Do you hear the Bell?

©2014 Dancinmoma

©2014 Dancinmoma

The sweet, clinking sounds of music notes to your ear…

“Ting, ting, ting” or maybe it’s more like a “CLAAANG, CLAAANG, CLAAANG!”

No matter how the “bell” sounds to you… It’s time to RING in the New Year. Okay. So it’s January 10th. The “new year” has already been “rung” in. True.  But ever since my daughter pulled out Great Gram’s bell on New Year’s Eve, I’ve been thinking about the significance of BELLS throughout my lifetime. So yes, we did. We literally RANG in 2014!! (Insert applause, bell ringing, cheers and an enthusiastic Woooooooo”)

Now the work for “2014 Pam” starts. Every year there is a theme for “New Year Pam.” This year it is about moving forward, one step at a time. Yes, we may step back at times, but as long as we keep moving. We are dancing!

Dancing with “bells on our toes” to this thing called “Life.”

Back to “BELLS.” Have you ever noticed that the actual sound of a “bell” ignites a physical reaction?  Sometimes bells ring to start something, while others ring to end something. That moment when the sound waves hit your eardrums, your brain tells you to MOVE. Do something.

DING. DING. DING. Round One. You can feel the adrenaline as you “fight” to get it right so you aren’t knocked out.

BRRRRING. The School Bell. (A timer of sorts)  Class has ended. Pack up your books and move to the next one. You have 5 minutes between class. Move it! Pretty soon it will ring again for the next class. (Note: I realize some schools have more of an electronic beep sound these days, but let’s keep it to the “old school…school bell”)

Ding, Ding. Ting. Ting. DOOOOOONG. Doooooong. The Grandfather Clock. I’ll never forget the sound of my parents old clock. It would ring on the hour the amount of hours it was. As a child, we always looked forward to the 12 o’clock hour. Why? 12 Bell Dings!

LIBERTY BELL – “the iconic symbol of America’s Independence” I am most certain that sound was incredible to hear. Isn’t that why we always say…. “Let Freedom RING!”

CHURCH BELLS/WEDDING BELLS. Musical notes and chimes permeate the air with celebratory sounds.

Other bells to ponder:

1.    The much anticipated BELL to ring at the end of a cancer patients final Chemotherapy.

2.    Bar bells (the clanging of a much appreciated tip) or the completion of a drink special.

3.    The goal oriented BELL at the top of a rock wall.

4.    The ting, ting text message ring from your teenager… saying “I LOVE YOU, MOM”

5.    The sailor-like celebratory clicks of your heels (referred as bells in the dance world)

6.    The sweet little bell that rings on your Christmas Tree that reminds you of the line from It’s a Wonderful Life. “Every time a bell rings… an ANGEL gets its wings.”

BELLS are all around us.

To start something. To end something. To send a message. To celebrate. To call us to action.

They are ringing right now. Can you HEAR them?

When will MY phone ring? Will it?

In this digital age of connecting via text, email, social media, and more, a handwritten letter is a treasured entity. A phone call from a loved one, however, is EVEN better. But…

What if the phone call came from someone who passed away?

That is the question posed in the upcoming novel “The First Phone Call from Heaven,” by Mitch Albom. It will be available November 12th, 2013. I  can’t wait to read it since I heard Mr. Albom read an excerpt live this past Summer.

You can read about that here ->”My Tuesday with Mitch” http://wp.me/p39Wdr-8K

Here is a teaser video from Mitch Albom; the goosebump moments start about 19 seconds in… Sigh.

Next Tuesday is the day. If you are interested in reading more or even pre-ordering, I have a link through my Blog to Amazon below:

The First Phone Call from Heaven – A Novel By Mitch Albom

I can only imagine…

5 Things I Learned from My “Date” with Mitch Albom

Mitch AlbomOkay, so it wasn’t a real date.

But the thought of having an hour and a half conversation with an inspiring author and sportswriter makes me happy. So join me in my mind as we order some wine. (I’ll have a glass of Riesling, please.)

I recently attended a recent National Writers Series[1] event at the City Opera House in Northern Michigan that featured Mitch Albom. I graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences[2], so I had a professional as well as personal interest in what he had to say. I also consider myself a sportsperson. I enjoy watching football, basketball and golf, and dance is as athletic and graceful as any other sport. I became a fan of Mr. Albom when his first book, Tuesdays with Morrie,” was recommended to the world (and me) by Oprah.

