Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Early Praise for Rue's Butterfly!
- "Nothing can ever fully prepare us for death. In this moving memoir, Donna finds herself prematurely navigating losses of her loved ones, while learning how to embrace this grief and create a new normal. She captures the true meaning to life! " -Leila Naylor, author of Voyage of An Independent Thinker
- A touching and honest memoir that is bristling with energy. Donna effortlessly moves between humor and grief, revealing insights that come from a fierce life filled with highs and lows.” —Kevin A. Kuhn, Award winning author of Do You Realize? A Novel.
- Donna McCart Welser, a confirmed apocaloptimist, has authored an intimate, yet highly resonant book that is imbued with wisdom, courage, humor and adventure. She invites us to learn from her own hard-earned lessons and - instead of preaching to us - guides us as a trusted friend. – Matthew J. Goldberg, author of Hot Ice Cream: Inspiring Life Lessons from Our Children
- “In a memoir both heart-wrenching and uplifting, Donna shares her story of surviving the devastating loss of her husband and rebuilding her life in the aftermath. Donna's story resonates with relatability, wit, and the strength that hardship instills in the human spirit.” -Zena Logan, Producer, Real Housewives of Orange County, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
- "As a bereaved mother on a forever journey of grief, who has learned to survive and find joy in life again, seeing Donna's feelings of her own grief and the want to push through and heal, confirms that the love of family and friends is what we all need to accept in our times of despair!" -Kelly Lemanowicz, President of Smiles from Kara, a 401c foundation
- “Pandemics, crisis, and losses are all a part of life. No one said it would be easy. I find easier to navigate when people like Donna share how they navigated their rough times. When you read her story, it makes you see yourself, and you realize you are not alone. She speaks to the apocaloptismist in us all. Don’t know what that word means? It’s another reason to read this book.” -Christopher Hampton - The Champiam Organization, Motivational Teacher and Author of Everyday Leadership For Everyday People
- “A beautiful story about love and death and perseverance. Donna gets to the heart of the matter and does not shy away from the topic of death but rather throws others a life line to pull through their own journey. I am beyond happy for her that her bucket list keeps growing only because she works hard to consistently complete her goals.“ Kuri Levine author, Autism with a Side of Sushi
Sunday, May 15, 2022
My publisher asked that I create a social media presence. That's so much more than a Facebook page and an Instagram post. When I began to write the book in 2021 I knew I'd eventually have to focus on building a larger social media presence. I mostly focused on Facebook and LinkedIn. Well I've been asked to expand my reader community so that means adding a blog, a website and other marketing social media.
My plan? After bring dragged kicking and screaming into this... I will slowly move a lot of my LinkedIn social media posts to my blog and then start to add more.
I will also be creating a set of pages to add bucket list items and photos from Mark & me. I will also add pages for bucket list album for anyone that sends me their bucket list photos or experiences. How does that sound?
Any other ideas?
Today I retired (click link for Original LinkedIn Post)
Posted August 7th, 2021 on Linked In
Today, I retired.
After thirty-two years, more than 1032 weeks, or roughly 7229 days of forty, fifty, sometimes sixty hours a week. Many holidays including New Year's Eve, Christmas, 4th of July's when we just needed someone to 'jump on a line' I am no longer that someone.
Mid-April 1989; I was twenty-two years old with a few years of professional experience post-high school. The day was hot and humid. Dark skirt and blazer, a power suit that looked like I worked for a Fortune 100, was the uniform for job interviews. Outside the United Engineers building in a small town in New Jersey, I parked on the second-level parking. I took a few deep breaths. If I got this job, I could work one full-time professional career and not three part-time minimum wage jobs. I pulled the handle to open the door, and just before I stepped out, at the very last minute, I popped out my soft contacts and threw on my glasses. I needed to look intelligent and mature for this. I would be working with computers. I got that job!
Today, I say goodbye to many I have met along the way. A few will stay in touch. A few will cross paths again. There are many I will miss. Many that have made imprints on me that will last forever.
For those that might have interest in the next part of my journey? I have already begun my new role. It contains three parts or goals since I’m a metrics driven person:
- First, a personal goal to get my master's degree, a commitment I made to myself but never completed.
