Another year has passed, more quickly than each preceding it. Seems to be a trend as we get older. Should probably be a lesson to slow down a little more. A favorite annual tradition has become my birthday reflection, where I look back at the year that’s passed, and reflect here. It’s a great way to remember the things that happened both big and small. It’s so easy to remember only the big stuff, but without time to reflect, often challenging to remember and give credit to the smaller stuff that tends to be what leads you to the big ones. What’s funny is that in reflecting on my previous anecdotes from birthdays past, the themes of what I did, saw, and learned, are all quite similar.
28 was full of growth. I reflected on a few adjectives this year which all came to fruition abundantly: peace, love, success and happiness. I continued to learn the daily lesson (and sometimes struggle) of finding a healthy balance in life. I made more time to cook and try new recipes. I joined a gym (a place I’d not visited in 3 years). I did yoga, Zumba, and weights classes. I also bought a new workout wardrobe because, hey, it’s more motivating to go to the gym when you feel good. 🙂 I prioritized friends and family, went to 6 weddings, many birthday parties, and showers for babies and brides. I began to investigate meditation. I focused on gratitude and breathing. I fell in love <3 ….and so far have done the harder part which is sustained said love. I continued to learn that love breeds self-reflection and showcases areas in oneself which need improvement. I opened myself to that. My business partnership with my brother flourished. Despite the expected ups-and-downs of business ownership, we doubled our numbers and had an incredible year. My networking venture spawned a second chapter and reminded me that if you build it, they will come (so long as ‘it’ is a good idea and you market accordingly…). My three year labor to create my kids books series came to fruition with the first book’s publication. I was named an inaugural member of the Forum of Global Shapers Atlanta Hub partnering with nationally recognized leaders. I was in Inc and Forbes, baby steps towards my ultimate goal to be on their covers one day. I was selected to go to Davos, Switzerland in January to attend the World Economic Forum’s annual conference. I traveled to places new and old: Portland, Miami, Vegas, Richmond, Indianapolis, DC x2, West Palm Beach, New Orleans, St.Simon’s, Charlotte, Rock Hill, Anderson, Asheville, Baltimore, and North Georgia a couple times. I continued on my journey with Apple to trade in my PC and get an Air…and then an ipad3. I finally got that new (larger/memory foam) mattress I’d wanted for years. I became a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council. I continued to become more domestic, finding a new vacuum to be an ideal Christmas gift. Met my brother’s live-in girlfriend. Hung with my nieces, brother, and sister-in-law, trying to make the most of their time in Atlanta (and changed a few more diapers than last year). I grew closer to friends who no matter their physical proximity, continued to amaze me and be there for good or bad. Also did away with some negative friendships. Tried to pick up running, but put it back down. Read a lot: still business, psych, and sociology books mostly. Had a wisdom tooth taken out…and was on my ass for a week as a result. Learned from that that older means slower recovery times. Rung in 5 years of home ownership. Battled the mortgage companies incessantly in a futile attempt to get my rate lowered. Turns out being self employed and the ‘backbone of the American economy’ does not mean a bank will help you refi. I read a book with my name on the cover to a classroom of kids and they called me an ‘author’. I ate a lot of pickles (Claussen of course). Shot some guns, and got hit square in the face with a hot shell, leaving a Pangea-like mark on my forehead. Reminded me how attached I am to my appearance. Only exacerbated the point when the wisdom tooth came out the next morning and the puffiness stayed for a week. Picked up a couple more reality shows into the original mix. Remain unashamed of that fact. Took my cat (Chairman Meow) to the vet for the first time…in four years. Also not ashamed since she was extremely healthy and this added to my theory that she’s an indoor cat living like those in the wild (with no vets). I added a guest room so I can finally have company over and not put them in my bed or on the couch (sign of growing up, perhaps?). Continued to try to learn to be in the moment, and a little less on the cell phone, too (still struggling with that). Practiced the art of accepting a compliment.
All in all, it was a great year. I tend to see that when I reflect back over time, the stuff that once seemed so big and important, and perhaps devastating, no longer carries much weight. Business set-backs, fights with friends and family, nerves over a big meeting, or financial stresses which all carry so much weight at that time, barely even make it on the radar now (if at all). Another good lesson-to-self to take those with a grain of salt. Perhaps use these moments of reflection as reminders in those stressful moments that ‘this too shall pass’, and to keep going, mitigating those concerns.
With that, so long 28 and hello 29! It’s been a crazy run so far 20s, let’s see what you have in store for the next 364 days…