Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for December, 2008

NEW YEAR’S EVE

2008 has been an interesting year for most of us.

For some, it has been a year of great joy; for some, a year of great sadness. For many it has been a year of uncertainty – Whether personally, emotionally or financially. In our country and in our world, we have seen great change – with more change to come in the first few weeks of the New Year.

My family has not been untouched or unaffected by these changes. We are all in this together.

Yet when I look back on 2008, I feel a sense of pride and gratitude and contentment – most of these emotions relating to the completion and publication of What Though the Odds. I did it. I finally published my book. It was not easy and it was certainly a journey in itself. Like all things in life – it was a learning experience, and I am a better person, mother, wife and friend because of it. For that, I am thankful.

I have also met some wonderful people along the journey. From well-known names to kind-hearted strangers, the latter whom have touched me in a way they could never know. Many of these people are no longer strangers. I have connected with women, mothers, daughters andsons – inspiring minds who inspire me. And if I have helped them too, then I am all the more grateful.

I am filled with gratitude as 2008 closes, and filled with hope as 2009 begins. There is much room for improvement in the coming year, and there is always room for hope and inspiration.

THANK YOU.

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  • IT’S THE HOLIDAYS

    This month I had the privilege to chaperone a field trip with my son’s first grade class. We traveled to Washington, DC, to watch a children’s play called, “The Festival of Lights.”

    For about an hour, the children (and adults) were entertained with stories about different celebration of the Lights of the World: Hanukkah, Christmas, Divali, Ramadan and Las Posadas – all based upon the upcoming winter solstice.

    These are dark days – both literally with the upcoming winter solstice, and for some figuratively. But we all have some Light in our world. Our families, our friends, our health, our safety, a child dressed in holiday clothes singing off tune. Anything that makes you smile, even briefly, is a light in your world.

    These holidays, look to the light. Celebrate the light in your life – and the darkness won’t seem so dark.

    Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Divail, Ramadan – and Feliz Las Posadas!

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  • SHARE THE INSPIRATION!

    One of the greatest compliments someone can say to me is, “I read your book and I bought a copy for a friend.”  Or, “I read your book and told my mom she had to read it.”  This is all part of Sharing the Inspiration. Reading a story and being so moved – or feeling so compelled – that you want to share it with someone else.

    Many people have written and asked if they can purchase a signed copy of my book. YES! That is the ultimate act of sharing. I can be contacted through this website.

    During the holiday season, thank you to all of you who have helped me to share this story of hope; to those who have helped me share the inspiration. May you find inspiration in your own hearts and in your own stories to share with others.

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  • USS SWIMMING

    This week I spoke to a USS Swim Club here in Annapolis. It was great to meet with their senior group – mainly high school age swimmers – because they can relate to who I was and what I went through as a teenager and a swimmer. I was their age when my accident happened and I was, of course, a swimmer.

    So many of the lessons I learned as a swimmer played a huge role in my recovery. Swimmers spend a lot of time alone in the pool – with only themselves to motivate and with only themselves on which to rely. However, it is also a team sport. Everyone knows Michael Phelps would not – could not – have achieved his goal of 8 gold medals without his teammates. I too, would not have met my goals with out my teammates.

    The physical challenges I faced during physical therapy were like a really hard training cycle. Some days were painful, but I came back the next day. Some days I was tired, so I rested and returned the next session. Some days I felt great – and pushed myself harder. All these were lessons I had learned in the pool.

    And when I was done – just as when I was having a hard day at swim practice, or a slow meet – my teammates were there to cheer me up, to encourage me, to give me the confidence to continue. That was as essential to my training as my own individual motivation.

    I hope USS swimmers know how important these life lessons are. We learn them through swimming, but they stay with us for life. And for that, I am grateful.

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