Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Unforgettable. Unstoppable. Astronomical.

Unforgettable. Unstoppable. Astronomical.
Judy Howard
How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone?
I know. Morbid, huh?  And I want to be a motivational speaker, you ask? My goal is to do a Ted talk. I want to be unforgettable, unstoppable and astronomical.

I know what you’re thinking. If she’s going to talk about dying, she’s not going to make it in the motivational business. Fat chance, huh? 

A few years ago I attended a friend’s funeral.  Like me, after her husband died, she packed up her motor home and began traveling alone, across this great country of ours.  I admired her because after her loss, she picked up the pieces and pursued a wonderful life of freedom and happiness.

At her memorial, each family member trod up the stage stairs and approached the podium. Each one recalled similar, personal experiences about Donna.  “I worried about her.  She was so daring, traveling alone across the country.  I never rested until she made it back home in that huge rig, as Grandma called it. My goodness you’d think she was a trucker! None of us could talk her out of her carefree lifestyle. She was unstoppable. Yet, I admired Grandma’s astronomical spirit.  She was my inspiration.  She gave me the courage to quit my job and start my own business. I love you, Grandma. I will never forget you.”

That’s the way I wanted to be remembered.   I want my friends and family to say, “She set a fiery inspiration under my feet. Her words sent me dancing into my future.  And, because of Judy Howard, my dreams flared into a reality."
I want them to say, " She was an unstoppable kind of person.  She lived an astronomical life.”

According to a recent Harris Poll, 70% of us are unhappy and don’t know what to do about it. I am not talking about being so miserable you want to blow your brains out. I’m referring to that "unhappy but hopeful attitude." You know?  That restless feeling?

The #1 reason we are restless is   because we don’t know what we want.

The #2 reason is because we DO know what we want, but fear is stopping us.

Are you part of the 70 %? Or maybe you already know what you want. Or, maybe you don’t. I want to offer you a simple, five minute exercise which will kick start your journey to becoming that unforgettable, unstoppable, and astronomical person you want to become.
1.     Imagine your memorial service and ask yourself these questions.
·       What would your family and friends remember about you?
·       What would you regret NOT having done?
·       What do you dream about doing?
·       What could you do to make the world a better place?

2.     Study these simple, but complex questions for the next week.
·       Write down you answers.
·       Take your time.
·       Study your answers.
·       Examine the feelings they evoke.

 Steve Harvey, who talks a lot about finding your life purpose, wrote a book titled, “Jump.”  He points out that every successful person you know, in order to get where they are now, had to take a risk. They figured out what they wanted and committed to their goal or passion. They jumped.
To be successful at some point you have to “Jump.”
 Six months ago, I jumped.  Except for the stuff I  could cram into  every nook and cranny  of my 24 foot Winnebago, I  sold an accumulation of  fifty years of  belongings, rented my house, and began an entirely new lifestyle, living full-time in my motor home. I wanted to simplify my life in order to feed my two passions, traveling and writing.  As I left everything familiar and headed down the road, I felt homeless, friendless and alone.
I was   on my way. I had the bug.
You know the one.
To find my slice of heaven,
My place in the sun.

Now, let’s look back at this simple exercise.  You have been examining and feeling your reactions for a week. You have gotten a pretty good idea of, not only what you want, but also what you DON'T want, and what you’re afraid of. Your next step?

3.     Plan and take Action!
I don’t mean walk off you job or, like me, sell everything you own. Just take one small action toward your goal. Get up one hour earlier to write before you go to the job you hate. Or give up something in order to begin saving toward your goal. Or volunteer at a venue of your interest.

You will have to sacrifice something. You will have to get off the couch, to step outside your comfort zone.  But any small step you take will build your confidence and give you encouragement. A plan and taking action will boost you up and send you on your way to becoming that unforgettable, unstoppable, and astronomical person  who is living with his passion and making a difference.
It’s time to JUMP!

Let me know how you are doing. I would like to hear from you!
Believe and Become!
Unstoppable! Unforgettable!  And Astronomical!

Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July!!

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful Fourth of July. And I ask everyone  to have our veterans in their  thoughts during this memorable holiday.

The Fourth of July is always an emotional time for me. It was my late husband's birthday. And although he has been gone twelve years, every time  I hear fireworks popping in  the distance, his words come to me, "Everyone celebrates my birthday!"

At times I still miss him even as I remember the struggles we dealt with in our relationship. I am reminded that it is our struggles in life that make us stronger and  our life sweeter. 

On this Fourth of July, as I recall the price  our veterans and their families have paid for  my free Freedom and yours, I want  to remember to be grateful for the good and  the seemingly bad, for it is through our tragedies that we find  faith and truth.

For those of you whom haven't met my cat, Sportster, and me, please enjoy this  wonderful interview  from a few years ago by Julianne Crane of Women RVers.  

