Whatever You Are, Be A Good One

When I was first asked to participate in Dancing With The Stars Shasta County Style, I was beyond excited! Well, for the dancing part. The rest of it left me feeling like a fish out of water.

When looking for the “stars” who will participate in the show, they basically look for people who are well-connected in the community. People who have lots of contacts and who might have a good platform for fundraising.

I wasn’t exactly sure how I qualified to be a star.

I am basically a stay-at-home mom. I have 6 kids. I write a blog. I teach fitness classes. I married well, but other than that, I have no real “contacts” in the business community.

I told them at the initial meeting that I wasn’t really confident about the whole fundraising aspect.

They very kindly responded that I should just do my best and they would be happy if I even raised $10 for the Shasta Women’s Refuge and Family Justice Center.

And so I committed to the cause and jumped in with both feet.

For the first 2 months I loved the dance practice and I dreaded the fundraising. I didn’t know how to ask people for money. I didn’t have a Rolodex filled with phone numbers of important people. I didn’t have the time or the capability to put together a large event. I started to wonder whether I was the right choice for this whole “star” thing.

I remember one morning in particular. I was standing in my kitchen in my pajamas. I had terrible bed head. The 6 adorable hungry children were gathered around the kitchen table asking for demanding breakfast. I had finished wiping up a puddle of milk, reprimanded my oldest for hogging the syrup, flipped my third batch of pancakes, scribbled down a reminder for the home school science lesson I had planned for the day, and finished my second cup of coffee. The scene looked somewhat like this….

Warning - not an actual depiction of events. This portrayal was staged for your enjoyment.

Warning : not an actual depiction of events. This scene was staged for your enjoyment. And my children were totally excited to participate in the re-enactment.

I opened up my FB feed to see what my friends the normal people in the world were doing at 7:30 on a Thursday morning. And I saw a picture of another star. Michelle, you looked beautiful. You definitely did not have bed head. And you were definitely not wearing your pajamas. You were standing, holding a microphone, addressing a group of business people who all looked equally as gorgeous as you. I looked at that picture and I could just hear the people murmuring in agreement to whatever witty, intelligent things were coming out of Michelle’s mouth.

And I let doubt creep in and whisper in my ear.

I did not belong in this world! Who did I think I was trying to fundraise for such a worthy organization? I should probably stick to flipping pancakes.

Do you know what? This was a pride issue. Yep. At it’s core – it was pride. I did not want anyone else to think poorly of me. I did not want to fall short of my fundraising goal. I did not want people to be saying “who is that girl up there with all of those other stars?”

And so I made a decision. To heck with pride! I wasn’t going to compare myself to the other stars. I was going to be the best not-a-star-stay-at-home-blog-writing-fitness-class-teaching-mother-of-6 that I could be. I was going to be me.

Whatever you are, be a good one. ~ Abraham Lincoln

The good news was this – the me that I know is a pretty darn good dancer.

I ended up having so much fun! I loved getting to know everyone involved with show. These are people who I might have otherwise never met. I loved hearing their stories and meeting their families. I loved seeing them raise money for such a worthy cause. But, mostly, I loved the dancing!

Oh, it was like living my dream. The costumes, the theatre, the music, the pretending to be a professional dancer – it was how I imagine heaven might be. I am pretty sure God has included a dance studio in my heavenly mansion. And a kickin sound system. And a dance teacher. And probably, in heaven, I look just like the contestants on So You Think You Can Dance.

Kind of like this…..


But, since we aren’t actually in heaven yet, in reality I looked like this….



And, despite my lack of fundraising skills, and thanks to my friends and co-workers and family and exercise buddies and blog-readers, together we raised almost $9,000! And, in total, the event raised $70,000!

Thank you so much to everyone who donated. Because of you, I am pretty sure that I raised more money than any other not-a-star-stay-at-home-blog-writing-fitness-class-teaching-mother-of-6.

And, did I forget to mention……





3 thoughts on “Whatever You Are, Be A Good One

  1. Lorraine Paoli

    Sweetie, you ARE a star!!!! You inspire ME to be a better person. EVERY DAY!!!! I adore your heart. I love your family. I love your LOVE for God! I look up to you! Thank you for your openness and dedication to everything you do.

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