My New Love

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(This is an essay I wrote in one hour in an online writing workshop in January 2023)

After many years of being single, I am dating someone.

He’s fascinating, worldly, intelligent, sophisticated, energetic and full of life. He’s also grimy, noisy, temperamental and is always asking me for more money.

I’m dating him because he’s teaching me how to fall in love again.

His name is New York City.

The first time ever I saw his face was in 1995. My husband, now ex-husband, and I visited NYC to see my cousin. I was enthralled by the hustle and bustle, the availability of every known cuisine on the planet and the incredible arts scene. We saw a performance by Blue Man Group, back when it was still in a tiny theatre in the Village and my cousin was dating one of the Blue Men. New York caught my attention and I could see why my cousin was in love, but I was newly married and already committed to living on the west coast, so I dismissed my attraction to New York and settled into Palo Alto, CA for 21 years, raising a family.

Halfway through that, I got divorced. I dated, but never found the love I’d hoped for. Last year, when my youngest graduated from high school and I had the freedom to choose where to live, I knew it was time to revisit an old crush. I put all my belongings into storage and moved to Manhattan.

NYC was waiting for me. I had seen him battered and bloody in 2001 and my heart had gone out to him. I had been impressed with his resilience over the following 21 years and thought maybe NYC could teach me a thing or two about starting anew. I mean, it’s literally his first name.

Our affair is still in its early honeymoon phase. I moved here only six weeks ago, but my heart still flutters when I look up and down his avenues and I realize all that he offers me. I fall more in love with New York every day I walk his streets. I smell the freshly baked bagels, the sweet cinnamon churros and the tomato tanginess of pizza places as ubiquitous as Starbucks. He has fresh blooms for me every day when I walk down W. 28th Street through the flower district.

I marvel at how handsome his architecture is, from Grand Central Station to the Public Library to The Dakota – so many grand gestures of structural elegance – to the small touches, like the archway flourish in an entrance to a pre-war building or the mosaics in his subways. I could go on and on about how beautiful he is to behold.

He reminds me that despite his age, he’s quite young at heart, as I walk along the Hudson River and marvel at his glass skyscrapers that reflect the clouds. He knows I’m a pilot and I love clouds, so he keeps a lot of them around for me.

I love eavesdropping as I walk, dipping in and out of people’s commentary, usually into their cell phones. During my first trip to NY in the 90s, I saw many people talking to themselves and was told they had mental health issues. Now, I see lots of people seemingly talking out loud to themselves but then I see their airpods in their ears.

My favorite overhead comment was when I walked by a young woman, sitting up against a wall, staring out into the street, holding her phone with her finely manicured hands, framed by colorful 2-inch painted fingernails, shouting into her phone:
“CUZ YOU WUZ SLEEPING!
(pause)
IN THE BED!
(pause)
WITH NATALIA!”
I keep a small notebook in my bag to record these snippets. It’s almost full.

My friends are excited for me and my new love but they feel compelled to share their concerns about him. “Don’t stand too close to the edge of the subway or you might get pushed onto the tracks and DIE.”  “Look BOTH ways before crossing a street because the bikers don’t follow the traffic rules and you might get hit and DIE.” “Carry pepper spray in case you get mugged so you don’t DIE.” I mean, they’re right, but their cautions aren’t stopping me. I like dating this bad boy.

I do see some of the cracks in his handsome facade – the extreme division of wealth, for example. Watching a brand new Bentley drive past a pile of a man sleeping barefoot on the sidewalk, in near-freezing temperatures. The smell of dog urine, the staccato trail of poop that was dragged along the sidewalk by some tourist who’d been staring up at the Empire State Building and not paying attention to where he was stepping.

It’s too early in our dating to know if I’m going to settle down with New York City. I have fond memories of California – a kinder, gentler love I could sink into. His touches were soft and sweet and 100% organic, but after twenty-one years, I needed to shake things up a little.

I have a feeling that when I’m older and not as energized by the adrenaline of a new love, I will long for the comfort of California, as one yearns for the familiar touch of a lost partner. But for now, while I have a lust for adventure and an appetite for exploration, New York City is my man.

2023 Vision Statement

After skipping my annual vision statement exercise for 2022, I am back at the laptop, compiling a list of what I’d like to do and how I’d like to be this year.

