As We Cheerfully Navigate Through Uncertainty
Karen and Jay share thoughts on the power of belief – and how in the end, yes, it all can work out.’ With guest appearance, near the end, by friend, Rhonda Burns, and special thanks to Jim Morrison for his expert videography.
Sometimes it just doesn’t look good. The clouds are starting to form. The horizon is looking dark. And you begin to develop a certain uneasy feeling. So, what to do? One great answer that is ‘tested’ and ‘true.’ Take a deep breath. Feel a sense of faith. And tell yourself. ‘Sometimes, it just works out.’ And then, take another breath – and begin to feel a deep abiding confidence – knowing deep down, that in the end, all will work out in a truly marvelous way.
Strange – but it works. And this is exactly what happened for us, albeit in a minor way, over this past weekend. An outdoor wedding was planned for Sunday afternoon at a mountain resort in northern Vermont. The ceremony was to take place on the side of a ski slope. Am sure that the wedding party had envisioned a beautiful fall day – with bright orange foliage all around. Unfortunately, however, the weather leading up to the afternoon wedding was ‘miserable.’ Cold, windy, rainy, and worse. But somehow, we all just said, ‘it’s going to work out.’ And it did.
But not the way we had imagined. We were hoping that the weather would clear, the clouds would part – and voila a sunny day. But no. The miserable weather persisted. So, instead, the wedding ceremony was moved inside. To this beautiful warm ski lodge – with family and friends all packed in close together. It was like magic. There was a feeling of true warmth that filled this intimate space. A wonderful feeling of warmth that never could have been felt in an outdoor wedding. So, in fact, yes, it all did work out!
Have you ever been in a situation where things don’t go according to plan, yet they seem to work out in the end? Or in other cases, better than you anticipated or expected? Sometimes, despite how much time and effort we put into planning something, things go awry and not according to plan. Whether it’s an important meeting, a date, or even a wedding, life has a way of throwing curve balls at us in a way that forces us to either sink or swim.
It can be a bit jarring when things don’t go according to plan. Sometimes we wonder whether or not we planned properly or even that the world is against us. Rather than assuming the worst, the question really became “what can we do to make the best of the situation?”
Rather than reacting and assuming the worst when things don’t go according to plan, it’s important to take a step back and figure out what we can do to accommodate our circumstances rather than fighting them. The first step is to really accept the truth that deviations are a normal part of life and more often than not, we’ll have to pivot. That means focusing on solutions rather than what’s gone wrong, especially when things are out of our control, like the weather.
Thinking back to the wedding, what occurred to me was that even though it rained and threatened the ceremonies, the bride and groom, through a lifetime of relationship building with those in attendance, had actually prepared for something like this all along. Each person did their part to make sure the day was still special, and in the end, everything worked out. So, if you ever find yourself in a situation where plans change or are interrupted all together, remember things have a way of working out. As A.A. Milne, the famed author of the tales of Winnie the Pooh said, “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Abby Hernandez: A Story of Resilience and Hope
In 2013, the small town of Conway, New Hampshire, was shaken to its core when 14-year-old Abby Hernandez was abducted. At the time, she was making plans for her 15th birthday party and was known for being quiet, smart, and a fast runner when she started walking home from school. Her disappearance sent shockwaves through the community and the nation, but Abby's unwavering spirit and determination to survive became a beacon of hope during her nine months in captivity.
Abby's ordeal began on October 9, 2013, when she vanished without a trace. Her family and friends launched a massive search effort, and the community rallied around them. Despite the uncertainty of her situation, she kept trying to bond with her captor, in order to gain his trust – even telling him, "Look, you don’t seem like a bad person. Like, everybody makes mistakes… If you let me go, I won’t tell anybody about this." Former FBI profiler Brad Garrett told 20/20 that if he were going to write a textbook about how victims should deal with abductions, the first chapter would be about Abby.
For nine months, Abby endured unimaginable hardship, but she never lost sight of her desire to return home. Her captor, Nate Kibby, held her against her will in a remote, soundproof container, while he ran a counterfeit money operation just a little more than 30 miles from her home. And it’s the counterfeiting that eventually led to Abby’s release. Knowing that he was going to be busted for passing counterfeit $50 bills, he drove Abby to where he had kidnapped her and let her walk home. A week later, Nate was arrested for his crimes and is currently serving between 45 – 90 years in prison.
Since her release, Abby Hernandez has focused on rebuilding her life and healing from the trauma of her abduction. She even had to face Nate in court, where she said, "Some people might call you a monster, but I’ve always looked at you as human. And I want you to know that even though life became a lot harder after that, I still forgive you." She lives a very private life while still in New Hampshire and is close to her family, happy to be with them and as well to have her freedom.
Abby's story has been turned into a Lifetime movie based on her ordeal called “Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez.” Lindsay Navarro, who plays Abby in the movie, said, “Abby desires to inspire people, and that is the point of the movie – that even in the face of such evil, such wickedness, there can be good. There can be light at the end of it.”
