One From the Heart Featuring...

Katie Barrett: Enjoying Life's Path

    I started writing "One From The Heart" for Pink magazine exactly two years ago, and my first subject was Katie Barrett. At that time, she held a fascinating job as Executive Director of Programs for Exceptional People, and the article brought readers into her world of working with developmentally and physically disabled adults. She gave freely of herself to this job until she felt she had put her stamp on the programs and achieved her main goals, bringing the organization to a new level. But she had dreams to fulfill and new life paths to follow.
    Today, many of Katie's dreams are coming true. It is such a pleasure to see young people work for and realize their ambitions. And so, on the second anniversary of One from the Heart, I would like to re-introduce Katie and share some of her successes and her joyous good news.
    One new beginning for Katie is a new job. She now works at Hilton Head Regional Medical Center and loves it. "One of the reasons I've gotten so much satisfaction from this new job is because of the support that I feel from the people I work with," said Katie. "Having mentors and people who really embrace learning opportunities around me has been a blessing. Healthcare is very demanding and the rewards are equally as profound."
    Another new feature in Katie's life is her work on a master's degree in Health Administration. This has been quite a long process as she has worked fulltime while taking classes and writing those long, endless papers. She is nearly finished and looks upon that accomplishment as more than an end in itself. It will better qualify her to succeed in her position at HHRMC. "This will be the new beginning of my not having to spend every weekend at my desk writing papers," Katie said. "I am really looking forward to that!"
    The most important of Katie's new beginnings is the life that she and her husband Josh have created together. After several years of trying, they are expecting their first child, a son. Katie's hopes for her baby are not complicated.
    "All parents say that they hope for a happy and healthy baby. I guess I am no different in that respect," said Katie. "But it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the awesome responsibility of parenting, so we are taking it one day at a time. I think that we are a great team and look forward to having another little person to love and watch grow. I hope that, as a family, we continue to challenge each other. If this little guy is anything like his Dad, that won't be a problem, believe me!"
    I asked Katie to think about the first interview I did with her and to talk about some of her values and ideals then and now. Many things have changed and I wondered how much she had been altered by the change in circumstances.
    "I feel that there are a few core values that I will carry with me. They are loyalty, compassion, constructive discontent and always wanting to do a little better next time," said Katie. "I think we can be the same people we are as we move forward but with more memories and experience. That includes more children, family, and friends. I have a great life and a new life to care for also. I hope all that will continue."
    I hope so too, Katie.
    Dreams and ambitions can be fulfilled. Yes, it takes hard work and effort, but it is worth every bit of it. Don't believe me-just ask Katie Barrett.

Q. What is the best part of pregnancy?
A. One of the things I really love is listening to stories from other women who have had children of their own. Women ask how you are and then tell about their experiences. I never expected this!
Q. What is the worst?
A. Oh, it is the unexpected quirks that come along with my body changing, like back pain. It is all manageable and worth it, of course.
Q. Do you have cravings?
A. Not really - I have always enjoyed eating, and I eat more than usual. The girls that I work with laugh at me because it is not unusual for me to be looking for lunch plans even before ten o'clock in the morning.
Q. What is the first story you will read to your baby?
A. My husband, Josh, keeps trying to talk me into reading him Bill O'Reilly's book, The Culture Warrior, while the little guy is still in the womb, but we both really love Shel Silverstein's book, The Giving Tree.
Make a wish for your baby, Katie.
"I wish for him to experience great fulfillment in his life."