It was 20 years ago this week that I received my CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation through the National Speakers Association at the summer annual meeting and convention in New Orleans, LA.
I’m swooning over this photo my dear friend and fellow professional speaker Marilyn Sherman just sent me. I had never seen it before; apparently, she snapped it without my knowing, and she captured a moment of pure unadulterated joy. I mean, just look at that sweet baby about to slobber on his mom’s medallion!
Yet, when I see the young woman in that photo, I am flooded with emotions. I remember all the doubt and uncertainty and big decisions swirling in my mind even as I celebrated with my husband and four-month-old son.
Professionally, I had just received the highest earned designation in the profession, becoming the first Mississippian to receive the CSP. I was traveling throughout North America and speaking at more than a dozen events each month and absolutely loving it. But in New Orleans, I came face to face with the decision millions of professional women and mothers make every single day. Is it possible to do both well? How in the world do I balance motherhood with a profession that requires A LOT of travel? And, what does “balance” really mean? I’ve never even liked that word.
Ultimately, I made a decision that was right for my family, and I prayerfully mapped out a one-year, five-year, and 10-year plan at that convention. I wish I still had the original notepad. But, that was 20 years ago, and I’m still sticking with the plan. Someone told me a long time ago that the older our children get, the MORE they actually need us. I don’t think I believed it at the time, but it is, oh, so true.
And time flies. The sweet four-month-old baby in that photo is now entering his junior year of college.
Oddly enough, Bob and I haven’t aged a bit!
To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.
Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes.
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