yearend 2017I can’t believe we are just a few days away from another New Year…2018! As I reflect on the past year, I am reminded that I turned 50 years old and I am also reminded of some great successes in business as well as some failures. This year I had some personal great joys and sorrows but, I continue to push through. I would like to focus this post on the successes in my personal life.

This year we got to meet our great, great nephew, Anthony for the first time. What a joy it was to see this beautiful little boy. What made this meeting so rewarding for me was to see his mother, our great niece Katee, doing so well. She is an intelligent, beautiful young lady with a very bright future ahead of her. However, she started out her life with some struggles and obstacles, many of them were self-imposed. I won’t go into the details of her struggles but I will admit, I had written her off as a lost cause. When we saw Katee earlier this year, the first thing she said to me after a great big hug, was look Uncle Stuart, I’ve grown up, I am not a screw up anymore. Now, every day that goes by I am so very proud of this young woman and how she has turned her life around.

Katee is just one of 10 of our great nieces and nephews on Loree’s side of the family. At the time we got to see Katee, her fiancé Mark and little Anthony, we also got to see her brother Derik, our great nephew. Derik surprised us all with the announcement that he and his girlfriend Amanda are expecting a baby in March 2018. This brief reunion was such a joyous occasion for all of our family. Our niece Kellee, the mother of 5 of our “greats”, including Katee and Derik, has overcome a lot in her life as well. She is now thriving and working hard, serving as a shining example for her children of what you can accomplish when you learn to believe in yourself.

On my side of the family, I am sort of the “black sheep.” My youngest sister is an elementary school teacher and has been married to a good man for over 20 years. My oldest sister is a very successful attorney and the mother of 2 wonderful, amazing and intelligent boys. Mattie, my oldest nephew, is 17 and getting ready for college next fall. Besides the honor of being his Uncle, I had the honor of seeing him receive his Eagle Scout award this summer. This is an accomplishment that takes a lot of hard work and dedication. For Mattie to accomplish this feat just shows me that he will go on to do great things.

Mattie’s little brother Russell is also a very accomplished young man. At only 14 years old he has played his violin at Carnegie Hall in New York City and this year his quartet traveled to Costa Rica to play. As with Mattie, I know that Russell will also go on to do great things being successful in his own world.

Now that I have bored you by bragging about my family, I’ll turn to more about me. This year was a year of ups and downs for me and Loree. We started our new business, Your Remote COO, to help businesses run more smoothly and more profitably. So far things are going well.
We bought a home, took a trip to Hawaii to celebrate my 50th birthday and have enjoyed life to the absolute fullest.

As I look forward to 2018, I have 5 simple goals.

1. Spend more time with family and friends.

2. Take better care of myself and Loree.

3. Be a better son, brother and uncle.

4. Treat people with more love and kindness.

5. Work even harder for those who trust me to do my job.

Next year I know we will have financial and business success but that is not what is driving me. What drives me going into the new year is to continue to live the way I am living, simple and happy.

As I close out this post, I want to wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2018. Before I sign off, I want to ask all of you who read this post to try to pass one deed of kindness a day to someone else in the new year. If we all can do one random act of kindness each day, no matter how small, the world will be a better place for everyone including our children, nieces and nephews.

All the best in success,

Stu

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