I share with you some amazing women who have gone
Beyond the Bus Stop. We all have different goals and dreams. But,
what we do have in common is a desire to be ourselves, to be happy
and optimistic about our life. One mom may be excited to climb Mt.
Kilamajro and another just happy to get back in shape. Share your
success story. Here are some stories that I hope will inspire and
motivate you to experience your Beyond the Bus Stop Moment:
|Terry Nolan - Easton, MD (Author, Michaels's Mom,
A road warrior without a map)
Life with Attention Deficit Disorder is unpredictable and chaotic.
This disorder has brought me to my knees, lost and adrift, unable
to find my way back. Do I surrender to this life or do I find life
Beyond the Bus Stop that would save my life and my son's?
Exasperated, I set a goal for my son to see all fifty states before
he graduated. A tall order for a mother of three and her son.
Knowing there are lessons to be learned on the road we took off in
the SUV and lived life on life's term not knowing where we would
end up. This adventure with special needs in tow turned out to be a
quest that gave us new meaning to the word normal. We all have
unique gifts and should not be defined by other's expectations.
Michael found his dreams out there on the road. I realized it was
not Michael who needed fixing; it was my expectations of life
amidst disorder that needed fixing. Life Beyond the Bus Stop is
richer than imagined.
Happy: Life is now
filled with opportunities to grow, challenges and the desire to
connection with my son was only found beyond the bus stop, beyond
the limits of our imagination and beyond self imposed ideals of
Setting a goal to see all fifty states with my son to embrace life
and to find joy in the acceptance of ourselves and each other.
|Miriam Cash - West Chester,
While raising my three children and dealing with the trials of
various learning, behavioral, and medical differences, I found that
I was slowly slipping away. As my life became more difficult I
became more disheartened and truly felt a failure to my kids. I
worked incessantly to gain answers, find remedies and seek the best
physicians to make things right for them. My business, Equilibrium
Design and Consulting had been a dream within for so long, and the
"timing" wasn't necessarily the right time for everyone else but it
was imperative for me. I was asked to help a friend with a large
home project and my business was born at just the time when the
"me" inside was hitting rock bottom. What I found inside me was
determination and strength that I never knew I had and a newfound
sense of confidence and drive. I learned that there is nothing I
can't do if I put my mind to it!
Happy: The happiness
and inner fulfillment is immeasurable and this helps me to be a
Optimistic: I am not
sure where my life will take me as I round the corner towards 50
but I had no idea it would be this great!
Working hard for my own success, my own satisfaction and my own
happiness is priceless!
|Tracy Currie - Medford, NJ
An avid skier all my life, I eagerly anticipate the first snowfall
and arrival of winter. I am 45 years old and have skied since the
age of 3. As a teenager, I always dreamed of becoming an Olympic
skier. As I started my family, my ski days were limited. Taken over
by bottles and diapers and teaching babies how to walk and talk. I
attempted taking the "babies" skiing, but soon learned we would not
return to the slopes until they were able to put their own
equipment off and on by themselves. As a family we eased back into
skiing. As I skied more often, my skills came back and so did my
desire to race and compete. I entered a race and to my surprise I
got a Silver Medal! Jumping up and down like I had dreamed of so
many times. Finally, at age 45 I had won something I had only
dreamed of many years before.
Happy: I always keep
an eye out for snowflakes now. This has taken me beyond in other
hobbies I have rediscovered.
Optimistic: I know
now, I am never too old to achieve and never too old to feel the
Putting myself out there again in a sport I loved for so long.
|Beth Behrle - Hunt Valley, MD
I could not come up with any more excuses on why I couldn't attempt
this adventure. Many people asked me, "Why climb a mountain"?
Because it is there. Because I can even as a mother of 4 children.
Sure, I was out of shape and overweight. However, I was determined
to go to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro. I did a lot of research and I
went back to the gym and after losing 20 pounds, I booked my trip.
My journey to Africa was my Beyond the Bus Stop adventure. I loved
Africa. My journey went beyond my wildest dreams and was an amazing
life affirming experience. The hike was hard yet I persevered one
day at a time. I could have never gone to Africa without my
husband's love and support.
Happy: That I had the
will to take on a bid dream of mine and see it to the top of the
Optimistic: I would
encourage anyone who has a dream like this to just go Beyond the
Bus Stop and do it, sooner rather than later. You can make your
dream come true too.
Taking Action: I had
a dream to climb the largest mountain in Africa and I made that
dream came true.
|Michelle Ragazzo - Staten Island,
I went through severe depression when I went through my divorce.
With two young children at home, I felt very alone and food became
my best friend. I knew I had to do something when my weight soared
to 230 pounds. I began an exercise program and eventually took up
running. It has saved my life and it has given me back a sense of
pride I had lost in the divorce.
Happy: I have 6 out
of 9 half marathons done to qualify for next years NYC
Optimistic: I am
feeling confident again and I am coaching others now to get their
health back too.
Taking Action: Making
a commitment to me and making my health and well being a
|Debbie Stray - Williamstown,
I flew from to Seattle to Philadelphia to celebrate the retirement
of my high school theater director. I almost did not go because I
had my yearly outing planned. But, as I was cleaning out a closet,
old photos fell from a photo album that I had not looked at in 20
years. These photos were from the days of my performing in high
school. I must make that trip because the 'mother ship' was calling
me to return home! I had the chance to perform again on that very
stage where my dreams began.
Happy: The feelings
of being with old friends who had been so special to me, is an
incredible gift. To be on that stage again was a wonderful
Optimistic: What this
event has given me, is my sense of 'self' back. I feel like I found
it after it had gone missing for so many years.