I experimented last year with just going with the flow. I’d read Michael Singer’s The Surrender Experiment and I found it fascinating and a bit terrifying. Don’t plan your life? I’m a Virgo, that’s like telling me not to breathe. But I did take a step back from my normal long list of goals and opened up to what the Universe had to offer. 

The two goals I had for last year were 1) figure out where I’d like to live after I became an empty-nester and 2) perform my show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which I had previously committed to, at the end of 2021.

Fast forward to now, the end of 2022, and I’m happy to have accomplished both of those goals. I decided to live in Manhattan for a “gap year” so I can be closer to my family and tap into the creative energy of NYC. I had a fabulous run of my play in Scotland and I learned what worked well and what I’d like to do differently in the next version of the show. 

However, there were many times during 2022 when I felt lost and anxious. Maybe I’d swung too far to the other side of the “planning” pendulum? 

For 2023, I’m going back to creating an annual vision statement because I’ve found the structure is comforting to me and still allows me to be open to unplanned possibilities. So here goes!

It’s December 2023.

What a year in NYC! I made a decision about whether or not I’m extending my stay here and will include that in my 2024 Vision Statement. Being here on the east coast made it easier for me to visit my parents frequently and see my brothers and their families more often. I also saw Julia at least every other week and we started a tradition where she and a couple of friends come over, do their laundry and we cook dinner together. I helped my dad self-publish his book about leadership, something we worked on together for much of 2022. We celebrated my Mom’s 80th birthday with a fun weekend at the beach together. I’m grateful that they’re all in good health.

Despite living in a tiny 650 square foot apartment, I figured out how to host dinner parties and enjoyed having friends over. I met so many new neighbors and kept in touch with my dear friends from California, several of whom I saw when they visited the city. I enjoyed going with friends to concerts, including Crowded House and Metallica, two of my favorites.

I am happy that I’m back to working full time and having a great impact with a group of people I love working with. I’m proud that I published my second book, a self-help/self-coaching book, which I thought I was going to do in 2020, but oh well. It’s fulfilling for me to hear that it’s inspiring people to work through their fears and live lives that they love. 

Part of getting the New York experience was volunteering in my community. I enjoyed being able to meet new people and devote my time to a cause that’s meaningful to me. I also continued my pro-bono coaching that I’ve been doing for the past couple of years for clients from historically marginalized communities. 

This was a year of increased creativity for me. I developed my one-woman show into a more theatrical piece that I’m super proud of. I performed it at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June and at the November United Solo festival in NYC. I hope to go back to Edinburgh in 2024.

I started writing again in 2022 and had submitted an essay to the NY Times Modern Love column but it was rejected. No worries, I kept going and eventually used the story as the basis for my first novel, which I self-published in 2023.

I was sad to have to give up encaustic painting for a year because of my limited space and ventilation in my apartment, but I made up for it by making 100 acrylic abstract paintings. While encaustic will always be my favorite medium, I’ve really enjoyed this year of experimentation and exploration.

A couple of years ago I had a goal to be able to play piano while singing along, and this year I finally did it! I can now sing three songs with my own accompaniment. All in all, it was a super creative year for me and I’m inspired to do even more in 2024.

I’m grateful for another year on this planet. I aspired to be compassionate, curious, and patient in 2023 and I’m proud of myself for having had an open and loving perspective this year. I hope I inspired others to do the same.

Vision statement, shmision statement

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If you know me, you probably know that a few years ago, I started doing an annual vision statement (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). I’d think about what I wanted to accomplish in the upcoming year and write a long missive incorporating all the areas of my life – work, family, health, relationships, personal growth, etc. – and tack it up here on my blog, to help with accountability.

Last year, I wrote “20 Things I Will Accomplish in 2020,” with grandiose plans to Play Piano and Sing (#12)! Learn to Speak Spanish (#10)! Get Paid for Public Speaking (#9)!

