Hope Wissel

Reflecting on 2021

A new year………….

I’m not sure what happened to 2021.  LOL.  I actually had to flip through my planner to see what went on.  The memory is not what it used to be.  It seemed to pass in the blink of an eye.

We spent the year working on the house – our forever home.  Not a lot needed to be done but it is those little things that catch you off guard.  Lots of outside projects got done.  I’m looking forward to our first “crop” of fresh garlic which should be ready in the spring.  Who knew growing garlic could happen outside in the winter????  We shall see.

The MS life seems to be changing again.  There have been more “mini” MS flare ups – foggy brain, unable to process thoughts along with the tingling in my fingers.  I have resigned myself to wearing my brace more often when I am out and about.  I have to also be careful NOT to overwhelm myself with trying to do lots of things – the realization came after spending a week prepping for Thanksgiving only to have a meltdown and having to take it easy for the rest of the weekend.  Not too bad since I got to fur-baby sit.  I’m learning new things like: my mind is often “blank” so I spend more time in quiet instead of trying to carry on conversations.  Emotions blindside me – out of nowhere there are tears or smiles.

With 3 1/2+ years in recovery, I am feeling better about me.  Most days I even like me despite the fact I am struggling to get back to goal weight.  Life on life’s terms is not always easy but I’m grateful I found an amazing home group, a new sponsor and attend meetings regularly.  Lunchtime meetings work great for this old lady.  LOL. ❤  Working through the steps has been eye opener.  God has allowed me remember things (in tiny pieces) – in his time not mine when he knows I am ready to face things.

My side hustle as a bag lady is going strong. I’m grateful for the wonderful people it has brought into my life – customers and hostesses who I am blessed to now call friends.   I am venturing out in the “food” world.  Good food, fast and easy with the ability to tweak the recipes to count my WW points.  I love sharing new recipes along with the #epiclife.  Of course, having a bigger kitchen has helped because now I actually ENJOY cooking again.   I have also been working on new angel designs for the Spring craft season and can’t wait to share them.  They will probably show up on the Etsy site soon.

I will admit, I still get stuck in my head with the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” or the comparison game.  I’m learning one day at a time to enjoy the moment and know the only person I should be comparing myself to is me, the day before.  My basic goal is to just be a better person today than I was yesterday.

Over the last 10 years, I have picked a word – a theme to the year.  Last year’s word was GRATITUDE!  Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.“.  I learned to practice gratitude every night or at least I tried to.  It was easy to have gratitude for the good things but a struggle during the challenges of the year.  I know through the challenges, I learn and grow, for that I am grateful.

Finding a word for this year was a little tougher than I thought it would be.  No matter how hard I have tried to avoid it “acceptance” keeps popping up. So I guess I better take the God wink as a sign….. ACCEPTANCE is defined as “the action of consenting to receive something offered or being received as adequate or suitable“. Dictionary definitions sometimes baffle me.  I hate when they use part of the word in the definition.  Grateful, I found an article while I was looking for a definition called “The 5 Things Everyone Should  Know About Acceptance“.  These words stood out for me:

Acceptance doesn’t mean you can’t work on changing things.

Okay, I got the message!   LOL.  Guess there will be a lot of posts on this topic because I don’t think I am the only one who struggles with it!  Change is something I tend to struggle with when it comes quickly, my brain doesn’t adjust easily.  BUT change over time is a whole lot easier.

What will your world for this year be?  Share it with us…Best wishes for a safe healthy and happy New Year from our house to yours!

Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

What is Your Recipe for Life?

The last two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster.  Our sweet Baby (fur baby) is nearing the end of her life because of a tumor. Father’s Day causes me to stress because I’ve lost so many memories. Hubby’s pain levels have been higher than normal. Restless nights so my sleep is off.
All of these things tend to leave me feeling drained.  I am by no means complaining, but I guess it sounds like it, right?  LOL.  I will admit, I have found myself on the “pity pot” several times this week which leads to resentments which is never good for this recovering addict.
It always amazes me how listening to a business training call can change my entire mindset.  The topic was “power hour” and I was ready to just mindlessly listen when the importance of changing our mindset was mentioned…. Not only does this apply to business but also in our everyday lives, especially during those woe is me days.  Then while reading my Just for Today… it was all about surrendering. Do you think God is trying to send me a message?
When I was in rehab, I remember a saying something like: If one person calls you a duck – you can toss it aside, if two people call you a duck – it deserves some consideration but if three people call you a duck – you MUST be a duck!”  I am not waiting for the third person because I know I need to change my mindset and get off the pity pot!
So starting this morning, this duck is changing her mindset.  Do you need to change your mindset?
Here are a few questions you can answer which might help:
  1. Identify what happened to cause the change
  2. Why did it happen
  3. How can I use this for my personal growth
  4. What changes can I make to improve in the future
  5. Where can I find help or who can help
This “recipe for life” was part of a devotion I was reading.  Maybe this will help you in changing your mindset or counting your blessings:
Begin with a case of Joy
Add a heaping spoonful of Gratitude
Fold in a large dollop of Kindness
Stir in a handful of Forgiveness
Sprinkle liberally with Love and cover with Peace
Always serve with a large side of Faith
(Author unknown)
 
