One Year Ago

Zinging past photos, my thumb hovered over all of 2019; a rectangular montage barely filling half of my iPhone screen. My mind couldn’t help but wonder, what snapshots were important to me last year at this time?

Feb 1:   I sat through a live webinar / town hall listening to our new VP of Strategy speak, taking a screenshot of our newest buzz words and mission statement portions of our rebrand.  Drinking the koolaid, ready (again) to adapt to new surroundings and tackle KPI’s.  I’m a remote employee, so I primarily work from home, with frequent travel to clients or HQ.  I snapped a picture of my beloved CMN socks.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals balloon
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals across the US & Canada.

interactive town hall meeting / webinar












Feb 4:  12 attempts at one good video for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  Carly and I laughing uncontrollably (me behind the camera.)  Her laugh is so wonderful.  I have MP3s of it.  I try to balance collecting digital memories with being present.  Try being the operative word.

12th time is the charm

Feb 8:  Screenshots that I sent to Jer theorizing on whether Pete Davidson became huge overnight or google is just making him seem that way to me based on my viewing and browsing habits.  And because SNL has been NAILING it.

Feb 16: Video of Carly enjoying a dip-a-stick (full of red and blue dye and other GMOs I’m sure), while Hamilton plays in the background.  We sing along, as I remember, feeling happy.  Just a moment where the sun was shining in the big window in our house on the farm and nothing but love and music filled the room.  I pan over to Jer’s foot on the couch.  He always told me that we know how ‘to weekend’.  He was so right.

Feb 18:  Jer and I, lunching at the Blarney, a Toledo favorite, with all the name implies.  Reminding me of O’Donnovan’s in Chicago, the kind of place that midwesterners drink brown beers and wear flannel clothes with knitted accessories.  Here in Toledo, Jer and I enjoyed what the world had served us:  a visit with the most beautiful server we’d ever seen, sitting in the Blarney, the sunny window spot no less.  A rose-colored view of the town we love.  As if that wasn’t enough, we indulged in suds and plotted our Acoustics for Autism “set list” cross-checking the stages to catch as many of our favorites as possible.  Is there anything better than local music?  Yes, there is.  More than one stage of it – for one special day to show how music brings people together, and united we can accomplish great things.  And there is beer there.  I had game stomach.  #notkidding


Jeremy Baumhower
taken at the Blarney, downtown Toledo.

2/22 (photos), we celebrated Kacee’s basketball accomplishments with a delicious dinner at J. Alexanders.  I have 20+ photos of Kacee absolutely crushing it.  Playing varsity as a sophomore.  Super stoked to have gotten her temps, already visiting colleges and learning leadership.  Dad coaching her on how to speak on camera.  It’s about the team.  It’s about the 10,000 hours.

February 2019 picstitch
Kacee’s BB achievements, Business attire, 2019 Accoustics for Autism

2/28 (photo), ironically snap a shot of “A New Day” clothing label in the dress shirt I purchased from Target, hoping for positive karma on this business trip.  Cincinnati first.  Then on to St. Petersburg, FL for an intense strategy session and presentation for a  game-changer client meeting.  The label, a nod to the fact that clients come and go, I was aiming to convince my boss as much as myself that it was a positive sign.  Albeit hilarious as we have uttered those words so many times before.

My daughter has a super rare genetic condition that is medically provocative, inspirational and horrifying at the same time.  If you think time passes quickly, try the Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome or progeria lens on.  Think dog years, not human years.  Carly’s body ages 10 years to our one.

So, suffice to say, we try to live in the moment and enjoy the moments that we are given.  It’s incredible this gift of technology.  But wow, the documented moments evoke so many feelings, I can’t help but peruse the very accurate account of the months to follow. These everyday moments take on new meaning today as technology’s one year ago reminders filter in.

A timelapse of the past year when first Carly, then Jeremy and I got sick. And, Jer got very sick.

The Glass is Nearly Full

The world is inherently good. People are generally human and empathetic; I have found that most people respond to authenticity and honesty with empathy and compassion.

So, when folks are negative or rude, it’s that much more shocking and disruptive. Doesn’t it require infinitely more energy and planning to be malicious or nasty?  Who has the time or headspace for this?  Does thrill or pleasure accompany the sting and adrenaline you impart?

I’ve been accused of wearing rose-colored glasses. Of being too trusting. Of being dishonest. Of changing. Of being too nice. Too accepting. Too independent. Too reactionary. Too decisive.

And each time, I’m caught off guard. Am I alone in putting my head down and going to work? I will admit that when my mind is set, I do try to stay on focus, because once I make a decision, why not take action? (Have you heard the expression “Time only grows hair”?) I believe that if I work hard, genuinely try to do the right thing when given a choice, if I choose kindness as a default and apologize when I screw up, I’m fulfilling my duty as a human being.

That’s it. I truly believe that’s the deal.

You don’t have to leave the world a better place than you found it. You don’t have to cure cancer. You just have to not be an asshole. Because, like smoking in an elevator,it impedes others’ freedoms. What’s really cool about this treaty is that if you slip up, all you have to do is go back to not being an asshole.

Folks who have loftier goals are free to pursue them. Those who long to make an impact are encouraged to do so. Anyone wanting to check the only required boxes: birth, taxes, death has that right.

If you have $100, I’ll give you recommendations on how I believe it would be best spent, just ask me. Or if I’m feeling passionate, I may even try to persuade you into a particular investment. However, at the end of the day, it’s your money. Spend it how you wish.

Life is like that. Spend it doing what makes you happy while trying to abide by the treaty. Realize that sometimes your happiness conflicts with someone else’s happiness, and that is an uncontrollable.  (Is it expected that you sacrifice yourself for another?) I believe the doctor of life-ology would advise that you be as gentle and swift as possible and assume that we are all here doing the best that we can.

Let’s clean the slate.  Let’s assume that everyone has the best of intentions. Let’s assume that no one has ulterior motives, other than seeking joy and rejoicing in the time we have on this planet. Let’s change our default position to kind and trusting.

Similar to following the rules of Hoyle in cards, I believe that if you stay consistent, you will win more than you will lose. If the guy to your right takes your face card when he should have “stayed,” know that it wasn’t a personal attack. He or she may be a novice or finding their way.

Let’s renew faith in each other, remove expectations and judgements of others, and choose kind. The clock is ticking for all of us, and spending energy on anything else is frankly wasteful. The ripple effect of “nasty” is exponential, and unfortunately, time wasted hurt or angry cannot be reversed. All we can do is minimize it and move forward.

If you aren’t happy, you are cheating yourself. If you are deliberately stealing someone else’s happiness/time, I consider it a crime and a smack in the face to those who are time-impoverished.

Dear anyone / everyone I know (or have ever been in contact with):

I forgive you. I want you to be happy and I wish you success in however you opt to spend your time here on earth. Whether you feed the pigeons, cure progeria, help me to meet my goals or just float along checking your three boxes, I hope you are smiling. I mean it.

Please forgive me as well.



Love on. 💕