I started off the year traveling to SoCal twice to kick off several of my goals. On the drive south in January, during my first trip, I visited a place I’d never been before (#20), Avila Beach on the Central Coast. It was a relaxing and productive trip to San Diego and Santa Barbara, visiting friends from college and the navy, working with a ghostwriter on a leadership book (#5) and earning my Mindful Resilience Training certification from Veterans Yoga Project (#19).

sunset at Avila Beach pier
Avila Beach Pier

In February, I flew to LA and worked on my one-woman show (#11) with my director, Beth. I flew home feeling excited about the prospect of performing it on stage in Palo Alto in September, having already reserved a theater space.

And then the pandemic hit. And George Floyd was murdered. And California was on fire.

The uncertainty of the future was frustrating for a planner like myself (#Virgo). But really, when you think about it, when *is* the future certain? Thank you, Universe, for the “growth opportunity” to learn to relax my fixation on grandiose plans.

So we sheltered at home. I baked a lot. I gained 15 pounds. I joined an anti-racism coaching group and educated myself about the privilege I’ve enjoyed as a white woman and the white-supremacist societal structures I’ve benefitted from. I got to spend a lot more time with Julia, who has been living with me full time. We went to racial justice protests together. I didn’t get to travel to any more new locations, although we did spend a few days in Tahoe, courtesy of my real estate agent who lent us her cabin (thank you, Shelly!), and a weekend in Monterey at a beachside hotel that had no central HVAC, because that felt safe. I sold my home and started renting a condo a block from downtown, which I love, because I can walk to so many places. I feel incredibly grateful that my friends and family have stayed healthy and safe. I mourned those in my extended circles who weren’t as fortunate.

I was able to knock a few things off my 2020 list. I arranged a second printing of my book, She’s Just Another Navy Pilot and made it available on Kindle (#4). I took the kids to Yosemite for a weekend get-away at the end of January (#3). I performed my one-woman show to a small audience on Zoom, in November. I finished my coaching certification training (#8) and am waiting to take my oral exam, in Feburary.

My book in paperback!

As for the other 14 items on my 2020 list? Ha! Fuhgettaboutit.

So now, what’s up for 2021?

I decided to take a break from my annual “to do” list and instead, for 2021, I’m compiling a “to be” list. I’m stealing this idea from my coaching friend, Amy Koop, who also is a proponent of “micro-resolutions”: one small habit you do every day for 30 days (e.g. meditate for 10 minutes, do 20 push-ups, etc.), which feels much more do-able than 20 big-ass resolutions. A “to-be” list doesn’t trigger my hyper-achiever saboteur, and I can work toward more self-awareness rather than focusing on things I think I “should” be doing. (side note: if you’re interested in learning more about “saboteurs” and strengthening your inner Sage, I’m leading workshops about this. It’s work that’s helped me be more productive and happier, and I love sharing it with my coaching clients. Learn more here).

I’m also influenced by a book I read this year, The Surrender Experiment, by Michael Singer. It’s an autobiography of his experience going with the flow of life and what the Universe presented to him, instead of trying to over-control his circumstances. It’s heightened my curiosity about what would happen if I relaxed my plans and just went with the flow for a year.

How do I want to be in 2021?

I want to be:

  • Curious
  • Open
  • Creative
  • Present
  • Loving
  • Kind
  • Brave
  • Light-hearted
  • Strong
  • Grateful
  • Generous

Yes, my list goes to eleven.

So, here we go, 2021. Please don’t be another dumpster-fire of a year.

Fooling around with the iPhone wide-angle lens and my two favorite children.

2020 Vision Statement: “Now”

 

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One of my favorite takeaways from my time working at Facebook is the habit of writing an annual vision statement for what I’d like to be able to have accomplished by the end of the following year. Documenting my goals on this blog helps keep them top of mind for me. Sharing my goals with friends and family helps keep me accountable and more likely to finish.

In the past, I’ve been very achievement-oriented in my vision statements. That is not likely to change; I am a to-do list maker and box-checker-offer and I love setting and achieving goals.

But this year, I started creating my vision statement by thinking about what’s important to me. What are my values? Brene Brown has a great list of 100 values (scroll down the page, it’s on the lower right) to refer to and choose from, for deciding what is most important to honor in your life.

I narrowed mine down to 5: Family, Service, Freedom, Community and Joy. The goals I have in my vision statement this year reflect these values. They represent how I want to live my life and spend my time.

