could improve even the most rotten days. Whenever I saw them, they gave me the confidence to face the world and conquer it. Be that mentor, friend, fan club president for some young person who is headed in the right direction. Better yet, be the ladder for one who is headed down the wrong road and could use an encouraging word.

As I have grown older, I clearly understand that the quiet reflective moments I didn’t understand or appreciate then, I trusted my grandmother’s advice to “keep living” and now see them for the treasures they are.

Thirdly, as March roars in, see more than what your eyes can show you. Celebrate your life and Women’s History Month by honoring the phenomenal women in your life and in your community. Remember to graciously accept the praise and accolades that come your way and be proud that your life has had meaning.

Practice asking for help and understand this is an exciting and troublesome time to be alive. Technology makes life easier but easy probably shouldn’t be our ultimate goal if we lose ourselves and our children to addiction and neglect. Our eyes tell us that this is progress but it will be critical to remember the lessons of respect, adventure, courtesy, courage, and sacrifice that brought us to here. This extra day in February is a gift—let’s treat it as such and create new possibilities.

Share your thoughts on planning for the extra day at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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