What do you do to change your mindset or get off the “pity pot”? Maybe you take a walk and count your blessings.  Maybe you do a gratitude list.  Maybe you put on some music and dance around.  Share your best tip with us!  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel

How to Stop Questioning Yourself

This morning I was struggling about what to post…. when this happens I generally scroll through the hundreds of past blog posts to see if something grabs my attention.  I’m grateful for the long list of blogs because it is a reminder of my life – the good, the bad and the ugly.

As the end of the fiscal year with Thirty One ends and a new one begins – doubt starts to creep in.  Weird since I had my highest career sales in 2020-2021 and most days I am comfortable where my business and my life are. It usually means, I haven’t taken enough time to seek God’s guidance in the morning.

Every morning in my Facebook memories, I see a quote from “Get Your Girl Back Movement” and no matter how old the message is, it seems to hit home!  Today’s was…

You can do it Hope and if you couldn’t, God would not have given you the dream in the first place. If you would have put as much time into your dream as you do questioning yourself and your ability it would have already been accomplished. Now- stop asking and go make your dream come true!

Kind of funny because since the MS, I struggle with dreaming.  I have a wish list of things I would like to do but not a BIG dream.  My last BIG dream was to pay off my credit card debt and I’m grateful with the help of my side hustle, this is DONE!  Financial freedom can be scary for an addict in recovery – money in the savings account, bills paid and the ability to enjoy each day without the stress of how to pay for things.  I have to consciously remember how unmanageable life was during my addiction (yes, shopping can be an addiction too).

MS has taught me to live in the moment (most days) because who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Planning long term can be stressful and tends to lead me into a fix, manage and control state of mind.  Not good for my MS or my recovery.  I think I squirreled.. LOL.

As I think about the new fiscal business year, I wonder what God would want me to do.  I’m doing a 6-week training program so I am focusing on being intentional about what God wants from me each day.  The problem is when a thought or idea hits, Doubtful Debbie pays a visit.  What are my dreams?  Are they mine or what I think they “should be”?  Will they bring me joy?  Will they help me reach my purpose in life?  I know I am not alone, right?

Then out of no where the message “STOP QUESTIONING YOURSELF” appears.  I take a breath and quiet my mind (not always easy).  I know my purpose is “to make a difference”, as basic as it is, it is my life’s mission.  From simply putting a smile on someone’s face, sharing words of encouragement, or raising funds for a cause – one small act of kindness can make a difference.

I’m not sure who needed to hear this, but I hope at least one person is helped by knowing they are not alone.  How do I stop questioning myself?  As soon as I realize it is happening, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and release.  Bless and release.  Sounds easy, right?  Believe me, if you struggle with this – you know it takes lots of practice.  If I can’t get out of my head I do something else – work on my puzzle, read, take a walk and enjoy God’s beauty or work on a blog post. I do things to bring me joy and help me to kick Doubtful Debbie to the curb.

What are YOU questioning yourself about?  Do you have a dream that gets pushed to the side when life gets too busy? Or are you like me and when that happens, you begin to doubt your dream?  Just for today, stop asking AND make your dream come true.  Who is with me??

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Making a Difference, Thirty One Business

Thirty-One Gives

At Thirty-One, giving is part of who we are

The name Thirty-One comes from Proverbs 31, which describes a community-oriented woman who gives back and helps others. From the start, community and giving have been at the heart of every decision we make as a company. As Thirty-One grew, we realized we had the power to make a real impact in the world. So, to help us take our mission even further, in 2012 we created Thirty-One Gives, our charitable program. The mission? Empower girls, women and families to build the confidence and self-esteem needed to live a purposeful, thriving life.

Why girls, women and families?

The Thirty-One sales field is a community made up of thousands of women, and we’ve seen firsthand how the opportunity to own an independent business can change lives. We believe confident girls become strong women who lead healthy families and build thriving communities. When women are supported and celebrated, they go on to make a positive impact in the lives of others!

Since its founding, Thirty-One Gives has donated over $100 million in product and cash to charitable organizations that share our mission. From breast cancer research to children’s mental health awareness and support for military families, we’ve forged partnerships with leading national organizations that support important causes near and dear to our heart and to the hearts of our Consultants. 