I don’t usually choose a “word of the year.” I did once, in 2018: “Fearless” and I liked it well enough. But one word has been coming to mind recently, and that is “Now.” I like it as a theme for 2020 for several reasons:
1 – It’s a reminder to stay present and in the moment. One of my Strengths is Futuristic, and while it’s great for envisioning the future and what could be, I sometimes feel anxious about what might happen. Similarly, I often rerun events of the past in my head to think about what I might have done differently, even though there’s no way to change what’s happened, and therefore, it’s mostly a waste of my time. Remembering the mantra “Now” keeps things in the moment and cues me to practice mindfulness.
2 – It’s a command for me: Do it now. I don’t want to wait any longer to start pursuing work that is meaningful for me. I left Facebook this past year, after writing my obituary as part of my yoga teacher training and realizing that I need to feel fulfilled in the work I do in order to be happy. Joy is important to me.
3 – It’s a reminder to be grateful for where I am now. My eldest departs the nest this year. He’s graduating from high school and enlisting in the Marine Corps. I couldn’t be prouder of him. I can’t believe the year 2020 is finally here and he is leaving to live his life as an adult. “Now” is a word to remind me that I should cherish every moment with him and his sister, as the time for us all living together is slipping away quickly.

I have a feeling 2020 will be a year of transformation for me. I am building my own business and reconnecting with my artistic roots. I’m mostly thrilled but slightly terrified; however, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be awesome.

 

For my 2020 Vision Statement, I am changing things up a little bit and taking advantage of the number of the year.

20 things I want to accomplish in 2020:

  1. Cook meals from scratch for my family at least once a week.
  2. Visit with my parents and brothers (and their families) at least twice this year.
  3. Take the kids on a vacation.
  4. Make my first book available as an eBook and print-on-demand.
  5. Write a business book.
  6. Launch a consulting business.
  7. Sell 1,000 books.
  8. Obtain my CPCC (Certified Professional Co-Active Coach) certification and build up my coaching business to 10 clients.
  9. Get paid for public speaking.
  10. Become conversant in Spanish.
  11. Perform a one-woman show.
  12. Be able to play a song on piano while singing the lyrics.
  13. Increase my flexibility enough to do the splits.
  14. Go on one date/month (a 4X increase over 2019, ha!).
  15. Host a dinner party for friends.
  16. Hike once a week.
  17. Practice yoga daily.
  18. Meditate daily.
  19. Teach yoga classes for a) veterans at the VA and b) for girls through The Art of Yoga.
  20. Travel to someplace I’ve never been before.

This might be the last year I do a big list. While I like the values-driven approach to the goals, I feel like it might be time to take one year and simplify…to focus on like, 3-5 things. Or maybe even one, like, “Choose joy.” I’m going to see how 2020 goes and consider whether 2021 might be a revisioning of my vision statement process.

How do you approach New Year’s resolutions and vision statements? I’m curious to hear about other methods.

Wishing all of you a joyful and fulfilling 2020.

2019 Vision Statement Scorecard

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My Instagram Top 9 photos of the year. I love that they represent the important areas of my life: family, friends, flying. learning and yoga.

This was an unexpectedly challenging year. I don’t feel like I was able to fully live up to the lofty vision I had crafted at the end of last year, but I’m okay with that. I had to spend more energy and time than I had planned managing some family and work issues. Life happens.

I do feel like I was able to accomplish more than I would have, had I not written a vision statement; so, I’ll continue doing them for self-inspiration and accountability.

I’m using the same color-code system to rate how well I was able to deliver on my vision for the year, where green = did it, yellow = did some of it and red = didn’t happen.

Family:

  • Goals
    • Did a family vacation together and unplugged our devices for at least one day (it was wonderful to do this during my New Zealand trip in 2018; need to disconnect from social media more often). The kids had some health issues and so we weren’t able to do a family vacation together where we could completely unplug. The three of us spent the holidays with my parents in Tampa, and Julia and I joined my family in March for my brother’s 50th birthday. She and I also did a weekend trip to Ukiah, but for the most part, this was a year we stayed local as a family.
    • Spent time with my parents I got to see my parents several times this year: for my brother’s birthday, for Thanksgiving, and then mom and I did our girl’s trip, and she also visited us in California.
  • Bonus:
    • I finally met the partner I’d hoped for and we are building a life together I went on three dates this year. Three! Maybe 2020 will be better?
    • Enjoyed a Vegas Girls’ trip with my mom, during a month when it was warm enough to sit out by the pool!We did our trip to Santa Fe, and it was in late September so it wasn’t super warm, but it was fun!

