Wednesday, November 15, 2017

That's Not Normal - You Have a Gift

Well, I'm home. :)

I spent an amazing week at OnStage in Salt Lake. The weather was beautiful, despite my fears about needing actual shoes or a jacket. I needed neither. The high desert is stunning in the fall, and last week was no exception.

If only I didn't have to leave my friends, all the things would be perfect.

My friend Brian said to me when we were lamenting having to all say goodbye to each other: "I don't understand how you do your retreats and then have to say goodbye to all those people."

Well I don't either.

Honestly - it just stinks. I hate it.

But today I will try to take Lyle Lovett's advice and not cry about the leavin' - and share some of our fun.

Here's a pic of Brian and Melissa and I in the Product Spotlight. We are all cut from the same cloth. Ridiculously mischievous. Also none of us are looking at the same place on my phone. Give us a break - we had like 15 hours of sleep the entire week.

In my hotel, there was a magnetic scrabble board near the lobby, so we had some fun with that. 

That's Brenda Quintana, Dana Keith, me, Melanie Hopes and Ellie Wilkins.

We had a blast at my mini retreat the day before OnStage.

Here are some shenanigans with my sweet friend Trevor Snyder who works at SU. We had numerous ridiculous pictures at the info booth. I'm not sure why Chad is so mad at Trevor's phone here, but he's clearly upset.

This is most definitely not the most important part of the week, but I am proud of it. I am in the top 250 of the worldwide achievers - so out of the 49,000 global demonstrators, I was ranked at 160. That's super fun. And in the US, I'm #82. And I always have to remind people - this is not my full time job. I work full time for Splitcoast, and truly consider myself a successful hobby demonstrator, so this recognition means a lot to me.

And at the CentreStage event, we had the pleasure of hearing Jason Hewlett entertain us, and then he was our keynote speaker at CentreStage Leadership. He was absolutely amazing. He was hilarious, a fantastic singer, but mostly I loved his messaging. At the leadership lunch he said a few incredible things that stuck with me. 

As you know, I'm on a mission to eliminate cell phone zombies. A story he told really went right to the heart of the zombie issue. He said he took his son to McDonald's to play on the playscape. His son went up to the slide, said "watch Daddy" and slid down. Then he went up again, said "watch Daddy" and slid down again. After a few times, Jason took out his phone and started to post on Facebook - "I'm here on a father son playdate..." and stopped. He said he suddenly realized how terrible that was and that he was not being present, but instead creating content for other people. He said he immediately deleted the Facebook app, and that it changed his life. He urged everyone in the audience to just actually show up for real life and stop living life on the phone. I could not agree more. I've been in situations where people are just completely silent with me while they look at, laugh at, stare at their phones, and it's sad and unnerving. I worry about people I see on my walks who have no clue about what is happening around them because they are captivated by their phones. I didn't grow up with a television, so that whole screen thing is more foreign to me than to most people my age, but still, most people I know are just oblivious of anything outside their phones, and I'd like that to change. I loved every moment this week with real people - and I have very few pictures to show for it, and I am happy that I didn't lose time to Facebook or Instagram. I was just there, and it was awesome. It was 100% fine to upload my photos in my downtime alone in my hotel room and not be glued to my phone while some of the most hilarious people you'll ever meet were inches from me.

But the other part of his message was even better. He has a very unique - (I need a word here that means gift, talent, oddity - all wrapped up in one) - thing - that I won't spoil for you - but it's something that made him seem less (or more) than average as a child. Who can't relate to that? 

The thing that made him different became the reason he has a wildly successful calling, and it's the reason he was our keynote. Had that thing about him been the thing that beat down his spirit, the world would definitely have not had the bright spot that is Jason Hewlett. Thankfully, he had a person or two who was open-minded enough to know that that thing was a huge gift. 

On the last day, during the keynote, he said something I will never forget - something one of these special people said to him...

that's not normal. you have a gift.

That might be the best seven words in the English language. 

Whatever it is that makes you not normal - that is most definitely your gift. Embrace that. Wear it like a satin jacket at a skating rink. 

Thankfully, I was raised in a house where "normal" wasn't a thing. So I never cared what other people were doing. I still don't. I was always free to be my own quirky self, and it has served me well. I encourage you to look at your quirk and fly it as your flag. 

If you ever get a chance to see that man speak, please take advantage of it. He's funny and wise and truthful and positive. Very grateful to have seen him.

If you would like an Occasions catalog, please let me know here. And get ready to save - our Online Extravaganza sale starts November 20th. If you shop this sale using host code Y3YE2BS9 - you will be entered to win Occasions catalog products! 

And finally - on the topic of friends I miss - I finally organized all the videos with Kat into a single playlist - so you can see all our Team Unscripted videos here. More to come when we get together next. 



  1. Great advice! You were blessed to have parents with those values!

  2. I would love an Occasions catalog please! And congratulations on your Stampin Up achievement. That’s truly remarkable considering you consider yourself a hobby demo.
    Good listen — Evicted - the story of profit and poverty ( or something like that) by Matthew? Desmond.

    1. Evicted rocked my world. I listened to it twice, then bought the book and read it. Still contemplating how to respond and help in our community.

    2. Hey Vicki! Thank you! Will you fill out this form for the catalog? I am off to look up that book!

  3. I love you, Lydia, and miss you terribly. I might be able to hear your voice or even see your face on my phone (if I'm lucky), but it's TOO LONG before I can hug that neck again... <3

  4. Love everything about this!! I have tried to describe Jason a few times...there needs to be a new word. On Stage was amazing, however the best parts were the times I was able to be with you. Thank you, dear friend, for the gift of your friendship!

  5. I went out to check the upcoming sale link and I think I lost my comment. If it posted just delete. :) I always love seeing your photos from your retreat events and the SU! events. They are the highlights of my screen time! Congrats on being #82 in the US!!! Woohoo!! That's so awesome. I will keep my eyes open for the sale. I have been wanting to order all year but my art $ have been a little short. This is my time of the year though. I can always tell my hubs, "this is my Christmas present" or "this is my birthday present" :) Thanks for sharing, "that thing that keeps us from being normal is our gift". What an inspiration. I am working on embracing the thought for myself but I will also share it with someone near and dear who is struggling with his not normal.

  6. Love this so much. And I love you!!! Thank you for consistently sharing your perspective on life—it always awakens a desire for action inside me. 💙💙💙

  7. Quirky is one of my favorite characteristics on the planet.....along with simple kindness.....and add to that a great sense of humor.....that's my top three! You have them all girl! Looks like a wonderful time in SLC! Congrats on those amazing rankings!

  8. So inspirational & nifty how you see in others qualities you might not see in yourself (What I mean is: I sometimes search for that word that wraps up all the talent gift and fabulous quirk etc to describe you in my mind, and I'm pretty sure you can't possibly know how amazing you are.) Congrats on your recognition, so well-deserved!

  9. Beautiful post with such a great message!
    On the one hand, I am grateful for my various phone apps that have opened the doors to many online friendships. On the other, nothing beats face-to-face, voice-to-voice contact. And some stamping, and I'd be set for years to come.

    p.s. I hoped I am blessed to meet you and many other SCS friends in real life!

  10. Congratulations Lydia ... you should be proud of yourself, this is a huge accomplishment. You must have been excited. Hugs to you.

  11. How lovely! And congratulations on your numbers, that's wonderful!

  12. Ah... I made your blog. I love your sense of humor and I am truly convinced that you, Brian, and I will collaborate on something fantastic and funny soon! None of us are normal and we all have a gift. Thank God.


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