It makes my multi-tasking heart go pitter patter when I can accomplish two goals with one action. So it goes with today’s #reverb13 entry: Day 9 prompt from Kat and Day 10 prompt from Project Reverb ask the same thing: Who inspired me in 2013?

It’s a big word, inspiration. And 2013 was a big year. I’ve been thinking about this all day, and writing this post makes me nervous. I don’t want to leave anyone out. I want to give everyone a huge hug and look them square in the face as I tell them that they’ve impacted my life in a way no one else has.

Best I can do, though, is share a few of them with you. There are more. So many more.

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I have to start with my grandma. We said goodbye to her in January. She lived a full 92 years and inspired people in small, unassuming ways. She inspired me to be more accepting, more forgiving. Kinder. I’m still learning those lessons and I don’t hold a candle to her capacity to love. She left such big shoes to fill.

Then there were these women:

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The sister wives I forever bonded with at the inaugural Listen to Your Mother: Kansas City show. It’s a powerful thing, to be in a room and hear each other’s stories. It’s an even more wonderful thing to see friendships grow and to cheer each other on as we all go on with our lives.

And these remarkable writers:

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The kindred souls I shared a stage with in Atlanta, where I read a blog piece about comparison and judging each other’s joy and got to wear mouse ears with the beautiful Kristen Shaw and meet the ridiculously talented Vikki Reich and trade F bombs with the incomparable Cindy Reed and shake my groove thing to Cee Lo with my sister from another gene pool Rochelle Fritsch. I was overcome by the quiet strength and wisdom of Carla BeDell. And I was there because my friend made sure I got there and had a place to stay. Angie is probably the most encouraging and kindest woman I’ve ever met. I loved Atlanta. I love these people. I’m thankful that because I process my thoughts on a screen and then decide to publish them, I sometimes connect with people who make me want to be a better writer and a better woman.

There are these women:

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Erin, one of the best writers I know and a wonderful mama, kind friend and visionary with a heart to serve. Sarah, always a picture of grace and wisdom, with a fearless spirit and a determination that I only wish I had. Leslie, a creative and gifted writer and word-maker-upper who loves fiercely and speaks her mind with this amazing combination of wit and kindness. I adore them, every one.

Then there are people that I don’t know in person, but they inspire me nonetheless. Pink inspires me, and I’m in awe of her after seeing her in concert. America Fererra made me want to leap up and scream ‘YES!’ when she talked about the power of storytelling at the The Women’s Foundation of Kansas City‘s annual lunch last week. Phil Hansen and Anne Mahlum knocked my socks off at TEDxKC.

 

Then there’s Anne Lamott, because I’m finally reading Bird by Bird. And Cheryl Strayed because I’m finally reading Wild. And Elizabeth Gilbert because I reread Eat Pray Love every year and have so enjoyed following her social media posts about her book tour for The Signature of All Things.

I could keep going. My dad, my kids, my friends and even some people that I genuinely don’t like have inspired me to do something, not do something, change something or look at something in an entirely different way. I am grateful for them all, no matter why we crossed paths or how long we knew each other.

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I’m thankful to Kat McNally and the Project Reverb team for providing prompts for #reverb13. If you’re unfamiliar with the phenomenon that is #reverb, you can read about it at Kat’s place. I plan to participate as much as possible this year, and I’m excited to see Kat’s prompts pop up in my inbox each day. It’s never too late to join, if you’re so inclined. (P.S. These ladies inspire me, too.)