Friends:

  • Goals:
    • Had a fun trip to Sedona with my girlfriends This was super fun. Love my #girlsquad
  • Bonus
    • Hosted a dinner party for my friends Did this at the beginning of the year and would love to do more in 2020.

Work:

  • Goal:
    • I started a Women@GBM group and helped support women in our org I didn’t get a chance to do the Women@ group before I left Facebook, but I did get a Managers@ group started, as well as mentor several women at work.

Community:

  • Goals:
    • Started teaching yoga and mindfulness classes with Veterans Yoga project I had to postpone the VYP training into 2020; this will be on my 2020 Vision Statement.
    • Continued supporting veterans transitioning to tech by participating in Facebook’s Vets group and speaking with groups like Breakline Still one of my favorite things to do and I’m glad I was able to help veterans transitioning into tech jobs.

Me:

  • Goals:
    • Fitness:
      • Earned my 200-hr yoga teaching certification so I can teach yoga to veterans. Completed in June and have taught 2 community classes, as well as private lessons.
      • Can do a press-up handstand. Nope.
      • Competed in a pole dancing competition. Took classes but didn’t compete…yet.
    • Music: Since buying myself a digital piano for Christmas in Dec 2018, I completed an online piano course and can play at least 4 of the following songs. :
    • Flying: I fly every 3 weeks or so and enjoy taking friends up for flights. Did a couple of cross-country camping flights and enjoyed sleeping under the stars. I was flying frequently during the first 6 months of the year but then a combination of weather and personal stuff kept me grounded for the second half of 2019.
  • Bonus:
    • Writing:
      • I sold the screenplay/teleplay I wrote in 2017 and wrote another one.
      • I blogged monthly
    • Travel: I visited two new places this year (thinking about Sedona, South Africa, Copenhagen, Prague, Berlin, Costa Rica). I actually went to five: Toronto, Edinburgh, Scotland, Sedona, Portland and Kauai. I traveled a lot: Singapore, London, NYC, Washington, DC, Boonville, Yosemite, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Big Sur.
    • Painting: I set up my art studio space in San Jose and completed 20 paintings, enough to sign up for Open Studios. I have posted my paintings to my art website, encaustech.com, and have sold a few. I’ve begun talking with Facebook about doing an encaustic installation on one of the walls at work. I’m thrilled to have a studio in San Jose and I visit a couple of times a month. I would love to spend more time paining, but unfortunately, this has taken a backseat to other activities. Also, the studio is hot in the summer, which doesn’t pair well with encaustics, so I’m starting to learn Cold Wax painting for the summer months.

2019 Vision Q1 Check-in

 

I thought I’d try something new this year and not wait an entire 365 days to report on my vision statement progress.

I’m at my art studio, waiting for the wax to heat up to a molten state so I can start painting; seems like a good time to write a little. I miss writing. I had a call today with my writing partner about some tweaks to our screenplay and I felt that pull to sit in front of a laptop and empty my brain into another story. I love writing. I need to do more.

So, how are things going so far? What happened in January – March?

Family:

  • Goals
    • Did a family vacation together and unplugged our devices for at least one day (it was wonderful to do this during my New Zealand trip in 2018; need to disconnect from social media more often). Not yet. Planned for this summer.
    • Spent time with my parents. Julia and I got to see them and my brothers for my brother Patrick’s 50th birthday.
  • Bonus:
    • I finally met the partner I’d hoped for and we are building a life together. Not yet. Still hopeful. 🙂
    • Enjoyed a Vegas Girls’ trip with my mom, during a month when it was warm enough to sit out by the pool! Planned for Q3.

Friends:

  • Goals:
    • Had a fun trip to Sedona with my girlfriends. Such a fun trip, although I was coming down with a bad cold. Did some awesome hiking.
    • RhQAqPCbREqkCxr6PKBikw
  • Bonus
    • Hosted a dinner party for my friends. Super fun, hope to do another one later this year. I’m grateful to have such amazing, supportive friends in my life.

