About two weeks ago, I received a voice message from my friend, Marjorie. "Hey, Lauren, I'm in town tomorrow and curious if you can grab lunch? I'm up to somethin'," she giggled.
We sat at an outdoor table at Taqueria del Sol in 12th South over fish tacos and margaritas (because Sunday Funday) when she told me she was about to make her Grand Ole Opry debut!
Marjorie Eastman is not a musician. No. Marjorie Eastman is a retired post-9/11 United States Army intelligence officer and combat commander, a wife to a retired post-9/11 Army helicopter pilot, and a mother to a beautiful little boy who survived pediatric cancer. The entire family are warriors in the most literal sense of the word. She's also an award-winning author, an entrepreneur, a champion of veterans, and many more things, I'm sure.
Oh yeah... and she's not even 40 years old. What have you done with your life?
Most recently, Marjorie wrote a column highlighting 52 businesses and charities launched in the U.S. by the military community. She collaborated with Bicycle Playing Cards to transform that column of 52 into the Most Wanted Frontline Leaders collectable deck and partnered with the Grand Ole Opry for the official release! Big & Rich (former label mates!) performed that night and held up the deck from stage and promoted it to the crowd.
Earlier that morning, the 52 honorees saw the deck -- and their specific playing card -- for the first time in a private ceremony at Mission BBQ. Marjorie asked me to join her in her mission, and I was honored to sing our National Anthem for a room full of veterans. Listen, I've sung our Anthem a lot of times over the years and for some incredible crowds (can we say 2016 NFL Chiefs vs. Raiders game?!), but to lead a room full of women and men who made the choice to protect our country -- and to hear them singing back -- was incredibly powerful.
I'll tell you something else that's powerful: witnessing how these 52 leaders lift up others through their businesses. I met owners of a non-profit who help veterans learn to code at no cost. I met a veteran who travels the world to find retired K-9's and helps match them to their original soldiers. One man creates lighting technology that helps keep fire fighters safe. I watched Marjorie start with a seed of an idea to follow her passion for writing and grew it into a full-blown love fest to highlight other people's hard work, sacrifice and success.
I recently read this opinion article by David Brooks about two kinds of people: one-mountain people and two-mountain people. The article explained that we're typically all one-mountain people in our early adulthood -- climbing to get the best education that we can, clawing to the top of our profession, striving to win accolades and merit. Some people become two-mountain type people when they realize, either by force or by choice, that the first mountain leaves them feeling unfulfilled; like there's a higher purpose and a different definition of success. Two-mountain kind of people often find greater meaning in community, service to others, and family.
There’s no doubt Marjorie and her 52 Most Wanted Leaders are two-mountain kind of people. Makes me curious about what mountain I’ve been climbing. How ‘bout you? It also makes me think if we find our second mountain, I wonder what we might get up to?
To read Marjorie's inspirational, award-winning book, The Frontline Generation, and to get a Bicycle collectable Most Wanted Leaders playing card deck all for yourself, click here or swing by her Facebook page and say hello!