Life Throws Us Snowballs (or in Some Cases – Hardballs)

By Kathryn Hebert

I’m now at that weird age that I find myself looking back at my life and at the same time looking forward to the next opportunity. Life gets in the way sometimes.  Just when you think things are perfect, we are thrown that snowball –  and sometimes that hardball.  Over time as human beings we’ve been there, done that.  And we learn that most of these ‘balls’ are not earth shattering or the end of the world.  Whether expected or not, these bumps in the road require us to really think about how to handle; about the next.

At the end of October 2022, my mom passed peacefully at 86 years old.  She was in a steady decline over several months and this was expected.   Death tends to create family conflict regardless of relationships.  I chose another path as my mom would never have wanted conflict among siblings or anyone else.  She was always clear in her wishes – stick together because at the end of the day, the family is all you have.

My sister is an accomplished, published poet and created a group in several cities around the U.S. called “Poets on the Fringe.”  The participants, seasoned and novice poets, meet once a week to read their weekly poems and provide constructive comments.  I never attended one of these groups since I was never in the same city long enough to attend.  But now, I was at the right place at the right time.  And what better way to hang with my sister.

I have never written a poem in my life. Poetry was always one of those artistic mediums I never could relate to or connect with.  One of the requirements to attend the ‘Poetry on the Fringe’ group is to bring a poem for discussion.  My sister told me not to worry about it, and that I could read one of hers.  Five minutes before she was picking me up, something hit me, and I wrote something in the notes section on my iPhone. This is what I wrote and read to the group:


Where does it begin
Where does it end
I choose not to wallow in sorrow and resentment
I choose happiness
I choose to celebrate
I choose all the good
I choose all the learnings
I choose not to look back
I choose to pay it forward
I choose the next
I choose the love
The end is the beginning of everything

I sensed my mom nodding with approval.  Time to move on, time to choose the next.

We all have snowballs and hardballs thrown at us in the road of life.  Some are personal and some are professional; some are something else.  Learn from these and forge your own fabulous next path forward.

Kathryn Hebert is president and CEO of TPMConnect and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors. She can be reached at