Amy Rees Anderson

If I’d Given Up…

Last Friday I was humbled to receive the Leadership in Business Award from the YWCA for my business accomplishments and the work I do championing women and girls through my foundation (the IPOP Foundation).  They put on a beautiful event of around 1,200 attendees Friday and I told them it was the sweetest way to kick-off my birthday weekend.  The YWCA does so much to support women and girls and it was truly an honor to be recognized by their organization.

My birthday on Saturday was wonderful because I got to wake up with my entire family under my roof as my kids and grandkids all spent the night Friday night so we could all wake up and have breakfast together. I loved waking up Saturday morning to the sound of my sweet grandson Flynn calling out “Grandma…Grandma…Grandma!” We ate a great breakfast, lounged around a bit, and then we played a rousing game of Call of Duty on the Xbox against each other while the grandbabies took naps.  At dinner we headed to my favorite restaurant Settabello for wood-fire pizzas and gelato. Then we headed to the Utah State Fairgrounds to attend the Demolition Derby/  Now I know many of you are probably thinking I don’t seem much like a demolition derby type of girl, but let me tell you – I actually love demolition derbys! And while I may not have made that my first choice for celebrating my birthday in the past, I chose it this year because my cute little Grandson Flynn absolutely loves watching the cars crash into each other and nothing makes me happier than watching him happy – so demolition derby it was!  My husband was cute enough to win me a stuffed cow from the fair after the derby which is especially cute since he grew up on a dairy farm. All In all it was a perfect 48th birthday and I couldn’t have asked for more.

The reality is that having my whole family with me for the entire day was the best birthday present of all. Family is the thing I treasure most and the older I get the deeper I appreciate how special getting time together is.  Especially now that my kids are grown and have families of their own, and work full-time jobs, and have other responsibilities to shoulder, as well as them having their other families in-law they need to split time with – time with all of us together has become a precious gift. 

I’ve learned a lot over the last 47 years…more than I could ever imagine having learned. Most of those lessons I learned were accompanied by mistakes and heartaches and hurts of one sort or another. But those typically are life’s greatest teachers, aren’t they.  The hard times we go through.  In my acceptance speech at the YWCA awards event I shared a quote that’s gotten me through those hard times:

“It will all be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

I’m grateful I’ve hung in there over the years during each time of trial (and there have been a lot) because that quote is right – they weren’t the end – and if at any point I’d given up over the years I wouldn’t have been at my 48th birthday party this weekend surrounded by my amazing family and holding two sweet grandbabies in my lap…

Never give up.

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

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