Resurrecting 3 Words

At the first of this year, I blogged about my respect for the approach that Chris Brogan takes with setting new goals. Tried his approach myself in 2009…I was pretty pleased with the results. Naturally, I wanted to challenge myself with Chris’ process again in 2010, which I did (and have), but I also said that I would be back in a few days to share with you my three words for the new year with you on my blog. I missed my deadline. I’m back now, and I’ll share my “key 3″ in just a minute.

Before I do…

As I climbed the sales ranks while still working in corporate America, I was conditioned to keep business and personal separate. Don’t discuss things like politics or religion or any other controversial subject for that matter. Don’t want to risk offending your buyer.  It’s that same conditioning that leads companies to fear social networking, blogs and the like. Understandable. You don’t want your employees to “blurt” anything and everything out there on the world wide web. It stays there. Forever. That’s why guidelines must be established, training given and appropriate management oversight put in place to ensure that employees don’t go to far off the corporate reservation.


If 2009 taught us anything, it’s that we must bring transparency, openness and trust back into our working relationships. In short, we need to be more human with each other. It’s OK to share what motivates you or knocks you down in life. That’s all part of being human. And that leads me to the reason why I disappeared for just a bit.

You see, nine months after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, my mother died on January 12, 2010. Though I knew it was coming, I was still knocked down. I had no clue what Alzheimer’s was really about before this happened. Perhaps, you don’t either. What I know now (and really wish that I didn’t!) is that the disease afflicts everyone involved. Frustrating, confusing and agonizing for the patient. About the same for the family members involved. The health and quality of life of many Alzheimer’s patients deteriorates over a period of years – not months. In that way, Mom was lucky. She isn’t suffering any longer.

The Alzheimer’s Association, which envisions a world without the disease shares a few statistics on their website, which might give you some sense of the disease’s magnitude:

  • As many as 5.3 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia triple healthcare costs for Americans age 65 and older.
  • Every 70 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s is the seventh-leading cause of death.
  • The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias to Medicare, Medicaid and businesses amount to more than $148 billion each year.

I pondered whether I would share this personal side of my life with you. In the end, I decided that it was OK. Tough things happen in our lives, which can sometimes knock the wind right out of our sails. People around us cannot help us or support us if they don’t know we need the help!

Finally, about those 3 words. My key 3 in 2010 are: Charioteer, Marksman and Physical.

  • Charioteer- like the Charioteer at Delphi, I holds the reins of success in my own 2 hands.
  • Marksman - this is about precision, practice, patience and teamwork.
  • Physical - reminds me to get outside to connect with mother earth and exercise daily. Good health is a gift!


  1. says

    Thank you for sharing your journey, Barb. I was thinking your three words might have been “Keep It Real.” I think we’re wise enough to know when it’s TMI (too much information) and when sharing our story could help others deal with the challenges and opportunities they face. I always appreciate your candid communications and generous spirit. To the Charioteer, Marksman and Physical being in all of us! Much success for 2010.

  2. says

    Thank you, ladies! You have no idea how long I pondered…how much is too much. In the end, I felt I had to be true to my heart AND I felt compelled for others to know about this dreadful disease. When my dad died suddenly of a heart attack many, many years ago that was tough on its own. This was…well…I think you know.

  3. Chris McLean says

    Barb, thank you for taking the time to share a piece of your life with us. There is no doubt many will find strength in your words. We are all faced with tough situations, but not everyone turns and uses them to help others. Your courage and authenticity build credibility with your readers and give us all additional confirmation about your impressive character. Thank you for the inspiration…good things ahead!

  4. Ellyn Foltz says


    Thank you for sharing what was going on with your mom. I think you know my Dad, a former college professor, was diagnosed in 2006. It has been a devastating situation for our whole family as well, imapcting the entire familial network of our spouses and children, jobs, personal dreams and aspirations. I think the total “cost” of Alzheimer’s on the family support system is incalculable.

    I hope to see you in person sometime soon.

    Warmest regards and sincere sympathy.

  5. says

    Hi Barb,
    I just read your blog post and thus learned of your mom’s passing. I am sooo sorry. I know the pain of losing a parent as I have lost both of mine in the last 5 years. Both to cancer. I absolutely agree with your decision to share a bit of yourself and your personal life. As you may recall, that is a normal part of my facilitation/presentation style, and I have found people respond very well to it. Authenticity and realness help people relate to us and our messages. Consider yourself hugged, my friend and please be ever-so-gentle with yourself. I still sometimes spontaneously cry or get emotional when I think of my parents. It’s okay. I also occasionally have dreams with one of them present and we have fun together, talk and all sorts of things. I LOVE those!! I hope your mom comes to “visit” you too and that her memory stays alive with you forever.
    Hope to re-connect with you in 2010. Be well, Sharon

  6. Jesse Walker says


    I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom. Thank you for sharing this difficult time in your life with us. It really touched me as I am in tears thinking about it now. My mom has been living with multiple sclerosis for over 30 years…she’s a fighter but yet in still it hurts to see her live with this disease. I am blessed to still have with me. Your memories with your mom will be with you forever, nothing can take that away.

    I am glad I opened up your blog invitation. I feel like I know you so much better and have truly connected, which makes me glad I volunteerd to support you with in the MABN group.

    I have adopted your three words for 2010…thanks for sharing.

    Blessing to you,

    Jesse Walker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>