RIP – Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and 2016

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher

I am not one who typically jumps on the celebrity death rant band wagon, but the death of Carrie Fisher on December 27, 2016 and her mother, Debbie Reynolds on December 27, has been the proverbial final straw for many of my loved ones. Twenty-sixteen will go down in history for many of them as the year that decimated the entertainment talent pool.

I did a Google search to refresh my memory of the “notable” people who died in 2016.

Many were only slightly familiar to me: the musicians, the scientists, the athletes. More familiar, and thus a greater personal loss, were the actors and actresses who had entertained me throughout my life. The numbers of each is significant. Yes, I agree, 2016 has been a tough one.

It’s amazing and wonderful how people impact each others’ lives. Even people we only know by their talents can significantly influence us. They become part of our history and when they pass from this world, we feel the loss.

Each of us experienced other losses in 2016, as well.

In these last few days of 2016, I encourage you to take a few minutes to look back on 2016. Were there goals you did not achieve? What about opportunities you failed to seize? Are there relationships you wanted to mend, but didn’t?

We cannot go back in time to save our favorite entertainers, athletes, musicians, scientists and other notable figures. Likewise we cannot go back in time to recoup the lost time and efforts we could have spent working toward our goals.

However, today is a new day. Twenty-seventeen will be a new year. You still have time to get started or continue moving forward. There is no reason to stop pursuing your dreams, but there is every reason to continue.

Each of us will pass from this world one day. Do you want to be remembered as the person who was more and did more? Or the person who never quite made the impact you could have?

I recently read that one definition of hell is coming to the end of your life and meeting the person you could have been. Yikes! That would be tough to handle.

That is why I am pushing thru my doubts and fears and moving forward with this website and podcast endeavor. I want to be the influence I might become. And if that doesn’t happen, I want my loved ones to say, “She never stopped trying.”

I hope you’ll strive to become the person you were destined to be! What impact would you like to leave on your family, friends, and the world?





Bridging the Gap

Reflections of a Recovering Ugly Duckling - a podcast with Donna Doyon

Are you who you want to be?

Are there dreams you have yet to fulfill? Are there characteristics about yourself that you’d like to change? Are you happy with the person you are?

If you are not quite the person you imagined yourself to be at this point in your life, I want to assure you that it isn’t too late to become that person. You don’t have to remain trapped in your current circumstances. You don’t have to accept the status of your current relationships. You don’t have to continue living in body or with the mindset you currently possess.

On January 10, 2017 I am going to launch (YIKES!) a podcast called Reflections of a Recovering Ugly Duckling. Each week I will be sharing my experiences and ideas on the topics of self-acceptance, self-growth, goal setting and achieving, and more. Episodes will be available on this blog page and also (eventually) thru your favorite podcast directory.

If you are ready to make changes in your life, I would be honored to serve as one of the many guides you will meet on your journey. If you would like that, too, please subscribe to this blog so you receive notification when I share something new.

If you already listen to podcasts, please let me know which directory you use so I can be sure to add Reflections of a Recovering Ugly Duckling to its list of podcasts.

Yikes! What was I thinking?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

We are all crazy busy (and hopefully productive) with the holidays and end-of-year activities at our jobs.

We are spending more time with family and friends–a good thing, for sure–but also time consuming.

And I picked THIS time of year to launch a brand new podcast! Yikes! What was I thinking?

Let me tell you, when I started thinking about this in September I thought I had plenty of time to master the technology, develop topics, record the episodes, and do the post-production work required.

Yikes! I am about 3 weeks away from launching this podcast and I haven’t even settled on a show title yet!

Yikes! I have four or five episodes recorded, but very little post-production work completed.

Yikes! I work a stressful, full-time job. I’ve made a commitment to exercise three times a week, and there are two holiday weekends to get through.

Yikes! I still haven’t mastered the technology. In fact I spent most of this evening working on troubleshooting a website access issue.

Yikes! How will I get it all done?

The honest answer is that I don’t know if I WILL get it ALL done. What I can say is that I will figure out enough to get started. I will do the best that I can today and keep working on things tomorrow.

