My Once-a-Decade Holiday Letter
Ho, ho, ho and fa, la, la.
2020 is sort of a big deal.
However, those of you who know me are aware that I don’t need much of an excuse to recap and make a list.
I’ve never been one to do those annual “holiday update” letters, summarizing all the cheery family news from the past 12 months. This is a first.
You can consider this a twisted version of the annual holiday letter…except it’s covering 10 years. It even contains snowflakes.
Dear friends, colleagues, family, and random people who follow me online:
Despite all the upbeat posts on social media and the Insta-filtered photos, the past 10 years have been filled with some major ups and downs. I emerged stronger, tanner, and wiser.
I’m looking forward to 2020, which I have dubbed, “The Year of Perfect Vision.” I’m going to apply everything I learned between 2010 and 2020 to enjoy my best life and inspire others. Maybe even you (the reader).
Over the past decade, I:
- Moved three times. I minimized and digitized my life and business.
- Watched my daughters graduate college/grad school, get jobs, and become responsible and kind and fun adults.
- Got divorced after a 27-year marriage.
- Fell in love again but had my heart badly broken. An eternal romantic, I have not given up hope.
- Became a mother-in-law and grandmother (twice).
- Broke my hand, my nose, and my foot (but not all at the same time).
- Embarked on a second (simultaneous) career as a professional writer and speaker. Taught many workshops, sat on and moderated panels, and attended conferences. This one was the strangest and this one was the most fun.
- Lost my younger brother.
- Helped take care of my mother through major illnesses (twice).
- Reconnected with some fantastic old friends from my past.
- Made some new friends.
- Was featured in Prevention Magazine‘s body makeover issue; started spinning, doing Pilates, and weight-lifting.
- Traveled a lot (but not as much as I’d like).
- Sat on three non-profit boards and raised awareness and $$.
- Launched three new websites and wrote four books. Secured regular columns for major business and consumer media.
- Mentored interns and offered free business advice to promising start-ups.
- Learned many many useful new technologies.
- Saw hundreds of movies and a few memorable live music shows. Read books and magazines.
- Binge-watched Netflix.
- Wrote hundreds of blog posts, e-mails, articles, and other stuff.
I could go on, but these are the top 20. Over the holiday break, I’m polishing-up my 2020 (business and personal) plan. I’m entering the next decade with humor, energy, optimism, strong bones, and a robust writing portfolio.
But Enough About Me…What About YOU?
Making your “20 Things in 10 Years” is a good exercise.
It gives you perspective on what’s really important to you and how work, play, family, friends, self-care, and your personal passions all balance out in your priorities.
As we age, the list becomes an interesting amalgam of business, family, friends, experiences, and challenges. Our 50s/60s are way different from:
- The 10s (when our adult personalities started taking shape and the big accomplishment was toilet-training, riding without training wheels, and ultimately getting through grade school gym class unscarred).
- Your teens (party and college application time).
- Those frenetic 20s/30s (which are largely about career, relationship, and sometimes babies).
- The 40s (which can be a reflective period for many of us).
When I turned 50, I chronicled my own decades in my original blog. Looking back on it 10+ years later gives me an interesting new perspective about how I spent each era.
After you’ve made your list, ask yourself “What’s missing?” and that will help chart your course for the next 10.
Have a wonderful holiday season…and watch for the 2030 letter!
NOTE: This post originally appeared in Thrive Global.