Do you have a calling card?

Dec 5, 2023 | Ryan's Blog

Snippet: What would you name as your “saying” or “theme word”  or “calling card” that guides you on your life path?? Having parameters helps you say yes to the right things, and NO WAY to all the rest, allowing you to live your legacy every day.

Dec. 5, 2023 – How is your December going so far? If your list(s) is (are) stressing you out, simplify by letting go of those “aspirational” holiday items. Less is more and less stress is the goal!!!

On with today’s email. (No pictures or gifs today.)

I’m certain that I’ve already shared that back in my “pre-mom” life (in the ’90s!), I was a middle school Spanish teacher at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School here in Austin. The 6 short years that I taught there were some of the most important and produced the longest-lasting relationships of my life! I’m so grateful for that chapter of my career life.

After retiring from the classroom to be a full-time mom in the year 2000, I was able to keep the connection to that special campus by tutoring there for 13 years. It’s a wonderful place and I treasure so many people from there: colleagues and former students (many of whom now have their own kids!! eek!!).

Because life is what it is, the times that we all get together are for reunions, weddings and funerals. Sadly, over the years there have been (at least) 2 very difficult losses of damn good friends and truly fine people. (Can we say CANCER SUCKS????)

Why am I waxing on about this right now? 

Well, this past weekend was one of those funerals. However, can I be so bold as to say, WOW, just wow! The outpouring of love for the family was incredible. But…

…even more incredible was the display of DEEP, LONG-LASTING IMPACT that this woman made in her short 54 years on this planet. During the celebration of life service at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the love offerings from the Head of School, her DEI compadres, and former students were among some of the most beautiful sentiments ever offered. Let me take back that word “sentiments” because these were full-out TESTIMONIALS from people whose lives were changed, elevated, and even SAVED, by Yvonne Elise Hill Adams.

Athlete, coach, mentor, role-model, safe-space provider, everyone’s mama, dorm parent, challenger, pioneer, fighter, provider, bundle of sass, and brimming with unconditional love for all.

Audacity was her theme word, and everyone knew it. 30 years ago, when St Stephen’s school was a very “one-note” campus, she was pioneering the concept of acceptance for all people before DEIB was even a thing. 

It’s just WHO SHE WAS and she exemplified it every day.

Her literal calling card of a loud “Hootie hoo!!” sent out an “I see you!!” to so many at that campus, especially those who typically didn’t get SEEN, and all of whom she called her “babies.” Everyone was welcome at her table for a good meal.

To be honest, I didn’t know her super well when I was working as a teacher on campus, but I witnessed her vivacious, tenacious, spirited presence in every nook and cranny of that campus. 

Last Saturday, not only did I learn so much more about my former colleague, but I was literally enveloped by how important her work (which she never saw as work) was to the many who were influenced by her. Who received a “hootie hoo!” or a text or a hug from her. She was there for so many.

And she still is.

That is IMPACT. She lived her legacy every day, and now her legacy lives on in so many other humans. 

It’s not fun to think about our own personal life’s end, but we should. What do we want our friends and loved ones to stand up and say about us after we are gone?

As 2023 comes to an end, I want you to look back over the year for times you have supported someone, in life and/or in work, and then I want you to feel that warmth, knowing that you made something better for someone that needed it. 

You are living your own legacy now. 

What is it?

And you know, I want to know so reply here:)

Ryan 🙂


My name is Ryan…

I love teaching people how to let go of the crazy and live a less stressful life. My book The CALM Method: A Guide to Ditch Last-Minute Living is full of guidance and tips for you, but the real magic is in our community. The Find FOCUS Membership is a great place to get more done alongside your peeps!!!

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