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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Sharper Snodgrass

Avalon Dreams - Get Ready, Stay Ready

I was 19 or 20 years old and somewhere between my retail job, my overnight data-entry job, and my daughter's daycare when I saw my first Toyota Avalon on the streets of Toledo. At the time I was driving a blue 1986 Camry. It was

match-book style and great speakers ('cause that matters!). Dad bought my first car and although I loved her practical reliability, one day her big and wealthier++ sister, Avalon, caught my eye. The Avalon wasn't even that cute to me - to be honest - definitely not cuter than the mid-nineties body-style Camry with the 'CAMRY' boldly sprawled across the back in gold. Insert heart-shaped eye emoji here.

Still, I was intrigued and s curious to know what made the Avalon the Avalon. I remember thinking if I could get to the point in my life when I would own one, I'd be 'set.' That was success. Hahaha - all in a luxury Toyota. When I was surrounded by inner turmoil and despair, Avalon dreams provided a sliver of hope. Something to strive for. And at the young age of 20, I knew that I had hella work to do.

In chapter 3 of Get Boss, Get Ready, Stay Ready, I discuss the importance of practicing discipline, goal setting, planning/prioritizing, and fear management in the midst of despondence. My 20+ years of professional integrity rests on these principles. During the next 18 -days of the 21-day challenge, I am leading a small, kindred tribe of bosses through exercises that will help them prepare for the come-up.

But let me briefly finish telling you about mine ... so ... fast-forward to 2015 when I financed a beautiful white Acura that made my back and neck hurt like hell. About a week later, with tail between legs, I went back to the dealer and cried like a baby. I told them that in my 25+ years of driving, none left me with headaches and a misaligned lumbar. After listening intently for about 4 minutes, he walked me out to a stunningly pearl Toyota Avalon with heated, leather crème brûlée seats. I'd never seen a Toyota look quite like that nor had I seen a sedan with reclining backseats - just saying. The test drive was so smooth ... definitely the closest I'd come to matching the glide of the green old El Dorado of my early thirties! I was definitely in love.

Relieved and ready to take 'her' home, I sat in the finance office waiting for details to be finalized. Then I remebred how that young, hopeful woman wished for better days. Way before my life as a well-respected college administrator, author, coach and boss, I foresaw life from behind the wheel of that car. It would be my cue that I successfully rescued myself. If I could have time-traveled to the passenger seat of my old Camry back in 1996 and whisper to myself, "Don't quit getting ready, it's already yours .." ... wow. Life came full circle on that sunny April day in 2015 and I truly believe heaven blew me a kiss of assurance. They said, yes, you are ready! The rest is history ...

For the next 18 days, I will help other women prepare to get and stay ready to meet their own come-up and I cannot wait!

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