We’re grateful that Abby did survive and is using her experience to help make this a better world by sharing her story. And, thankfully, yes, it has all worked out!
In addition, please know that there is a help line now available for addressing situations such as that faced by Abby. To reach it, please call 1-800-RESPECT (1-800-737-7328) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counseling service – it’s free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Timberland Rebooted – It All Works Out for Great NH Company
It’s so hard to predict success. But if you stay at it and work hard – it truly can all work out in the end. And, that is precisely the story of Timberland, the well-known footwear company based in Stratham, New Hampshire.
After losing ground during the early 1990’s and facing tough competition, initiated a reboot and made a remarkable comeback. The Abington Shoe Company, established in 1933, had been selling shoes across the US for 40 years.
However, in 1973, they decided to create a waterproof boot and named it Timberland as a tribute to the outdoorsmen, factory workers, and construction laborers. Unlike the LL Bean gumshoe, which dates back to 1912 and is made of rubber, the Timberland sported a full leather design. Within just five years, this new design, which would become synonymous with the modern working person's boot, gained enough popularity for the company to change its name from Abington to Timberland.
While the new brand was growing, the two brothers who owned it couldn't agree on the way forward. They missed out on a couple of potentially lucrative buyout offers and introduced too many new options too quickly. More than 100 options! This misstep resulted in a significant decline in profits, and it was during this period in the late 1980’s that they faced some of their greatest challenges. It seemed if they could only cater to the northern New England tree-cutting consumers and a few other blue-collar workers, that their future looked bleak. However, this setback prompted them to quickly change their approach. They reevaluated their manufacturing processes and customer service issues, and surprisingly, the Hip Hop crowd and urban consumers took an interest in Timberland.
Artists such as NAS, Biggie Smalls, Wu-Tang Clan, and DMX wore and promoted the brand, playing a significant role in turning things around for the better. The real game-changer was arguably artist Busta Rhymes. He customized his "Timbs" for red carpet events, and with this momentum, gross profit soared from $80 million in 1991 to over $500 million in 2000, while total sales that year topped $1 billion for the first time, and they haven't looked back since.
Interestingly, in a somewhat parallel experience, Michigan-based Hush Puppies shoes were nearly extinct by 1994, selling only 30,000 pairs that year. They were saved from obscurity by a Tipping Point (to quote writer Malcolm Gladwell), and by 1996, they were closer to two million pairs sold. This tipping point originated from an intriguing word-of-mouth resurgence that began in Manhattan and expanded to LA, with designer Isaac Mizrahi quickly jumping on board and many celebrities following suit. Though far less popular than Timberland, Wolverine (Hush Puppies' parent company) also experienced some success from an unexpected consumer base.
The moral of the story here might simply be that if your target audience starts to fade, but a different audience takes notice, pay attention, and give them what they want. It could be the key to your long-term success. The road doesn't always lead where we expect it to, so lace up your boots, take the first step, and be prepared to change course along the way. And, with persistence and faith, you might just find that it all does work out.
Positive Profile of the Week: John McCain – and his 2008 ‘Never-Give-Up’ Race
This week we are delighted to profile the late Senator John McCain – who through adversity – fought a courageous fight in the Republican primary process in 2008, and by ultimately winning the nomination, proved that sometimes it all does work out.
One of the benefits of the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire is that you get to see pretty much everybody who has the ambition to become President of the United States. The bigger names may seem to get all of the national media attention but hope springs eternal even for minor candidates – the underdogs – in the New Hampshire primary.
A wonderful example of this occurred back In 2008. In a crowded field of candidates, John McCain was a prominent contender who had the national recognition and ambition to run for the highest office in the land, but it was not a smooth ride.
Short on cash, low in the polls, and on the brink of ending his candidacy, McCain was not expected to win New Hampshire, let alone become the nominee for November. He had to cut his staff size and faced some controversial votes in the US Senate. In fact, his campaign was so ‘out of money,’ that they had to stop chartering airplanes and ended up having to buy cheap tickets and fly commercial. These factors usually are enough to convince (or force) candidates to drop out of the race, but not McCain.
Even though he had a lot of ground to make up, he and his team put in the hard work, and it paid off. After countless town halls, phone calls, and plenty of one-on-one personal time with the voters, McCain’s tenacity turned the tide of his campaign and won the New Hampshire Primary.
The momentum of the New Hampshire Primary gave McCain the lead in the other primaries as well, and soon, he was no longer an underdog but a candidate who had a strong personal connection with the voters. His race in 2008 showed that sometimes, even when the odds are against you, you have what it takes inside you to win.
Quotes of the Week: Sometimes It All Works Out
"Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place." — J. Lynn
"Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle." — Christian D. Larson
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." — Martin Luther King Jr. "Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control." — Richard Kline "Keep the faith, hold on. Things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it can't rain forever." — Evan Carmichael