Work:

  • Goal:
    • I started a Women@GBM group and helped support women in our org. Not yet.

Community:

  • Goals:
    • Started teaching yoga and mindfulness classes with Veterans Yoga project. Not yet, will finish my training in June.
    • Continued supporting veterans transitioning to tech by participating in Facebook’s Vets group and speaking with groups like Breakline. Not yet.

Me:

  • Goals:
    • Fitness:
      • Earned my 200-hr yoga teaching certification so I can teach yoga to veterans. In progress! I’ve really been enjoying this training. Lots of studying!
      • fullsizeoutput_3f9c
      • Can do a press-up handstandHahaha, not even close…
      • Competed in a pole dancing competition. Not yet, but in progress.
    • Music: Since buying myself a digital piano for Christmas in Dec 2018, I completed an online piano course and can play at least 4 of the following songs.In progress. Embarrassing accountability videos are below. I’m almost done with the Entertainer, halfway through La Valse d’Amelie (although it’s really rough), at the beginning of Glitter in the Air, and deciding whether or not to continue on Between the Lines. I love the song but it is freaking difficult. NOTE: Not sure why the video images are upside down, but it’s normal once it starts playing.

 

    • Flying: I fly every 3 weeks or so and enjoy taking friends up for flights. Did a couple of cross-country camping flights and enjoyed sleeping under the stars. I’ve taken a couple of friends flying on Bay Tours. Next up is my mountain flying checkout so I can go camping in the foothills. I’m also looking at getting my aerobatics check out, as straight and level is getting boring fast. 🙂

Bonus:

  • Writing:
    • I sold the screenplay/teleplay I wrote in 2017 and wrote another one.Still trying to sell it.
    • I blogged monthly well, maybe quarterly?
  • Travel: I visited two new places this year (thinking about Sedona, South Africa, Copenhagen, Prague, Berlin, Costa Rica). Edinburgh is next!
  • Painting: I set up my art studio space in San Jose and completed 20 paintings, enough to sign up for Open Studios. I have posted my paintings to my art website, encaustech.com, and have sold a few. I’ve begun talking with Facebook about doing an encaustic installation on one of the walls at work. 

I rented a super cool art studio space in San Jose!

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Move-in Day

I have been focusing on yoga teacher training, so I haven’t been as productive in the studio as I would like; however, with the sun setting later every day, I’m hoping to paint more. Here’s a painting that’s almost done, and one that is just beginning:

 

2019 Vision Statement

houseframe

Writing a vision statement feels like building the scaffolding for my life this year. It’s the framework of a house that I can decorate over 12 months with experiences and relationships.

However, sometimes it feels a bit grandiose. There are plenty of things I want to happen in my life that I’m not going to document in a vision statement because I enjoy being spontaneous and enjoying serendipitous moments (see: name of this blog).

I’m not as anal-retentive as this process suggests, but I know that the best way for me to get the most out of my one sweet life is to set my intentions and find ways to make them happen. I am a woman of action.

I lost another friend from college this year – a painful reminder that we don’t know how much time we have left on earth. I want to be deliberate in how I live my life. I want to live it to the fullest with the people I love.

Last year’s vision statement was pretty ambitious, and I ended up completing 8 out of the 20 goals, halfway completing 6 and not getting anywhere on 6. This year, I decided to simplify to two main goals per category and a few optional, bonus goals.

Here’s what I hope to accomplish in 2019 and what I’ll be writing at the end of the year:

Family:

  • Goals
    • Did a family vacation together and unplugged our devices for at least one day (it was wonderful to do this during my New Zealand trip in 2018; need to disconnect from social media more often)
    • Spent time with my parents
  • Bonus:
    • I finally met the partner I’d hoped for and we are building a life together
    • Enjoyed a Vegas Girls’ trip with my mom, during a month when it was warm enough to sit out by the pool!

