Teaching women how to take time out


October 15, 2001|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, Westminster resident Kim Goad realized that she was tired of flipping open her calendar to a sea of obligations and deadlines.

She said she felt as if she were moving from project to project and meeting to meeting to earn money to pay her bills.

She had little to no job satisfaction, and no joy.

Once she realized that her priorities were jumbled, Goad decided that her life would change - and she changed it.

She started saying no to things she really didn't want to do; she banished working on the weekends; and each day, she forced herself to stop working at 5 p.m.

She also made it a point to do at least one nice thing for herself every day, whether it was walking the dog or cutting roses from her garden.

After a while, the joy came back. Her journey became a full-time career.

As author, speaker, "personal leadership expert" and president of Ovations Inc., Goad shows other people how to balance the diverse demands in their lives.

From her house on Mint Terrace in a neighborhood called Peppermint Park, Goad writes advice columns and stories that have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as First for Women, Fit and The New York Times. Corporations and individuals pay her to help them reach peak performance.

Through seminars, retreats and publications, she helps her clients find richer, calmer lives.

Since 1997, more than 10,000 copies of her book, Magic Moments: A Busy Woman's Guide to Forgotten Pleasures, have been sold. It has been translated into Japanese and Chinese.

Each month, she sends an informal e-mail newsletter called Curtain Call to a growing number of people, mostly women, who need inspiration.

"I watched others running endlessly on this treadmill, with no joy and no way out, and I knew what a difference the small changes made in my life," Goad said.

"I try to show people how they can bring joy back to daily living. We can all feel passionate, productive and in charge of our lives," she said.

Before Ovations Inc., Goad worked in public relations at Johns Hopkins Health System. She also taught classes at a wellness center. Her book, which offers more than 500 ways to reduce stress and "refresh your mind, body and soul," jump-started her seminar business, she said.

Goad and Joshua Peinado, fitness director at Merritt Athletic Clubs Eldersburg, will be conducting a seminar from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the fitness center. Titled "Body & Soul: Training Them to Work Together," the seminar is designed for women.

Information, or to join the Curtain Call mailing list, e-mail ova tion@erols.com.

Quilt for firefighters

Pupils in Julie Green's fifth-grade class at Robert Moton Elementary School have put the finishing touches on a quilt for New York firefighters.

An applique firetruck, cut from material that reads "America the Beautiful," is anchored at the center of the quilt, and the children's handprints fill surrounding squares.

Now they are eagerly waiting for John Gartrell, husband of the school's structured learning assistant Shirley Gartrell, to sew the final stitches. When he's done, pupils will hold a celebration to show the gift to their parents before boxing it with their photographs and mailing it to New York.

"The quilt is just beautiful," Green said. "I can't imagine anything more beautiful, or imagine students any more excited."

Living treasure honored

West Middle School pupil Amy Szulecki honors her grandmother Halina Szulecki as her living treasure this week.

"My grandmother is kind and generous to just about everyone she knows," Amy writes. "She can always come up with something to do, and she always shows how much she cares about her family and friends."

Living Treasures in Carroll County are featured at the end of this column each week. Send in a few lines honoring someone who has made a difference in your life. Their gesture of kindness may be big or small. What matters is that it made a positive difference.

Send it to Lisa Breslin, 35 Ridge Road, Westminster 21157.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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