The end of the year is a time of top 10 lists, thoughts on the past, and hopes for the future. Since I’m a fan of lists, here are 10 things I learned this year:
- There’s absolutely nothing more painful than confronting the mortality of a family member. Many of those close to me know that the first half of 2010 was an *extremely* difficult time for my family. Worse than dealing with terrible family news was dealing with a constantly changing prognosis and having an unclear path of action. I have never cried more or been more disoriented at work than I was January through June.
- Clarity is a real gift. I’m pretty direct and prone to making quick decisions and following through on them. As I observe others struggle with this, I’m grateful for my own ability to decide and move on. From choosing a restaurant to ending a not ideal relationship rather than waiting for it to die, I feel better about everything when I put a stake in the ground and go with it. For reference, check this out.
- I really enjoy country music. For a girl who’s not into manual labor, I could not possibly enjoy the twang of a guitar or lyrics about corn and tractors any more. While I’ve loved country music since I was little and sang Hank Williams (Sr) and Willie Nelson songs with my dad, I realized recently, that it’s the only genre where I can honestly say I like 75% of the music enough to not change the radio.
- Metallic flats are a 5’10” gal’s best friend. I bought 9 pairs of metallic flats in 2010. I returned one.
- Do not ever go to McDonald’s on M Street for a snack post-midnight. @MsSpinach and I did and a stranger showed us a picture of his own genitalia. No McFlurry will ever take that memory away.
- I work with wonderful people. Not sucking up at all, but my co-workers (and former co-workers) are some of my favorite people which makes going to work every day a pleasure. Follow #Ogilvy360DI and #360DI (because we haven’t totally chosen a hashtag…) for more great banter. But know that the best stuff happens over email. And the absolute best stuff is printed out and posted on the “Natty Mail” wall that @KaitlynWilkins and I share.
- Sometimes, I get so caught up on “what’s next” that I don’t enjoy “what’s happening.” And no, I’m not talking about the TV show. I have noticed that when I’m not 100% happy with where I live or other details of my life, I very actively start thinking about moving and making changes. But sometimes that concept of “leaving before I leave” really prevents me from making the most of what I’m doing in the moment.
- Even a tired franchise can reinvent itself. I thought Survivor, Top Chef, and Real Housewives had all seen better days. Let me tell you – Survivor Heroes v. Villains, Top Chef All Stars, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have proven me wrong. When is Flavor of Love coming back?!
- Gchat is beyond essential to the way I live my life. My predominant communication with two of my best friends in California, one of my brothers, and many of my coworkers happens over gchat. I actually couldn’t imagine life without it. Maybe even more so than DVR and a smartphone… and it takes a LOT for me to say that. Despite believing in Facebook, I don’t feel that way about Facebook chat – I think gchat is a more personal place for me. I’ll accept most friend requests on Facebook, but gchat is way more private than that.
- I have the best family in the entire world. My parents are more fun, more generous, more compassionate, and ten times stronger than I knew — even in 2009. My brothers and I are unbelievably lucky to have them — and to be able to make fun of them as much as we do. (Sorry, Mom, I know it was a rough Christmas from that perspective… at least you didn’t buy us Nutcracker tickets this time?!) Similarly, while I am VERY different from both of my brothers, I can’t think of two people who I love, respect, enjoy, or roll my eyes at more.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on 2010. If I only think about 2010 from about July forward, it was a really great year. And if I take the year as a whole, I can’t think of one during which I learned more about myself or life in general.