“It’s only unthinkable if you don’t think it.” Dabo’s Best Quotes

If you were to encounter our little family in ‘real-life’, you’d have little doubt as to where we went to college for undergrad. Our cars have Clemson University decals, including tiger paws – both white and orange. Our home has various photos, pieces of art, and other decor related to the school nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our Clemson paw garden flag has flown outside of the 10 homes we’ve lived in together over the past 14 years and our wardrobe certainly doesn’t lack Clemson gear. It’s no secret – we love Clemson University.

Last night, Clay and I watched Clemson beat Alabama in the 2019 College Football Championship game. Clay is TDY so we chatted on the phone and shared celebratory drinks at midnight as Clemson’s head coach, Dabo Swinney, spoke on the field after Clemson’s epic performance – “When you get a young group of people that believe, are passionate, they love each other, they sacrifice, they’re committed to a single purpose, you better look out. Great things can happen and that’s what you saw tonight.

For those unfamiliar with Dabo Swinney, he took over as Clemson’s head coach mid-season in 2008 (a handful of years after we graduated). His life was difficult at times growing up and his playing and coaching years are filled with stories about him being the scrappy underdog and overcoming adversity. Dabo is known for molding Clemson’s football program into what it is today and for his post-game on-the-field interviews that are dripping with emotion and full of motivational sound bites.

He is also known for his locker room dancing.

But for as much as I love watching Clemson football, the thing I love most about my school is the ClemsonLIFE program. In fact, Dabo Swinney’s All In Team Foundation helps support the ClemsonLIFE Program, which is designed for students with intellectual disabilities who desire a postsecondary experience on a college campus. And after seeing that video, how can you not love the guy? After all, “the only disability in life is a bad attitude.

So in honor of the new year and Clemson’s big win, I thought I’d compile some of Dabo’s best quotes. Perhaps they may inspire you to accomplish your biggest goals of 2019. Or maybe they will dare you to dream bigger. At the very least, they should at least put a smile on your face.

“Let the light that shines in you be brighter than the light that shines on you.”

“To be an overachiever, you have to be an over-believer.”

“Don’t let anyone walk through your mind with dirty feet.”

“B.Y.O.G.” (Bring your own guts.)

“It’s only unthinkable if you don’t think it.”

“Think about your dream. Then, put your head down and go to work.”

Go Tigers!

My First Post of 2019. The Year of _______.

It took a few seven days but I’ve finally written my first post of 2019. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of sadness, travel, and sickness so it’s been difficult to process my thoughts about the fresh start that every new year affords us. But in my fog, I did manage to research various new year traditions from around the world (my favorites being Hogmanny in Scotland, smashing plates in Denmark, and Junkanoo in the Bahamas).

It’s impossible for me to look forward without reflecting on 2018. Truth be told – it wasn’t my favorite year. There were a lot of highlights (like our trips to London, Paris, and Amelia Island), we were relatively healthy (only one broken bone!), I turned 35, I coached T-ball, I became a Girl Scout leader, we hiked and kayaked many miles, and I even participated in my first adventure race. But it was also filled with a fair amount of not so great moments. I wrote about walking on broken glass, dealing with disappointment, and the death of our dog. I attempted a few things professionally that fizzled and I emerged from 2018 not really knowing what I want in the professional arena. I ended the year at my heaviest non-pregnant adult weight and with the worst skin of my adult life. So there’s that.

But I’m committed to looking forward and really leaning into what 2019 has to offer. I love the idea of summing up my hopes, dreams, and goals for 2019 in one word. So while waiting for a meeting to begin the other day, I brainstormed a list of things I’d like to accomplish this year…

  • write daily
  • create a functional bullet journal
  • drink 80 ounces of water/week
  • explore math certification options
  • create and use capsule wardrobe
  • meal plan
  • produce less food waste
  • reduce mindless surfing on phone
  • become more diligent about skin care
  • be unapologetic about how I spend my time
  • run/walk at least 14 miles/week
  • 100 squats/day
  • be more patient with the kids
  • write the children’s book that is floating around in my head
  • tap back into creative endeavors (painting, drawing, sewing)

It was at this point, I started to feel a bit basic due to the nature of my list thus far. While I may not be saying trite things like, “New year, new me!“, my list does seem to lack action items that will promote true personal growth. And yes, I am vain enough to admit that I’d like to be a bit more in shape and have clearer skin but I am also craving a more meaningful connection to the world and have a desire to be a better version of me (ugh – that’s quite the annoying trite phrase, isn’t it?). For what it is worth, I promise not to write the words self-care or make time for me in this space.

So in effort to better understand and flesh out my so-called goals, I attempted to organize them into categories, which proved to be a more difficult task that I originally thought. However, I was able to come up with three categories:

  • purpose
  • health
  • writing

That helped a bit but I still struggled coming up with a word to sum up my aspirations for 2019. So then I asked myself the following question: By the end of 2019, I hope to __________________. Doing so helped me visualize exactly what I want to accomplish by December 31, 2019 but it didn’t necessarily help me pinpoint that elusive one word to sum up my hopes, dreams, and wishes for 2019.

So here I am – not exactly sure of what I want out of 2019. Maybe that’s because 2019 will be the year that I fully embrace the unknown and allow myself to be open to possibilities that I’m not even tracking yet. Or perhaps 2019 will be the year that I don’t talk myself out of doing something that scares me. So as of right now, 2019 is the Year of __________. And you know what? I’m actually quite excited to learn what exactly will fill that blank space.