Friends:

  • Goals:
    • Had a fun trip to Sedona with my girlfriends
  • Bonus
    • Hosted a dinner party for my friends

Work:

  • Goal:
    • I started a Women@GBM group and helped support women in our org

Community:

  • Goals:
    • Started teaching yoga and mindfulness classes with Veterans Yoga project
    • Continued supporting veterans transitioning to tech by participating in Facebook’s Vets group and speaking with groups like Breakline

Me:

  • Goals:
    • Fitness:
      • Earned my 200-hr yoga teaching certification so I can teach yoga to veterans.
      • Can do a press-up handstand.
      • Competed in a pole dancing competition.
    • Music: Since buying myself a digital piano for Christmas in Dec 2018, I completed an online piano course and can play at least 4 of the following songs. :
    • Flying: I fly every 3 weeks or so and enjoy taking friends up for flights. Did a couple of cross-country camping flights and enjoyed sleeping under the stars.
  • Bonus:
    • Writing:
      • I sold the screenplay/teleplay I wrote in 2017 and wrote another one.
      • I blogged monthly
    • Travel: I visited two new places this year (thinking about Sedona, South Africa, Copenhagen, Prague, Berlin, Costa Rica).
    • Painting: I set up my art studio space in San Jose and completed 20 paintings, enough to sign up for Open Studios. I have posted my paintings to my art website, encaustech.com, and have sold a few. I’ve begun talking with Facebook about doing an encaustic installation on one of the walls at work.

2018 Vision Statement Scorecard

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In 2016, I started working in an organization that encourages vision statements. The thought is that by stating an intention, you’re more likely to achieve the goal you’ve set than if you just think about it without writing it down.

I’ve found that to be true, and it also helps to inject some accountability into the process by sharing it. So, before I share my 2019 Vision Statement in a separate post, I thought I should review 2018’s and see how things shook out.

I’m a visual person, so I like using green (#nailedit), yellow (some progress, but not complete) and red (nope) to score each element.

This year, my 20 goals came in at 8 green, 6 yellow and 6 red. That tells me I set the bar high! It was a challenging year, and I’m grateful for the love and support of my family and friends.

Family:

  • Visited NYC together and saw some Broadway shows. My daughter and I went to NYC together in June to see the David Bowie Is exhibit at the Brooklyn museum. It was such a treat to share that experience with her. While we were there, we saw Mean Girls and The Book of Mormon.
  • Both kids are growing up to be independent, happy young adults. It wasn’t an easy year for my son, but I’m really proud of his progress.
    My daughter is enjoying cheerleading at Paly and is a happy 9th-grader.
  • Enjoyed a fun Vegas Girls’ trip with my mom. Mom and I saw the Moody Blues in Vegas, on their 50th anniversary of the Days of Future Past album. It was a great concert, but we forgot that Vegas is COLD in January, so no pool time for us!
  • Did a family vacation to a new spot. No new locales this year.
  • Visited my parents in Tampa. I took the kids to visit over the long Presidents Day weekend.
  • I finally met the partner I’d hoped for and we are building a life together. Dated a really nice guy for a few months at the beginning of the year, but he’s not the long-term partner I’m looking for. I’m hoping I’ll find someone to love in 2019.

Friends:

  • Finally did our international girls trip! Did a girls trip to Laguna Beach, which was awesome, but not international. 🙂
  • Hosted a dinner party for my WHIP friends and our partners. Unfortunately, didn’t host any dinner parties this year. Will need to remedy that in the new year.

Work:

  • I successfully supported AHE in our move to GBM It was a challenge the first half of the year, but by the end of 2018, I felt like our team was performing strongly again.
  • In our new team, we have radically improved education for all of our customers. My team is now creating help and education content that’s customer-centric and holistic, across a multitude of education modalities. I’m super proud of how far we’ve progressed and grateful for working with such talented and passionate people. 
  • I was able to get an investment for community and we’ve increased the engagement which has helped support and education. Had my hands full with the changes for my team, so I didn’t put a proposal together in 2018.
  • I started a Women@GBM group and helped support women in our org. Started  Managers Circles in GBM to help create more community within our org, but not the specific women’s-empowerment training I’d hope to create, yet. 

Community:

  • Started a Facebook group for my neighborhood and at least half of my neighbors (13 of 26) joined. I started the Facebook group and 12 of the 25 neighbors joined…so close to my goal of 13! It’s been great to feel a little closer to the people who live around me; I cherish the real-life connection.
  • Continued supporting veterans transitioning to tech by participating in VetsinTech and other vet orgs. I participated on several veteran-focused panels, including the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Breakline and VetsinTech, and spoke at functions for NPower, Facebook and DropBox. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to support veterans who are transitioning out of the military. I remember the anxiety and fear of wondering whether or not I’d be able to translate my skills to the civilian world, so I’m happy to be able to share my experience and, hopefully, ease stress that others may feel.

