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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Galland

In Life Every Moment Counts

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Why are personal and professional growth so vital to me?


On January 1, 2020, my family and I landed in Hawaii. A few hours after our arrival, we decided to go for a stroll. Actually, we were on a bit of a mission. The Macy's in Honolulu has the most amazing selection of swimwear, and this was the trip where I decided not to stress about finding the perfect suit in the middle of winter in the PNW.


As we were heading towards the mall, we had a bit of a star sighting. My husband and I are both fans of Stumptown, and at the same moment, we both smiled, realizing we were just several feet away from Michael Ealy as he was unloading his kids from his car, most likely to have dinner at the nearby sushi restaurant.


I often strike up conversations with strangers and always appreciate an opportunity to share a kind word. You never know when someone might need one! That day, I fought my desire to say hi and tell him how much I liked him in Stumptown and Being Mary Jane. I knew I needed to keep moving, or my family might lose interest in walking the distance to the bigger Macy's store.


A few blocks later, I noticed an adorable young couple, and as we passed them in the crosswalk, I remember thinking how full of life and hope they were; they seemed as if they didn't have a care in the world and her shoes were really cute. Then, in an instant, I felt the gust of wind as a car flew by, pulled my child closer, and heard the sound.



At first, I didn't know what happened. I looked at my family and saw that we were fine, and then we ran back towards that young couple. He was on the ground, and she was crying. Without thought, we went into action; my husband removed his shirt to try and stop the bleeding, I called 911, and my teenager was snapping photos of the driver as he was stashing items from his car in the bushes.


On that day, the lives of countless people were forever altered because one fifty-two-year-old man decided to drive under the influence. After returning home, I learned that the young man who was so happy weeks before did not wake up from his coma in a follow-up from the police.


My husband and I had our honeymoon in Waikiki in 1998, and it was such a magical trip. So magical that we planned several more trips to the sandy beaches of Big Pineapple, building memories I will treasure for a lifetime. I am thankful and look forward to the memories from the adventures I will have in the future. My heart breaks for the beautiful couple who will never be able to return together.


Some nights when I am in that crazy land that lives between asleep and awake, I hear that horrible sound again. I find myself drifting into thoughts of what if I would have completely embarrassed my husband and taken a moment to talk to Michael Ealy? What if we had stopped for one more family photo?


The thought of what could have happened haunts me but has also been an amazing gift. We often say that in life, every moment counts. When you are separated by a mere thirty seconds from tragedy, the privilege of every moment no longer a concept; it's a reality.

Tragic as the crosswalk incident was, this wasn't the first time in my life I saw flashing neon signs messaging that life is too short and so very delicate. This was unique because it was such a close call for either myself or one of my two favorite humans on the planet.


And now you know. Now you might understand why I don't want to wait and why I so wholeheartedly agree with Ronda Conger when she says, "You Go First!" In honor of the young man from the crosswalk, my father, my grandmother, my sweet and wonderful Sarah, and far too many others who left this earth way too soon, I want to do more.


I want to build towards being better every day.



What my journey towards better looks like right now:

  • Heart: First and foremost, working on being a present, patient, and loving mother and wife. Also, looking at all relationships a little differently, trying to share more consistently what I appreciate about a person and when needed, what I don't.

  • Soul: I have been fortunate enough to join three boards over the past year and get back into regularly volunteering with Project Lemonade after a several-year hiatus.

  • Mind: I am doing the LinkedIn challenge to complete one learning module per week and listening to my various podcasts/webinars, but I am looking to step that up even more. Currently, I am considering AltMBA, a few different leadership certifications from schools like eCornell, Pragmatic Marketing, or possibly even a real estate license. It's also writing this blog.

  • Body: I am signed up for Weight Watchers and down 15 pounds. I am also committed to a perfect month of hitting my move goal, and regular Sunday walks with my girlfriend that double as therapy.


The heart, mind, body, and soul mentality bleeds into my professional life as well. I am fortunate to work in a field that aligns with my passion. As a leader of people and processes, I am always seeking opportunities to improve both results and hopefully the lives of others.


I have always been someone who worked to be known as a nice and hardworking person. In that sense, many things about me may appear the same on the outside. The difference is being known as nice or hardworking are no longer what I am seeking; I want to make an impact on this world. I don't want to count my moments, I want to make them count. It's a subtle change, but it feels good.


I would love to learn more about what you do to make every moment count!

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