Unraveling – Goodbye to 2019

I want to start by saying that this is going to be a long post. These reflective posts are how I make sure to live my life intentionally. They matter to me and I love being able to look back on them in future years. I know that this might not be interesting to many (if not any) of you, so please feel free to skip it. If some of you find it interesting, all the better.

This particular exercise is following Susannah Conway’s Unraveling 2020 sheet. You can download it right here. I split the reflective questions looking back on 2018 in and the questions to help clarify goals/dreams for 2019 into two posts. This is part I, the 2020 post will show up later this week. All questions are Susannah’s and are copyrighted to her.

Before we start unravelling 2020, let’s take a moment to look back over the last twelve months. Maybe there were lots of changes for you in 2020. Maybe it’s been a year of growing or nesting or exploring or letting go. Whatever’s happened this year it’s got you to this point, right now. Exactly where you’re meant to be. Pick up your pen and let’s do some digging.

  1. First of all, did you have a word for 2019? Yes, my word was magic.
  2. If you did, how did your word help to guide you through the last 12 months? Can you think of any specific examples? I have made sure to add more magic into my life in ways big and small. Our trip to the Galapagos was magical and once in a lifetime for me.  Even more significantly, the moments we spent hiking and the culminating waterfall and swimming was likely one of the highlights of my life. I showed up and said yes to hiking Mt. Dana, to going to rock climb each week. I spent time shepherding David to high school and Nathaniel to middle school. I took over new teams at work and went from being an individual contributor to being a manager of managers with a team that’s globally spread out. I walked into 2019 still in the middle of a depression and was finally able to emerge out of it in June. I spent time each week noticing and documenting the magic in my daily life. Magic has been a fantastic word for me. It’s helped me remember to create and notice the magic of my life in all the ways big and small. 
  3. What did you embrace in 2019? I embraced my life. I created experiences I wanted to have. I showed up for people at work, I showed up for my family, and I showed up for myself. And then sometimes I didn’t. And I embraced that, too. 
  4. What did you let go of in 2019? I let go of my depression. I still have moments of sadness and moments that I spiral down but the deep, scary feeling of apathy, sadness,  and all the pressure I was feeling seems to have lifted for now. It is singlehandedly the best thing I could have let go of.
  5. What changed for you in 2019? Hmm.. both my kids started new phases in their educational lives with middle and high school. My work changed again and then again. I became a manager. I started rock climbing regularly. I took chances. I got really good at both making and seeing the magic.
  6. What did you discover about yourself in 2019? I discovered that the depression wasn’t here to be permanent and that it could in fact disappear  in one day. I discovered that even in the toughest week, I can see/find some magic. I discovered that if I want magic in my life, I can make it so. I discovered that I am always more excited about making life than I am about making work. I discovered that I can start new ideas any day of the week. I also discovered that I really love reading and just don’t want to let it go. I discovered that it’s important to take chances and to say yes.
  7. What were you most grateful for in 2019? At the top of the list is the fact that I am feeling better. I am incredibly grateful for it. Right below that is my husband again, always. For always being there for me, with me. For getting me excited about rock climbing. For his happiness being so contagious. For always being my sunshine. Grateful for my kids, for being so kind and generous and loving. I am incredibly lucky. I am grateful to my parents, to my sister, to my nephews for always reminding me that I am not alone, that they have my back and that I am so loved. Grateful for my friend Kelly who exchanged weekly emails with me about the magic we saw each week this year. It played a huge part in helping me keep my word front and center. Grateful for the people who reached out to me, who have created space for me, encouraged me and believed in me, even when (especially when) I couldn’t.
  8. When did fear hold you back in 2019? I still opted out of social interactions more often than not. Also didn’t step up in some work cases. I didn’t learn how to ride a bike or drive to the city. Most importantly, I didn’t work out as aggressively as I wished I could have.
  9. Where did you practice bravery in 2019? Stepping into my new roles have required bravery. Our trips, while fun, required bravery. The hiking, especially Dana was huge bravery. The rock climbing continues to be so. Many days just showing up to life is bravery for me.
  10. What surprised you in 2019?  How the sadness went away almost overnight. The hike in Hawaii and how deeply it made me happy. How much I’ve enjoyed the things I thought I would like to have at work but didn’t until this year. 
  11. What made you smile in 2019? My husband. My kids. My friends. Twinkle lights. That moment under the waterfall.
  12. What conclusions did you reach in 2019? That I want to design my own life. I want to choose my life and fit work into it and that I can do whatever I want. I just have to really decide and not feel obligated but feel committed and inspired. Also that my life is full of magic. So, so much magic.
  13. Let’s think about your ACCOMPLISHMENTS in 2019. List three things that went really well this year — personally or professionally, what are you most proud of? For each accomplishment, consider the following: What skills helped you make it happen? How has your life changed? What have you learned about yourself? How did you celebrate or acknowledge your accomplishment? (If you didn’t, how could you next time?)
    • I stepped into being a manager of two different teams, and learning a lot of new areas.
    • I took some incredible vacations with my family and traveled to places I’ve wanted to see for many years.
    • I committed to being more active with my husband, took hikes together, went rock climbing weekly, really tried to show up.