- Second, Professionally, I have signed on to write a book. As a poor starving artist [insert smiley face emoji], I will be posting incessantly to fulfill my need to write business posts and remind all of you to buy my book. I’ll be working with #creatorsinstitute to publish Dancing Naked in The Rain during the summer of 2022. My audience will be anyone that needs to be reminded to live, really live when life gets you down ... stay tuned for more on the topic (this is called a cliff-hanger).
- And third, let's call it emotionally or even spiritually, a goal to live life before it's too late and check off more items than you can image on my bucket list (see second goal).
The inspiration for my journey towards retirement started a few years ago as a young widow. I have faced mortality multiple times, but more so the day Ray, my husband of 24 years, was diagnosed with a terminal illness in 2012 and given 12 to 24 months to live.
For many years I have followed the path of my bucket list. It has led me around the world on memorable, exciting, and sometimes even dangerous adventures. I've slept in an igloo above the arctic circle and surfed in the pacific. Island hopped the Greek Islands. I have kissed the Blarney Stone. Lunched at Stonehenge. Driven an Indy Car. I've had mud, dirt, and sweat in places the sun has never seen.
In February, I remarried. I am so lucky to have a new partner in crime, also a widow, that is excited about adventures and tolerates my excessive planning.
The final decision came earlier this year at our wedding. My daughter toasted my [our] remarriage, She began her toast with, "Really, it's because I've tried to pull what this day means into words, and that's been really hard. As you know, nine years ago this April, I lost the man that I thought would be here for all of life's moments. I reflect on the last decade almost every day. And the thing I've reflected on the most was the sound of my mom's laugh or the sound of her eye roll. Good job with the laughter. Thank you. That faint hum and calm that kind of settles in the house. The playing with the dogs. The chaos that goes on outside of the 9 to 5.
Nine years ago, I was truly not if sure this day was going to happen. And now, don't get me wrong, Mark can only do a 24-inch box jump, which is like, sorry pal, yikes. And he only likes Coors Light, which is embarrassing. And he's just starting to get into the Flyers, oh wow, right, sacrilegious. Right? Crazy?
But what I can say is, I hear my mom's laugh again. I hear the silent calm of the hum through the house. The music plays through our speakers again. Now there are more photos than just me on our walls. Special shout out to my new siblings, Kristen, and Mark. Thank you for joining me on the walls that were filled with my face. And it's because of you, Mark, that it again feels like home.
Some things I have said over and over again --- My mom has walked through fire and has come out the other side. Burned, bruised but never broken. And that's her. She carries the world, she carries the family on her back, and she never asks for anything, and even at her lowest, she rises. And what I am most excited for is that now there is someone on the other side to carry her too. Mom, you are my absolute North Star. I could not be happier for you to start your next fairy tale with Mark."
For many years at work, I have been known as Donna "DoIT" McCart. I worked hard to build that brand. I hope others will carry on the steward leadership and can-do attitude after I am gone. After today I will be Donna Welser.
Thank you, UnitedHealth Group. Thank you, Optum and Optum Tech, plus all its leaders, especially John, James, and Phil. I will be forever grateful for allowing me to be carried by this company at my lowest through the death of my husband, various family members, other tragedies, and life lessons. I will never forget the values you have instilled in me. I hope many ripples occur from my echo based on your lessons.
My bucket list awaits!!! If you have an excellent idea for me to add, let me know!!
My best to all of you! Take care until our paths cross! And if you have the chance I hope you dance. Or even better, dance naked in the rain.
Donna "Do IT" McCart
#dancingnakedintherain, #creatorsinstitute, #lifelessons, #leadership, #bucketlist, #positiveattitude, #storyteller, #bookcreators, #writing
My publisher asked that I create a social media presence. That's so much more than a Facebook page and an Instagram post. When I began ...
Today I retired (click link for Original LinkedIn Post) Posted August 7th, 2021 on Linked In What's Next? Today, I retired. After thirt...
Early Praise for Rue's Butterfly! "Nothing can ever fully prepare us for death. In this moving memoir, Donna finds herself prematu...