Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Time for a Change: Paula's New Journey Starts Now

I met Paula on the listserves and have loved her ever since. Her long arm reaches out to families in need and stretches overseas at least a couple of times a month to smack me back into shape. Her encouraging words, style, way of asserting herself and holding her ground have inspired me and cracked me up. Everything she does has a purpose, meaning and spirit...rare qualities in a person. She also blushes at sexual references and makes a damn good cupcake!

After so many years of standing by her daughter's side, her daughter has become little miss independent, which perhaps has caused Paula to want to do something for herself for the first time in her life. So, she is taking everything her life experiences have taught her and investing in Paula- love that!

Paula's Bittersweet Fond Farewell to Hearing Exchange...

It has been quite a while since you've heard from me via a newsletter or in a HearingExchange blog post. It is a bittersweet time for me as I am writing to tell you that after nearly 10 years of serving thousands of people with hearing loss and their families, I am "closing up" the HearingExchange blog and community.

When I first started HearingExchange, I was a part-time single parent with hearing loss, living in St. Louis so my then 4 year old daughter could attend the Moog Center for Deaf Education. She had been late diagnosed with her own rapidly progressive hearing loss and had both expressive and receptive language delays as a result. After trying out a local oral deaf program, I researched many others and decided to take a big chance and move across the country for what I hoped would be a better program. It was to be the biggest risk I ever took, but also had the greatest payoff beyond my dreams.

For three years my husband flew back and forth weekly between St. Louis and New York, where he worked. To fill the void of quiet evenings alone, and with young toddlers tucked into bed, I sat down to create a website and newsletter, aptly named HearingExchange. My first article, "5 Things to Teach Your Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child" became my all time most widely requested article. In fact, I'm proud to say that all of my articles were very well received and many were written as a direct result of emails I received asking for advice. Many of them can be found online here.

Today, my daughter is an incredibly well-adjusted 8th grader, just weeks away from her 14th birthday. She excels both academically and socially and has been mainstreamed in public school since 1st grade. Making the difficult, but temporary, move from New York to St. Louis afforded her the wonderful opportunity to catch up quickly in language, develop her self-confidence and blossom into the amazing young woman she has become. As she said at her bat mitzvah last year, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" St. Louis and all that we gained there has left an indelible mark on our lives.

It has given me great pleasure to offer you advice, resources, chats, message board forums, free tips articles for syndication and specially selected hearing loss products and publications for all these years. I also loved speaking all over the country to groups and organizations about hearing loss, cochlear implants and raising a deaf child. But now, it is time for a change.

I am getting ready to launch a new business, Just A Bite Desserts, which will require a lot of my time and attention for product development, launching and marketing. I am very excited about this project as it combines my love of both food and entrepreneurship. Please feel free to check out the new blog and follow me on Twitter. There is a fan page on Facebook as well which you can join here.

Thank you so much for your loyal following and for allowing me to serve you through HearingExchange. It truly has been a wonderful endeavor for me and I hope that you found HearingExchange a valuable resource.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year,


Paula Rosenthal, J.D. - Publisher & Speaker
Helping People Deal with Hearing Loss since 2000

*PS. Thank you*


Julia said...

Wow -- wow. So many times, over the two years since Ben's diagnosis, my various google searches has ended up with Paula. Always a succinct explanation and valuable perspective. I'll have to check out her new business online. I wonder if it involves chocolate in any way?!?

Paula Rosenthal said...

Ok, so I'm crying right now, espcially when I got to the tags and it said Paula Rosenthal HearingExchange I Love You... Could you be any sweeter???

Thank you so much for blogging about me. I've been so blessed. A decade ago I launched the site, wrote an article and people responded instantly. I remember jumping up and down telling my husband how I had "found myself" in my 30s! LOL Through the HearingExchange chats, the message boards and the emails, I met so many fabulous people. Men and women who either had hearing loss or had a child or other family member with it.

I've always lived my life with a "can do" attitude and tried to impart sound advice and great resources upon anyone who listened. :) Taking on an Ann Landers or Oprah role in the world of hearing loss was not really my intent when I embarked on law school years ago. I wanted to be an advocate for people with hearing loss though so while I never ended up practicing law, HearingExchange fulfilled my dream beyond my expectations.

Jodi, your voice is as beautiful as your soul and I'm so glad I found a true friend in you. Your readers will learn, laugh and cry with you and I'll be right along with them. This is not good-bye by any means.


And yes, Julia, there will be chocolate! LOL

Unknown said...

Definitely, definitely CHOCOLATE!!!!
Love u both...

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to you and I'll check out your new venture...who could resist desserts!!
It was nice knowing you here and hope one day our paths will cross.

Sharon (aka. Divided)

VBnBama said...

love Paula, she's given so much over the years and helped so many, she'll still be doing it just branching out on subject matter a bit **smile**

Karen Putz said...

Paula, wishing you the very best as you start your new business!

I'm also hanging up my Deaf Mentor hat-- halfway! Only going to do new families in short, one-time sessions instead of weekly.

Paula Rosenthal said...

Thank you all. I really appreciate your warm, sweet comments. I will keep you posted on my new venture and will be roaming around online hoping to bump into you. :) Happiest of holidays! xo, Paula