As I sit here on my 38th birthday reflecting upon the past year, I feel a huge sense of gratitude for all that I have, for who I am, and for all the amazing people in my life, especially those who bring me so much joy. I am so glad to be here.
This past year has been fraught with challenges but the wins are far more overwhelming. There has been laughter, tears, hard work, 100K+ airline miles, grief, and joy. There has been spectacular moments and moments of panic and anxiety. There’s been a lot of mountain bike riding. And most importantly, this past year has been filled with precious moments with my family, especially with Jack…my fast growing, highly evolved threenager; these are the memories I am trying to burn into my mind forever; I never want to let them go.
Life is what you make of it; there is no doubt about that. I am eternally grateful for all the amazing things and all the crappy things that flow through my life each day; all of these events, decisions, and feelings add to the rich tapestry of connections, relationships, experiences, and sense of self that are woven together to form the fabric of my life.
So what did I learn this year that’s worth passing on to all of you? Perhaps nothing profound but that being said, sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most.
First, it’s important to take care of yourself. Burning out does no one any good. Do yoga every day (seriously, it’s life changing). Get regular massages and/or acupuncture treatments. Eat well. Ride a bike. Take a day off to treat yourself. Even better, take a vacation, or my favorite…a staycation. You will be able to do more when you give yourself a break.
Second, spend more time with the most important people in your life; make it a priority. At any moment you could lose someone you love dearly. You don’t want to regret the choices you made on how you spent your time. Call your mom every day. Go visit your grandfather. Put your phone down and play with you kids. Eat dinner as a family every night. Life is too short to not be with the people you love.
Third, the things that seems like a really big deal today will be minor things tomorrow and forgotten about the day after. Do you remember what you were freaking out about last week? Yeah, me either. So don’t let yourself fall apart over the challenges life throws at you. Take a deep breath and let the situation play out. Life ebbs and flows and you’ll move on faster than you think.
Fourth, live outside your comfort zone for an entire year; it’s the fastest way to grow as a person and leader. I don’t think I have had a day this year (besides on the weekends) when I have felt like, “oh yeah, I’ve got this.” And even though I am exhausted at times, I have never felt so engaged and connected in my life. Playing it safe is not actually safe. Challenge yourself constantly…you’ll be amazed at what you can do.
Lastly, it’s a game changer to have high status on airlines, even if they are shitty airlines. Free upgrades to first class really do make traveling better. My goal is United Global Services baby!
Here’s to another amazingly fabulous trip around the sun. I am so glad I get to share the trip with all of you.