Bad Girl, Good Business

My Once-a-Decade Holiday Letter

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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:

  1. Moved three times. I minimized and digitized my life and business.
  2. Watched my daughters graduate college/grad school, get jobs, and become responsible and kind and  fun adults.
  3. Got divorced after a 27-year marriage.
  4. Fell in love again but had my heart badly broken. An eternal romantic, I have not given up hope.
  5. Became a mother-in-law and grandmother (twice).
  6. Broke my hand, my nose, and my foot (but not all at the same time).
  7. 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.
  8. Lost my younger brother.
  9. Helped take care of my mother through major illnesses (twice).
  10. Reconnected with some fantastic old friends from my past.
  11. Made some new friends.
  12. Was featured in Prevention Magazine‘s body makeover issue; started spinning, doing Pilates, and weight-lifting.
  13. Traveled a lot (but not as much as I’d like).
  14. Sat on three non-profit boards and raised awareness and $$.
  15. Launched three new websites and wrote four books. Secured regular columns for major business and consumer media.
  16. Mentored interns and offered free business advice to promising start-ups.
  17. Learned many many useful new technologies.
  18. Saw hundreds of movies and a few memorable live music shows. Read books and magazines.
  19. Binge-watched Netflix.
  20. 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.



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