Well, "The Season" is just around the corner -- and Memorial Day is here, the official kick-off to summer. Of course, the holiday is really about remembering our nation's heroes, those who have fought the good fight to ensure our freedoms, including the many who have paid the ultimate price, never questioning their duty to preserve and defend America. We mustn't ever forget their sacrifices and those of their families. We must never take for granted the liberties we enjoy, and we, too, owe it to our children and grandchildren to do our part in supporting the ideals on which our Country was founded. I hate to say it, but sometimes it seems that meanness has taken over, so above all else this Memorial Day, I hope we can all do a little bit more in our own corner of the world to spread kind kindness and love.
Memorial Day Weekend brings back so many fun memories -- cook-outs, beach vacations, school's out!, pool's open!, wicked sunburns (okay, some NOT so fun memories, too!) May and June also feature big memory-making events -- truly milestone events, like weddings and graduations. Such occasions are great opportunities to send a POSITIVE message to someone dear, words that remind them how much they mean, not just to you, but to everyone.
Of course, All Ducked Out has some pretty cool gift options for those special people in your life. If you know me, you know I love WORDS, especially words that are UPLIFTING and TRANSFORMATIVE. I can't think of a better way to express your love for someone special than with words that remind them how very special they are. Big life changes can be daunting, even going from Middle School to High School can shake the self-confidence of the bravest teen. Social media has brought us all closer -- and, yes, sometimes even TOO close, as ugly thoughts and bullying go viral at dizzying speeds.
Whether it's a wedding toast, a graduation speech, or a simple "Happy Birthday!" we all have chances to spread GOODNESS. I feel like there's so much negativity (and downright meanness!) out there right now that I need to keep reminding myself that people are inherently good -- and beautiful -- and I have signs all over the shop to reinforce that message.
When I moved here from Alexandria, Virginia 5 1/2 years ago -- far away from longtime friends, off on an adventure to start a whole new life in Duck -- it wasn't easy. I cried every day for three months! But when I retired from my "other life," someone gave me a sign that says, Sometimes your Only Available Transportation is a Leap of Faith, and I just kept reading that sign over and over. Even now, when I see a sign that speaks to my heart, I grab it so wherever I am in the shop, I'm never without a positive reminder that I'm doing the right thing with All Ducked Out. She Created a Life She Loved -- She Believed She Could, So She DID -- You are Braver than You Believe -- all leading up to my newest GIRL BOSS -- YES!
But messages like this aren't just for me.
I want to share them with ALL OF YOU! They provide a great backdrop to shopping at ADO, which is always a friendly, fun, and uplifting experience. Many of those same thoughts appear throughout the shop, even on merchandise, offering you a chance to make someone's special day even more so, AND to fuel up with a little positivity yourself.
How 'bout a BeeAttitudes T-Shirt, each proudly sporting a "Bee" icon with a word: Bee YOU --Bee Happy -- Be Fearless -- Bee Fierce, with many others to choose from, including on cosmetic bags and car magnets. What better sentiments to convey your true wishes (PLUS, the shirts are SO soft, AND the owner of BeeAttitudes gives back to her Community in a big way!)
I also carry a beautiful line of bags from Papaya -- brightly-colored and incorporating such positive thoughts as You are Amazing -- You are Fabulous -- Love Who You Are -- Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful -- The Future Belongs to Those Who Believe in the Beauty of Their Dreams -- and many more. Choose from a wide assortment of totes and zip bags, all perfect for tucking in a small gift for the honoree, too.
I've been reading quotes from this year's Commencement Addresses at major Colleges and Universities, and recently attended my FIFTIETH College Reunion at William & Mary (OMG! 50--REALLY?), all of which has reminded me that I can't remember my own various graduation speeches. Why not? Well, probably because it's been so long ago, but maybe part of it is that the words didn't speak to me. So I want to leave you with a couple thoughts -- hopefully memorable ones -- as I close this month's BLOG...
Just because something you want is SCARY, it's still worth the risk of taking that first step...and the next...and the next.
And here's one of my all-time faves...
"Leap, and the Net will Appear"
And now, for your summer reading pleasure, I've just read a wonderful book, The Yellow Envelope, by Kim Dinan, which complements this month's BLOG perfectly. It was recommended to me by one of my fave new customers, Alison Schoew (pronounced "Shay"). It's an intriguing story about a couple who decides to quit their jobs, sell off their possessions, and travel around the world. As they depart, they are given a special gift, a Yellow Envelope filled with money, from their best friends. The idea was for them to give money away as they traveled, to people or causes that touched their heart, but the Yellow Envelope came with 3 Rules:
do not over-think the giving process;
share the giving experiences, but only to the extent they wished to; and
there was no requirement that all the money be given away.
As you read it, you will become an intimate companion in the couple's 'round-the-world adventures, not just in learning about others, but more importantly in learning about themselves Enjoy!