  14. Now let’s look at your CHALLENGES. List three situations that have tested your limits and patience this year. The big or the small — whatever challenged you the most in 2019 (there may be more than three so go with whatever comes to mind first) For each challenge, consider the following: How did you deal with the challenge? Did you discover any new tools or allies that could help you again in the future? How has your life changed? What have you learned about yourself? (If you’re still working through a particular challenge, what outcome would feel good to you?)
    • I really struggled with food still. I have been having a really hard time trying to move to a more healthy mindset and habit around nutrition.
    • I wanted to work on figuring out the magic of me and I haven’t spent enough time on that. Very little, in fact.
    • Last year I wrote: I think my biggest challenge is still being kind to myself. Every other challenge I have stems from that. And I don’t think much of that has changed. My inner voice, the noise in my head is not productive or positive. It continues to be my biggest challenge.
  15. Describe your favourite day, moment or occasion of 2019 in words and pictures. What did it taste like? Smell like? Sound like? Who was (or wasn’t) there? Where were you? What were you doing? What was awesome about it? And most importantly, how did you feel? It was definitely the day we went hiking in Hawaii. The location was obfuscated and not sure what we were getting into. The bamboo trees at the beginning, the muddy trail we got lost several times, the uphill hike that wasn’t clear if it would ever end, the tropical location, and most importantly the culminating water and getting to stand under that amazing waterfall. It was one of the best moments of my life.
  16. Gentleness alert! Did anything happen in 2019 that needs to be forgiven? Maybe it was something someone did or said to you. Maybe it was something you did or said to someone else — or to yourself? Maybe you feel you let yourself down in some way. Here’s the thing — we are all beautifully fallible human beings doing the best that we can with the tools that we have, so where can you give the gift of forgiveness to yourself or to another? All the times I didn’t show up as my best self. All the times I yelled at my kids or let my husband down or all the months I wasted continuing to be sad and anxious and worried over things that were small. All the times I didn’t achieve my own goals.  I let it all go. I forgive myself for being human in my own way.
  17. So we’ve dug into our accomplishments and challenges, remembered our favourite moments and considered who we need to forgive. Now I invite you to close your eyes for a moment and think about 2019 as a whole. As you cast your mind back over the last 365 days, consider the gifts that 2019 offered you on your life’s journey…What stands out the most? What really mattered? What stands out the most is overwhelming gratitude. What mattered most are the days with the people I love. The moments of joy, gratitude and contentment. Simple pleasures. New experiences. Here’s some of what happened in 2019:
    • I helped David with his multiple science fairs and all the journeys he took along the way. 
    • I helped Nathaniel get better at writing. I tucked him in every night I was home. 
    • I traveled to Zurich and London and Los Angeles (and maybe Boulder?) for work. 
    • I interim-managed a large, global team to help out a colleague, I leaned in hard and tried to really help the team.
    • I took over management of another team and a new area for my business unit.
    • As a family: we went to Los Angeles, San Diego, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey, the Galapagos, Waikiki, Hawaii, Yosemite, Tahoe, 
    • I got to welcome the new year with my whole family for the first time since 1992. All of us together in the Bay Area.
    • We did over 20 weekly celebrations as a family.
    • We took weekly family photos for 45+ weeks.
    • I drew 250+ drawings this year.
    • I read 360+ books. More than 100 from netgalley, on ebook.
    • I told 30+ stories from our lives. 
    • I used both the weekly journal and the OLW journal to document our lives.
    • I worked out at work and rock climbed weekly for 6+ months.  I moved from 5.5 to 5.9 and a handful of 5.10as and even one 5.10b
    • I got my belay card
    • I wrote 52 emails to Kelly about the magic of my week.
    • I took 10+ hikes with Jake.
    • I hiked Mt. Dana (13,500 ft.) with my family.
    • I organized multiple 100+ people summits at work. And I co-led an arm of the diversity council.
    • I supported both my kids through their Tech Challenge experience.
    • I did over 100 yoga sessions.
    • My kids attended their first seder.
    • I took Nathaniel to Orlando, Floria to Harry Potter World for his 10th birthday. Just thw two of us.
    • I wrote 20 letters to my kids for each of the nights they were gone away on a school trip.
    • I survived David’s trip to Spain (for two weeks!)
    • I attended Google I/O.
    • David graduated from middle school. Nathaniel finished elementary school.
    • I went totally blonde.
    • Jake and I went on several date nights.
    • I supported Jake in several of his personal dreams around climbing.
    • I got a concussion.
    • I make hundreds of healthy lunches for Nathaniel.
    • I mentored several women in my organization.
    • I still don’t drink coffee with caffeine. (but sadly i drink soda now, i will quit again!)
    • I still pretty much go to bed 10pm and wake up 6am every week day.
    • I took several online classes but only really stuck with OLW.
    • I supported my friends and a few others who were going through a tough time this year.
    • I supported several Life Coaching clients this year. Though I’ve wound most of those down.
  18. Describe 2019 in 3 words: magical, shift, brave
  19. If the events of 2019 were made into a film or a book, what would it be called? Glimmers of Light.
  20. Before we finish with 2019, take a few minutes to write out anything else you need to say to the old year in the box below. You might like to say some goodbyes and thank yous…Thank you 

Thank you 2019. You’ve reminded me that I can make my own magic. Shown me that things are not permanent. Reminded me that I hold the reigns of my life. Showed me how much magic the world has to offer. Reminded me what matters most in my life. And reminded me to stay in the growth mindset.  I am very proud of myself and grateful for all the magic of 2019. I am excited to jump into 2020 as a more committed version of myself.


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