What’s in a year? I suppose there are the famous five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes, if we want to get all showtunes-y about it. And there are the milestones, like birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, etc. There are the happy memories you made, either on your own or in the company of loved ones, the mistakes you either learned from (hopefully), or didn’t (thus dooming you to repeat them). There are the opportunities you took: the times you reached out your hand to help someone, paid a compliment, took a risk, stepped out on faith, doubled down, dove in, climbed higher, and loved more. There are the opportunities you missed – by sleeping late, hitting “snooze”, not saying “yes!”, retreating in fear, giving in to apathy, turning away when you should have turned up, and by all the tiny ways you let life pass you by, out of complacency, or something else.
As I sit thinking of the year gone by, and contemplating how I will choose to honor this particular journey around the sun as I celebrate a birthday tomorrow, I can tally the losses – including the passing of my brilliant and incomparable uncle, as well as a number of others who’ve left the scene too soon. Or I can highlight the bright spots – some remarkable professional accomplishments that showed me that there is always more to reach for, more to learn and share, as well as another year of amazing partnership with a loving life partner who is my rock, and who helps me to be the best version of myself that I can.
I can look back at a year filled with tremendous growth, not just for this business, but for the truly inspirational people who come to work here every day. There have been so many new opportunities and blessings that I’ve gotten to watch unfold for the talented Readers and remarkable support staff here: new babies, new homes, new jobs, new art, new relationships, truly transformative experiences that are opening all of us up the idea that anything is possible, that it is never too late, that change can be scary, but can also be the best thing that has ever happened to us.
It is these people with whom I’ve surrounded myself who are my greatest teachers. They remind me that success isn’t about some abstract number in a checking account, or found on a profit and loss and statement. Success isn’t somewhere you “arrive”. It has to do with how happy you can be on the journey, how well you can adapt to change, and with the caliber of the company you keep. Success, for me, this year and every year, is measured by whether we can not just pay the bills, but also feel like we have done good work, have been of service, have left people feeling better than before they met us, have contributed to community, and have loved each other well. By that standard, I am feeling pretty successful, and looking forward to beginning another revolution through the sky again tomorrow. This life is a lovely, wild ride, and I am so grateful to be on it with you!
Oh yeah, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FELLOW GEMINIS!!