Renee Horton Q&A
YOU’VE OBVIOUSLY EXPERIENCED A GREAT DEAL OF SUCCESS IN YOUR LIFE. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT, AND WHY?
For me, my greatest accomplishment are my children and greating a legacy for my future generations. I wanted to break the cycle of teen pregnancy, I was a mother at 18 and with my kids my first grandson was born when his father was 25. Not becoming a parent early has allowed them to focus on finding their passion and growing into the adults they need to be to leave an impact on the world.
LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS SMOOTH. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT A SETBACK OR TRAGEDY YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED, HOW YOU DEALT WITH IT, AND THE IMPACT IT HAS HAD ON YOU?
My current philosophy is to not allow setbacks or obstacles to emotionally affect me for more than 18 hours. I don’t take it to bed and I don’t allow myself to be affected by it the next day. My greatest setback was the discovery of my hearing disability, it changed the trajectory of my life path. At 17, I didn’t deal with it well and chose to ignore it. My ability to hear clearly had a direct impact on my marriage along with other issues of being young and truly unaware of what it took to have a successful marriage.
DO YOU SET ASIDE “ME-TIME” IN YOUR CALENDAR, AND WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME TO RELAX?
Me time is set aside during every trip I take, I have to have at least 3 hours of uninterrupted time to myself. I do schedule down time to do nothing or try a new restaurant. In my spare time I love to read, cook and enjoy the beach. I have learned to look at time differently and the way I define “Me-time” is any time I am alone in my thoughts.
WHAT’S THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE YOU’VE DISCOVERED WHERE YOU CAN GO TO CHILL OUT?
I am attracted to water so almost any place with the blue water and white sands calms my soul and releases my tension. St Thomas, Trinidad and Jamaica are my favorites for just chilling out.
DOES PHILANTHROPY PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR LIFE, TO WHAT EXTENT AND HOW?
Philanthropy plays a big role in my life. I believe we should want to help others. So many people helped me along my journey and as repayment to them I believe in paying it forward. We use the nonprofit as a means to donate books into the community, for every hardcover purchased we donate a softcover. I live a meager life, so that I can financially donate to the areas that are important to me.
WHO IS ON THE GUEST LIST FOR YOUR IDEAL DINNER PARTY, PRESENT OR PAST?
Huey Newton, Oprah Winfrey, Barrack and Michelle Obama, Angela Davis, TuPac Shakur, Albert Einstein, 50 Cent, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR READERS?
When life offers you lemons, go get a Creole Cream Cheese Snoball and decide what you are going to do with those lemons. Not everyone’s reaction or plans are the same. It’s important for you to evaluate what is happening and do what is best for you. So for me when I am handed lemons, I make sure that whatever my response, I can look at myself in the mirror and be ok with the outcome. Don’t let outside forces deter you from whats rooted in you fundamentally.