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It was February 12th. The entire state of Texas was in the throes of locking down for what would become the biggest winter snowstorm in the history of the state. Having lived in Syracuse, New York for over a decade, I knew how to prepare for snow and how to deal with it. (Not to mention, Robin and I had started a neighborhood produce ministry during covid, so we had access to plenty of fresh produce and canned fruits and jams to get us through Snowmageddon.) For us, it was business as usual. I was in workout clothes, donning one of my favorite hoodies and even still had my glasses on.

At 12:48 pm the doorbell rang. Sam began to bark incessantly. I quickly grabbed a mask, covered my nose and mouth, tucked the straps behind my ears and opened the door. Standing in the doorway was our Clear Vision sales rep Brad with a 10” X 12” cardboard box in his hands.

“Thought you might like an early Valentine’s gift,” Brad said.

In the box were the first copies of my book.

I couldn’t tear open the top of the box fast enough. There, in my hands, were all 54,300 words. Surviving In A Dog Eat Dog World–All perfectly sewn into a bright yellow (PMS 106 CP) high gloss cover.

It had taken me over a year and a half. Throughout the process I had cried more than laughed. Raised my voice more than I had spoken words of love and kindness. I had threatened to quit more than I wanted to endure. I had questioned my livelihood, my existence, my partnership and faith. I had gone full circle from a strong, confident, self assured business leader with 30 years of management experience into a doubting Thomas questioning what my purpose was in life. Surviving In A Dog Eat Dog World had been a trial in survival. For over a year and a half, I had not been the very best version of myself.

Then, in one fleeting moment, holding my book in one hand and my Sam cradled under my other arm, I released all the frustration, all the angst, all the self doubt and I held back tears of joy long enough for Robin to take our picture. Sam found the entire experience to be unamusing.