When I think of inspiration, my mind is flooded with unforgettable people and experiences.

The blissful experience of a vacation inspires me to work hard to be able to enjoy that extra time off with my family. It reminds me to fill my children’s memories, not with toys or tangible things but with memorable trips to the beach or the lake together. The rules become relaxed on vacation. We eat what we want when we want, and we play in the pool at night or early morning. We stay in our pajamas longer than usual. And what’s a bedtime anyway? These atypical days remind me to slow down and smell the roses, and I always leave feeling inspired to live (and give) the most fulfilling life possible to me and my family.

Now, when I think of people who inspire me, I often think of the women in my life and their personal experiences that have shaped who they are. I have crossed paths with many women over the years. All of them were raised differently, have been exposed to different family dynamics, and were met with different opportunities. Yet, they are all extremely successful on both a personal and professional level.

These women grew up in a world where they experienced single-mother homes, teen pregnancies, hard work to make ends meet, and some without college degrees. Do you know what excuses I have heard from them? NONE, never one excuse. To be honest, they are frequent examples I provide to my kids when teaching them the act of perseverance and not giving up. 

As a parent, I ensure that my children have everything they need at the tips of their fingers. I refuse to allow them to use life’s difficulties as an excuse. These women fought all the barriers and predetermined outcomes that could have been written for them. They inspire me to keep going, push back, and speak for my needs and wants. They inspire me to remember that there is only one person in life who truly supports you—you. So, inspire yourself to be better, overcome those challenges, and overcome what people think. 

I know these women would not see themselves as an inspiration, nor would they read this and think I am talking about them. They are anything but vain. So I hope they do read this, and even if I was not referring to a woman specifically, I hope that someone can read about my inspiration and know that they are sure to inspire others and those around them—boys and girls.