Blaise Michna

Blaise Michna

With 2018 fewer than 24 hours away, the new year is a chance to refresh, regroup and revamp who we are as Racinians; a time to decide what to add or remove to our “life toolboxes” for enhancing happiness, charity and impact. Because there are only so many hours in the day, it’s productive to have clear goals on the paths we wish to embark on. Goals create purpose and intention.

This year, I aim to have a toolbox filled with adventure, philanthropy and community engagement.

Author Shonda Rhimes explained “I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? They’re busy doing.”

Like Rhimes generously (and bluntly) shared, the secret to getting ahead is simply getting started. Nothing works unless we do! Accordingly, let’s get started on mapping out the best 2018 we can, Racine!

Adventure

The other day, I was out for my daily noon run along North Beach. It was 30 degrees, I was bundled to the hilt, and unlike most blistery days, I was not alone. To my surprise, I noticed a surfer riding the Lake Michigan waves, from which I beckoned him onto shore to get the 411.

Racine native Blaise Michna (pronounced “Blaze”) told me he was looking for something different, so he bought a board at a surf shop in Milwaukee (yes, they do exist) along with a wetsuit and taught himself to surf throughout Lake Michigan winters. I left the conversation promising myself I’d become half as adventurous as Blaise in 2018.

Philanthropy

My friend Heather Lojeski is the founder of Faith, Hope & Love, which provides relief for children enduring difficult life situations. Lojeski told me about the “Sponsor a Racine Foster Child” program (available on FHLForKids.org), costing just $10/month to provide comfort for local children. They say we’re more blessed when we give than when we receive, especially to those who can’t repay. Our children are our future.

Community engagement

Passion for the community begins with involvement in the community. I recently met up with a few local alderman, and they explained how their decision-making stems completely from the constituents in their district. Asking to treat your alderman to lunch will make your voice heard.

In addition to engaging with local leaders, joining a Board of Directors for a Racine organization will give you an executive role in furthering our community.

The best project we’ll ever work on is ourselves. Together, let’s aim to fill our toolboxes with adventure, philanthropy and community engagement. Happy New Year from your musing millennial!

Paige Weslaski, born and raised in Racine, is a Pepperdine University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in leadership. Paige, 25, has lived in New York, Los Angeles, Europe and Central America, and is now working as an account executive of a marketing company in Downtown Racine.