So, I'm not very good at these kinds of lists truthfully. It's hard to determine categories for things that happen in any person's life, you know what I mean? So I think it's best for me to just have a final Top 10 of things that happened or had impact in this girl's life in 2009. Good, bad or otherwise.
Again, not in any meaningful order -- just how they come to me.
10. Leaving my job. Wow, had I dreamed of when that day would come but nothing prepared me for the reality of it. It wasn't a bad thing -- it was a great thing, but still a little sad. Of course that lasted oh, about a minute. I don't miss it a bit -- being in business for myself and being my own boss is beyond gratifying. Having friends and family work side by side with me is a great thing; I often get tinges of sentimentality when I see things that have to do with the Air Force or the base -- but other than that....nada. I loved my job and I truly made the best of things, but I was beyond frustrated knowing I was capable of doing great things and was held back because I wasn't in the Government proper.
9. My knee surgery. That was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. I mean, you are awake for CSections and that's pretty interesting but it's not nearly the same thing as actually getting to watch what's happening inside your knee surgically. Definitely one of the more fun things that happened this year. Sounds kind of silly I know - but it alleviated my discomfort and was educational and fun at the same time.
8. Finding out my Mother has Cancer. The news itself of her having the disease wasn't all that shocking, only because it is so rampant. What was shocking, was the poor care (in my opinion) that she had received up to this point. Finally, she is going to Dana Farber -- tomorrow actually, and I am going with my parents -- to get what we hope/wish/pray will be a diagnosis (finally!!!) and hopefully a better prognosis than what she received in Florida.
7. Being hardworking, diligent and patient. While this was a difficult year for everyone on so many levels -- it was a good year for us with business. Patience and hard work, with a sprinkle of due diligence really paid off in allowing us to launch a new business. I have to say that over the last year prior to this opportunity I had been so frustrated; we came so close so many times, but timing can be everything and truly while luck only goes so far -- it's all about the work that goes into it.
6. Spending time with my family. Sounds mundane and not necessarily listworthy - but the truth of the matter is -- that it is. This summer while I was not able to take any time off because of the buildout, I still was on a more flexible schedule than being at work and was able to spend a few days with the family at Water Country, Canobie Lake Park, etc. Even just staying at home later in the morning before heading off to the store site -- it was far more enjoyable of a way to start my day than stressing over traffic and what time I might arrive in the office. Again, it's tied to being my own boss -- and while I'm incredibly busy at times, it offers me a luxury of time with my family that I haven't been able to enjoy before.
5. Having to adjust to the fact that my children think on their own. Let me tell you - that's a tough one. Trying to parent firmly, discipline strongly and not be too stifling is a tightrope I've had to walk on all this year for the first time. Princess Petunia was the first one to challenge -- and her boldness has encouraged her brother to express himself as well. This has been a huge event this year in my life and while it was a change that I knew would come -- I still wasn't quite prepared for when it happened.
4. Abandoning Dunkin Donuts forever. I have completely transitioned to Starbucks. After spending probably hundreds of dollars in coffee that tasted so horrible that I threw it away -- I finally smartened up and actually spend only an extra .25 for a cup of coffee that I enjoy every single time. It feels like a monkey is off my back -- truly. How crazy is that? Discovering that I can really enjoy a cup of coffee consistently -- that's a huge happening in this girl's life after months of being disappointed by Dunks.
3. Achieving many of the goals I'd set for myself. I ran the 5K sooner than anticipated; I did a yoga marathon even sooner post-surgery. I continually worked on accepting the things I could not change and actively worked on changing the things that I could - that needed changing. And some things were just fine the way they were.
2. Seeing a Broadway play front row. Wow, did that spoil me forever. G and I going to see David Mamet's "Speed the Plow" at the Barrymore --with Jeremy Piven and cast practically sweating on us -- was amazing. So impressive, that we're thinking of going back and seeing the aforementioned director's new production of "Race" at that same theatre in the next few weeks. It was an event that truly had an impact on me as far as spending quality time with G, appreciating and loving NYC -- and throughly appreciating theatre even more than I already did. It made me long for what I might have done at one time... but at the same time appreciate the choices I made in not pursuing that career as fully as I could've. Because if I had -- I wouldn't be here today. And I'm pretty happy where I'm at....
1. Proving that I'm capable of doing great things. Listen, I knew I could do it -- but let's be honest there were plenty who had their doubts. Building the store was a fun, frustrating, stressful and yet enjoyable process. Our new store is something I'd always hoped it would be...and yet at the same time, I look back at G and I and think "wow, who'd have thought that two kids from nothing and nowhere would do all this...." But again, it just shows what a little hard work, good common business sense and a drive to succeed can get you. Sure it's only in it's infancy, but it's off to a good start -- and I'm so very proud. Aside from my children who are my greatest accomplishments in life -- it's up there on things to be proud of. Some people go through their whole life and don't have much to show for it -- and that's okay; there's nothing wrong with that. But we have built goodwill with a brand; we have actually made history in a community.
And how awesome is that?!?!?