“Stand up straight. Stand tall” Those words echo in my head from decades ago. They are the words of my mother, as she watched her eldest daughter sprout up, towering over her own petite 5’2” frame. I knew what she was trying to tell me; at the time she was concerned my height would cause me to adopt a stooped stature. What I didn’t know then was how important those words would become to me later in life.

Standing tall has helped me succeed in all I tried. My various journeys seemed less troublesome when I listened to those words. Mom’s words kept me strong and confident after a stroke invaded my brain and my body in my sleep one night.

Struggling to make it down the narrow staircase in our home with a paramedic steadying me on one side… “Stand tall”, I heard in my head. At that point I still really didn’t understand what was happening to me, but I obeyed the words.

I’m here living my life as I choose simply because I listened to those words every time I heard them, no matter what I was doing. It’s how I’m sitting here, welcoming you to this, my new blog – the launch of my re-vitalized writing career.

My youngest step-daughter gave me a gift of a small plank of driftwood she’d found in Point Pleasant Park following Hurricane Juan (one can only imagine how many turbulent miles that board had traveled before Stephanie rescued it from the shoreline). On it she inscribed with the prophetic words of Lao Tzu. The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I read that quote every day.

Lao Tzu-001

We all travel many journeys each day. With this blog, while we keep the words of Lao Tzu in mind, I’d like us to explore those journeys, the challenges we encounter and the strengths we develop after taking that first tenuous step. It is my hope we can make this an interactive experience, whereby we learn from each other’s journeys.

As we look at those journeys, challenges and strengths we’ll see how the view (our perception) has changed .The development of new strength develops a new you.

Sandra M. Meers



About sandrastandingtall

I was the little, curly-haired redhead who dreamed of a pair of red shoes… shiny, red, patent leather slip-ons with a small black heel and a gleaming gold buckle on top. The shoes caught my eye from the window of the shoe store our family frequented and were a huge departure from the requisite, dull, ugly, brown, lace-up Bobby Browns my sister and I were made to wear because “they are good for your feet”. I finally won the red shoes battle which would became a sort-of metaphor for the many battles I would fight in my life. The battle to find a job after graduating high school in an over-crowded employment market led me to study for, and receive, my Real Estate license, resulting in a sponsorship and job with a local broker. Following three years of University, the job market had improved little. However, a close friend and editor saw some talent in my writing and offered me a position with her newspaper, as junior reporter, which I parlayed into ad sales and promotion writing and learning every aspect of the pre- desktop publishing industry. The twists and turns of young adult life did not see me married with eight children, living a “back-to-the-earth” life in Canada’s North as I had anticipated in the many years previous. Instead, I found myself following my mentor’s lead, making a career in the community newspaper industry, taking on the Editorship of two of the same company’s small-town papers. That brings my life to present-day, living a quiet life in a small, rural farming community on Canada’s Atlantic coast, playing Grandmother to three amazing little boys, having battled a severe stroke which ended concurrent careers as an Election Returning officer, and as a Customer Service Rep for a large communications company. That battle, close to complete, has lead me back to my first love – writing.
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  1. penny brando says:

    Beautiful! Well said! XoXo

  2. Trina Tooker says:

    Oh Sandra, my friend…you have had some rough seas but it’s so great to see you doing this!!! As you know I hade my stroke November 2009.. It’s been a bumpy road but I am determined to make the most of my life….The Good Lord blessed me with this challenge and I will take the good days with the bad!

  3. Sandra Meers says:

    Trina, our battles have been a bit parallel. Strong faith and understanding spouses ave made the difference for both of us. God will never give us a mountain we can’t climb!!Take good days with the “not-so-good ones

  4. 9ballbaby says:

    i always knew you could do it! you’re inspiring hon! ❤

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