Christmas will be here in less than a week and this year is winding down. So it is only natural that I take a little quiet time to review my year. Why? Because it’s a great gauge to see how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown, what lessons I’ve learned and sets the stage for a little goal setting. And what a year it has been.
For those of you that have followed since my first post, 2016 marked the year I turned 50, which was a big part of the motivation to get back to writing. After publishing my first book in 2009 and having the opportunity to speak all over the country, I was consistently asked, “What happened next?” I let the question simmer, bubbling just below the surface, honestly not sure how to answer the question.
Don’t get me wrong – it would have been quite easy to regurgitate all that happened “next” in chronological order. But somehow, that didn’t seem to truly answer the burning question. But as I approached 50 and really took stock in “the good, the bad and the ugly,” the answers seemed to overflow.
You see, She-friends, “what happened next” was never about events that occurred or actions I took; rather, “what happened next” was about a transformation that took place inside of ME, at the very core of my SHE-self.
Some people will tell you to “never look back.” I couldn’t disagree more. You see, while I believe it to be unhealthy to “live in the past,” looking back upon our last year, our last decade, etc. allows us to see how far we have come or what adjustments might need to be made.
In 2016, I turned 50. In 2016, I found my best SHE-self that I have discovered to date. My 2016 adventures included celebrating 10 years at Veritex Bank, bringing together 10 years of young women who were a part of my Women in Business Program for a reunion, starting and rapidly building my side business as an Independent Ambassador with the India Hicks Lifestyle Collection and getting back to one of my big loves: writing.
In 2016, I helplessly watched one of my longtime friends lose her Mom far too soon to a rapidly spreading cancer and I held on to another dear friend as she sobbed at the loss of her beautiful daughter whose life ended abruptly as a result of a long-time depression. In 2016, I had plenty of moments where I doubted my professional abilities and felt defeated at times. In 2016, at Thanksgiving, I sat around our fire pit with my amazing husband and our two now-grown children. Finally, after more than 12 years, I knew that despite the curveballs life had thrown my precious “babies,” they were more than okay.
In 2016, amidst the joys, fears and tears I took a long, hard look back. In 2016, I realized how far I had come – not in accomplishments or awards, but rather as the woman I strive to be.
As I re-read this stream of thoughts, you know what? I feel incredibly at peace, all while being excited and ready to begin a new year with new goals and adventures. I realize that 2016 isn’t about ending a chapter. 2016 was about turning a very big corner and ending the book of my first half-century. The bindings may be weathered, but the story is rich with adventures, passion and lessons.
What will the theme of 2017 be? I’m not sure, so let’s find out together.
I am ready for you, 2017 – but are you ready for ME? Until then…
Notes from the SHE files: SHE looks back in order to move forward
**I will be taking off the next two holiday weekends to be with my family, so my next blog post will be Sunday, January 8th