RVer, author Judy Howard travels 'Coast to Coast with a Cat and a Ghost'
Author and solo RVer Judy Howard with pet companion Sportster (Julianne G. Crane)
Solo RVer Judy Howard's lust for traveling became ingrained during a family vacation when she was a young girl.

In 1955, she recalls, "We traveled in our Willys Jeep towing our travel trailer from Springfield, Ill., to visit Disneyland" in California. "For a ten-year-old girl, that experience was unforgettable, not only because of Disneyland, but also because of the journey itself--Route 66, small towns, horned toads and Indians."

Now, nearing 70, Judy says she still feels "just as much passion for the journey as for the destination. Every day I am filled with gratitude for the privileged lifestyle I am able to enjoy."

Judy Howard's traveling rig.
She's married three times during her life. "My third was the longest of 25 years, the hardest and, amazingly, the best."

"In 2000 my husband and I purchased a 1997 24-foot Class C Winnebago Itasca.  We were only able to enjoy a few trips before he fell ill to lung cancer and died in 2004."

While she nursed her husband, she also nurtured a dream of driving their motorhome from southern California to Florida to visit a friend.

"After watching the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away, I created a life-sized doll like the Wilson (soccer ball) character in the movie. He would become my companion and I would tell him my plans," she says.

"Afraid and alone, three months after my husband passed away, I made that trip, accompanied by the doll and my cat, Sportster, riding shotgun. With country music cranked and blaring for 3,000 miles all the way to Florida, I cried and sang my lungs out. However, the woman who drove the 3,000 miles back home had changed. She sang 'I will survive,' 'I am woman,' and 'I’m Proud to be an American.'"

Inside Judy and Sportster's motorhome. (Julianne G. Crane)

In the beginning of her RVing adventures, Judy worked full time as the owner of a pet grooming business, The Canine Beauty Salon.  She joined a Good Sam chapter called the Rolling Singles and tried to be content with close-by, monthly camp outs. "But I yearned to go farther and longer."

Judy has traveled solo in her Winnebago for 11 years now. "I love its size and the coziness of the Class C floor plan."

In 2010 Judy discovered she had a talent and love for writing. "I’ve had a custom desk built in my motorhome so that I can spend my future doing the two things I love--writing and traveling."

Judy Howard's books (Julianne G. Crane)
She wrote her first book about her 2004 trip, Coast to Coast with a Cat and a Ghost. (2011). It is "a memoir about my loss, but more importantly, about my new beginning as an RVing widow," she says.

In 2012, Judy published:  Going Home with a Cat and a Ghost "a romantic mystery appealing to everyone in the second half of their life who have asked themselves, What if? Even in this work of fiction, Judy Howard delivers to the reader a message about how to rise above life's tragedies."

Her third book,  Masada's Marine: A Story of a Service Dog and her Wounded Marine Warrior came out in 2014. The novel, "the uplifting message of overcoming life's dramatic hurdles is delivered. Howard draws the reader into the life of a Marine Corps veteran who struggles with PTSD when he comes home from Iraq and, also, into the life a dog named Masada, who becomes a service dog for the wounded warrior."

About Sportster, the cat

Sportster (Julianne G. Crane)
"He has more fans and followers than I do," says Judy.

"He arrived in my life when someone brought him into my grooming shop as a small kitten, asking where the humane society was located. I was considering adopting a dog, but I agreed to take the kitten and find him a home," she says.

"I didn’t particularly like cats, but my employees talked me into making him a 'shop cat.' He didn’t last long in the shop cat position before he had purred his way into my heart, and I took him home. Now I would not own a dog. Cats are amazing, at least Sportster is."

He is a traveler, a companion, an explorer and a co-author. "He writes a blog, The Cat’s Perspective On Reading, Writing and Life, and has begun to write his memoirs. He too, loves to travel and gets very excited when he sees me loading the motorhome."

More about Judy Howard

Judy also presents inspirational seminars about writing and self-publishing at RV rallies, libraries, schools and veteran centers. "I believe writing is healing, and that we owe it to our youth to record our history."

Although not a full time RVer, she says, "the lure to do so is strong. I travel four to five months out of the year."

Always before a long trip she says she is scared. "The 'What If’s' try to consume me. Always before I publish my next book I am nauseous with worry. What will people think? Life is scary," she says.

"My message to everyone–and Sportster would agree–whatever it is you want to do with your life, don’t let fear keep you from getting behind the wheel.  Pack up your doubts, put your dreams in gear, and step on the gas. Life is for living."

Website: JudyHowardPublishing.com
Facebook: facebook.com/judy.howard.716
Twitter: twitter.com/SPORSTERHOWARD
Blog: The Wandering RV Widow.

She is currently working on books four and five.

– Julianne G. Crane

At the time of this interview  my latest books had not been published . 
Check out all of my books. click here to go to my Author Page on Amazon