When should we start?

Cathy Knoll

Happy mothers day to the one who taught me:

Rise and Shine!

Also known as, “UP AND AT ‘EM!!” To be fair, it might have taken me a couple decades to truly appreciate this influence. But, these days I cannot be thankful enough that she taught me to seize the day with joy and excitement. The day has an entirely different feel when I watch the sun come up after I’ve already accomplished something.

Sleep is overrated, sometimes

You might think that, since she was waking us up at 5:45am to go down to the beach to look for sand dollars, she would be the type of person who turns in by 9:30pm. You’d be wrong. At 1am she would still be up be creating new content for her students, or emailing back customers who had questions, or writing up an article for the newspaper, or creating a guideline handbook for an organization, etc. I realized (1) 8hrs a night isn’t really necessary (2) Especially when you have a ton of projects and people you are passionate about.

Why not start a business?

I’m not sure whether my mom ever spent even one day working for anyone else. For my entire life she has owned her own businesses. She contracts Music Therapy services to schools and group homes in our part of Texas. She co-owns a business selling resources and courses to other music therapists across the world. She has created and run large programs for the community. She created a whole website of resources for caretakers of people with autism.

So, the idea of starting my own business wasn’t foreign at all. In some ways it feels inevitable. This is something we do because we absolutely love an idea. We know if we want this thing to exist in the world, we have to build it. No one else could love it and create it for us.

The show must go on

Growing up with my mom, several things were true: (1) Everything was a production (including actual community theater, talent shows, follies, multi-day conferences and events, and mini-plays with her students). (2) Very real hardships and random kinks in the system will always try to knock a production (life) off its tracks. (3) Get up. Dust yourself off. Get creative. The show must go on.

I can be a victim, or I can be the protagonist.

Make the most of today

When I was 4 or 5, my mom had her head shaved, a hole drilled in the side of it, and her balance nerves clipped. She’s deaf in one ear, and has so much tinnitus that its hard to hear out of the other (or even think straight). And, because of the nerve damage, there is quite a bit of physical pain that comes along with that. I have to tell you all this, because unless you’re really close to her and some reason to share this information occurs, the most you’d ever know is that she’s deaf in one ear.

I never met her dad. He was a business owner as well. And, from what I hear, the type of guy who could be the priest, the mayor, and the sheriff of a town. But, he dropped dead out of the blue before she even made it to college.

It was never said out loud so explicitly, but looking back it is clear we grew up living life as if tomorrow might never come. Our projects, and world travel, and huge family vacations, and weeks at the beach, and band camps, and scouting trips, and on and on.

If an opportunity to experience life shows up, the question isn’t “should we do this or not?” it’s, “when should we start?”.


  • Lynn Gehrke

    This is beautiful, Thomas. It made me cry, but not for sadness, but for its beauty and love. A true gift of love to your mom.

  • http://twitter.com/goldiekatsu Goldie Katsu

    How inspiring and beautiful.

  • http://ginevrakirkland.com/ ginevra

    [this is great]