ESPN is on continuously at our home. Its recaps of big games are great, but my favorite segments are the “tear jerking” stories of REAL people with REAL stories of TRIUMPH over adversity. Mr. Albom excels at this type of story in his Detroit Free Press [3]column, and on his own web site[4]. (Hmmm…I think I’ll have beer instead.)

My own ‘Tuesday with Mitch’ (The date was Tuesday, July 2) was an enticing, intriguing, entertaining conversation about life, sports, social media and the never-ending changes in journalism for both print and television. During the event, he shared humorous stories about his sports column, the effort to complete the biography of University of Michigan’s Bo Schemblecher and his coverage of Olympic events. It was a VERY entertaining evening.

His most memorable moments, along with the discussion of his charity work, however, were his thoughts about the many best-selling books he has written. Ironically, most seem to deal with “death” and “after-life.” This fact became of point of laughter with the audience. Some of the 500 or so with me on this ‘date’ wondered if he has some obsession with dying. He responded by saying that even though most subjects involved death in some way; the most important point to take from those stories he told was “HOW to LIVE.”  (Disclaimer: I am not quoting “my date” Mitch in anyway, I am simply sharing what I remember, what I “heard” and what I specifically learned that evening.)

Doing a thirty-second recap of inspiration for those who could not join me, these are the top 5 things I learned from best-selling author and sportswriter, Mitch Albom:

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. (On air)

1.     Life is hard, have a sense of humor. Writing can be lonely, have a sense of humor.

2.     Authentic journalism is hard work. When you make a negative or rude comment about an article, remember that hours of research, development, etc. went into writing it.

3.     When looking for a story or writing a story, make an effort to find that unique angle…something that you can feel in your gut, or makes your heart beat faster. If you can physically feel something within yourself…. write that story.

4.     Being a “Storyteller” can be a powerful gift. People will come and go in your life for different reasons, but sometimes when you listen to their stories, you can be inspired to tell it to the world.

5.     If you can have a positive impact on somebody else’s life with your stories or things that you write…even one person… THAT should be considered SUCCESS.

One more disclosure in the interest of true journalism: my ACTUAL conversation with “my date” Mitch Albom was more of a “fleeting ‘Hi, I love your work, can we take a picture although I know you need to move the line along,” moment. Not memorable in any way to him, no doubt, but to ME…LIFE-CHANGING. (I DID get the picture, however.)

Thank you, Mitch Albom for inspiring me with your work, your stories and for our “evening out.” I am striving hard to be a “Storyteller” like you.

P.S. I am anxiously awaiting your next book, that we happened to get a sneak preview of: “The First Phone Call from Heaven – A Novel.” (Scroll down for amazon links, if interested)

Mitch Albom Books


“THREEPEAT” after me…

In this fast paced, complex world of technology and social media, let’s remind ourselves, our children and those around us to USE these three simple manners we learned as toddlers.

Magic word

Simple Manners that SHOULD last thru time (no matter HOW old you are):

“ThreePeat” after me:

1. If you need help, if you need something, if you need anything, please just Say PLEASE.

2. Be grateful for the actions of others, be humble, if you receive a compliment, if you appreciate something, Say THANK YOU.

3. If you mess up, and we all will once in a while….Say I’M SORRY.

A simple concept, that surprisingly needs to be used a lot more! Especially with adults. 🙂

Dancing in Gratitude

Sigh…

After an all around bad day, filled with bad news for our family, I found myself internalizing these negative thoughts. I needed to hold a strong front for my babies. (Okay, they range from 13 to 3, so they’re not babies but I welcomed them into this fascinating world and to me they are walking miracles.) I continued to harbor those negative feelings within. I was clearly having problems with my internal volume control, so I reached out. All I did was send a simple tweet to my Social Media Girlfriends using their hash tag. It wasn’t directed toward anyone in particular, it was just a little cry for support. I walked away, feeling a little better for releasing some of my internal negative dialogue.