Big dreams take time and energy. They take hard work and sometimes leave you feeling extremely confused or frustrated. But when you resolve those issues, man oh man, is that a good feeling.

Today I conquered one of my technological demons. I know it will rear its ugly head again, but today I won the skirmish.

Sure I could put off launching this podcast until it and I am ready… but I won’t. Would you like to know why?

A riddle answers that question best:

“When is the best time to plant a tree?”

Answer: Twenty years ago.

When is the second best time to plant a tree?

Answer: Today (or in my case, on Tuesday, January 10, 2017)

Have you been putting off something because you just don’t have the time to focus on it? Why not declare to the world that you are doing it (notice I wrote “doing it” and not “going to do it”). Accountability can be a great motivator and also time tracker.

When people know you are committed to accomplishing something, they may be more understanding when you make choices to support that goal. They may also ask for updates or offer gentle reminders if you start to fall off track.

Have an amazing day!


Smile! It makes a difference

Have you ever had one of those miserable days when nothing went right?

Perhaps it started when the alarm clock didn’t go off (why do they put a.m./p.m. lights on those things anyway!) and ended when you realized you forgot to do a load of laundry so you’d have clean underwear to wear the next day.

sad cat

Why me?

Chances are good that one incident caused the rest of the day to turn sour. Why? Because you let it.

Instead of taking a deep breath, smiling, accepting that you would be running a late and notifying the people this might affect, you panicked. You rushed around and didn’t do some things and did others poorly in an attempt to catch up. Instead of being grateful for the extra sleep, you destroyed the benefit of it by expending a day’s worth of energy in a short period of time.

The next time something frustrates you, annoys you or otherwise ruins “the moment,” take a deep breath. Smile. Move on with a “this won’t ruin my day” attitude, and it won’t be able to ruin your day.

Smile like you mean it

Smile like you mean it

But you promised…

I had promised myself I would go to the gym on Wednesday after work.

On Sunday, December 4th I competed in the Santa Hustle Half Marathon. My post-half recovery plan was to take it easy on Monday and Tuesday then do a 3-mile run on Wednesday. Seemed like a solid plan to me.

Donna before the Santa Hustle Half Marathon

Donna before the Santa Hustle Half Marathon

But as often happens, something else came up.

Sigh… how many times does that happen to you? You have the best of intentions, you’ve PROMISED yourself that your fitness schedule is sacred time and you will NOT share it with anyone!

And then you get invited to go shopping, to the movies, or a birthday party with a close friend. Perhaps it’s a friend you haven’t seen for a while, or a friend who has been struggling and you want to be available to help.

In my case, I was invited to the retirement party of a dear friend.

For many days I debated what to do. I knew my friend would be well-honored if I was not there. I knew this friend on a personal, not professional basis. I knew that my being there was not important.

My fitness goals, however, ARE important.

The internal debate raged on.

In the end, I opted to postpone my first post-race run to today. I chose to attend the celebration honoring my friend. It was the best choice. It was the right choice.

This event was a once in a lifetime event. It wasn’t something that could be rescheduled based on my needs. I thought it was important to be there, just because Mike is important to me.

When you are faced with decisions about how to use your time, be mindful of those options that are once-in-a-lifetime uses and those which are more common, repeatable, or reschedule-able.

Rarely (although it does happen) do friends intentionally try to schedule time with us that conflicts with our self care time (for fitness, relaxing, reflection). Usually they are not aware of them!

When you have already decided to take that personal time and someone extends an invitation, share the timing conflict. Ask if you can find a different time that works better for both you.

If your friend pressures you, you can always say no (unless it is close to your own birthday, wedding, birth of a child, etc. We don’t want you ruining your own surprise party!).

It is important to keep your promises to yourself. So if you do decide to reschedule your self-care appointment, be sure to reschedule it within a day or day.

If you find this cycle of rescheduling keeps happening, I ask you to consider whether you’ve really made a commitment to your self-care. When things are important to us, we find reasons to see them thru, not excuses to avoid them.

Do you have reasons or excuses? Share your experiences with scheduling and re-scheduling self-care appointments in the comments box below.