93. Happiness is a Choice | Clay Boatright
Play • 1 hr 8 min

'It's all in how you choose to look at the situation. And happiness is a choice'

- Clay Boatright

 

Clay has definitely lives by these words. He nursed his wife and cherished friend, through two bouts of cancer, the later taking her life. And in between all of that, they their raised twin daughters, Paige and Mia, with severe disabilities, along with their elder daughter Blaine. Through this journey, Clay discovered a passion for advocacy, helping other families deal with disabilities at high levels both locally and nationally. He has a calm, centred approach to life and doesn't buy into drama. As you listen (and read his bio), you will discover he has a wealth of wisdom and knowledge which he shares in his book 'God's Plan, Our Circus'. This is a great conversation!

 

Clay's Bio

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Clay Boatright has lived in Texas since 1994, where he and his wife Carole raised three daughters, including identical twins with severe intellectual disabilities and autism. With undergrad and graduate degrees from the University of Memphis, Clay managed two full-time careers for almost twenty years, one in the consumer-packaged goods industry to pay the bills and another as a volunteer advocate for people with disabilities.

 

Over the years, Clay developed a deep understanding of the disability industrial complex and served on a host of health and education advisory committees, including Board President for both The Arc of Dallas and The Arc of Texas. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Clay to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Washington, DC, and in 2013, he was appointed Founding Chairman for Texas Health & Human Services’ IDD System Redesign Advisory Committee, which he held for six years.

 

Published multiple times in various media, Clay is often contacted by legislators, the media, nonprofit organizations, and parents of children with disabilities to help understand the challenges that families like his live every day.

 

Following Carole’s death in 2020 from ovarian cancer, Clay maintains a close relationship with his daughters and embraces the future with enthusiasm and a desire to help everyone know that God has a plan for their lives.

 

 

In this episode, Clay shares:

[00:01:42] His special memories of Carol

[00:03:33] Carol's first experience with cancer

[00:06:44] Birth of the twins

[00:07:38] Knowing things were different

[00:09:42] Where Paige & Mia are ta today

[00:10:54] Asking 'why'

[00:14:17] Asking God and getting the answer to 'why'

[00:18:37] President Obama appointment

[00:20:18] Juggling work, home and advocacy work

[00:26:14] Fortuitous timing of second bout of cancer

[00:33:22] What happened in Aisle Nine on Valentine's Day

[00:35:42] Becoming Clay version 2.0

[00:37:30] God's Plan, Our Circus

[00:39:38] Everybody has experiences and challenges, baggage and drama

[00:42:29] The only thing I can control is my attitude

[00:43:30] When people feel sad and depressed, they have no options

[00:45:57] Importance of giving to others

[00:53:01] Top 5 pieces of advice for families with disabilities

[00:58:55] Smiling in the face of severe disability

[00:59:30] Out in public with the twins

 ... and so much more!

 

Quote:

"Baggage and drama are optional. It's all in how you choose to look at the situation. And happiness is a choice." ~ Clay Bowright

 

Resources:

 

Clay's links:

Website:  https://clayboatright.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clay.boatright.9/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clayboatright/

 

Follow me on:

Email:          thebeautifulsideofgrief@gmail.com 

Instagram:  https://instagram.com/beautifulsideofgrief

Facebook:   https://facebook.com/thebeautifulsideofgrief

Website:     https://thebeautifulsideofgrief.com

YouTube:    https://www.youtube.com/@thebeautifulsideofgrief

 

Loved this episode? Leave me a review and rating 💟

                     https://thebeautifulsideofgrief.com/reviews

 

And heartfelt Thanks to Gabe Dovaston for the music!

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