Giving in action: How we give back

One way we’ve made giving a part of our everyday business is through the Round Up! program. At checkout, every Thirty-One customer has the opportunity to Round Up! their order to the nearest dollar or make a donation of any amount to support our mission. Proceeds from Round Up! benefit a different philanthropic partner each season, allowing us to spread resources and hope to different causes and proving that every cent truly makes a difference.

Between Round Up! and donations of cash and product, we’ve been able to accomplish some pretty amazing things, from donating thousands of dollars to support organizations that combat domestic violence to providing care packages for families with children in the hospital. Not to mention the thousands of fundraisers our Consultants have held to raise money and collect donations for causes they believe in.

A community with heart

Not only is Thirty-One Gives about empowering and giving back to women, girls and families –it’s about relationships. We’re only able to do what we do thanks to the passion of our entire community of Customers, Consultants, Insiders and Home Office employees. If you’ve ever bought a Thirty-One tote or hosted a party with us, you’ve been a part of our giving story. The next time you shop with us, consider rounding up to continue supporting our charitable efforts. When we all work together, we can make a huge difference.


My customers have donated over 500 chemo comfort bags, as well as zipper pouches for our troops, dialysis comfort bags, Easter baskets, Mother’s Day gifts, and supported countless families in the community.  Fundraising opportunities are available.  My next give back program is for Rooted in Love – mini zipper pouches filled with necessities to share some kindness with women who are struggling.

Thank you for helping us to make a difference.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

Where Does Your Strength Come From?

My strength comes from God but he gave me an amazing momma to help me along the way…..

Have you ever wondered where you get the strength to go on? Or how you can be strong when others would have thrown in the towel?

I never really thought of myself as being strong BUT I knew my momma was…….despite LOTS of struggles, she came through it.  She continues to shine even on her worst days.  She instilled a sense of faith in me very early.  I know it is her faith which kept her going on the worse days.  Despite my bad choices and in my darkest days, I knew no matter what God had his hand on me and would take care of me.  I am grateful for the lessons she taught me.

Today is momma’s birthday………..

I won’t disclose her age but she DEFINITELY doesn’t look it. The last year has been tough but she has continued to remain strong.  It is her inner strength which continues to guide her even on the hardest days.

Let me tell you a little about this AMAZING woman… I have to admit, I’m grateful for years of blogging since I struggle to remember….

Growing up, Mom was always there.  She made sure our home was always open to my friends – I mean we were the house to go to after a basketball game or when there was no place else to go.  I may not have been thrilled but I was grateful I could pick up the phone and say – I am on my way with 2, 10, 25 or more people.  The house was always stocked with snacks.  After my Junior Prom, my parents made breakfast for over 300 kids.  Yes, the parade of non-stop kids through the house was a little more than this teenager was ready for but mom stood strong.

Off to college I went and there were struggles.  Freshman year, my parents divorced and it wasn’t easy.  I was in Rhode Island while mom was home holding down the fort.  Scrimping pennies to make sure I had a home to come back to.  They were tough years but we had fun.  She often traveled to Rhode Island for a weekend where we toured the mansions of Newport, shopped in Fall River and she even camped out in my dorm room.  After college, I headed home to work locally, moving back in with mom.  We spent countless nights walking the boardwalk in Ocean Grove.  Fast forward to my move to Egg Harbor Township and more years of rough roads.  In my addiction, I admit I pulled away and mom practiced some tough love but our relationship survived the test.  Along came Belinda and in the beginning there were struggles but through it all – mom was there.  She helped emotionally, financially and physically.  Despite some differences and hiccups in the road – she was there.

When Belinda left for college and I moved to Brick, it was a rough time for both of us.  Lives changed – I had a new hubby and the one hour drive to visit in Mays Landing felt like an eternity.  Then came my relapse and again mom was there.  She was there to help me through those early rough days.  Day trips to Mays Landing were done about once a month and there never seemed to be enough time.  Juggling travel up and down the parkway, MS issues, medical appointments, and life always seemed to throw us a curve ball.

Fast forward to 2020, when after a quick unexpected sale of the condo in Brick, hubby and I moved to Mays Landing.  Finally just 20 minutes away. Grateful to spend the holidays together, cooking in our new home.  Now I can actually stop by whenever I want or help out when something is needed.

My memories may be gone but in my heart I know I learned A LOT from my mom. She taught me: how to be strong when life is rough, how to save and budget (okay, so this lesson took longer to learn),  the importance of family and about being a mom.  She reminds me to believe in myself (you would think I would know this by now).  I can honestly say my mom is one of my best friends.

When you think about your qualities – strength, perseverance, or faith – have you thought about where you got them from?  We usually think they are a result of the bumps in the road, and they do help build strong character traits. BUT our family – parents, siblings, extended family – help to shape us as well.  They are the ones who help to mold us into the person God would want us to be.  Remember to thank them.

Mom, thank you for all you have done, continue to do and or always being there.  I love you!  Hope you have a blessed birthday!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!