Me:

  • Painting: I attended the International Encaustic Conference in Massachusetts in June. I set up my art studio and completed 20 paintings, enough to sign up for Open Studios in 2019. I have posted my paintings to my art website, encaustech.com, and have sold a few. I’ve begun talking with Facebook about doing an encaustic installation on one of the walls at work. I didn’t realize when I signed up to attend this conference that it was the same weekend as my daughter’s 8th-grade graduation – aagh! So I wasn’t able to go, and I have a wedding to attend over Memorial weekend in 2019, so I might not make it back to a conference until 2010. Did a little bit of painting in the beginning of the year, but focused more on flying and work during the second half, so I hope to get painting more in 2019.
  • Design: I completed a web development course and was able to use what I learned to redesign encaustech.com, which I am now using to both exhibit and sell my artwork. Investigating how to do a small installation at Facebook.I updated my Facebook Page for Encaustech, but not much else. Did not do any coding this year.  😦
  • Writing: I sold the screenplay I wrote in 2017 and wrote another one. Wrote a better ending to the existing screenplay and am working on turning it into a television series.
  • Fitness: I rode the Peloton bike 3-4X a week and did yoga at least 2X/week. Took a pole dancing class and loved it. I’m exploring options to get certified in teaching yoga. Rode the Peloton on average 3-4X a month, and was sporadic in yoga. I had an injury in June that set my workouts back for about 2 months. Oy, the joys of getting older…
  • Travel: I visited two new places this year (options include Bulgaria, Lisbon, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Prague, Berlin, Costa Rica).Visited Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Queenstown and Sydney. Loved the travel I got to do, but by the holidays, I was ready to take a break.
  • Flying: I renewed my medical and got current again in a small plane. I fly every 3 weeks or so and enjoy taking friends up for flights. Renewed my medical and am ready to take my tailwheel checkride, just got delayed because of travel and weather. Should finish this in January – yay! I’m looking forward to taking my friends flying…who wants to go?

2018 Vision Statement

rosie

Here’s what I’ll be writing at the end of this year.  I added my work goals this time because it’s also an important part of my life.

Family:

  • Visited NYC together and saw some Broadway shows
  • Both kids are growing up to be independent, happy young adults.
  • Enjoyed a fun Vegas Girls’ trip with my mom.
  • Did a family vacation to a new spot.
  • Visited my parents in Tampa.
  • I finally met the partner I’d hoped for and we are building a life together.

Friends:

  • Finally did our international girls trip!
  • Hosted a dinner party for my WHIP friends and our partners.

Work:

  • I successfully supported AHE in our move to GBM
  • In our new team, we have radically improved education for all of our customers.
  • I was able to get an investment for community and we’ve increased the engagement which has helped support and education.
  • I started a Women@GBM group and helped support women in our org.

Community:

  • Started a Facebook group for my neighborhood and at least half of my neighbors (13 of 26) joined.
  • Continued supporting veterans transitioning to tech by participating in VetsinTech and other vet orgs.

Me:

  • Painting: I attended the International Encaustic Conference in Massachusetts in June. I set up my art studio and completed 20 paintings, enough to sign up for Open Studios in 2019. I have posted my paintings to my art website, encaustech.com, and have sold a few. I’ve begun talking with Facebook about doing an encaustic installation on one of the walls at work.
  • Design: I completed a web development course and was able to use what I learned to redesign encaustech.com, which I am now using to both exhibit and sell my artwork. Investigating how to do a small installation at Facebook.
  • Writing: I sold the screenplay I wrote in 2017 and wrote another one.
  • Fitness: I rode the Peloton bike 3-4X a week and did yoga at least 2X/week. Took a pole dancing class and loved it. I’m exploring options to get certified in teaching yoga.
  • Travel: I visited two new places this year (options include Bulgaria, Lisbon, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Prague, Berlin, Costa Rica).
  • Flying: I renewed my medical and got current again in a small plane. I fly every 3 weeks or so and enjoy taking friends up for flights.