I tended to the kids, folded a couple of towels, filled a glass with milk, and watched my daughter twirl in the three skirts she had just put on. It was all in all, just another precious day. But still the bad news was hanging over my head, like a villain waiting to attack my “non-superheroish” (if that’s even a word) cape.

There was a long silence until my three year old danced in with my phone…

I looked at in complete and utter AWE… it was lighting up with tweets of support, diva dust, hugs, and encouraging words from my social media girlfriends. I started crying. It was the good kind of cry, the one that pats you on your back, taps into your heartstrings and places a quilt of calm to protect you. I honestly couldn’t believe the support out there in social media world, but it’s not surprising from a group of simply fabulous and inspiring women.

Tweets of Support

Tweets of Support

It was a VIRTUAL social media GIRLFRIEND hug. It came from all areas of the country, of the world. It was a moment of clarity, of support, of friendship, and I physically felt it.

In the words of #smgirlfriends, the #diva dust was tossed out for more support. It was as if a magic wand passed over me to ignite my strength to carry on. My social media girlfriend #divashield was officially up to tackle the problem. It is amazing how three hash tags, and a multitude of supportive 140 character tweets simply changed my life, especially on this bad day. For that I am TRULY grateful for Dabney Porte and the fantastic group of Social Media Girlfriends. You all LIFTED me up with words of encouragement. THIS is how the POWER of Social Media should be used.

Thank you, friends…from the bottom of my heart. Today you gave me wings (in the words of our dear friend Dabney) to “SPARKLE and SOAR!”

Dancing in Gratitude with Love,
Pam McCormick (aka @Dancinmoma)

Dance with me, Daddy!

It’s a relationship like none other. From the moment that swaddled tiny human being is handed to YOU; your heart overflows with LOVE.  Then a precious, miraculous moment follows… the tiny baby girl opens her eyes and looks into yours. It will take your breath away.

You are a DADDY.

The moments are fleeting but so joyous. She will grow right in front of your eyes, with her unconditional love. She will wear her heart on her sleeve. She will fill your soul with an infectious laughter, and will turn to you with her tears. That precious baby girl, your daughter, is your biggest fan. Daddy's ShoesShe will follow you around in your big shoes, literally, and she’ll watch you. How you work. How you treat her Mommy. How you make funny noises with your mouth. How you take your pencil, circling it around to create beautiful drawings for her.  Your daughter is simply mesmerized with your being.

She puts on her princess dress and twirls in front of you.

“Look, Daddy!”

You pick her up and spin her around, again locking eyes.  You can see that in her smile is PURE JOY!!

“Dance with me, Daddy!”

As she places her tiny feet onto yours, the music starts and together you dance. You will treasure this moment for the rest of your life. In fact you will honor each moment that you are hand in hand swaying to music and twirling on the dance floor in your home.

Soon she gets a little older, she’ll still spin for you with a new outfit or new shoes, but her attention span has widened. She spends time with friends, listens to music, goes to dance class, and writes in her journal. She reads her latest book, watches her favorite television show, and becomes obsessed with the new boy band or singer. That baby girl, who eyes were only for Daddy, seems to be drifting, growing and blooming into a beautiful young woman. Soon she’ll ask you to drop her off a block early, or at the door of the mall, so no one sees you.

But don’t fret; you are still her one and only DADDY. You will always be a huge part of her ever-expanding heart. She will turn to you in times of need, she’ll ask for your advice, share funny stories, and laugh heartily when you play the old songs to which you danced.  She will always be your BABY Girl.

DaddyPammy

“Daddy, I made the cheerleading squad!”

“Daddy, why are boys so silly?”

“Daddy, sometimes girls can be really mean.”

“Daddy, a boy asked me to dance!”

“Daddy, why do bad things happen to good people?”

“Daddy, what would you do?”

“Daddy, I met someone!”

“Daddy, we’re getting married.”

The wedding march music begins in the church. It is time to walk your Baby Girl, your precious daughter down the aisle to her future spouse.  Memories of her childhood flood your mind as tears roll down your face.  She turns to you with those same eyes that met you for the first time a long time ago and says, “I LOVE YOU, Daddy.”

She always will…. Daddy/Daughter

To my Dad and all of the Dad’s out there…

Happy Father’s Day.

“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a DADDY.” ~ Proverb