Returning to the stage again to rediscover myself and my
|Barbara Gunselman - West Chester,
When people told me that having breast cancer would end up being a
"gift", I thought they were crazy! As it turns out, they were
right. I needed to get chemotherapy, and 33 rounds of radiation. I
was determined to be upbeat, although some days were hard because
the chemo just made me so sick. I have a husband, four teenagers,
three dogs, and a bird, I have way too much to think about other
than having cancer! While I was bald, over the holidays, I was
going to a fancy party. I hated my wigs, and I was tired of
flipping my silk scarves around my head! So I took a plain black
bandana and decorated it with swarovski crystals. I got so many
compliments; I made one in every color. People stopped me
everywhere and asked me where they could get one. That is when I
started Bella Bandanas. She is also living her childhood dream and
owns a boutique called Bling It On.
Happy: The thought of
making other women who have lost their hair feel pretty was very
motivating. This I consider to be the real gift.
Optimistic: I am
looking forward to a long life with my family, and making people
Finding the silver lining in the diagnosis and creating a business
I am proud of and continue to expand.
|Mary Williams - Philadelphia,
Never did I think I could experience true happiness because it
didn't exist: so I thought. In my world, nothing went the way I
wanted it to. I decided to take control of my life. To better
myself, and obtain my Master's Degree and first home. Little did I
know, I'd soon be a MOM too. Being a single mom, going to school
and working full-time was a challenge. With the help of family and
friends, I was able to get myself in order and Beyond the Bus Stop
taught me that I can be an amazing mom even if I am doing it
Happy: I got my
masters degree, my new home and a beautiful daughter which is true
Optimistic: God has a
plan for us so never give up hope. And in reference to love, "Your
task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of
the barriers within yourself that you have built against it". This
is who I am and this is how I live.
Taking Action: Taking
control of creating my own happiness.
|Lisa Hanna - Alexandria, VA
I got back to enjoying music again through Rick Springfield, the
same Rick that I had a crush on back in the 80's! I had no idea he
was still performing because I was busy in the land of Barney and
Power Rangers! When the music comes on I dance and sing like I did
when I was young. Is this a mid life crisis? Who cares, I am having
a great time! I figure I have a wonderful husband and healthy kids,
I volunteer at school; I work on fixing up my house, so why not
have a little fun, and go Beyond the Bus Stop!
Happy: I feel for the
first time I have gone way Beyond the Bus Stop. And, it won't be
the last either. I am looking forward to many more concerts this
year. I have made new friends too.
husband and kids have enjoyed supporting me and seeing me have fun
Finding a hobby that I once enjoyed and took time for myself to
pursue it again.
|Sandy Scott - Medford, NJ
I am a mother two girls who wondered "Is there really life beyond
raising two girls"? The bus would come each day and off my girls
would go. Do I work, volunteer, exercise or a little of each.
Finally after collapsing from exhaustion, bed bound for 2 months,
my husband encouraged me to change my lifestyle. So out of bed I
jumped and I walked 5-10 minutes a day and gradually increased it
to 20-30 minutes. Slowing opening up my fear and letting it go.
September came and the bus arrived once again. I am faced with what
to do with my life. I joined a seniors tennis club, I volunteer at
a horse barn cleaning stalls, I work as a nurse two days a week and
I started coaching my daughter's field hockey team. I feel I am
living Beyond the Bus Stop now. Making a small difference in this
world and getting out of bed each day to make a difference.
Happy: I am enjoying
my life again and growing Beyond what I thought was possible.
Optimistic: I ran my
first half marathon this year which took me beyond my goal of just
walking for five minutes. I feel I can set my mind now to anything
I want to achieve.
Finding news ways to overcome obstacles and make a difference.
|Diana Kazazis - Westfield, NJ
This website has inspired me to do things I would NEVER have even
contemplated doing before! I flew to Lesbos, an island off of
Turkey and looming a quarter of a mile off shore is a huge rocky
island. Sitting on the beach I decided I was going to swim to the
island. The wind and waves were making me scared. Beyond the Bus
Stop was ringing in my ears! This 52 year old gal only paddles
around in the water how could I possibly make it? Was I crazy? No,
I was Beyond the Bus Stop! I did make it and I thought to myself,
how am I ever going to get back now? But I did make it bac k. The
euphoria! But, the best part had to be when my son looked at me
with the setting sun lighting up his face and his beautiful smile
and he said, "Good job Mom, I'm really proud of you!"
Happy: I would not
have even thought of doing this had it not been for this website
and the stories I've read. I am happy knowing I went Beyond for
Optimistic: Thank you
all for inspiring me to do things I may have never done, even when
I was young, and I'm doing them now.
Taking Action: Being
scared but having the courage to do it anyways.
|Charline Bucher - Dallas, TX
The stress of a strained marriage, a 75 lbs weight gain, and
financial ruin contributed to the severe depression that almost
ended my life. I knew I needed to make a change because I wanted to
there for my kids. . I had manage rebuilding my life financially,
but my mental and physical self was suffering. This is when
everything changed with Slim in 6. I have went from 220 lbs,
severely depressed to 136 lb! I am not only fit physically, but
mentally and emotionally. Everyone can see the physical changes,
but the changes that took place on the inside are the biggest
changes of all. I suffered a severe setback when I was diagnosed
with Degenerative Disk Disease which ultimately led me to have
surgery. This would have ended the fitness journey for some, but
not me. I never let myself believe I wouldn't heal 100%.
Happy: I am fit
physically, but mentally and emotionally.
Optimistic: I never
let myself believe I wouldn't heal 100%.
Taking Action: You
get to create your life and overcoming financial and physical ruin
was my turning point to create my new future.